It is times like this that I am grateful for Tom Leykis and certain "manosphere" folks, and for the fornication of my wayward youth. I know I'm supposed to say I regret my fornication, but thanks to those experiences, and to Leykis and others, I know that my wife's sexual rejection is about her, not about me. Oh, sure, I don't have it as bad as some husbands. I still get some (mostly mercy, mostly vanilla) sex every two or three weeks. That's not enough for me.
I really, really, really wanted a lover who was enthusiastic, curious, adventurous, and generous, because those are the things I bring to lovemaking. I wanted someone who'd indulge with passion, playfulness, and think of marital lovemaking as bonding, a blessing from the Lord, and a shared hobby.
How does one know that's what they're getting if they avoid sexual interaction with each other before they marry? That’s a question I’ve asked before.
When someone calls Dr. Laura and says their spouse lacks interest, she asks how it was before they married.
Before we married, my wife explained that she was a virgin and was determined to be one until she married. I was fine with that. I thought that was ideal. She was passionate with her kisses. We did more than we should have, if going by what’s been esteemed as moral tradition, and she really seemed to struggle holding back. In fact, as I think I've written before, she did something multiple times she hasn't done even once since we married.
The indications were that she was revved up and ready to enjoy married life in this way. But there were a series of challenges life threw at her/us (you know… life) after I signed on the dotted line, and then we had two kids, and she had everything she wanted: She had the title of "wife" and "mother" and the minivan and the house. She had someone paying all of her bills, including for her overused health insurance and medical bills.
I don't know if there is any solution. It seems clear to me that my wife doesn't like sex all that much, and I don't want a faker or a hostage or to feel like I'm imposing on her. Sex is supposed to be mutually enjoyable, and it is very satisfying to me to bring pleasure to my partner. There have been a couple of times she made arrangements to have the kids elsewhere or surprised me after they were asleep and she dressed up and did a bit of a role play. That was great. But if she did that now, I'd be thinking, "This isn't what she wants. She’s doing this out a sense of obligation. She just wants this to be over as fast as possible."
That's because after I had been put off for weeks and given the "tomorrow" line that 9 out of 10 times is an empty promise, after jumping through hoops ever so obediently for a few days in anticipation, the moment was arriving, so she picked a fight and then rejected me. I walked out of the room for a moment, then went back to speak (some of) my mind. I have held back a lot, and I still held back a lot, just not as much this time.
She had rebuffed my attempts over the past couple of days of nonsexual romance, like taking her out for a nice lunch or dinner, or watching a movie. She had accepted me giving her a rubdown, and she specifically expressed thanks for the nonsexual touch. You know, because sex is bad. Especially when you’re not getting it nearly enough. I have no problem providing nonsexual touch (I enjoy it, even), but here we were once again with me catering to her needs and her not giving a damn about mine. She’d get more nonsexual touch if we had more sexual touch. And don’t tell me I should try it the other way. I have. Increasing the amount of nonsexual touch does not lead to more sexual touch with her.
Anyway, after she ultimately rejected me again and I spoke up, I did so loudly. Not in an uncontrollably angry way, but in an exasperated, hurt way. I demanded to know why she married me instead of marrying a gay guy who wanted a beard. There were women who actually wanted me, and she seemed to want me, and then she married me and doesn't give a damn what I want or need. So that she couldn't divert to make it the focus, I acknowledged that yes, I was yelling, and most normal men would be yelling under the circumstances. She basically sat motionless and stared at the television.
I told her over and over again that I was hurt.
I told her I loved her, but I was hurt.
I told her that I felt like I was damned if I do damned if I don’t, and I just didn’t get it because lovemaking is supposed to be a mutually enjoyable experience, but she seems to go out of her way to reject me.
I told her she’s said things to me that marriage experts say are deal breakers from which there is no recovery, and I’ve just had to let them roll off my back and pretend like she never said them. (I didn't say this to her, but discovering she's mentally ill helped.)
I also implored with her to tell me whatever she's hiding about her childhood. She claimed not to know what I was talking about, so I pointed out that she equates trying to wake her up - whether in the morning or in the middle of the night, with affection - with rape, and she made a point of criticizing me for actually walking around to her edge of the bed to try to start something, as if it was some unusual, creepy thing. Several things like that indicate to me that there’s likely something that happened to her she hasn’t told me. She didn’t take the opportunity to open up, so I’m just left to believe she’s just that averse all on her own.
I was in a desperate position. Whether we stay together or not, I will be required by law to support her for life. She doesn’t have to do a damn thing; she doesn’t have to lift finger. She’s set, and I think she knows that, even though she hasn’t stated it.
Another thing I told her during my mournful utterances was that I couldn’t, in good conscience, recommend marriage to my son – not with how I was experiencing marriage. I figured that would get to her, because her plans for our kids are the same plans she’s had for herself and she thinks everyone should live by: four years of college, marry as a virgin, and have kids.
She offered a couple of weak denials to my conclusions about her feelings towards (sex with) me, but mostly just stared, unflinching, at the television. Then she decided she was going to go to bed, probably so that I wouldn’t masturbate, me losing more and more precious sleep time as it was already. I don’t think we’ve ever discussed the fact that I masturbate most nights she rejects me, with me going to bed long before she does, but she’s naïve and unobservant if she thinks I don’t. Not once has she ever later wanted sex, so the masturbation has never robbed her of any affection.
Instead of letting her sleep though, after I thought about it for a while, I pretty much begged her. And she relented. She played the rag doll. She wouldn’t even participate in kissing. It was all passive, closed mouth, not touching me, just letting me have my way with her. Interrupting me before I could bring her to orgasm was the only action on her part.
Physically, I felt relieved after, but emotionally I felt awful. Some guys might get a kick out of a woman doing this out of obligation, but I don’t. It’s a huge turnoff for me, as is a rag doll impersonation. Back in the day, a husband wouldn’t beg; he'd simply take his wife and she'd either like or not, but there would be nothing she could do about it. Or he'd go to his mistress or an honest whore. Those aren’t options for me.
The next day, I dreaded what her tone would be. Would she accuse me of basically being a rapist? Actually, when I returned home from working, she did the usual asking me to do this and that for her, including bringing her food and drinks (I get to play the butler a lot). We even had a chuckle. But a day later, she expressed indifference to my existence and again stated we can live separate lives while raising the kids together in the same home. She referenced that I “threatened” her (by saying I'd change the insurance/investments) and basically told me to tell her when I needed a doll.
Anyway, it's very sad, but I realized that I miss my kids. I don't like being away from them. But I wouldn't (and haven't) missed my wife when she's been away, with or without the kids. I'm better with the kids when she's not around. I'm under less stress when she's not around. It's very sad. We don’t have enough sex for me to miss her when she’s gone, the sex isn’t good enough when it does happen. There’s no flirting from her, no sweetness, no greeting me when I get home, no caretaking of any sort; just orders, complaints, and put-downs. She hardly ever cooks, does only some of the shopping, some the laundry, and doesn’t generally clean. She's got her hobbies and her tablet games and her television shows while I work for the family.
I'm seeing a therapist. We're also seeing a family therapist. And yet we're in this condition, in which she says we need help. What other help is there? This is the life we set up by marrying and having children, she not being honest with me (and perhaps herself) about her physical prognosis and her history of mental illness, and me not being investigating beforehand. There are people who tell me to speak up for myself and to talk things over, but talking doesn't help when you're dealing with an irrational, mentally ill person with the emotional maturity of a pre-teen, who can turn hostile at any time and selectively plays the "I'm disabled" card. When she asks me certain questions or states certain things about me that aren't true, it often makes things worse to answer.