I write requesting advise either within this thread, or privately, about how to resolve a concern I am having.
I’ve been happily married for six years this past week. My wife and I celebrated our anniversary with gifts and a fun evening out with dinner and the theater.
Both me and my wife are devoted to one another, and we have two wonderful children, five and almost two. We have what we both believe to be a happy marriage with the regular ups and downs that we agreed to under the “in good times and in bad…”, nothing unusual there.
The problem is a conjugal one. In the past three years, my wife and I have only been with one another three times, and once was to conceive our youngest. Friends with whom I’ve shared this have been shocked by my steadfastness, and their suggestions about ultimatums or threats of divorce/annulment have fallen on my deaf ears, as I do not consider that method of resolution to this matter reasonable nor effective.
My wife has been in therapy for other reasons (unhappy with jobs, dealing with the death of a parent, sibling rivalry, questions about her being a fit parent, etc), , and I have occasionally (on request) attended in an effort to offer another perspective on those issues for her benefit, and to also raise my concerns about intimacy, and no matter of solution has resolved this issue.
My appearance has not changed since we were married – I am approximately the same “level of physical attractiveness” as I was back then, she remains equally attractive to me as she was then (i.e. there’s been no change which would affect our outwards appearances to diminish desire).
We are both actively involved in our children’s lives, making approximately equal (although, of course, variations on levels change from time to time) contributions to the family well being.
During times of frustration or depression I have been supportive, and supportive during per professional challenges. I am 38, she 33, so there’s no “expected” diminishment of libido as would occur in one’s 40’s.
While we were intimate at the beginning of our relationship, it’s gone steadily downhill to where it is now. Words from the Monsignor ring in my ears “…unwillingness to be intimate with a spouse is a form of infidelity to the marriage…” has given me pause. A search on the internet turned up this forum, which lead me to Canon Law 1151, and small parts of the subsequent Canons (i.e. there’s been no adultry on my part, nor I believe, on hers) which apply, and Canon 1151 seems to, in part, validate what the Monsignor says. I am sure that others address this unwillingness on my wife’s part as well, although I don’t know which might.
I guess I’m not sure what advice is out there to resolve this, but I am open to hearing other perspectives.
The spouse of a disinterested spouse