How to deal with a sexless marriage after two years of marriage?


#21

[quote="bumby, post:17, topic:206066"]
...
Does anybody know if there is anything I can do to inhibit my libido?

[/quote]

I think it would be MUCH better to get him to counseling instead of heading down that road.
- curl


#22

FrenchGwen - that really makes sense! You’re right, how can I expect intimacy sexually if we’re not really very intimate in normal ways? The strangest thing happened tonight. Without me even saying anything, he left his mobile phone on the dining room table all night, didn’t touch it once. We sat on the settee talking, drinking a nice glass of red each and just having some couple-y time. Was really nice.

I must admit, I could be more patient and less angry about it. I think when I get desperate, it turns into anger. I’ve booked his doctor’s appointment but how I am going to make sure he says exactly why he’s there is a difficult one!

I am going to focus on some of these things you kind people have mentioned in the hope that things will improve. I will report back soon (probably by the weekend, knowing me. I’m not very patient…)


#23

[quote="bumby, post:22, topic:206066"]
The strangest thing happened tonight. Without me even saying anything, he left his mobile phone on the dining room table all night, didn't touch it once. We sat on the settee talking, drinking a nice glass of red each and just having some couple-y time. Was really nice.

[/quote]

That's great ! I'm really happy to be hearing that.:thumbsup:
So I have a question for you: did you tell and retell your DH how you had appreciated this time together with him ? Men need a lot of appreciation and reinforcement: the more we express how positively some of their behaviour affect us, the more they tend to repeat these behaviours. That's something I had to learn : saying again and again "thank you", "oh, I loved that", "you're great / that's great"... every time DH does anything, however tiny and "normal", for me. We women, especially when we feel we had a right to this thing (time together,...) tend to not give this appreciation as this was "our due", but in fact this is totally contraproductive !

[quote="bumby, post:22, topic:206066"]
I must admit, I could be more patient and less angry about it. I think when I get desperate, it turns into anger.

I am going to focus on some of these things you kind people have mentioned in the hope that things will improve. I will report back soon (probably by the weekend, knowing me. I'm not very patient...)

[/quote]

Yes, be careful to be patient. Express your needs, express your love, and remain aware that things take time. Since I accepted that we would not get a perfect marriage / communication overnight, but this all was a lengthy process, you can't imagine how things have improved. Because I was able to relax and refrain from freaking out each time DH did / did not do / said / did not say something and this hurt me. Things improved, but gradually, and there still are moments where one of us feel frustrated and hurt. That's part of a marriage: we're both human beings, little mistakes happen all the time. Yet in the whole, you will notice how you feel much more confident and at ease in your relationship to each other !

and remember: be positive ! Show him your appreciation !


#24

Hi Bumby

It’s a difficult situation - I know but at least your husband is willing to go to a doctor - that’s a good first step. Would he agree to go to a Catholic marriage counsellor?

Very low sex drives could be hormonal or he may have some deep-seated and painful memories.

Continue to pray (and we’ll all be praying for you) while you explore the professional help options. Don’t pressure him - continue to show him you love him even without the sex. Back when he did actually initiate sex were there any conditions that existed at the time that you could try to recreate eg on holiday (even a weekend outside the walls of the house with its stress and associations) or particular meals?

If he still shows you tenderness, that’s a good thing. We don’t want to alienate him. Hang in there, I’ll be praying for you, too.


#25

bumby, some thought questions not necessarily for answer online.

Did you guys have a physical relationship before marriage? Did he have prior physical relationships before he met you? He has watched porn before - - what steps are you aware of that he has taken to deal with this? Does he acknowledge that as a problem, or just “what guys do”?

Where I am going with this is that some guys only know how to experience a physical relationship in context of use and objectification, and on some level, they know that they do not want this type of relationship with their bride - - they have grown up and undergone psychosexual development only focused on lust, not true self-giving love; I certainly don’t exempt myself from that category.

It may not be any one thing, but the combination of things, especially with a baby. It seems like you’ve gotten some good suggestions. I’ll add my two cents - - perhaps a read of Chris West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners or Good News about Sex and Marriage, particularly if he likes theological argument/discussion. Praying together as a couple before sex can really bring you closer, too, although apparently you don’t have the opportunity to do that just yet.


#26

Wow, I could have written your original post in the early years of my marriage. I'm going to give you the advice I wish someone would have given me back then: DON'T IGNORE IT. I did, for close to 10 years, caught up in raising little babies and the business of working. I kept telling myself it wasn't that bad, that it would get better on its own, etc. etc. It didn't. Others may disagree, but for a healthy man, in his early 20's,in a good marriage, to desire sex only once a month is not normal.

I'm glad he's going to the doctor- if it turns out that there is no hormonal issue, and if you are sure that he's not suffering from depression (depression in men often manifests as anger, not sadness), then please ask yourself honestly if you think he might be viewing porn and/or masturbating . You said he's done this in the past, and that, along with the time he spends texting/on facebook raises some real red flags with me. Does he have access to a computer alone? I know you've checked histories, but there are ways to delete this information so that it's hard to access unless you're really tech smart. Does he stay up later than you or wake up in the middle of the night? Anything like that? Have you asked him specifically about this issue?

I hope I don't seem like I'm attacking your DH- obviously I have no idea what is going on with him or with your marriage- but I don't want you to turn a blind eye to this possibility. Either way, it sounds like you two could use some good counseling. I highly recommend a Retrouvaille weekend. I can't speak highly enough of it. It was the beginning of some pretty amazing healing grace for our family.

Many blessings and prayers for you.


#27

Make sure you two are exercising and eating well (read: no deep fried food, tonnes of fresh veggies) and make sure you take some time to rekindle some romance. Hire a babysitter overnight and go for a nice dinner then stay at a hotel just the two of you. The change of pace might get him out of his routine. And most importantly stay active, not just in the way of going to the gym but get outside, go for hikes, go to the beach make sure that fun is a part of every day. And maybe buy a sexy nightie that you can pass of as pajamas and change into it a little earlier than you normally would for bedtime so he gets to see you walking around the house in it. The babydoll style is especially flattering if you haven't managed to lose the baby weight yet and can easily be passed of as "new pajamas". Seduction is a subtle art.


#28

This seems to be the story of every household today, thanks to our awful working hours and hectic life style. It is okay for you to think that he might be facing a problem like impotence or initial days of so. Do not worry; ask him to see your doctor so as to understand what is wrong with him and how to cure it. Online you will get a lot of information about the same. In case he is detected with impotence choose the magic pill generic Viagra pills like Kamagra, Penegra, Edegra, etc. Or herbal remedies like ginseng roots, ginger, maca, ashwagandha, Fo-ti, fennel seeds, etc.


#29

Well, here I am, reporting at the weekend, like I said I would. I am so predictable. We had a couple of nice evenings on Thursday and Friday. Went out on the Friday and my husband's parents babysat for us. Was lovely but yet again I set myself for huge disappointment, convincing myself that 'tonight would be the night' because when we were out, he was so happy, so open, complimented me on how I looked, kissed me in a way that is entirely different than to the way he does when we're at home.

Anyway, we ended up having sex on Saturday after I asked him for it. He was watching TV. He sighed and said 'Okay, in the adverts.' (How romantic.) I was thinking of telling him to forget it, but I didn't. Afterwards, he told me he wasn't really in the mood (still?? after 22 days?) but that he did it 'for me'. Hmmm. Roll on Thursday (his doctor's appointment)!

I know I need to be more patient. I am also going to ask him to take his supplements, because he never does. He has a memory like a sieve.


#30

Angel, thanks for your reply. It had some very useful suggestions that I will try to use very soon. We do have a Catholic counselling organisation who have an office very near to our house, however we had a bad experience with it. They offer pre-marriage ‘lessons’, if you like. We went to them and found it out of touch and they didn’t mention God once! I was appalled. They also didn’t talk about sex and assumed everybody was already living together, which my husband and I weren’t doing.

I would love to go and talk to my priest but I’m scared - I know him so well it’d be like talking to my grandad!


#31

Hi again, Bumby

Patience and perseverance, right? I'm glad the date with your hubby went reasonably well before the downer comment. The positive part is that you connected in a way you hadn't in awhile so that's good.

Ok - if talking to your parish priest will make you uncomfortable and those counsellors are a no-no, we need to find resources. I think I read an earlier post saying that there's no Marriage Encounter in the UK. I'm wondering if you could maybe try contacting the organisation in the US by email explaining that you don't have a team couple nearby but that you'd appreciate being able to talk with someone by email. Maybe that might be an option.

We're still with you on this!


#32

Hello Bumby,

Looks like I was not too far from the mark/s. :smiley:

Post #8:

Post # 17:

Actually, the analysis I mentioned was based on an extensive research conducted of french men. I remember the informaiton because it never occurred to me that pregnacy and a baby could affect men in such a way. It would be nice if you read on this topic and find out how to handle it. I do not have the book with me as half of my library is still in europe.

Post #8:

Ha, ha. I thought of changing the 100% and 5% to 95% and 5%, but decided to leave, since what I mean to say is that you want to strive to be a mother 100% and a wife 100%. :slight_smile: The wife part suffers after a baby or two and it is difficult on the couple. Of course, you do not necessarily have to get decked out, but this does help, you do want to assure that you are nourishing the couple relationship.

Post #22:

I am glad that your couple time went well and gave you nice results. But, of course, ultimately what you want to do is nourish your relationship and this takes time. Since the response to the two things that occurred to me to mention here were positive, you may get good news from the doctor and the actual causes of the problem could be something that you can work out and resolve. If this is the case, again, I would suggest that you research the effects of pregnacy etc… on the male libido and how to deal with it. Furthermore, and once again; nourish your couple relationship.

It sounds peculiar that he does not eat with you. Do you mean that he stays at work and eats there? Why don’t you have dinner together every day? If he does not like what you cook then cook what he likes. :slight_smile: Put your foot down at the right time and demand that he comes home for dinner and stays home for the evening. :slight_smile: You want to make home a place he wants to be.

I wish you the best,

Blessings,

Abba


#33

However, I have seen a number threads about women upset at a lack of sex from their man. In real life, women complain about men "only wanting sex". Yet when women get the kind of man that the OP has that shows love in more emotional ways, they dont like it. I have seen threads started by men on here that complain about their women withholding sex. When the men started these threads, people mainly commented that it was the woman's duty to have sex. Yet for the man, it is looked at as if something must be wrong with him. I know there is a cliche view in society that women dont care as much about sex and that men are all about sex. Yet, in my experience men withhold sex mainly because of stress of some kind.

Stress from work effects men in different ways. Some want to unwind in their own world. Facebook time may be his way to unwind. TV is a bad time to bug a man about sex particularly during a sports game. I think women have terrible timing some times. My mother always was boring and didnt want to do anything with my dad until it was time for football season to start and then she wanted him to do everything with her. If a women pushes a man for sex when he is trying to unwind from stress, they will get that kind of a mechanical response such as "if you lay down I will do it". That is the response of a stressed out man. Kids are a stress for men. If he is worried about money, he might withhold sex because he is worried about a pregnancy and affording a baby. I think stress is a big part of the problem he has.

Also, at age 23 he is still growing up. Simply by being married, he is showing maturity that many men his age dont have. I know very few men that are married at his age or close to his age. Even though I know more women than men married both your ages, it is still a low number. A lot of the things you mention that he does that you dont like are signs of immaturity. This is to be expected given his age. At 23, most guys dont consider as much how their actions can effect others in terms of being married. Many are barely removed from living with mom and dad and having a woman that cooks and cleans for them. In many ways, he seems to be mature in some facets but not in others. This is something that you just need to give time. It is not easy for you right now but dont let the present day spoil the future. These days men can be slow to mature. Just be patient. Dont take it personally unless he starts to insult you. As long as he is happy with you, take it easy and let time fix the rest. If he is like this in 5 years then you might have a problem. Give the men some time to mature as a man. Once the babies come, that will be a critical moment. Babies have a strong effect on men. It can almost instantly change their outlook on life and accelerate the maturation process.


#34

Wait, I got ask one thing. This question is a bit off topic, but I really need it answered!

I have always been told, the Catholics have the following rules regarding sex;

A. Sex before marriage is wrong.

B. Even while married, sex is only allowed, if the couple is attempting to have a baby. (and even so with limitations)

So how can it be ok for you Catholics that the OP wants to have sex, and not get pregnant? :shrug: I mean, if she has had it weekly, this must mean that she does not get pregnant every time, right? Maybe I misunderstood? If so, correct me.

PS. I am fine (as an atheist) with sex as often as people like, and almost how ever people like, but I am quite sure Catholics are not. At least this is what I have been told sooo many times by every Catholic that I have ever met! :eek:


#35

It’s a misunderstanding. Sex between two people in a married couple is allowed for intimacy and closeness as well–not just to get pregnant.


#36

Really…? Why have I never been told, or even hinted about that? I mean come on, I have been educated a lot about the Catholic faith, but never informed about this?? Why, I wonder…(and I have been told all the time that sex is only allowed, while trying to get pregnant)

Another question; I am almost 100% sure that the Pope does not allow condoms…so how can you have sex with out condom, and not get pregnant? (I also read on another thread, that the male always has to ejaculate in the females vagina) Do you use other ways to prevent pregnancy, or what?

Yeah…seems that for some reason, I have been told the wrong things a long time… :shrug:


#37

[quote="NotReligous, post:36, topic:206066"]
Really..? Why have I never been told, or even hinted about that? I mean come on, I have been educated a lot about the Catholic faith, but never informed about this?? Why, I wonder...(and I have been told all the time that sex is only allowed, while trying to get pregnant)

Another question; I am almost 100% sure that the Pope does not allow condoms...so how can you have sex with out condom, and not get pregnant? (I also read on another thread, that the male always has to ejaculate in the females vagina) Do you use other ways to prevent pregnancy, or what?

Yeah...seems that for some reason, I have been told the wrong things a long time.. :shrug:

[/quote]

You don't get pregnant every time you have sex--women are only fertile a few days each month (assuming her cycle is regular). Ask any couple trying to conceive, it doesn't happen every time. Catholics are allowed to have sex during that infertile time (it's called the "Natural Family Planning" because it doesn't use artificial means (drugs, condoms, etc).

It's also worth noting that post menopausal/infertile women are allowed to have sex with their husbands and vice versa.


#38

Yeah, you have been told the wrong things for a long time! :slight_smile:
Basically what the Church allows to space delay children is called NFP like the previous poster pointed out. You’ve surely heard of the “rhythm method”? Sorta the same thing, only NFP is more of a science at this point and there are other benefits to learning it aside from avoiding conception.

And for it to be morally licit, NFP must be used with discernment and only for a just or grave reason. I guess you can see the gray area there…that might be where your confusion comes in, or the confusion of the people who’ve told you about it! :o


#39

Hmm, thanks for letting me know! I will ask some Catholics I know, why I wasn't informed about this! :D


#40

[quote="NotReligous, post:36, topic:206066"]
Really..? Why have I never been told, or even hinted about that? I mean come on, I have been educated a lot about the Catholic faith, but never informed about this?? Why, I wonder...(and I have been told all the time that sex is only allowed, while trying to get pregnant)

[/quote]

Oh, I know! Its a very common misunderstanding. I was under the same impression before coming here to CAF, and they straightened me out. And this was despite going through multi-months long educational programs as part of my conversion. :o

The Catechism of the Catholic Church can be a bit dense at time, and maybe even a bit hard to interpret, but it is THE definitive statement of what Catholics believe. I'll quote what it says about the unitive nature of sex within marriage. But please keep in mind that the Church believes that men and women are incomplete without each other, and that the major purpose of marriage is to bring a couple together and hold them in mutual fidelity to each other.

Oh... and please bear with me, this is a long quote. :eek:

III. THE LOVE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE

2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."143

Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, "Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers. . . . You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.' I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together." And they both said, "Amen, Amen." Then they went to sleep for the night.144 

2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude."145 Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.146 

2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.

The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.

  • Conjugal fidelity

2364 The married couple forms "the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent."147 Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. The covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble.148 "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."149

2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one's given word. God is faithful. The Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ's fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.

St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us. . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.150 

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

Whew! If you actually read all of that, you deserve a pat on the back. We don't have a smilie for that, so I will have simply give you a :thumbsup:


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