Living in a sexless marriage / too busy / too stressed

I know this has probably been posted numerous times on this forum so I apologize, but … .

I am currently living in a sexless marriage. My wife and I have been married for over 10 years, and we have 5 children. We just adopted a child as we both felt this was God’s will for us. However, ever since we brought the baby home, our sex life has went way downhill, to the point where it is non-existent. I have tried talking to my wife about the situation, but every time I does, she just gets upset and starts crying. Basically, what has happened is that my wife has put all of her energy and effort into rearing the children, and she has told me there isn’t anything left for me. I think she is looking at sex with me as a another thing to do, and she doesn’t have enough bandwidth to get the current things done, so certainly does not have time or sex.

I am really embracing my faith, going to confession frequently, studying catechism, seeking guidance and direction from God, but this is very difficult. Am I supposed to wait until my children are grown and out of the house before I have sex with my wife?

What do I do?

God, my father … .
Help me to overcome my insatiable desire to gratify my flesh.
Help me to cherish the covenantal marriage I have with my wife.
Help me to embrace your will.
Help me in my moments of temptation
Help me not to despair, nor become despondent
Help me to love my wife as you have loved me
Through Christ our Lord
Mary, my Mother…
Hear me
Help me
Heal me

Sex is to be both procreative and UNITIVE. Sounds as though the Unitive part has gotten derailed. I highly recommend a good Catholic counselor to help you both get back on track.

I will pray for you both.

Boswell

Your wife needs a time out. Get a babysitter and take her on a 1, 2, 3, 4…day getaway, minus the 5 distractions, so you guys can reconnect. My brother took my sister in law to Disneyland one year (we stayed with the kids) for the weekend and she returned a new wife/mother. “Kidnap” her if you have to and make her leave the cell phone at home. (Take yours of course).

Men don’t realize that, during the baby years, many women just view them as yet another grabby, whiny kid who wants a part of them.

Women don’t realize that that attitude can ruin their marriage. Telling your husband, that you have to live with for the rest of your life, that he is so far down on your list of priorities that you have no time for him is incredibly hurtful.

I don’t have the answer. I know that sometimes you have to carry your spouse during a hard time, but it’s hard to do it lovingly when the reason is so hurtful.

Hi anonymoususer, the stress your wife is undergoing must be terrifically burdensome. Thats a lot of children to have by any standard in 10 years, but first let me say well done and kudos to you both.:slight_smile: Your wife is very likely at the brink of physical exhaustion and probably fears becoming pregnant. I think you and your wife deserve a break, a week away somewhere to unwind and get to know one another intimately again, yes, a bit of romance, and a piece of peace and quiet. Would it be possible for you to arrange from among your kin, the care of your kids for a week?

Good suggestions on reconnecting to your spouse, also I would considering to help her out. We always take our wife’s for granted, I know I had. Try to help her out with little things.

Making laundry, washing the dishes and a thousand other things in the house.
Also do not do it just once. You need to keep at it, that way she will see that she has in you a real partner and not just a passing fad because you miss the sex with her.
Do keep praying to God that He changes your heart to make your marriage stronger.
I will pray for you and your wife too.
God bless

Peace :thumbsup:

I am sorry you are going through this. Can you fit in your schedule one recurring chore (like laundry or washing bottles) to see if that lifts your wife’s stress levels?

How long has it been since you brought baby home? Maybe she is still trying to transition with 5 children and taking care of a baby again? Figuring out new logistics, space issues, and new children dynamics? Is it possible that she didn’t get enough time or focus to prepare for the new baby?

Pray, I like what PaulinVA said about it being a time to carry your spouse. But don’t let it fester and sit. Keep bringing it up occasionally (gently), sometimes women can get to comfortable with no sex, especially if their attention is spread elsewhere. Let her know you still love her, desire her, and want to take care of her.

Sex is so important but to a man its the tops of importance, but they forget that a woman’s work is never done, and if the men were there to help when they got home it would mean a lot, even taking the dishes of the table, washing them, or putting them into the Dish Washer whatever way you wash them, help around the house whatever way you can.

What your wife should do is take 3 days off to visit her parents, and for you to mind the 5 children for these 3 days and see how alive you are at night for sex I bet you would say you have a headache, what you are forgetting five children take some minding and requires two people to mind them.
If you could afford it could you get a nanny in for a few mornings to help your wife that would take pressure of her. If Finances don’t allow, my honest opinion is you will have to help her more when you come home, your wife is worn out, physically and emotionally, don’t just think about MY NEEDS what about YOUR WIFE and her needs after all they are your children to.

How long ago did you adopt the new child?

When a woman has a biological child, it can be six to eight weeks before her body has healed enough to resume intercourse. This period of abstinence coincides with the parents’ reduced amount of sleep, increased stress levels, etc. So it’s normal for new parents to abstain for a period following a new baby, as I’m sure you are aware. Although adoptive parents don’t need these two months to heal physically, your wife still may benefit from a a period of time when she can focus almost exclusively on the new child. So, if it’s been less than eight weeks, I’d recommend offering it up and shelving the topic until next month.

If it’s been more than two months, then I’d second the idea of “dating” your wife again. It’s probably too soon after adopting the new child to leave him or her with relatives for a getaway, but certainly get a reliable babysitter for a few hours and take her out to dinner. If she knows you still find her attractive and interesting, she’ll be more in the mood for sex. It might not happen the first date night, but over time, little acts of romance can rekindle the fire.

In the meantime, cultivate a devotion to St. Joseph, who protected Mary and her Child without ever receiving marital rights.

No, not every male is craving sex. It’s sad that so many feel that they MUST have sex :frowning:

Its only sad “Because so many do” like Anonymoususet who feels he is in a Sexless marriage/to busy/stress. Instead of trying to help his wife with “there” five children, I would like him to try to mind them for 3 days by himself, and not for the moment concentrate on “ME” but rather his Wife because when you get married you become as ONE. He is thinking of “Himself” maybe the wife would like a little intimacy but is to darn tired and exhausted with cleaning, cooking, and looking after five children. I am sure there are some men to whom it is not important to- to that I say I would wish you would introduce them to me, because I have NEVER met one of these rare creatures.
Are they alive or are they dead.!!!

What do I do?

Help her. She told you exactly what she needs - she needs relief. Not a day or even a weekend away (though that’s a great start). She needs you to fully understand what needs done, why it needs to be done, when it needs done, who needs it done for them and how it’s best gotten done without creating more work. :slight_smile:

Seriously. My husband would ask what I wanted him to do and I would also break down in tears of utter confusion and exhaustion. There was so much I couldn’t even get the words out - especially couldn’t get it out over the frustration that he was the father of the family, standing in the house, hearing and seeing the same things I was - and he didn’t know what needed to be done?!?

I’d suggest going through this list and pitching in where it’s needed - and do so every day:

First - is everyone (including your wife) fed, clean, changed, and appropriately dressed?

Second - is the house in basic functional condition? Llaundry, dishes, grocery shopping - all done? Floors swept, toys up …I’m assuming at least one crawler here?

Third - has everyone been helped with their appropriate needs (homework, chore supervision, etc.)?

Fourth - is everything ready for the next day (from clean clothes to signed permission slips to sufficient diapers)?

I know nothing was more physically attractive to me than discovering he’d bathed and put to bed the children while I finished the kitchen (or vice versa). Just having him see the work needing to be done and doing it without me asking was a great aphrodisiac!

Doing this makes you part of her team rather than another dependent.

I realize it’s tough but the kids will grow up and become more independent.

It’s sad not just for that reason; many people are selling their souls so-to-speak, via sex obsession. Are you familiar with the history of the “sexual revolution”? Our whole culture has been saturated with this mentality of trying to be “alluring” which can be traced to mind-control tactics of the occult. Look up Sigmund Freud and Aleister Crowley.

As for “where are they?”, it’s simple: they’re called priests and monks.

“My wife and I have been married for over 10 years, and we have 5 children. We just adopted a child as we both felt this was God’s will for us. However, ever since we brought the baby home, our sex life has went way downhill, to the point where it is non-existent. I have tried talking to my wife about the situation, but every time I does, she just gets upset and starts crying.”

You’re not in a “sexless marriage” if your adoption was very recent and we’re talking just a few months. I think I would reserve that terminology for the situations where there is no sex for years–which unfortunately happens.

“When a woman has a biological child, it can be six to eight weeks before her body has healed enough to resume intercourse. This period of abstinence coincides with the parents’ reduced amount of sleep, increased stress levels, etc. So it’s normal for new parents to abstain for a period following a new baby, as I’m sure you are aware. Although adoptive parents don’t need these two months to heal physically, your wife still may benefit from a a period of time when she can focus almost exclusively on the new child. So, if it’s been less than eight weeks, I’d recommend offering it up and shelving the topic until next month.”

Yes. I’d even suggest that if it’s been a little longer, that you just shelve the issue for another month, and tell her that that’s what you’re doing. She’s probably stressed out by the fact that her marital relationship is yet another area where she’s failing, and she probably is having a lot of self-doubt as to the wisdom of this adoption and how she’s not adequately dealing with all of the children’s emotional needs, let alone basic household functions. Tell her that you understand she’s overwhelmed, and start planning to take her (and probably the baby) out sometime in the next month (with no expectations). The baby will probably be sleeping better in a month, and it may be a totally new world for both of you.

If things do not resolve within about six months of the adoption, it’s time to talk to her doctor.

Bless your heart. I remember those days well. Our solution was to hire help. This was a great relief to us both…I was able to get time away from the household regularly and yet know that all was well and household chores completed. Once my military husband saw my stress level go down and the house clean, he gladly paid. (I also think he liked getting out of chores LOL.)
Help is more affordable than you think. Start with a teenager from church. They’re lifesavers. Do it now before your wife loses her mind.
I guarantee after a few weeks her stress will decrease. In the meantime, help without being asked. Shower your wife with love, appreciation, and a day at the spa. Seriously.
You sound like a wonderful husband. I feel sure she will come around.
I will pray for you both.

It seems many here are blaming you, when you are praying to God against the NATURAL temptation this causes–which I have experience and which St. Paul talks about–and doing your best.

If you are fortunate, helping her some more with the kids and house would leave something for you (as she says she “has nothing left”).

But, not to discourage you, but it wouldn’t surprise me if even this doesn’t change her. It’s not NORMAL or NATURAL for sex to stop, except briefly for religous reasons, as the Apostle writes, regardless of what these others are saying in opposition to his teachings and, so, blaming you.

I see your heart is in the right place, that you are praying, that you have talked to her, that you have come to us for advise.

All I can say is continue to pray and resist temptation and do your best to love your wife, even if it isn’t returned.

Personally, I often feel bad about leaving my sexless marriage, that I could have been stronger. I hope and pray that you can carry your cross.

“It’s not NORMAL or NATURAL for sex to stop, except briefly for religous reasons, as the Apostle writes, regardless of what these others are saying in opposition to his teachings and, so, blaming you.”

It’s actually really normal and really natural for women to stop wanting to have sex (or to actively resent or dislike it) when they are tired, stressed, or overburdened and during certain hormonal shifts (for instance, pregnancy, new motherhood or menopause). The libidinal pilot light just shuts off sometimes. It’s normal. Sometimes, it goes out permanently, but other times, it’s just a temporary blip. The OP says they recently adopted and they have a total of five kids. He has excellent reason to hope that this is a temporary phenomenon if he’s patient and helpful and understanding. It’s much too early to panic, and much too early to point fingers.

“All I can say is continue to pray and resist temptation and do your best to love your wife, even if it isn’t returned.”

The OP’s wife probably feels like Bilbo Baggins put it, like too little butter spread over too much bread. She has 6 people in her immediate family whose needs need to be met, without even counting herself.

There’s a very helpful blog by Julia Grey entitled “Why Your Wife Won’t Have Sex With You.” The archives are very helpful.

juliagrey.wordpress.com/

Best wishes to the OP.

I don’t know what it is like to adopt a child, there may be added stress with that vs having a biological child, and I don’t know what your family situation is like, there may be so many other factors that affect the situation, but I do know what it is like to have 5 babies close together (our oldest wasn’t quite 7 when #5 was born). Sometimes we have to make time for sex, give up on other things to make it happen. Sometimes women may not be in “the mood”, but can still want to express their love to their husbands, because they do love them and are aware that sex is not simply physical.

Maybe there are areas where she can relax a little with the kids/house? Are your older kids in many extracurricular activities? Do you help her out as much as you can? Does she let you help her out as much as you can?

Sex is important in marriage, and should not be completely plated without good reasons. The fact that she cries when you bring it up makes me think there is something that needs to change if possible, though…she is feeling overwhelmed or there is something that is causing her to hesitate. After God, your marriage is your priority. Sex is good for your marriage. I’m not saying that a marriage that is in a situation where sex is not possible is going to fail, or is less holy or anything, but sex is a good thing in marriage, it is uniting. A husband that would like to participate in the marital embrace with his wife is not being obsessed or lacking control. He is wanting something good. Now, he does have to put his wife’s well-being above his wants, and if he truly loves her he will, but she needs to do her best as well.

I think the paragraph I bolded is so true and sounds like it might be a fairly large part of the problem. I too have had the experience of being exhausted with young children and just feeling so defeated when my husband couldn’t see WHY I was stressed and seemingly couldn’t see WHAT needed to be done.

I’m not actually blaming men in general or any man in particular for this as I think perhaps they really DON’T see what the mother sees and perhaps DON’T really realise what needs to be done, and even they do have a bit of an idea what might be going on, they have no idea what to do about it.

OP, is there any way you could find a relatively peaceful time and sit down with your wife and ask her what would be most helpful right now? If she can’t think or if it all seems too much for her to even know where to begin, or if she feels that she’s failing by even acknowledging that she can’t cope, could you ask outright ‘what job or jobs would you like me to take on for the moment?’ It might be keeping the laundry done, or making sure the dishes get done, or being responsible for getting everyone bathed, or it might even be something as simple as making sure the bed is made every morning and the bedroom is always tidy. Bonus points if you make your best effort to do things the way your wife wants them done :slight_smile:

You might be surprised at the difference it makes in your general day to day family well-being and in your intimate life. I think most men can understand (even if they don’t like it) that there will be times when the sex just isn’t there as long as they also feel confident they are loved, and that the sex will come back eventually. I’m not a man so I’m not entirely sure that’s right, but it’s the feeling I get after being married for a long time and going through all the stages and hormonal changes that come with motherhood and children and teenagers and then of course getting older and having to deal with menopause.

It’s not an easy time, I feel for you, and I hope things begin to improve for you both soon. And PS, feel free to totally disregard this if I’ve misunderstood what is going on!

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