There is also a big difference to “just not caring enough to take care of his needs” and a wife who is basicly raising the kids emotionally and spiritually alone. Frankly, I am mad at him for leaving me to deal with things and perhaps my way of “punishing” him is to withdraw from sexual intimacy. But to be honest…I am often asleep by the time my head hits the pillow. I have all ages under my roof. I have adult children. I have teenagers. I have adolescent boys. A preschooler and a toddler. All Mine. The task I have to fulfill is overwelming at times. We live on one income. I do not live a materialy comfortable life. The school my children are zoned to go to is dangerous and leaves me no option but to home school. Moving to a nicer area is not an option at this time unless I place my young children in daycare which is not even financially worth it. So I am at a stage that I will get through… hopefully married.
In a way I am laughing but yet serious… I think all of you should also have 7 kids
St. Anne, I second a previous recommendation to read Dr. Laura’s The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. Though its not Catholic, I believe the concept is sound… which is that you meet your husband’s needs and he will respond in kind to you. Its basically about self-sacrificial love. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is or who is in the right. What matters is having a good marriage. If you are kind and affectionate (including sex) with your husband and you lovingly ask him to give you some assistance you might need with the house or kids, he will likely give it. Couples get into viscious cycles where the husband is unhelpful and perhaps demanding of certain things (sex?) and the wife is cold, unapproving and demanding of certain things (help with the house?). The thing is that somebody has got to move. Maybe you’re tired and you don’t feel like it should be you that has to make the effort, but I promise you that it will pay dividends. Somebody has got to get the ball rolling. And wives have tremendous power; they really do!
The terms ‘flexibly’ separated and ‘rigidly’ separated are dimensions of an individual’s function within a family unit. There are other equally important aspects in the model that describe the functioning of a family. The more to the center a family is on a continuum, the more balanced the family is considered to be within the model, but a single dimension cannot give the total picture. What you were told was neither bad nor good, but simply one factor of relationship and functioning. If you were given all the information, it might help you understand why a couple often aren’t of a single mind on many aspects of marriage.
Catch him helping out in the house, whether it’s simply picking up something or cleaning out the dishwasher, whisper in his ear “thank you and I’ve got something for you later on” well…give it to him and watch him start helping out around the house more…
It’s a vicious cycle if someone doesn’t make a move…
St Anne. I am divorced, after 17 years, 4 kids. I know what it is like to do it alone. I know what it is like to be exhausted and fall asleep the second your head hits the pillow.
The advice that I have given you thus far is all advice that I followed myself in my marriage. So, I know that it is possible for an exhausted mom to follow. In my case, it didn’t really help things because I was married to a narcissist, and such advice really only works when you are married to a more or less normal man. I at least have a clean conscience knowing that I did everything I could on my end to make my marriage work.
Let me just say that divorce is never easy. As difficult as things are for you now, they would be so much more difficult if you were divorced. In fact, I am sure that you would not be able to continue homeschooling. So, do what it takes to stay married.
Communicating your needs to each other is the best way to address problems in your marriage. If you are feeling resentful towards your husband because you feel like he is not pulling his weight, then you need to talk to him about. Withdrawing from sex because you feel resentful is not an effective solution.
Also, if you have 7 kids and have been married for 25 years, then you have kids that are old enough to help you out. It shouldn’t all be on you. Does your husband help with directing the children to help out around the house? Does he treat you in a way that shows your children that you are someone worthy of their respect?
I am sure that this whole situation is a lot more complex than just the frequency of sex. I just think in most situations, with most husbands, turning off the sex and not dealing with the other problems is not going to lead to any kind of a solution.
Just thought I’d share my story with you. It seems way too familiar. I only have three children though and one on the way.
My husband works 40 hours a week. I am grateful to him for making a living for us. I work 168 hours a week though. I am in charge of the kids’ EVERY need. I feed them, I bathe them, I do most of the playing and teaching them. I do all the diaper changing and am up with them at night. They aren’t school-aged yet but I still teach them often. I am in charge of all the household chores. All the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning dishes, laundry washing, folding AND putting away! I take out the trash. Take the trash bin to the curb and back to our house again. (Thank GOD we no longer have to use the alley dumpster) I do all the sweeping, mopping, toilets… I am also a full-time nursing student in fall and spring. (thankfully I get summers off to recoup!)
And this man still expects me to have the -]energy/-]… the DESIRE for sex?
Perfectpeach, I can relate !!! I also was pursuing nursing at one time but had to stop.
I do not think my marriage is near divorce. Atleast not on my end. After listening to many of you I guess I should wonder if my husband is wanting to leave. I think what I want is a more spiritually fulfilling marriage with God at the center. He is not sure that is what he wants.
I do agree that one of us needs to give. The friction caused otherwise only takes me away from my primary call in life and that is to love him and raise Godly children. If I can just do my duty to him and my children with love…even though I may not want to, perhaps I can further “convert” him beyond just going to Mass on Sunday. The women’s lib in me gets really mad at just “doing my duty”. But Christ calls us to pick up our cross daily and promises that there will be joy in it…I dare say even an orgasm.
Wait a minute here. Is there a reason why your husband works 40 hours per week and you work 168hours? Why doesn’t he help you? Is he on call while he’s at home, and unable to leave his computer or earbud to help you with various chores and child-rearing actitivies? I’m not asking this facetiously. When my husband is on call at home, he is on the computer and on the phone almost constantly, and he honestly can’t get up and come help me with the trash. And I bring him his meals and set them down on his desk because he can’t come out to the kitchen to eat while he’s trying to get a server back up again.
Or is he just a selfish man who doesn’t believe in doing woman’s work? If this is the case, my suggestion is to let everything go that is not directly related to child care. The trash can sit out for weeks (until the City fines you, of course). His laundry can sit in the basket for weeks. Floors don’t have to be spotless unless you are eating off them. Use paper plates and cups, and throw them away. You get the idea.
If he’s just parking his butt in front of the TV, he’ll eventually get the idea that maybe he should get up and help, especially when his co-workers tell him that his dirty clothes smell bad.
Don’t enable him to be lazy! The more you do, the less he has to do. Don’t give him that opportunity.
And make sure that you are actually asking him for help. Many men have not been raised to “see” the work that needs to be done in a house, and he may honestly have no idea that you need help. After all, everything looks beautiful to him, and the food’s good and the trash is mysteriously gone, just like when he lived at home with him mommy to wait on him. You may have to re-train him a little to “see” the chores that are necessary to keep a household running. Don’t get mad at him because of his upbringing.
Again, if he’s doing 40 hours and you’re doing 168 hours, that’s not right. BUT…if he’s doing 40 hours in an office or site or factory, and forty more hours on call or at a second job, then that’s a different story and I’m sorry, but you’ll have to suck it up with the home chores because he’s swamped, too, and in the current economy, he has to work his rear off to keep that job.
Maybe this isn’t the best time to do nursing school. You think it’s hard now to do all the chores–wait 'til you try it without a husband (and no money) after you’re divorced. The marriage should be your Number One Priority, even before the kids. After all, what good will all the child-rearing do if parents get divorced? The best thing that parents can do for their children is stay happily married.
As I said in my posts above, desire is not necessary to give yourself to your husband. If women wait to have sex until they have desire, most women would never have sex (except when they’re teenagers and unmarried and burning up for for any male who looks at them).
A woman’s desire for sex often does NOT happen BEFORE sex. It happens once sex has actually commenced.
And it’s not all up to the man to create the desire in the woman. That’s a Hollywood/Harlequin myth. The woman must work at becoming aroused. What I’ve found helpful is to “pretend” that I’m terribly aroused, which means moaning and sighing and posturing in suggestive ways. This drives my husband wild, and more often than not, it will also create true desire in me.
Like I said, try Quickies. They’re not a permanent solution. They’re kind of like Slim Fast meals. You wouldn’t want to live on them forever, but they’re good for a short term diet.
I know in our case we both work very hard. My husband works two jobs. I homeschool and I clean part-time, in addition to having the responsibilities of 7 kids and a household to maintain. ( I feel I have two jobs also ) I did stop doing a lot of extra stuff for him so that he could understand that I am not his Mom. I do think that he sees me that way at times, except in the bedroom. I have always done extra for him like get all his clothing ironed, find his shoes and socks so that he would have extra time in the morning, but over the years he started to expect this instead of reailze that I was going the extra mile for him and when my load started to get heavier with more kids and responsibilities, he saw my lack of willingness to do these things, as well as the hot steamy sex, as rejection. Most people I know do not do all of the laundry and ironing down to getting the socks and shoes out and ready for their husbands. Most people have laughed at me over the years.
*When resentment enters into the picture, especially in both spouses, it can be hard to get on the same page. I think couples counseling as someone else suggested, would be very helpful. You both have to HEAR each other’s opinions, without being distracted by the fact that you both are not subjective to one another. An objective counselor hopefully can help you to start talking to one another-hear one another-and get closer to a resoltion. I think that your husband (many husbands are) wired to bond more through sex. Women bond with their husbands through sex also, but we are aroused of course in different ways, than man…we like to see our husbands value us outside of the bedroom, treat us with interest, and take an interest in things that are important to us. Not saying men don’t need the same things:p–but sex provides validation to men, while women like to be valued/validated BEFORE sex, to be more in the mood.
I think that you both have very busy, full lives…you might just be tired, to be honest. Your husband is probably tired too …but, men always seem to have endless bounds of energy for sex. There are worse things in a marriage, I’m sure! :o
My advice would be to keep praying, talking to your husband–and seek a good counselor to bring you both back together …to bridge the communication gap so to speak. I think you are both speaking two different love languages right now, and thus need a translator. I pray things get better for you both. *
sigh You weren’t being his mother. You were being a sweet, adoring, and adorable wife. Men LOVE being caretaken, nurtured, and babied. When women do that kind of stuff for them, it makes them feel special, loved, attached.
Part of your problem here is that you seem to be viewing sex as another chore to be added to your admittedly full list. It’s not. It’s an escape from your busy life, a time for you to bond in a unique way that you do with no one else. It’s supposed to be that time when you help each other cope with all the other stuff you have to do!
You also seem to be viewing sex as something that’s only for him. You don’t remember orgasms? Sex has a lot to offer for you too!
I think it is a two way street and like I said earlier, obviously one of us has to give in.
Your remark makes me kind of mad!!! Loving my husband for real means the deffinition St. Paul says about love how it is patient, kind etc… all things we do not always want to do from time to time. Love is not a feeling it is something we do. As Cat said, a woman will likely never have sex if she waits until she wants to. There is a lot of truth in that statement. Realizing that I have to push through my lack of desire for the better good of my marriage.
My husband is on call once a week every 6-8 weeks. When he is on call he keeps his phone near-by but usually he gets his “on-call” schedule a head of time so he actually never needs his phone for work! When he is on call he does get some overtime, but never much. You are correct that he can’t leave the computer while at home but the problem is that he isn’t working! Since he only works 40 hours (compared to my 168!) he gets leisure time on his scheduled hours off. We are fortunate he is loved at his job and it is recession proof.
Nursing school can’t actually be put off any longer. I’ve put it off for 3 semesters now and that is long enough. I HAVE to go because we are having many financial problems… gotta get out of school to get ourselves out of this mess.
I have been meeting his needs a lot more lately. Even when there is no desire. I have noticed our marriage is a lot better now. He seems happier and we fight less. I am still one tired lady though and not particularly happy… However, I do understand that marriage is all about sacrifice and that we aren’t called to be happy… only to be joyous in situations we are in…
*I wholeheartedly agree…but, at the same time, if you are truly not happy about something, I don’t recommend for wives to ignore their own sorrows, because when we are not authentic in our marriages, just going through the motions becomes very apparent, especially to men. Your husband doesn’t just want you to have sex with him…he wants you TO WANT HIM to have sex with you. That’s the rub, I think.
Of course, I give my two cents as if I’ve known you for years. lol I will keep you in my prayers. *