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Not all couples experience an exponential drop in their sex lives post marriage—or so I hear. I'm still waiting to meet the couples that continue vigorous and enjoyable sex lives consistently throughout their marriage—affairs don't count!
Lack of Sex Causes Feelings of Betrayal
For the partner that feels betrayed and the one who feels underwhelmed about the loss of sexual encounters within their marriage, it really is normal, not great, but normal. Ups and downs are part of life, especially your sex life. Sex is a symptom, not the main issue—rarely do couples report all aspects of their marriage being great with the only exception being sex.
Women can be known to put sex on the back burner, but usually because we have all burners going at once, typically thinking about 20 things simultaneously and sex gets shuffled around in the mix. Kids get sick, work priorities come up again, an argument with your spouse and before you know it, sex just jumped several items down on that list of priorities- maybe it leaped off the list altogether. Men can be guilty of pushing sex aside too. Some people even think marriage itself is the culprit for the lack of sex. If you are puzzled by what decreases the sex life between couples, here's a few hints and a few helpful tips.
Keep in mind that a decent sex life takes work, there is no quick fix. Just like having good health and a good body takes effort in the way of proper diet and exercise.
Children Have a Huge Impact on a Couple's Sex Life.
Children have a huge impact on a couple's sex life. I remember a repetitive conversation/argument my husband and I had during the many ensuing months after our daughter was born. Our dialogue would go as follows:
Husband: "So, am I going to get some (sex) tonight"?
Wife/Me: "Well if that line alone doesn't get me in the sack, what will (heavy sarcasm)? Certainly not a massage, foot rub, you cooking dinner, or you putting the baby to sleep..."
Husband: "OK, I get the point."
Wife/Me: "I can't believe you have time to think about sex when all I can think about is the luxury of taking a shower or eating lunch one of these days."
The wife is left feeling resentful and the man feels inadequate because he isn't getting a fair slice of the precious time his wife spends on the baby. Men and women change after having a baby, therefore, the relationship changes, and all too often the man wants the woman to resume her pre-baby self far too soon. Realistically, and obviously, women take longer than men to resume their pre-baby self. The problem arises when the man expects too much too soon. The woman is taking care of a new being and someone (husband/partner) should be taking care of her or at least helping her take care of herself.
While men feel the pressure of fatherhood, a woman is going through much more, physically and emotionally. She is learning how to re-balance her life, and men need to be patient because, believe it not, the woman usually puts herself and her needs further down on the list than the needs of her partner. So, if you're feeling neglected, think how she must feel.
Here's another secret I'll let the men/fathers in on. Make it easy for your wife to be with you. Don't be another stressor or remind her how long it's been since you've had sex. Insist that your wife has time for herself sans baby or children. Take it upon yourself to schedule the babysitter. Women get consumed, even obsessive, with their role as a mother and if she doesn't get to be by herself for decent periods of time, she will forget the (pre-children) woman inside her- leaving that identity for the role of supermom. Insist on her getting time for herself and time with you, without the kids.
Women have a bottomless reserve of giving, and giving, for their children- it's an instinct. A man will say he is tired and simply be done with his day. But a woman will keep on giving to her children, past the point of exhaustion. She may not have anything left, but somehow if her children need more or are sick, she digs deep down in her bottomless reserve and gives more. Problems can occur when the husband wonders why she can't find it within her to give more (ie. sex) to him- why will she not go above and beyond for his needs? That's not a fair question for men to ask. No competition- sorry guys.
If husbands are expecting their wives to easily shut off their mother role once the kids are asleep, he'll be dissappointed. Give her time, on a weekend or during the day sometime, to shut off the mother role- when she is not exhausted already. And don't expect to get sex the first week or so of giving her more outings by herself- be patient and show her this is genuinely time she deserves, no strings attached. Even if you're hoping for some sexual favors sometime down the road, you should still be sincere about helping her detach from the kids a little.
Encourage each other to have a life and hobbies outside of the kids. If the kids are your life, your sex life will suffer- of course when you're done procreating/adding to your family, that is.
Where's the Person I Married?
Aren't we all guilty of accusing our spouses for changing after we marry them? Sometimes it seems they change so much, we lose some of the initial attraction we felt for them. Or maybe we changed so much that our attractions varied as well. Somewhere during the dating process we were attracted to the other person and no matter what advice follows this, it really is necessary to date your spouse and have hobbies aside from each other to discuss when you're out on a "date".
The way a woman views her man is crucial to her sexual feelings toward him. A woman feels most attracted to a strong, not necessarily physical, but supportive man- even if a woman is strong and independent, she still wants to know her man represents a safe place to fall.
Women have an ideal in their head, from the time they were little girls, about the man they will marry. While it's important for women to give up their man in the fairytale, it's also important for men to know what makes their wife attracted to them most and up their game, so to speak, in that category. If she is attracted to your child-like boyishness, find places to go where you can play.
It's complicated in the way that love is unconditional, but realistically, attraction is conditional. We can't give up or let ourselves go o sit around watching TV, and expect our spouses to be attracted to us. There is nothing in the marriage vows about being eternally attracted to your spouse- sad but true. The good news is your spouse was probably attracted to you for several reasons initially so maintain a few of those attractive features and traits to keep your spouse dazzled by you.
Men seem to complain a lot about their wife's body changing after marriage, usually gaining weight. If you pressure her or concentrate on this aspect too much, then she will withdraw further away from the bedroom, and consequently your chances of sex diminish. Women are very mental/psychological creatures, especially concerning sex. They realize when they've gained weight and it effects them mentally. The best thing to do is be an example- stop eating junk around her or focusing activities around eating. Women want to feel close to their husbands so they will partake in activities or even bad habits, like late-night snacking- just to spend time with you. If she gets her connection by eating with you, then she won't need to engage in other connections, such as sex.
"Couples think, If I'm not getting what I want, then you don't matter"
— Tony Robbins
You Have to Give Up the Competition
We have to do things we hate for the other person's sake and give up the competition, while working on becoming a team.
There may come a time when your partner says I want less sex or more sex. You would like to acknowledge your partner's needs, but they aren't compatible with your needs or maybe you feel like you can't give more sex unless you get some of your other, non-sexual needs met.
Typically, one person in the relationship has emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs that must be met before they welcome the idea of sex. If those needs are not met, sex decreases or becomes dissatisfying for that person. But how does each partner get their needs met when one is not willing to give unless given to? Does it become a stand-off?
First, the needs should be communicated in the most respectful way with your partner- no attacking or blaming. Then, work on a give and take program- you ask for a date night or a massage (whatever you deserve or helps you feel connected) from your partner and you will give him a favor in return. I have to say this works to get things going again and proves to one another that giving and taking is possible. You may need to flip a coin to determine who starts the giving. Score-keeping like this isn't a long-term solution, but it works during the lulls and low points.
Sometimes we expect marriage and our spouse to fulfill all our needs, after all, they did in the beginning. A new relationship seems to fulfill everything on your list; you don't need to eat, sleep, or love anything else. You are perfectly full and complete. This is unrealistic in marriage though. We need to consistently evaluate who and what can fulfill our needs- it's not all our spouse's responsibility. Some of our needs can be met from our friends, relatives and ourselves. You may be focusing on having more sex in your relationship, but some of that need may be derived from a lack of self-worth or emotional intimacy.
Trouble's Been Brewing
Lack of sex is a symptom of a deeper problem. Something else is going on and has been for a while. Since women are mental/emotional creatures, it's usually a woman who holds resentment or anger about something in the past. This is a mental road block a woman must overcome to get physical again. As a man, you can either talk it out with her (don't have a "get over it" attitude) or you can get help from a counselor together.
It's obvious as a nation, we don't like effort. We want to work less and have more, eat more and weigh more, etc. Add one more to that list; It takes effort to have a sex life with your spouse, and even more effort to have a good one. I'm not suggesting doing it begrudgingly, but making time for it to happen adding a little spice. Couples are surprised at the effort involved to just get away from their routine to have sex or quality time that might lead to sex. Sex doesn't just happen when married. There are several ways to satisfy a man and a woman, but it takes effort to discover these things- uprooting the usual routine to discover long-term bedroom bliss.
Men, if you put out effort, your wife may put out too. Don't take anything for granted. Since spontaneity and lust are pre-marital luxuries, romance is the replacement now that you're married. What is your wife's definition of romance? In addition, pour on the romance occasionally without even attempting to get her in bed. This will demonstrate you have no ulterior motives for being romantic- it's a deed done for the favor bank.
Women's effort should begin with herself- make the effort to feel good about yourself or attractive, whatever that takes for you. For me, that's reading or watching a romantic or sexy book or movie. A little fantasizing does a woman's brain wonders. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom I can't justify spending much money on my wardrobe, but once a month I buy a new outfit or some item of clothing that makes me feel good, and wear it, maybe even on date night with my husband. Also, exercise gets your blood flowing to all you areas even if your goal isn't losing weight, it releases feel-good hormones, which help in other areas of you life (ie. sex life). The practice of doing something for yourself makes you more willing to do something for someone else. Yes, I know it's easier said than done and that's why we call it effort.
Let's Get Physical
There are biological reasons that lead to a diminishing sex life. Many occur after child birth and in the 50+ age group for men and women. For example, heart and cardiovascular problems can cause impotency in men. After child birth and during menopause, women's hormones can fluctuate extensively, causing a physical and mental decreased appetite for sex. A doctor's evaluation and blood tests can uncover the reason for a loss of sex drive.
Ways to Get Things Going Without Focusing on Sex
- Focus on making the relationship better in general; communicate more, view each other as partners, share interests and activities together, go through hardships together.
- Masturbate together.
- Read or watch something naughty.
- Don't overthink about sex. Let it happen if it happens...it's perfectly natural.
- Take an adventure—do something completely out of your comfort zone together. This is the first thing Tony Robbins uses for couples he counsels.
- For women who can't find the inspiration to have sex with their husbands, here is one incentive: after you have sex with him is when he is feeling closest to you and open to conversation about things you may want to discuss while he's in a really good mood. If you have sex before bed, though, he will probably be fast asleep so pick a good time not right before bed.
- Kiss more.
- See a romantic or steamy movie together.
- Go to one of your favorite date places (or activities) before you got married.
- Talk dirty (over the phone, text, or email is good).
- Touch each other more.
- Try a new activity or challenge with your spouse—you may see them in a new light.
- Make a short list together about the top things that turn you onto the other person and keep that list handy to refer to later.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Kevin Kovalsky from London on May 16, 2020:
However, don't you think that there are so many ways to brighten up your sex life somehow. For instance, after 2 years after our marriage, the same thing happened with me. We became cold and decided to save our relationship somehow. I ordered some gels and sex toys on pretty affordable prices. Moreover, I did also find a great sexual table game, even though it sounds weird, on https://www.deliciasexshoponline.com.br/ . Absolutely amazing sex shop! It saved our sex life.
Kevin Kovalsky from London on May 07, 2020:
Interesting article, according to the statistics, it's usually true.
John on March 25, 2020:
I have read what you have written and simply put it all sounds like a lot of excuses excuses for you not to do what you know you should do man married a man marries you you not to give your children you having children is a choice you make no man should suffer for me stop making excuses the number one reason why men cheat because women ignore them so don't blame us and stop making excuses and face it you are the problem
Johny on August 16, 2019:
Thanks, after reading this I feel a lot better about being single.
Samaya on May 21, 2019:
Things become more complicated with growing age
godrey malama on February 18, 2019:
sex is one which strengthens couples aspensally for couples who are 50 and above
tashani on November 04, 2018:
after marriage my husband doesn't like to sex with me..I tried so many things..I talked with him about this problem..he gets angry when I talk about it. I don't know what is the reason, why he refuse me...but still I love him..
Ariel Duran on October 12, 2018:
WOW is what my partner said. I've had three children and it's not the same but myotaut serum is phenomenal. It took at least twenty minutes to really go into effect. I'm happy, my partner is happy and my sex life is back on track.
Norm on April 04, 2018:
I can tell how many times a year we have sex, every year is the same the answer is NONE. I won't even try, she was always boring and refused to change. So I fixed it and hadn't had sex with her in about 35 to 40 years. I'm not gay nor have I been interested in some one else. It was difficult at first but got by it. Now it's only me, I don't associate with her any more.
happycamper10 on December 19, 2017:
If your sex life is bad, your relationship will be bad - if it isn't already. Once you've given it a little time, if things don't get better, just get out. Sadly, it is the only permanent solution. You'll be happier. There is no reason to live out a life-sentence of heartache and torture, and bad sex.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on December 09, 2017:
sex is a sort of sport, not merely a biological need. as long as it is limited to lower body organs, the real pleasure will not be experienced. most of the people have sex to relieve their biological urge. this desire will droop over a period of time. when sex is enjoyed as a means of reaching higher boundaries
in uniting rather merging each other a state of ecstatic state , sex will never diminish. float in sex ,never sink in it limiting to organs pleasure. it is to experience the heavenly pleasure which is beyond words.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on December 07, 2017:
Great! You're welcome!
wesley. on November 30, 2017:
Great Insight. Very helpful. Thanks indeed!
eric lubaczweski on October 21, 2017:
To simplify: "Be good, and you'll get a cookie".
Frustrated guy on October 20, 2017:
You find these articles intended for well being and I believe they are, but written often by women for men to gain more insight of women as if men are selfish and lack understanding of the womans point of view, ive only read a small portion from a mans perspective anyhow in some cases i agree. However its not always the case. With my situation I help often as I can and i do understand and usually try to engage in sex maybe once a week or every other week which i believe to be fair and not pressuring. When you are married ive seen that it takes so much more to get her into the mood and often to no avail. Then when sex eventually ensues it seems the woman just interested in getting it done like folding laundry and often dont care for foreplay ironically if we split and some woman just have affairs but a new man could get something from my woman that i could not fairly quickly and commit to far less work in getting her to that point and men usually are aware of these instances i speak of but idk maybe im boring but i really dont believe that to be the case. For good men its a whirl wind of negative thoughts and you actually feel it in your body which causes a great deal of frustration. One thing i understand greatly is its her body and she should have the choice to do as she wishes with it obviously. What do we do as men though? I have waited patiently reasoned in my own mind that its not that important even though i feel it is. This often turns to affairs for men because after many failed attempts men grow weary of continuing to try and how can men be blamed if your doing your duties as a husband and fail to bring the passion in your wifes eyes often confused men do dumb stuff. Im not one to commit to affairs so i just live with frustration. My wife is a good woman and we rarely fight. We get along well and we make a good team for the family so it rules out either of us being unhappy with each other as a cause for lack of sex. Prior i have been in relationships in which unhappiness was the case but ive come to learn wether happy or unhappy results seem to be the same. Kids damper sex life tremendously but again ive found that kids maybe the cause most the time but have experienced that even without kids the results end up this way given enough time together. In the beginning its all passion just seems that once a woman settles in and knows her man will not stray there is no more reason within her to be passionate for her man. This is my experience though and I have tried many different things trying to resolve what inevitably comes. Come on Im a grown man seeking for clues online to turn around my situation, after all the frustration is effecting me not her. Yes I have talked about it with her and yes I have tried romantic things but it ends usually the same. Just crazy to me that if i make the attempt for sex it requires a mininum of all day or several taking on every responsibility i can take from her to ease her stress, take care of the children, and be romantic and patient with her to be shut down that night cause she to tired, sick whatever the many reasons woman find justified and thanks me for all my effort of being a good man. Even when sex happens I do all the work which is better then being out of work haha and its like i said before sex is a chore to the married woman for sure one in which she wants to complete quickly and doesn't want to do any of the things that i like, consider yourself lucky if this chore makes her list because i am aware of men who receieve less affection and passion then I do. Im frustrated posting about it, and i want to be a good moral man not interested in any other woman and do not wish to unleash my frustrations on her or my family and i dont but i feel betrayed, unwanted and makes me think somethings wrong with me. I believe these to be the personal thoughts of good men in these cases. Ive even tried to abandon sex altogether for myself and learn to accept things as they are but cannot get rid of the negative thoughts or frustrations. You cannot make someone be something they are not so any advice id consider to change myself and blend better into the situation I am in. Im coming to terms with how things are and understand woman go through mutiple phases and frustrations that it dampers sex for them because sex is more simple for men and woman its more of the emotion, timing and atmosphere one in which ive just not been able to provide effectively and run out of ways to try to rev up our sex life a bit. Im not requesting every night but it be wonderful if even the once or twice a month would be fulled with passion instead of it being a chore. Dead horse... Im beating it and I know. Am I selfish? Is there a method in which i can lower my sex drive so i can reduce stress and frustration because im tried of feeling this.
SexStarvedWife on August 25, 2017:
I want to point out something that I feel frustrated about many of these types of well-intended articles. It's not mostly women who are turning down sex, too busy, or feel underappreciated, etc... my main frustration is that the MAN constantly is turning down advances to want to get closer intimate with him. In the morning my husband is always uberfocused to make sure he leaves the house early for work so he could beat the rush hour traffic. At night he comes home tired. There's a severe lack of prioritizing the US in the relationship, apart from household responsibilities. I find myself so frustrated that my physical and emotional needs are not being met within the marital relationship. I've brought it up several times in conversation and he usually just fails to see my point, gets mad, withdraws more, and justifies his behavior by the responsibilities that he maintains. It's so frustrating and hurtful. I read a lot of articles about relationships and lack of sexual intimacy. Usually they are couched in the viewpoint that it's the woman who turning down the sex or has the lesser sex drive. I'm here to say this isn't true. I wish my husband would pursue me half as much as this article would make it out to be about men. He used to want sex more, say once a week... now I'm lucky if I could even get him to sleep with me in the same bed two or three nights a week and engage intimately twice a month. It's sad, because I clearly see a decline in a relationship and it seems like no matter what I do to improve it , the message isn't being taken to heart or he doesn't care enough to invest in us.
khalifah iskandar on May 16, 2017:
having a child is made huge differences for me and my wife.
she is a naughty woman back then. but now she turned to be a ticklish-easily worn out-fragile one. foreplay become ticklish, and other steamy things become unattractive to her. well, she enjoyed penetration and being humped. but others...just won't work.
i forgive her because to giving birth, woman give some of her calcium to the babies, and to take care of my clothing, the house, etc while i'm going to work. those things enough to make her suffer a bit. and in the end. i cannot say anything, except back to my believe.
"i marry girl i love, just, because i want to get home and see her face, to live together without being suspicious to others (i live in indonesia), and caress her legally in front of her parents"
if one of you still often have a steamy hot session. you're more lucky :D
Jlynn Smith on January 05, 2017:
Great article, now if only we could get men to read it! Just kidding. But really this is dead on 4 most couples. For me I just started having children the last two years, and I can say just recently did our sex life start to disintegrate. But as much as I am and he believed were becoming insecure believing that the attraction itself was gone and there wasn't an underlying problem. We were wrong. Very wrong. It is important even more than it used to be before I had children, to continue dating your spouse. From personal experience, my husband. Those days are over after I had two children and he was free to travel and do everything because his job was bringing the money home. Well that came with consequences. Like I said very great article
DREAM ON on May 26, 2014:
A very interesting topic. Your fellow hubbers give great insight to many reasons sex drive may slow down during marriage.Add children in the mix could definitely do it. I have been married thirteen years and always have had a strong sex drive. My wife and I get busy with our lives outside our love life. We are both extremely hard workers dedicated to our jobs and our careers. There are always things that come up that make it easier to put sex on the back burner. I found my wife could get so caught up in everything else in her life family issues,lack of support from her boss,projects around the house that needed to be done that sex can become not even a thought. Where I on the other hand think of sex and the pleasure more satisfying than anything else the top priority. With good open communication we often discuss sex. I have learned to refocus my thoughts on other areas of my life where at a young age my thoughts were entirely different. With a reassuring wife that sex will always be there and more often than not better than the time before it is o.k. to wait. We talk about it even if it doesn't happen when I want it. Now waiting and relearning sex like reprogramming my mind sex the thought of sex can be a foreplay for more sex later. Now know pressure by either of us sex will happen more often and more spontaneous than ever. I also found that in the past when sex became an issue both of us became more frustrated and less comfortable. Learning to relax and let life happen and changes in our bodies and our emotional states at different periods of our life. I found in your hub an interesting line about letting go of your fantasy that you have had for years really does work. Your thoughts can become outdated like an old stove that has seen better days.Now you can create new fantasies that keep your love and sex life alive and well.Thank you for bringing up so many interesting points in your well written hub.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 23, 2014:
Mathira, thank you
mathira from chennai on April 21, 2014:
izetti, sex is the cementing force of marriage relationship. When couples allow stress and tension to overtake them, they lack the sexual drive and miss the most romantic aspect of marriage. Excellent perception and wonderfully written.
bea on March 09, 2014:
Me and my husband have been together for 8 years and have 4 children with 1 on the way. Even with kids we have sex almost every night. I have my kids on a schedule so they go to sleep at 7 and we can have the rest of the night to ourselves. We talk alot about everything including our sex life and what we like and don't like. We also try new things for experience purposes only. I believe we should experiment together since we'll be together for the rest of our lives.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on February 05, 2014:
Thanks for stopping by DREAM ON. Often the sex is just a symptom of other things and communication is a big one.
DREAM ON on January 31, 2014:
What an interesting topic that has no end to it's choices and decisions. What I have seen both husband and wife can make it work or call it quits after marriage.Too often the break down of communication between each other and give up on sex is an easy way out.Very informative hub with lots of great comments.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 01, 2013:
Thank you Carrie!
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on August 31, 2013:
izettl: Thank you for writing a very detailed and professional-type approach to this hub. :) Have a wonderful week :)
marion langley from The Study on July 05, 2013:
My husband and I finally have a great sex life but it took a great deal of understanding. First we had to figure out great sex doesn't look like porn, that we had to stay in great physical shape, that we don't have the energy for sex at night so have it in the morning, what clothes and smells we liked on the other person, and we had to figure out what made each of us climax. This all took nine years...slowed by the birth of children but now it is amazing and regular! Thanks for writing and encourageing great sex in marriage.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on June 16, 2013:
Joe Schmo~ it's about give and take. Both women and men. If men want sex, they must give in a way that pleases her as well. Why is SEX ABOUT MEN? Most men (and porn movies) give the idea that men is about getting a man off- he is pleased first. Why is that Joe?
Charlie~ Before getting married did you ever discuss how many times or how much sex you like with your fiancé at the time? Or did you expect everything to remain the same forever? Kids can kill a sex life and a patient man willing to gradually bring his wife back into the bedroom is necessary. Problem is men guage their marriage on how the sex life is. There is more to it than that. Can't believe a woman fell for your superficial charm. Next time tell the woman what you expect, TELL HER, don't just have expectations you share within your own mind. don't be naïve in thinking people will always be who they are before you marry them. That's kind of superficial. Find someone you would love even if she got married then you know you have fallen in love and not your dick.
Charlie on June 11, 2013:
An absolute load of crock. First wife: Firey passion, slipped a weeding ring on...all gone, gets out of shape, fat,lazy....divorce,I have standards that will be met. Second wife: Firey passion..slip a wedding ring on, have a kid...a year later she is still colder than hell and wants me to sleep in the guest room so ahe has more room on the bed withnour animals and child... divorced. I have been dating the same woman now for 4 years and continue to have the incredible sex that men typically want, we even live together for 2 years and it is still great. Truth is, marriage kills sex, it is a scam and no man should do it. When a woman knows her man can up and walk at any point with out consequence they try harder to keep him happy....simple fact.
Joe Schmo on June 09, 2013:
Why is it always about the woman?
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 27, 2013:
i agree Sam. that applies to anything and anybody. do what you like, just dont force it on others. sex is even a health benefit so perhaps with surival of the fittest theory, those that do not appreciate sex will die off...we can always hope.
samowhamo on April 27, 2013:
Well yes it may work for some but not all and even if sex drive can be removed in the future by some medical means (as some anti-sexuals claim) that does not mean it should because then you are striping humans of a certain right and besides how can sex only be for animals when humans are animals and animals have sex for pleasure all the time its commonly believed that animals do not as a kind of rule have sex for pleasure but that is being disproven some animals even engage in homosexual activity. Well if you are not interested in sex that is your choice just don't force it on other people and interfere with their rights.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 27, 2013:
I think any time you take away a major aspect of humans, like sex, people can concentrate more on intellect or other aspects. In theory, it may work for some. I believe my dad is this way. He doesn't go to the extreme of saying it's disgusting- he just says he has no need for it anymore.
I think the extreme people who are anti-sexual and against sex totally are only trying to ease their cognitive dissonance. If you look up that term, it explains a lot of human behavior. People can't possibly do one thing and think another- it causes them too much mental stress so if they choose to not partake in sex, they may convince themselves it's awful and be against it for other reasons besides simply not wanting to engage in sex.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 27, 2013:
love doctor~ I agree...and both men AND women let themselves go. Men tend to get those pot bellies and veg out in front of the tv. However, usually when one spouse puts effort in their looks, it will catch on for the other spouse.
And thank you for the vote up!
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lovedoctor926 on April 10, 2013:
Excellent hub with lots of good information. I totally agree with you on this point. "It's complicated in the way that love is unconditional, but realistically, attraction is conditional. We can't give up or let ourselves go o sit around watching TV, and expect our spouses to be attracted to us." It's funny how some women think that once they are married, they don't need to impress their husbands anymore since they already love them and should accept them as they are. I agree with your points on weight too. voted up awesome & useful
samowhamo on April 10, 2013:
What do you think of anti-sexuals. Anti-sexuals belive that sex is primitve, comparable too drugs, that too many evil things were done in the name of sex (which is not entirely true they were actually done for wealth and power) that it shortens the lifespan, that animals and possibly humans who engage in it are temporarily insane, that it's stupid and disgusting, and stereotypes connected to it and that people have been thinking with their genitals. Some are even against the idea of romantic love considering it an addiction to a person (which I dont think is possible), that it's dangerous and has no right to exist, and that people are slaves to it they even offer tips to anti-sexual parents for their children who might feel deprived (I don't know if they are trying to force it on their children or not). They want to strip people of some of the most basic things that make us human. Well thankfuly they are only a very small minority and of course they do admit that no one says they are right and may be wrong (which I am thankfull for because people these days often mistake truth for opinion) and on a side note anti-sexualism is actually a form of sexual discrimination (I read that on wikipedia). Izettl what do you say.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on March 17, 2013:
Beth, I absolutely agree. I think some couples can work this issue out or agree on a compromise or altogether eliminate it. But the couple must agree and I think some women will agree but be resentful of it so it's important its a mutual decision. And with the technology, you can definitely make your own pics to send..and have a lot more fun!
yssbramanyam~ I think sex is a reflection on all the other aspects in a marriage like partnership and friendship.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on March 17, 2013:
marriage is a responsible bond in life, man is loaded with maintaining and managing besides earning commitments, love is just a pleasurable bond.
good hub. how ever the sex issue is purely based on how the pair get along..live for each other is good.
Beth37 on March 17, 2013:
I enjoyed this, thanks. I would say that porn is not a good tool to bring into a marriage... it's such a huge deconstruct for relationships and a will more likely hurt a marriage than help it. Most men struggle enough in the area of lusting after other women which of course, could end a marriage. There are a lot of ways to be creative... make your own pics for him. :)
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on October 08, 2012:
jeanine on October 07, 2012:
Lol...lol...lol.. men are great for giving babies but a lot of women lose interest after she has her children... if he is not the alpha of alphas he gets put off more than he likes to admit... she will however... lay down with the alpha as long as he is around... but that's mostly because he is so insistent... well that's why he's alpha... sweet heart... beta boys are usually whiny and a lot like ..."As if men are not equally affected by the entry of a new baby"... beta is a good thing though... they are sweet and great husbands... they are easier to please, easier to understand and alas they are easier to hold at bay... so sorry dear... but you were born this way and so were we...
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on October 07, 2012:
...yeah, what she said.
jeanine on October 07, 2012:
Jide... women are the the center of every relationship... the more social of the two generally and the one who treasures the relationship the most in your typical marriage.... men are not typically seen as those who long for or who encourage relationships... men do however encourage having relations from a sexual standpoint but most long term relations are thought to be nurtured from a womans position... and after all you mush have her co operation to even have a position...lol... in nature it is always the female who accepts or rejects the male advance...
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on October 06, 2012:
Jide~ would you like me to write about/for men cause I'm not one so I would feel really silly writing from a man's point of view. I tend to write about things I know or have experienced so the man's point of view is technically impossible for me to give. maybe you should write about it.
Jide Olubiyi on October 05, 2012:
Yet another article to have woman be the only centre of the relationship. As if men are not equally affected by the entry of a new baby.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on August 20, 2012:
yssubramanyam~ What you talk about in your comments is exactly why I wanted to write this hub- it is a conversation that people (man and woman) need to have so that both are pleased. You are very right in your comments.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on August 12, 2012:
man enjoys pleasure after every union 100% after finishing his urge. but a woman gets satisfied very rare. Orgasm is experienced hardly by few. it is known formula. our comments on this will help youngsters in their life practically.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on August 12, 2012:
it is a very nice hub to express our inner feelings to elevate divine relation in couple. i will put aside my age factor and speak few open facts. never pass adverse comments against partner regarding body odor, shape, looks at any time, it will damage the intimacy. every woman is prepared to give what ever husband desires besides looking after children. but they show the children as an escape mechanism from sex. the reason behind is two faced husband. most of the men use the woman with out hesitation, and keep passing adverse comments against over a period of time. if husband tunes wife and plays coital role he will get intoxicated with her responses , looks and hallucinating sounds and mystifying appeal. other wise he will gradually looses interest and adopts to friends/clubs/gambling/alcohol/change of partner or some other deviation. this will stretch the distance and lead to dilution of sexual urge. woman is sweet like wine, it is the art how we drink and enjoy. the taste and enjoyment is heavenly. lovely hub. i got good opportunity to open my mind. thanks and regards.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on August 12, 2012:
sex plays very important role in building connectivity, it is not just letting few drops out and relaxing . the sex rhythm is totally different in man and woman, man can not hold his stimulation and he desires just vent away source. woman can not accept this on bed. the coital act is like playing piano.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on August 11, 2012:
I was once told that we need to evaluate what role we play in all our problems- this was by a counselor. I realized that I had choices and so do you- not much now probably that your lives are dependent on each other- financially, legally ,etc. But two years into a marriage and no sex right at the beginning of the marriage should have been a clue- if that's not what you want then you must address the situation and if he didn't want to work on the marriage then say bye bye. I know you stayed for religious, social pressure, or some good reason, but now you see that this is your life and at least now you're getting out there and doing things you want to. if it was such a horrible way to go through life why did you do that- you have no control or responsibility for your own life?
Amy on August 10, 2012:
My husbands sex drive disappeared the day after our wedding night. Weve been married 45 years and we only had sex or any kind of intimacy just one time. That was my first last and only time to have sex. Since the day after our wedding till today he has lived in our basement. Also he has been working the midnight shift all these years. and I was told that he didn't want me to bother or talk to him. So we have been apartment dewellers, I think I've seen him maybe once or twice this years. I've never understood what went wrong and never will know. I do know I've been lonely, depressed and very much disappointed in how our lives together turned out. Hes retired now, so I found a part time job that gets me out of the house and I've been going on alot of vacations with gals from my church, I don't think he cares where I've been or gone. I now distrust all males even the minister at church, its a horrible way to go through life.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on June 19, 2012:
yssubramanyam~ I especially agree with your last comment- great advice! It takes more for a woman to orgasm and usually less for a man so she typically needs to be stimulated through words or relaxation...and time.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on June 15, 2012:
man should prepare the partner. he must take the control and prolong the time in such a way that partners bargain is fully met. Orgasm is in the hands of man. where as man has nothing to care expect letting few drops. i am preveleged by this hubber to give my opinion. great hub.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on June 14, 2012:
i totally agree with you, what a practical hub, i am very much impressed and share it with near and dear. expect many many good hubs.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on June 14, 2012:
"Jeanine" awesome advice- yes, help her mature. That is great! And I completely agree abouf if you want a better wife, treat her better. It's true in most circumstance. Also I know guys that treat their wives like errant daughters so maybe it's somewhat to do with how you are treating her. She has become the child in the relationship.
"yssubramanyam" great advice and many marriages don't even get beyond a few years...and sex can even dissipate sooner than that. The bottom line is marriage has to be a priority as we take care of ourselves, uor kids, our finances, our job, our cars, etc. People take attraction and marriage for granted.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on June 12, 2012:
Sex plays very vital role in relation. the mutual attraction gives rise to sensual pleasure. the satisfaction level of man and woman if totally different. it needs bit of understanding the mechanism of biological dynamics. man gets dissipation irrespective of partners responses. where as a woman is like musical instrument. she needs lot of tuning to be prepared for involvement, man has to control his surge and maintain it voluntarily till partner appeals for total relaxation. woman must know that man looses his stimulation at partners physical look and reaches to null point, though he is very much fit with change of taste. 50 years is the average limit in marriage life. the frequency too droops to zero with same partner. how ever if man proves him self to partner that he had put her in melting point according to her desire, i think a woman is blessed for ever with no further demands. great hub.
Jeanine on June 10, 2012:
Jay, help her mature, women grow right up... and if you are not aware of this phenomenon, maybe she is not the only one who is immature... my love was and is very patient in helping me know what I should do and what is possible and projects the vision so to speak for me to learn... very lovingly and very respectfully caring for me... I am forever grateful for that understanding and teaching... we are together now for 40 years, I'm sure I was much more immature and lacking in many areas... but the love shared became the love I dared to grow into...
a unique thing about woman... she has the ability to adapt to almost any circumstance... I've found if one has the fortitude to encourage her for greatness.... she becomes great..... want a better wife treat her better... kinder... treat her with kindness... each husband has the wife he helps grow and develop... she has an amazing ability to reflect his feelings and behavior..... so I guess my question to all men is... how's your wife...
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on June 09, 2012:
Jay~ yes certainly not all this info is going to fit everyone and I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Not sure how you decided to get into it- maybe married for wrong reasons. It happens so you need to act on it and not be miserable forever.
Jay on June 03, 2012:
I do say I agree with the majority of this info some th hings seem a little off because of each persons diffren nt even the en in question cause sometimes like in my case you find yourself with a younger woman whos extremely imature regaurdless of age, and find yourself turned off by the idea of being with her all together
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on May 28, 2012:
mommylandry~kids are a huge drain..in fact I'm in the same boat as you. I have a 3 month old (my second)and I can tell you that I do not want to get back in the saddle (so to speak). This time around my husband is less pressuring for sex...and I think it's because he is doing a lot more work this time than with our first so he's just as tired as I am. If your husband wants a bunch of sex right now, he's not tired enough and could be doing more to help you, the household, or the children. Just my thoughts on that.
What men forget is that women have to heal physically and mentally before wanting sex and then when things get slightly more manageable as baby gets older, we would like some of that extra time to go to ourselves like some relaxation or exercise or something to feel better about ourselves. The way we feel sexy is feeling better about ourselves so an investment in yourself would in turn be an investment for your husband. A nurse in the hospital explained to my husband that women are the center of the household..and you don't want to exhaust them or everything else will collapse. Your relationship and household is only as good as how the woman is doing.
Men who reported cheating did not give the cause of not enough sex in their relationships so how often isn't much of a factor in cheating...as odd as that may sound. Men cheat for many other reasons...but try to have your husband read about what a woman goes through after giving birth or have him go to the Dr sometime with you. Give him snippets of info about women and sex and how it is after childbirth. I found that I shared this info with my husband the second time having a child and he's been much more sympathetic. Please each other in other ways...my husband and I will do other things together besides actually having sex. Hope some of this helps. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you but new baby is time consuming...you understand.
mommylandry on May 19, 2012:
reading this has opened my eyes and I hope my fiance's too! We have three children a 10yr old girl a 5yr old boy(who has autism) and a 10month old. I have to say that just recently I have started feeling like myself again. My fiancé on the other hand I feel pressured me from about 4weeks post pregnancy to have sex and have a lot of it... of course that is not what I wanted. I wanted to heal and care for our new arrival. Since our son iis now 10months he is not as needy but I am so busy and overwhelmed we don't have sex often or at least he doesn't think we do. My view is when we do get a chance to have sex it is great fantastic wonderful and amazing... even if it is 2 or 3 times a week. That is enough to me but now to him... how can I find out what the true problem is??? Please help I don't want him to venture out and have an affair.
Thank you for listening/reading
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 28, 2012:
aefrancisco~ it's like everything else in life. Everything has its faults and bonuses. Marriage has its ups and downs and so does being single. I've been on both sides of the fence and know the grass isn't greener on any particular one side. And like everything else in life youget what you put into it- this really applies to marriage.
aefrancisco from somewhere down the road on April 25, 2012:
Gee, I wonder if I ever want to be married!
Laura Tykarski from Pittsburgh PA on April 05, 2012:
I think your hub here needs to be read immediately by my hubs! Many great points here that at least for my relationship were "right on the money," so to speak! I myself can relate to all illustrations you have made here except a few(i.e. my spouse and myself have no children.) My husband and I lived together for 6 years prior to going ahem official and I tell you once the rings were on the fingers things changed. As you pointed out not only in the boudoir but all the way around ...my question has always been why? Your hub helped me to clarify and hugely supported some of my suspected culprits to our growing increasingly distant from one another. Married now 5 years + our former 6 years we have 11 years of history now together as "partners" This hub really made me go hmm...Voted up and awesome all the way around. Ty
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 02, 2012:
thanks for your opinion. maybe you mistook the fact I was writing from a woman's perspective since the typical (not all) is generally the men who complain about wife not having as much sex with them. That's probably why there is more about men on the internet concerning relationship issues. Certainly nobody can write anything about any topic if it isn't written from some point of view, excluding some cases and people and including some but not all or others. I took the subject "in general" it is the men who are puzzled why sex decreases. And in general women are relationship oriented whereas men don't concern themslves as much about feelings, relationship isues, and complexity of relationships.
Your situation is exactly the same as my husband's with his ex wife. He remembers how there were signs, issues he ignored, she also had a mental illness, etc so its really equal like you said- its both people. This article probably doesn't apply to you- I, nor you, can expect it to and if it doesn't then move on.
dayna on March 30, 2012:
this blog is absolute garbage...hey guess what relationships are about both people, not just one gender. it's actually comical to read. i am a single dad who has full custody of my daughter because the mother decided that she was more important than the family in general. so, not only did she cheat on me but her daughter as well. i love how the internet has nothing but negative comments about fathers and husbands while the mother is always the victim. try it, really on google especially. type something into the search engine negative about women and its always spun into the mans fault.
Sharin Seth on February 28, 2012:
I am a 27yrs old woman married for 3yrs now.I am in a dilemma.Me & my husband love & understand each other a lot.We are planning for a baby now.However, it is my aversion towards having sex that is slowing down our plans.I feel sad that I don’t allow him to have sex because I always feel that everytime after intercourse we, the bed everything surrounding us becomes messy & I immediately change the bedsheets & start cleaning & force my husband to quickly take bath.I have tried using extra sheet beneath us but still it doesn’t help. This irritates my husband as he keeps telling me that sex is not dirty & I should not think this way.Because of this issue we have sex once or twice in a month. I understand that for trying to have a baby we must have intercourse quite frequently & if we start doing that I don’t want to do the above usual stuff every alternate day.Also, I am under medication for regularizing my periods.Once they are normal can I conceive in 2 to 3 months time from now? I am asking this because its not just our wish but there is immense family pressure on us, especially on me.We didn’t wanted to delay it for so long as in the last 2 yrs we had to face few setbacks in our life & after going through & coming out of it time just went by so quickly that its been this late. And after everything, it is this problem of mine that is further delaying things. I request you doctor to please give me a simple & good method which I can follow so that I overcome with this problem of mine & start a family soon as even I am eager to become a mother.
Katina Davenport on January 12, 2012:
I told my husband that if he wanted it more frequently then I need help. We had the conversation a couple of nights ago.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on January 12, 2012:
davenstan~ I'd say the first year after having a baby is tough on relationships. I used to remember thinking about hte necessities in life while my husband was thinking sex- my mind was far from it. But it's important to remember the more help a man gives, the more intimacy he will get.Best of luck to you.
Katina Davenport on January 10, 2012:
This hub is totally me. I just had a baby 3 months ago and I have the same conversation with my husband just about every night. I would rather have dinner, a bath, a nap, and a foot rub. Majority the time my body hurts from exercise and picking up my little one who weighs 25 pounds (at birth he was almost 11 pounds). As soon as I get a nap and some help it's on!
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on October 10, 2011:
Some guy~ why is an article written from a woman, sexist? Obviously I can't account for everyone's point of view- impossible. And I agree, why can't a man leave a woman if she cuts him off? A man certainly can leave a woman for that just like a woman can get a job if her man doesn't have a job so that she can feel secure- your assumption that the woman is looking for the man's job to make her feel secure is extremely sexist. Most women work AND taise children.
A job and sex are two different things. Hopefully a man will not leave a woman if she stops having sex for a while or not as often. Hopefully a woman won't leave her man if he loses his job. My article simply suggests what you can do to remedy this problem in relationships and why it happens. It would be a little harsh to leave your woman if she has little sex with you, especially if it's something you and her can work on. Thanks for your input though.
Some guy on October 09, 2011:
I think this article is incredibly sexist...it makes men seem uncaring and simple minded...Sex is very important to a man, just as security is to a woman...what if a man said that he wanted to quit his job so he could see his children more, the woman would no longer feel secure and resent him/leave him for a man with a job who could provide...why then is he not allowed to leave her because she has cut him off???
Sexual Problem Remedy on July 26, 2011:
Thank you for this very informative, true and helpful info. The sexual aspects is a big part of keeping a happy marrige and this article has truly help understand how to keep it alive!
movingfinger on December 16, 2010:
First of all..a great hub on an evergreen topic. I am sure this issue has been around since adam and eve!!! :)
We make life too complicated. We keep shifting priorities in life based on events like say childbirth, new job, new home etc. All these events are exciting and we as humans like change and excitement. But, this approach relegates other aspects of life in the background and sometimes subsumes them. We also postpone happiness for tomorrow like for e.g. If I get a promotion, I shall be happy, If we buy this house, just imagine how happy will we be and so on. By reacting to every situation,whether joy or sorrow, in the same manner, we can escape this trap.The other thing is conditioning. We have all been conditioned to behave in a certain manner at different stages in our lives and to a large extent it is justified. The same holds true for sex in a marriage. The first few months/years (of marriage) is generally a very sexually active period. Once the body and mind have been satiated (maybe temporarily) we start to focus on other things. Along the way, these things go up on our priority list thinking that we can always get back to it later. Atleast thats how men think...They can get in the mood with the flick of a switch. But women are more complicated. They carry the weight of the world along with them and somehow after marriage, the curtains, sofa covers, kitchen cleanliness, etc..start assuming top priority (maybe their desire to project the image of a perfect wife ---conditioning). The men cant understand this and the wives cant understand the men's reaction to their priorities. I mean, given a choice between sex and laundry, 100 % men shall choose sex, but maybe only 50% women shall choose sex as she is already thinking about how many pairs of fresh clothes are available, whether the clothes shall dry or not (It may rain), the bed sheets need to be washed and so on. So, the men need to understand the way women think and for women to understand that given a choice between sex and any other thing, most men shall choose sex.
Many women do use sex as a bargaining tool because they realise its power. Most men resent that and then find it easy to justify their straying. Most women want sex on their terms and when the male isn't able to oblige, they can get nasty. Women sometimes forget that in most homes, the male is the bread earner and is stressed out most times. So when the home maker wants it, the husband is stressed and this may happen frequently enough for resentment to grow. Both partners working in a marriage is a realtively new phenomenon and evolution is still trying to cope with it. Men refusing sex to women affects women far more than women refusing sex to men. Men sort of expect it...
TO cut a long story short, men and women think differently and are affected differently by events. Priorities of both men and women change after marriage as other mundane things like mortgage and loan payments start affecting them. The trick is (and it always works) is to play together (even when your children come along). Play anything, board games, racquet games, walks, jogs etc...just play like you used to as a child and suddenly you shall realise that the marriage is perfect..sex is not an issue..bringing up children is not an issue or stressful, and most of all...life is more about play than surviving. A simplistic approach but very effective and has worked for me for the past 14 years...
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 16, 2010:
Hopeful~ somebody asked me the other day how to ask a guy out on a date and I said "Don't. You ask him to go do something other than dinner or a movie and don't call it or think of it as a date".Well I think this is similar advice for you. How do you get more intimate with your husband? Don't but always leave it open for something. If he's had a bad day simply as khim if you can massage his back or his hands and refer nothing to sex afterwards. If you want him to talk about deeper stuff going on with him, talk friendly and make sure to compliment or flatter him on something manly. I used to get disgusted seeing women gush over their men about strong or great he is, but when done mildly and genuinely this is very effective. A man always needs to know he is a man. Women have gained a lot of confidence in recent decades and men seem to need reassurance more than ever. Simply compliment him on how he fixed something or something to do with manly traits.
Hope some of this helped and yes, I agree venting holds a ton of merit.
Hopeful on September 16, 2010:
Thanks for your advice. I will try to aproach the subject with him in a non threatening way and will see how we go. Sometimes it just helps to be able to vent and then get on with it.
He is taking depression meds and that has helping him a lot to not go down all that often. I can practically tell when he hasn't had them -he sometimes refuses to take them- cause the change in him is really obvious.
I think it all comes back to the will of the person to do something about it and getting that isn't easy. He is slowly but surely putting more effort into it so in time things will change for the better and I really look fw to that!
Thanks again :)
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 16, 2010:
as long as progress is being made, it will be easier to see a reason to stick around. Depression is huge. My husband has major depressive disorder and takes medication for it. THere were a rough couple of years before he started taking meds. He sought treatment after we had a child- not saying that always makes someone change or get better. If your husband seriously has depression then sometimes only medication and counseling will do the trick. You can't provide either of those for him.
You must let him know what you need from a husband, tell him the bare minimum at first so it doesn't seem overwhelming for him. Depressed people get overwhelmed easily.At one time things were normal for you two so I guess I don't understand what changed suddenly. I don't believe marriage ruins sex, although the only thing I see is marriage puts a given responsibility on a man so if his dad belittled him, all that may be resurfacing. In the mean time trying to find out what' wrong with him, why isn't he on some kind of mild depression meds? There really isn't anything you can do right now for him other than let him know if he needs someone to talk to or just cuddle you'll be there. Ask him what he expects out of a wife to guage what he wants from your marriage. If he wants more then you guys are not in trouble, he just needs a boost to get there, but if you guys don't have similar goals for your marriage then things could be tough for quite a while and you may have to put some guidelines up for yourself about how long you will put up with not feeling loved.
Hopeful on September 14, 2010:
Thanks for writing your article. It was interesting and in a way I wish I was the one with the problem to be able to do something about it. My husband and I –both early thirties- had the perfect sex life for a 1.5 yrs until a month after we got married (11 months ago) where on average we have had sex once a month. It’s a hard thing to deal with especially when you are supposed to be on your honeymoon period... if this is that I am very apprehensive of what our future holds. It’s not just about lack of sex or intimacy or that he stopped caring if he was giving me enough affection or that he has some anger issues to deal with -lucky his anger is never physical towards me- or that due to that he developed depression. I am convinced that something inside him changed when being married finally kicked in but can't do much about it until he is fully assessed. We have seen several counsellors -due to my persistence of finding out what's wrong cause if it was for him we would have never seek help- couples, one to one, depression and just now the last one after giving us a positive diagnose of depression suggested it might be a good idea to talk to a psychiatrist for some unfinished business he has -my husband's father used to criticise him way to much and even now he has changed my husband can't forgive him or talk to him at all-. I have supported him all along and even though I have told him about my needs and he is sorry about it I do not see any effort from his side to easy this situation... I can't recall the last time we behave as a couple anymore. We act like roommates and even though he says he loves me and helps me with the house chores and indulges me in certain aspects I can't stop feeling lost in our relationship. I feel like the constant cheerleader and deep down expect a few of my needs being met. I can’t bring the subject anymore cause it makes me feel even worse to ask for things when he is so troubled and feels his desperation and frustration about it but that's about it… no change at all. I am lucky to get a kiss hello and good bye and when we finally get to have sex –whenever he wants due to the countless times I have tried or asked for it and got rejected- instead of feeling a connection I am left feeling stupid cause he now to become arouse wants to talk to me as if I was a whore and just get to the point and that's it. I know it’s hard to understand why I am still around and the answer is simple I married him cause I love him and not just cause he is sick I should be quick to walk away. I guess with time and lots of support/dedication things will change or better to say I hope they will…
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on August 26, 2010:
Ingenira~ I could probably write a book on this topic, but there are so many books on it anyhow. I never paid much attention to this issue until I was married. Even then I thought only much older couples had this problem, but not so. Young ones do too.
Ingenira on August 26, 2010:
your article has spurred so much discussion that I think you can extend the topic to another hub ! Great work ! :)
Gr8legs on June 05, 2010:
Thanks for your words of encouragement, izetti.
Yes, I'd agree that some women go emotionally off the rails around the time of a separation/divorce and I'm desparately hoping my ex will pull through hers soon. Unfortunately she is being held back by well-meaning friends and family, who think that supporting her wholeheartedly in everything she is doing is helping her, when in fact it is holding her back from moving on.
I don't know if you're familiar with the five emotional stages of divorce, as described by Jeffery Kottler. In his book “Beyond Blame: A New Way of Resolving Conflicts in Relationships” (1994). In this, he takes the 5 emotional stages of grief (disbelief, anger etc) and applies them to the breakdown of a realtionship. My ex is stuck in Stage 4: Acting on the Decision, which is characterised by feelings of anger, fear, guilt & blame. She is not being allowed to move onto the next stage of acceptance.
One of the things that most helped me to deal with this was as a result of my basic understanding of psychology combined with my university education. My first instinct was to research my situation, to read and learn and to arm myself with knowledge. Having done this, I was able to prepare a psychological analysis of our situation and thus rationalise the events surrounding the break-up of our relationship. This proved to be very helpful in dealing with the hurt and other emotions I was experiencing and to move on without the acrimonious feelings normally associated with these events.
I have undergone an intensive period of immense growth, emotionally. This has helped me to find a place of peace within myself to exist and now find that I do not get angry when I find myself on the receiving end of what I perceive to be an injustice. Do I get annoyed? Yes. Do I feel hurt? Certainly. But the most important thing is that I don't get angry (I have spent most of my life railing against some or other perceived injustice or slight) and I don't hold onto the negativity. In that respect, I actually have a lot to thank my ex for; if it were not for her and this unfortunate turn of events, I would not have found this. I only wish I were able to help her find the same. Despite the hurt and her ongoing attempts to decry, defame and disparage me (she has, in Jungian terms, projected her fear onto me, identifying me as the source of her fear and leading her to take out a restraining order against me, despite there being no history of abuse in the relationship), I only wish her well and hope she can find happiness and hopefully somehow, an inner peace for herself.
Anyway, thanks again for a very insightful & thought-provoking hub, as well as for your words of encouragement. Keep up the good work.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on May 22, 2010:
gr8legs~ very thoughtful comment. Too bad your emotional intelligence didn't rub off on your soon-to-be ex. I think birth of children or other major life changes -job loss or health diganosis- begin a downward spiral between couples. These issues effect people deeply and often we see the worse come out in ourselves and our partner during these times. I can't explain your ex's change in her behavior, but it sounds like at least you have peace about doing what you could in the relationship- ongoing thoughtful gestures, etc. Children listen and look around them all the time, if you are setting a good adult example then they will likely do the same and it will probably be hard to explain to them why their mom is being the way she is. Many women get a little nutty ( I might get in trouble for saying that)during a separation/divorce, almost like a midlife crisis. I've seen it happen all the time. MAybe it will be a phase- you can hope mostly for your kids sake and for hers and yours.
Gr8legs on May 21, 2010:
Well, Izetti, I'm with you on the suppressed personality that you mentioned in your response to Maria.
Up until my diagnosis, we maintained a strong and regular sex-life - 2-3 times per week and sometimes up to 5 or 6 - with occasional dips lasting no more than a couple of months as we went through various gynae problems prior to the conception of our two boys, as well as the obvious dips immediately following their births. I was always totally faithful to my spouse throughout our marriage - as I believe she was to me - even though, following her diagnosis, we only actually made love once during the last eighteen months prior to my leaving the family home.
Throughout our marriage I would regularly buy her small loving gift without there being a special occasion, sent her loving SMS messages during the day, give her foot massages as we were watching TV, stop in the middle of whatever I was doing in the house/garden and walk up to her, give her a hug and a kiss and then return to whatever I'd been doing. Most men don't appear to realise that it is these little gestures of love that kindle the fires that will burn hot when you do both get it together to make love. Sex is - especially for women - the physical act that expresses the emotions housed and fostered in the mind.
My (soon-to-be-former) wife came from a dysfunctional family backgroung with an emotionally distant (and occasionally abusive) alcoholic mother and financially-driven and controlling father. Her siblings all had emotionally troubled relationships, but she appeared to have beaten the trap; that is, until I was diagnosed with ADHD ten years into the marriage. That burst the bubble on the idealised fantasy she had projected onto our marriage.
She subsequently contracted a rare and potentially life-threatening disease a little over six months following my ADHD diagnosis - an auto-immune diseased that could possibly be a physical manifestation of her psyche a (she is now in remission) and 18 months after that she broke up our marriage.
She is now displaying all the same dysfunctional behaviour of the rest of her family. She still espouses the same doctrine of best intentions she always did, except that she now habitually contradicts her words in her actions. The saddest part of it all is that our two beautiful children are being harmed by her efforts to - as she sees it - protect them and she is so convincing in her rhetoric that, by using her charm and personality, she has convinced those within her social sphere that what she is doing is right. Thankfully, those in positions of authority i.e. the judiciary and education have seen right through her charade.
The strain of maintaining this pretense and denying herself the opportunity to move on and to heal is taking its toll on her physical being and she appears to have aged 5 years over the last six months. Despite professional advice, she refuses to take advantage of counselling and therapy.
Suppressed personalities are a lot more common than many would imagine, as the pressure of society to conform to a prescribed set of norms forces many to bury the hurt they carry from their past and their childhood in an attempt to "fit in". You can only run away from your past and live a lie for so long, until eventually life pulls the trigger and it all comes bubbling to the surface to everyone else's shock and your own horror.
Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, ......BOOM!!!!!
kazeemjames01 on March 27, 2010:
Excellent Article. I will bookmark it. It needs to be read and visited often.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on November 17, 2009:
Thanks for your detailed comment- I really feel for you. Most recently I was diagnosed with Rhuematoid Arthritis- very painful. Long story short, my husband has been helpful just like yours, but I feel the guilt of not having a "normal" intimate relationship- and not feeling attractive. If you can imagine, I am 34 and most days I walk/limp along like I am 80. Intimacy was strained between my husband and I at first, but when I communicated with him he confided he thought he would hurt me if we were intimate. That fear he had was turning him off to me.
Make sure you two openly coomunicate about your intimacy needs, then start slow- if you know he pleases himself then be there with him (if he allows) and snuggle next to him or help him please himself and do it for you too- masturbating together is very intimate. Take a shower together and lather soap on each other. Pillow talk is great for opening the communication- talk and snuggle at night. Do things that don't make either of you feel sex is an obligation or expectation. On a couples retreat, one of the first things they assign couples to do is please each other without having sex- this is so important for times ahead when we get older or injured or ill. My husband gives me a massage on my legs and it is the best- each of us have intimate things we enjoy as much as sex and if they lead to sex, then all the merrier. Couples forget the grey area of intimacy- some think there is either sex or no sex, but there is a wide range of activities in between. Also, verbally give your husband plenty of compliments for helping you out and tell him it makes you feel closer to him- be genuine.
Your life has changed significantly with health issues and that will change other parts of your life too, including intimacy so you have to expect that and not be hard on yourself. If you would do the same for your husband (if he had health problems) then you should not feel guilty. Life is always changing and I believe couples get divorced because they didn't adjust their life to the changes. So don't expect your sex life to go back to normal, maybe for the rest of your life. Accept this and it will put you at ease and give you confidence which is the biggest turn-on for guys. Just like couples who have a baby and expect the sex to return to normal- HA!. Anybody who marries someone and expects them to be the same person for a lifetime is foolish.
BEAUTYBABE from QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA. on November 17, 2009:
I have read this hub with much interest. I am in my second marriage as my first husband turned out to be an aggressive and very possessive person. I was raped when I was 17 and had thought, after that , that there was no way I could ever have a relationship with a man. When I met Phillip, I was 22 and I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. He was so different from the person that had sexually assaulted me and I thought I could spend the rest of my life with him. I lost a baby just before my 5th month and as I had ulcerative colitis at the time, I was very sick for some time. He used to just force himself on me whenever he felt like it, and eventually I was turned off sex, because all it did to me was be a very painful experience both times. I married Richard in March, 1990, and we have had a very happy marriage. The only thing though, a lot of the time of my marriage to Richard has been spent in hospital. I even got a bowel obstruction on my wedding day which landed me in hospital for the first eight weeks of our marriage. In the early years, we did not have too many problems communicating sexually, but as I spent more and more time in and out of hospital, I began to feel very guilty that he was stuck with me and half the time I couldn't be a proper wife to him because I was recovering from surgery or a serious illness, such as when I almost died from bacterial meningitis, had a stroke and recently I was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease which is incurable. I have felt him pulling away from me and I don't know whether he is scared of hurting me because I have so many areas of my body that are affected by my disease, especially my bad neck, which I was told recently was that of an 80 year old, and it is not really what you want to hear when you are just 53yrs old. My psychiatrist that I see on a regular basis, has encouraged me to try and instigate something which I have tried to do on many occasions but it never seems to go very far. Even orgasm now is extremely hard. I have tried stimulating myself in the hope of getting just something stirring up in my genital region but with everything that is happening and all the medication I am on it just seems pointless to try. I know he gives himself hand relief so he must be missing the intimacy just as much as me, but he just wont talk about it with me or even with a therapist. I am starting to think that he has lost interst because of my disease and all the scars on my abdomen from all the bowel surgery are not helping either. I would really love to have an intimate relationship with him because I love him so very much and he has been with me through everything I have had to endure. In some ways, I feel that when I die, it will be good because he won't be trapped with a sick wife anymore, and who knows he may find someone else who can give him what he deserves as a husband, a proper sexual relationship as a wife, and not what he is getting, an empty relationship, at least from the intimate side of the relationship. I don't want to make him do something if he is not comfortable with it, but I really can't tell anymore. I know he still loves me because he tells me that everyday. I just feel very sad inside. If you have any advice on this subject I would love to hear it because I don't know what else to do from now on . Help me please BB
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 16, 2009:
Thanks for the positive comments hinckles koma and narayankrishna!!!!
hinckles koma from nyc on September 15, 2009:
I really think you are a good writer and this article was fun thanks.
NarayanKrishna from The country of Mount Everest on May 31, 2009:
Great. I enjoy all your hubs.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on May 05, 2009:
It is very hard with little ones and your story brings hope and a realization that low points don't last forever.
surferwife on May 05, 2009:
I have to say that our marriage suffered from lack of sex during the time our children were little, neither of us liked it but we were so exhausted that we never made time. So now, the kids are a little older, and we have have tried to change things around to make time for "us". We now have date nights. Just this last weekend Grandma had the kids spend the night so we actually got to relax and have a great dinner at home (we don't like going out to dinner) then we went to see a play and the next morning we got to spend hours enjoying each other and not have to rush anywhere or do anything or have kids knocking on the door. We try and do this as often as possible, at least twice a month. Inbetween that we "make" time for ourselves now and also enjoy family time and activities together like hiking, camping, geocashing, fishing, we enjoy our time with our kids much more because we've had time to enjoy ourselves too.
Not that we didn't enjoy and love our children before but during that earlier time we kinda lost "us" and now we have that back so we do enjoy our alone time and our family time much more.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on May 02, 2009:
DEAD MARRIED MAN WALKING~ I agree there are plenty women who use control, manipulation, and punishment. I am my husband's second wife and he had many complaints about his ex being like this- deiberately withholding sex, using it as a reward and punishment system and unfortunate for me, he carries some of that mentality into our relationship. This narrow minded approach inhibits our communication about the real issues because he always thinks I'm doing what his ex-wife did.
BUT not all women can be lumped into one category (unless you're bitter).
AND give me specific examples of how women use control, manipulation, and punishment because I'll bet you I can give you examples of how men do the same. In fact, if you're in a relationship, you will experience and use these tactics at least sometimes.
ALSO some people should recognize they shouldn't be married before they get married. I don't ever believe the "I was tricked" excuse or she "tricked me into getting her pregnant"- you were at the wedding free will, you picked her, and you want to blame women in general.
dead married man walking on May 02, 2009:
3 words. Control, Manipulation, & Punishment! Wives can use all the excuses they want to avoid or deny sex, but it all boils down to those 3 words.
Young men, avoid the trap, avoid marriage at all costs!!!!!
tinyteddy from INDIA on April 26, 2009:
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 21, 2009:
Thanks men are dorks- I'm off to check out your hubs.
coolbreezing~ Boy, I don't know many women that share their men, but if you say it works, I guess it does, but does it actually work for both people and if they're truly in love? Statistics I've seen on this actually say these types of relationships don't last for the long run.
men are dorks from Namibia on April 21, 2009:
Hi izettl, I just joined recently and amazed at all the topics around. The reason urs caught my attention was the fact that your topic relates to mine perfectly, only urs is far better. Great stuff
James Dubreze from New York, New York on April 09, 2009:
That's good stuff Izettl ...I'm sexually frustrated right now. I haven't got laid God knows how long. Marriage problems will always be an issue. This is the reason why guys are considering getting married to bi women who doesn't mind sharing. Those relationships usually last longer and the couples are more happy.
Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on April 05, 2009:
jxb7076~ Thanks for your comment. Everything to do with long relationships is easier said than done, hence "effort". I think another key point is that there will be low points in long relationships- that's natural and the passion will wane, but we can't expect it to be all perfect and good times all the time either then panic when it isn't. It's knowing WHEN something needs to be done to get back on track and following through even if your partner doesn't make the effort at the same time (that;s the part that is hard for everyone).
James Brown from United States of America on April 05, 2009:
Your information is easier said than done - but very helpful, and accurate. Thanks for sharing.