I’m still new to all this (3 weeks in or so), but I wanted to get some specific advice for one area I’ve been struggling with:
I’m 47, me and the wife have 3 kids, twins aged 5, and 2 year old. We have a good family life (I do 50%+ of the kids/home duties). We also generally get along well, and have fun together on dates (once a week or so). The problem is, obviously, sex.
Our youngest was a surprise, after she found out she got very depressed and went on anti-anxiety/depression meds. Ever since then our sex life has been non-existent (about 7 times in 3 years).
One of the biggest issues is her anxiety (despite the meds), and how I deal with that. Over the past few years, any time I initiate sex her anxiety sets in. The problem is that it comes out very mean and nasty, directed at me. Things like “how dare you expect to have sex after the crazy day we had”, or “do you expect me to just turn it on just like that?”. There’s even been a few times she’s initiated it, but then put a stop to it before things got started for some crazy reason (e.g. she once got mad that I jumped out of bed and approached her too quickly when she initiated it, while she was standing naked in the doorway). The lash-out is different every time, but it always results in no sex.
We’ve recently gone to a sex therapist, who gave us these exercises. Basically we take turns touching each other. There’s different phases, the first phase in basically just a massaged, 2nd phase is some genital touching, 3rd phase is some type of penetration.
We’re having the same issue for the exercises (we've only done a few phase 1 things). Whenever I try to initiate doing one, she gets anxiety and lashes out (I’m being to clinical about it, or whatever), and then we don't proceed. She always apologizes about it the next day (“It was just the anxiety talking”).
Lately, she has been identifying her anxiety during an episode, and wanted me to help her through the anxiety. I’m really struggling with how to do that, especially when I’m getting attacked in the middle of it.
My question is: Should I treat this all like a shit test? Or is there a compassionate angle, given that her anxiety is not her true self, and I need to figure out how to get her out of that in those moments? She clearly has no interest in sex (partly because of the meds, partly because I’m an out of shape beta POS), and she’s feeling guilty about that.
As someone that tended towards Beta when we met, and get deeper in Beta as kids came along, I know I need to own and fix my shit, which I’ve started doing (lifting, reading sidebar and prereq books, etc). But the specific area of how to handle her anxiety has me puzzled.