Unsure how to proceed


#1

I need some marriage advice. My wife and I have been married for almost 20 years and have a large family. Our youngest is 5. We do not feel called to having more children at this time.
For the last several years, my wife has lacked desire. We are usually intimate once a month but it seems like it is more out of obligation from her. Her reasons for this range from tiredness to feeling fat to getting older. We practice NFP and she also mentions that the infertile times are when she feels the least interested.
We have tried talking about this many times and it really hasn’t changed anything. I always end up feeling that I’m pressuring her. I have tried different approaches but nothing really changes.
I’m not looking for answers on how to change her. She knows how I feel but is unwilling or unable to change. What I’m looking for is advice on how to act in a loving way towards her and deal with the resentment I feel towards her every time the infertile times of the month roll around. Part of me struggles to sleep in the same bed with her. It feels like a lie and makes me more angry. But if I said that I will sleep elsewhere, I think I would only be trying to force her into intimacy.
Any good advice would be appreciated.


#2

Dear rc6:

As a woman, with kids, a large home, animals,endless housework, etc., and having had a career early on in our marriage,I know what you are speaking about full well. We went through dry spells in our marriage too. This is normal, especially when you are stressed out. And with lots of kids, even more so. i just say to you, woo her with love (and help) and she will come around. Just love her unconditionally, offer to rub her back at night, mop the floors, help with the kids, get a babysitter and take her on a date. When was the last time you had a date alone just the two of you? This means so much to a woman, and will light the flame of passion....along with all the other things above. LOVE HER. And try to be a servant/leader. Give her endless affection and understanding, and if she is anything like me, it will work, she'll attack you at night and smother you with kisses.

I would not talk to her about your frustration, show her your love. This always works better for women. :thumbsup:


#3

[quote="rc6, post:1, topic:190108"]
I need some marriage advice. My wife and I have been married for almost 20 years and have a large family. Our youngest is 5. We do not feel called to having more children at this time.
For the last several years, my wife has lacked desire. We are usually intimate once a month but it seems like it is more out of obligation from her. Her reasons for this range from tiredness to feeling fat to getting older. We practice NFP and she also mentions that the infertile times are when she feels the least interested.
We have tried talking about this many times and it really hasn't changed anything. I always end up feeling that I'm pressuring her. I have tried different approaches but nothing really changes.

I'm not looking for answers on how to change her. She knows how I feel but is unwilling or unable to change. What I'm looking for is advice on how to act in a loving way towards her and deal with the resentment I feel towards her every time the infertile times of the month roll around. Part of me struggles to sleep in the same bed with her. It feels like a lie and makes me more angry. But if I said that I will sleep elsewhere, I think I would only be trying to force her into intimacy.
Any good advice would be appreciated.

[/quote]

Hi RC,

Husband and father here - and to summarize, I've walked exactly in those same tracks, and have probably spent 10+ years also searching for the 'answer'.

The 'answer' for me - and hold on to your chair here - was none less than a 'Gift' of Grace from God, because believe me, I tried every other possible solution myself, NONE of which 'worked'. In fact, I nearly lost my marriage and family. You will not find the peace, happiness, tenderness, humility, overwhelming love, and thankfulness but by the Grace of God. The good news, is that there is much you can do to obtain these graces - God will give them to you freely, if you simply ask for and pray for them - it is not a mystery at all. Someone once told me - God will give us anything good that we ask for: the problem is that we don't know how or what to ask for. The Holy Family serves as a perfect model for us.
For me, what helped the most, was
1. Novenas to St.Joseph, who knows exactly what it is like.
2. Consecrating my family -and renewing each year. (link below).

Consecration: familyland.be/family_consecration/introduction-to-consecration-to-the-holy-family.html

The good news is that by doing this, you will elevate your marriage and relationship to a level of holiness and happiness that God has intended for each and ever one of us, and make it more resilient to the threats and temptations that face us in these modern times. Don't let another day waste by without 'climbing' towards this goal. Do the consecration together with your wife and family!:thumbsup:


#4

:thumbsup: to both of the previous posts – women are woo-ed from the moment after the last intimacy ended. there is much in how you treat her the rest of the time that would make her more receptive to you. read the 5 love languages book. speak her language (be it gift giving, acts of service, physical, talking and sharing, doing things together – whatever says ‘love’ to her!) sharing tasks and responsibilities can do much to freshen her outlook on life and intimacy.

making sure God is the head of all will make things right in all ways.


#5

Find when the next Retrouvaille retreat or Marriage Encounter is and GO.


#6

I thought as well, of the good book, "The Five Love Languages". It is a crucial read, IMO for better understanding our spouses. Im sorry maybe i got the title wrong,l but it is there and a good book.


#7

I totally agree about the acts of service thing. The things that make me desire my husband the most are: when he hugs me from behind when I'm cooking, when he starts cleaning the house when I am - helping out, when he notices me, calls me by name.


#8

Know that if there were never bad times then you would never appreciate the good times.

Also, last year at the anniversary we watched the wedding video - ALONE together. It helped to discuss how the homily applied over the last year and how we looked at it differently than we did when we were married. I think it will even be diferent next year.

Other than that - what everyone else said.


#9

I would seriously consider stopping the NFP for awhile. It's no good to have your family at its "ideal size" for you if it hurts your marriage. Just my two cents -- I don't know the specifics of your situation.


#10

Abstain for a while, its great for the marriage. Date her. She’s worn out as many women are with the situation. Raising children is exhausting. She may not feel like it, but if she’s participating you just need to woo her as said. Love her and don’t make it all about you. My feelings get hurt too but it doesn’t stop me. I just make sure she gets out of it what keeps her coming back. When she’s her happiest she gets in the mood. Not much else to say about this subject except “join the club”. Maybe we ought to collect dues.:cool:


#11

I am a woman and have never been married so unfortunately, I can not give any 'advice from experience'. However, I just wanted to respond to say it sounds like you are a good husband because you are trying to be good and understanding. I think you deserve a pat on the back for your efforts

CM


#12

This sort of thing doesn't just happen to your wife. Many women lose their desire as they grow older. I know after 18 years of marriage, it is only times of fertility and pregnancy that I'm in the mood. Otherwise, I'd like to use the bed for sleeping :) I work hard with the large family we have and my DH and I have found other ways to enjoy spending time with each other. We currently joke that he better take advantage of my pregnancy because it will soon be a long dry spell for him :) I think he's happy that I'm still open to more children.

Your wife sounds loving enough if she is "submitting" once a month. She is doing this for YOU!! She understands your needs and is putting her "lack of desire" aside for you. "Lack of desire" is in quotations, because frankly, as I've gotten older, the whole act has just become messy and gross. I love my husband dearly, I've just outgrown the desire to see him naked :p I'm sure part of the issue is my hormonal levels as I get closer to menopause, perhaps your wife is reaching this milestone as well. As the previous poster has suggested, you may want to rethink avoiding conception. Is the possibility of one more child that bad? Would be open to another be worth the spark it may give your relationship? My DH knows that to have me in the mood, also means to be willing to having another babe. We are on baby #9 :)

There is a large reason why so many women hate the viagra commercials....one is because it brings their husbands back to an age they had thought was finally over. :blush:


#13

I would skip the sex for a long while and focus on just loving your wife where she needs love the most. Figure out what it is and give her an abundance of it!;)


#14

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