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Dead Bedroom Marriage

October 4, 2018

The problem:

We're a young married couple - I'm a 29 yo female and he's 33 yo male - with two small toddlers, and our sex life is really giving me some pain. Ever since I got pregnant with our first son, summer of 2015, sex changed. The kisses stopped almost altogether, and sex became blow jobs or hand jobs - basically our sex life revolved around releasing his physical need with very little contact with my body. We've had a few bursts of heated, passionate, or intimate sex in the years since, but at best it's been 3-4 times per month. We usually go 1.5-2 months without sex in between "bursts." There is no kissing, and my body is not touched very much at all during/before/after sex. I do not know if he has sex with me because he loves me or because he's waited so long that he's just backed up and needs to get it over with. I'm not an unattractive woman - I'm objectively still very pretty, but this is really messing with my self-esteem and I long for a stronger connection with him.

How have I contributed/attempted to mitigate the problem:

So much plays into this... After looking back in the past, I think the problem started because I got very needy and clingy while pregnant, and our relationship was not strong enough/built with enough trust, and I freaked the heck out and went full-on insecure pregnant girl on him. I had seriously underestimated my need for security before getting pregnant, and after I was pregnant I was absolutely terrified that he wasn't doing X,Y, and Z like I had expected him to. There was lots of crying, lots of yelling, lots of me pursuing him and him pulling away. It was a nightmarish time and I'm glad it's over. I was an utter harpy in my insecurities, and he had no idea how to deal with a pregnant woman (I think he tried to use dread to make me behave more nicely, which did not make me feel more attracted to him) and became quite cold and distant. He and I have come a long way since then and I'm proud of us for the growth we've had.

Initially I thought the issue was because my pregnant self just wasn't sexy (he LOVED my body before I got pregnant and would run into the bedroom if I was changing just to watch me get undressed), and so after my first son was born I became obsessed with getting back in shape and looking good. That didn't seem to make him more attracted to me at all - he actually seemed annoyed with my obsession. Then I figured that I must be doing something wrong, and that I wasn't interesting enough anymore, or since I'd had a baby I had lost my identity and needed to regain my "pre-baby" hobbies and interests. Still, nothing. I got depressed and stopped trying to get any reaction from him and just left the house (whenever possible which wasn't often, because I was the primary care-taker of an infant) to try to do things I enjoyed without the temptation of trying to spark his attraction (like going for walks, roller blading, browsing bookstores, outdoor photography), and he just seemed irritated that I was suddenly doing "new" things. I didn't want to start a fight so I cut back on all that and tried sprucing up my clothes. Maybe I had fallen into the trap of "mom pants" and just stopped putting effort into myself and appearance. Nope. Nothing. Then I realized maybe he just saw me as a giant, ugly, screeching, disrespectful witch and pulled away in response to me. I think this is more accurate, and while it's really painful to think that my pain and my need for him was displayed and interpreted in a which which alienated the very person I wanted the most, it was a relief to think that I had caused the problem by a totally changeable behavior. So here we are now; day-to-day relations are very good, pleasant, and enjoyable. He watches Netflix with me with I say I'd like to spend time together, and he does little things to make me laugh and asks me at night if I'm happy and gives me little kisses on the forehead - but I still have the undeniable, deep yearning for something more substantial. Especially when I'm hormonal/ovulating. I tell him I want sex and he flat out says something like, "I'm just not feeling you right now." Doesn't seem happy at all, just kind of annoyed.

Current relationship status and length of time:

Married for 4 years.

You know, I don't even think it's about sex. Not really. I feel so emotional sometimes (it really is embarrassing to write this - I' m a grown woman with two kids and should not have these needs), and it really makes me feel like I'm being blown around every which way, and I wish I could borrow his masculinity and find some security. Does that make sense? I'm not sure if I'm subconsciously trying to manipulate him via sex into giving me what I want, or if I'm trying to "hack" my needs and take a shortcut, but if I pay attention to myself, I don't think my neediness is about the physical act of sex. I think it's about the male/female dynamic of him and me.

I think the solution is for me to just commit to not pursuing him sexually. I just need to stop. And then, if/when he comes to me with sexual needs, I can comply as far as possible, as long as I do not go along with anything that leaves me feeling alone, or unconnected, and to be firm with my own boundaries. My goal isn't to punish him or anything, but its to take care of my own heart, which I feel is in sore need of some care.

Long-time married women out there - have you gone through this? Is there hope? I think I can put up with anything/endure anything if there is a silver lining to look forward to.

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Post Information
Title Dead Bedroom Marriage
Author mrssmithhh
Upvotes 30
Comments 55
Date October 4, 2018 4:53 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWomen
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[–]skeleflor29 points30 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Have you tried actually speaking to him about the drought in your marriage? I think the "Madonna/whore" complex can be very real for some men. It might be a tricky transition to go from viewing your wife's body as that of your lover to viewing it as a life-giving vessel. I've heard men talk about the difficulty of reconciling both aspects of the woman they love. For those men it is a challenge to enjoy their wives bodies for their own pleasure, while still honoring those bodies as the bearers and comforters of their children. The challenge tends to be greater for men who view sex -- or certain sexual acts -- as dirty or somehow degrading of the woman. I have no idea whether that pathology might be coming into play in your marriage, but I think the best hope of a timely and healthy resolution would be an open and honest discussion, maybe even couples therapy if there is indeed a psychological roadblock.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yikes. I have tried speaking to him about it and it really just seems to make things more distant and awkward. Definitely doesn't produce the intimacy like I had hoped lol. So no... I really just can't speak upfront about this.

[–][deleted] 17 points18 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Have you tried giving him the girlfriend experience? He probably sees you in mommy mode so much that it’s easy to forget that fun girlfriend he used to have.

[–]DelicateDevelopment8 points9 points  (9 children) | Copy Link

He is actually submitting to your emotional need in the same way as you submit to his sexual need:

"So here we are now; day-to-day relations are very good, pleasant, and enjoyable. He watches Netflix with me with I say I'd like to spend time together, and he does little things to make me laugh and asks me at night if I'm happy and gives me little kisses on the forehead"

So he is playing along in order to do his best to contribute to a more harmonious home, but he cannot fake desire. You both play along according to what you perceive to be the others need and neither of you gets what you want and need.

However, both of you are still interested enough in order to try to give the other what he seems to need. So yes, I would say there clearly is hope and the solution will be easier and probably much faster than you expect it to be.

Read the secrets of fascinating womanhood :)

Then understand that both of you mirror each other in a way that agrees with two orthogonal needs, which both of you have.

You want more intimacy, he gives you intimacy, emotionally, but not sexually.

He wants his sexual needs fulfilled, which he gets but also without intimacy.

Both of you have entered a stage where you only serve each other, probably hoping to receive something back if you just do what the other wants. And if you don't receive what you need then at least you maintain a situation that is seemingly peaceful.

You cannot resolve this by logic or rational conversations.

Acknowledge how hard he tries to make you feel comfortable and try to understand that inside he just feels as unhappy and empty as you. You know that you get the point when you start to understand what he has been going through. You know that you have reached that point when you feel not only sorry for yourself, but rather sorry for what he is going through as well. Instead of concentrating on how much you suffer from missing him you should try to concentrate on what he is suffering from by needing to force himself to play along rules that make you happy in order for you to feel safe and comforted.

I can only repeat that here now. He cannot force himself to feel desire for intimacy. He cannot feel intimacy as long as he feels that he has to force himself to do something on a daily basis in order to create harmony or prevent escalation.

He needs you to show him now, that you are able to maintain the peace in your family even if he doesn't comply. He needs you to make him feel safe.

My advice were that you should stop to ask him for anything. Don't show him anything else than thankfulness and appreciation. Recognize that he is in a similarly dark place as you are in and that he is staying in it for you because he loves you and because he is fighting for you in the best way he can. What he cannot do is to force himself to feel desire. So basically this is the price you pay for the kisses and netflix. You made him obey to your needs, but it leads to resistance in him to even want to feel close to you, because he is doing so much against his own will, just to stabilize your daily interactions. So as long as he feels forced to do anything in order to maintain stability he will feel resistance towards sexual intimacy. He is in exactly the same place as you are in, just with a different focus in your needs, his need more oriented to sex, your need more oriented to comfort (netflix). Give him comfort. That is why it is important to stop asking for anything. Let him feel that he is appreciated in exactly his own unique way by which he contributes to your small family.

Let him understand that you don't insist on anything anymore. Back off. Your only way is to relieve him from the stress he has because he feels that he has to stabilize you and your emotions.

Read fascinating womanhood. Particularly be prepared for the "pandoras box" reaction as mentioned in Secret 2.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

So I bought and read Fascinating Womanhood. So much to think about. And your comments have been SO helpful. Thank you thank you thank you.

I pretty much have done everything wrong according to the book, and after reading it and looking at our situation, I believe it, and I really feel very humbled and vulnerable to admit it. And I was thinking about taking the book's advice and telling him how much I admired him, how I am glad he is the person he is and that he stood up to me and didn't let me push him around, and that I would try to be a better wife, and the craziest thing happened...

I started thinking about my dad. I was not thinking about my husband, but my father. I felt this rush of anger and sadness and total helplessness. My parents divorced while my mom was still pregnant with me, and I grew up seeing my dad once a month and then on holidays. Recently, though, he told me that he had had a chance to get back together with my mom and reconcile things, that she asked him to be with her again, and I will never forget this - he told me he laughed at her and told her she was crazy, and then he told me that those years (the ones where he only saw me and my brother one weekend a month, so for me that was birth until now) were the best of his life, and he regretted nothing. And that, in fact, he was happier with the way things were.

Ouch. It really cut me. I don't even think he realized that when he rejected my mom he was essentially rejecting me, and that by telling me this he was pointing out just how unnecessary to his happiness I was to him. All those times when I needed my dad! When I used to beg him to marry her again! And he had the opportunity but declined! Part of me understands - my mom is NOT a feminine woman and she was the one who instigate the divorce, so part of me doesn't blame him for not wanting to walk back into a bad situation. But then the other part of me just wishes I'd had my dad around, and that he'd put my mom in her place and come back home and claimed his rightful place as king of our family, because no one else was ever or ever could replace him. I guess I wanted him to fight for my mom, because if he was fighting for her, then he was also fighting for me. And I just feel completely hollowed out by the pain of it.

So, really, thanks for the guidelines to the book. It's obvious that I have a lot of things to be honest with myself about, and to discover and learn, and I wanted to share this because, while painful, it felt like a breakthrough and gave me hope.

[–]DelicateDevelopment0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thank you very much :) I have a similar experience with my dad. My parents finally separated when I was 4 years old and I didn't see him very often in the years that came. I was always struggling in my relationship with him, I could never understand him and we had lot's of arguments. However I never gave up trying to "fight" for our relationship, yet it was really difficult and there were years where I could barely talk to him.

Since I am reading here I also started to change tiny things in my interaction with him. I started to listen more and tried to let him know how much I respect him for who he was and well some weeks ago he made me the biggest gift by telling me something that I will always remember as who he "really" is. Life is difficult and we all have our challenges. Now each time when I call him, his voice is full of joy and then mine as well. Finally my fear is gone, finally we encounter each other with love.

Don't take a stupid sentence your dad said a while ago literal. I also always hoped my parents would get back together, in my case it was my mom that "ran away" and I think I agree that it was probably the best she could do. Knowing both of them very well, I don't think they could have managed to develop into something nice together. She would never submit and he has a difficult time showing emotions. Well, I also always felt replaceable and irrelevant. Somehow he seems to have felt irrelevant and rejected/disrespected as well. So we were creating our nightmares for each other, while both of us never gave up irrespective of how difficult we were for each other and I know how hard it was for him <3

It was really healing to me and my whole perspective on men. So I don't know exactly what made you remember your dad in that particular moment, but I think I can understand the feeling very well and believe that this is one aspect of all of it. We are lucky if we still have the possibility to and also can still console with our fathers and the humans they are.

I don't know exactly what it is but apart from the few moments that I still have I generally feel happy and loved and so peaceful and light. It seems as if you are heading into a similar direction :) and I am so happy for you. Let me know when you want to continue exchanging thoughts <3

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

You know... I don't know how you have reconciled with your parents. I read Fascinating Womanhood (several times, actually, at this point) and it says to be fully serene we have to forgive everyone who has wronged us. I don't disagree with that in theory, but in practice... I am so angry at my family. Deeply, deeply angry, and I don't want to forgive them. I don't want to speak to them and I have no respect for my mother or my father. They both broke their solemn vows to God and to each other (and to their future children), and they were selfish, and short-sighted, and controlling and emotionally unavailable and lied and cared more about their public image than they did about me or my siblings. I wonder if they have any idea how much pain they inflicted on all of us, and I wonder if they have remorse, or if feeling remorse would be too much for them. I don't feel light and peaceful there. I feel full of fury. My mother was dishonest and my father was absent, and they then punished me my whole childhood for the slightest things and ignored my best feelings and traits and just wanted me to smile and look pretty.

I think the goal would be to someday forgive them, but I'm just not there yet. Honestly I don't know how I will get there.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I think this is golden advice. I have had this small voice inside of me saying that I needed to back off and just quit all requests or bids for attention - not our of spite or because I want to be closed off - so that he can come to me in his own time. I have wondered if he did not feel pushed into the family role sooner than he was ready for. He definitely tried to knock me up, but I have really speculated that it was all just as overwhelming for him as it was for me, and his dead desire could be a symptom of that as well

I will red the book asap. Thank you!

[–]DelicateDevelopment0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Can you go to the choir again once a week? It will help you with stabilizing yourself and concentrating on something that is not evolving around him.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

However, both of you are still interested enough in order to try to give the other what he seems to need. So yes, I would say there clearly is hope and the solution will be easier and probably much faster than you expect it to be.

Do you really believe this? I am pretty grateful to hear this. I don't speak about our issues to any family or friends because they have historically taken a me -vs him approach and end up disliking him, so it's really reassuring to be able to vent about our problems and hear some hope.

[–]DelicateDevelopment1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yes, that is what I believe. Take it with the grain of salt that I don't know the two of you and only know what I have read here.

Listen to your intuition and calm down, while at the same time let him develop trust in you. Also listen to your intuition and don't have sex when you feel like it is "just" a service. As long as he doesn't want more intimacy only have sex with him, when you feel that you are in the spirit of "giving" something to him, not when you do it with the hope of your emotional batteries to be recharged. Let him listen to his intuition as well.

Both of you seem to want - otherwise he would not try to comfort you and try to lighten up your days with jokes and alike and you still want to be intimate with him. To me it looks as if it is just the dynamics that got somehow inverted.

I would say that he just cannot force himself to do "everything" for your pleasure. Therefore my advice to release pressure. Make him feel welcome, show how much you appreciate his effort, but don't demand them. He seems to need more space.

Men are the gatekeepers to commitment and women the gatekeepers to sex. Both of your doors are wide open, it seems as if it is just the dynamics that got somehow messed up, maybe due to you turning unstable during and after pregnancy. He needs to realize that he doesn't have to satisfy your needs anymore. Just try to imagine how you would feel if you felt forced to do something and what you would need in order to feel that you want to give something again. Then you know what to do :)

From what you describe it seems as if all that is needed (Love, respect, trust) is there.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Which book should I get? The original or the updated edition?

[–]DelicateDevelopment1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think you can find an pdf online. I was probably reading the original version.

[–]Spazzy199 points10 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Have you actually had a real heart to heart about your needs and desires? You write about doing all sorts of things based off of assumptions...

In my own case, I later found out my dead-ish bedroom was caused by my ex husband’s addiction to pornography. I didn’t have kids And he thought I was physically good looking etc. Once we got married the sex dropped because the “game was over” and I was no longer a novelty. The sex we did have was about his needs and on his time line or done out of guilt on his part which affected his performance, etc. I had zero clue he was looking at it or collecting it the way he was, nor did I understand how deeply it affected my marriage and self esteem.

There could be a variety of reasons this is happening, but you need to actually discuss it and convey your feelings on the matter.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think it's possible that a small part of the problem is that there's no more chase. He really loves the chase, and I have never told him no or denied him sex or a sexual service, so I think he's not getting the high of chasing and winning sex any more.

He also used to be a heavy porn user. I tried even watching it with him at times, but it really just felt like he was mentally having sex with the girls in the video and I was just the body he was masturbating with, so I told him I I felt bad and really didn't like it. We haven't talked about it, but as far as I can tell he has quit watching it, and does not bring it up anymore.

[–]bettertogether143 1 points [recovered]  (7 children) | Copy Link

I am so sorry. I went through something extremely similar. I found it very painful and lonely. After six years and trying many things, at a point when I'd given up since I couldn't figure out any answers and considered my husband a good friend and co-parent, it all came to a head in the most unlikely and unconventional way. A way that would likely be sorely judged around here. And I'm NOT recommending this, but he and I both agree that it was the catalyst that improved our marriage faster than I ever would have thought possible.

Out of the literal blue I was contacted by what people around here would probably refer to as a Chad (knew him from before my husband, never had any kind of relationship with him then). I immediately told my husband, but it was too late in the impact it had on me. I fell down a crazy, MORTIFYING, horny rabbit hole. Like crazzzzzy. And since it had literally been YEARS since my husband wanted me at ALL and I knew he knew in his heart that the way we were living was ...inhumane (?) I actually thought he might be fine with me sleeping with another man. He considered it and ultimately decided an emphatic "no." But it pretty instantly inspired him to want to do me again. Like, 1-3 times a day, every day.

It's been nearly year of this with no end in sight. And what's more is the whole situation was such a trip that it inspired some profound spiritual growth.

I'm pretty sure when the genders are flipped the trp guys call this dread and it generally backfires and does not work with men, at all. However, our situation was dire and it wasn't any sort of strategy, it was the literal fact that things were so outrageously bad, for so long, that we needed a Hail Mary of sorts. I think in psychology it's hysterical bonding, or maybe that's different. I suppose the name doesn't matter. Also since looking more into male/female dynamics and coming across Alison Armstrong, I wonder if my husband didn't initially tackle the issue because he went through what she calls the cost benefit analysis and confronting the issues in our sex life wasn't worth the cost, when our marriage wasn't on the line. (Like, he subconsciously felt that there was no way he could lose me, so there was no motivation to be that uncomfortable).

In our case I do think it's the Madonna/whore thing combined with a porn-issue. I don't know, I've spent a lot of time trying to wrap my mind around it. And sorry if this doesn't really help, since I'm definitely not recommending you emulate my scenario! But maybe there is something helpful there? If nothing else I will tell you that we were soooo non sexual that this is a total 180 and we are like a completely different couple in terms of sex, so there is hope. Probably, there are other way!

[–]Ihatemost2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

That's a really interesting turn of events, thanks for telling us the story.

[–]redwatch951 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for your honesty!

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Oh my gosh. We had a situation not too dissimilar to yours in some ways!

I had given birth to our second son two months prior, and he had gone out to a neighborhood bar alone to drink and people watch. When he came back, like around 2 a m, he got into bed and told me how much he missed having sex with random girls. That hurt me so badly. I really just can't describe how deep that cut, and I snapped. I told him that if he needed random sex so badly then maybe he should just have it. Maybe he should do sleep with whoever he wanted and get it over with. Plus, I told him that I knew how much he cared about physical attractiveness and I would one day be old and not physically sexy anymore, and how would he function sexually with an aging wife who he couldn't feel attraction for? He looked at me really strangly for a while and then said he'd rather have threesomes, and share the experience with me, like a bonding experience. He also said he really felt appreciative, like deeply appreciate, that I would even consider something like that.

So, a few things happened. I actually did entertain the notion for a while, because he was SO happy and attentive and seemed so grateful! It was really nice to receive that sort of attitude and attention from him, which had literally been missing since I got pregnant with our first son. But then I also went more than a little insane with insecurity and depression. I got over feeling happy about the attention pretty quickly and then just felt a million miles away from him and was emotionally as distant from him and I think could be possible. In the end I told him that I had been insane for even bringing it up and I would not ever be ok with any type of open relationship. I was disappointed that he just sort of went along with it. I did not realize it was a test at the time, but I was very disappointed that he was so passive about protecting our family (having sex with a stranger is definitely a threat to the family), that he had no values or morals which would prevent him from betraying our family or using random girls for his carnal pleasure (he's well aware that casual sex is harmful for women). I think I was desperately wanting him to take ownership of our relationship and our future and tell me that he wanted to share his soul, and that he had a plan that would make us unbreakable and filled with love and passion and a mission for us.

But I realized that doing something like that would destroy me and drive me mad, and that I have to be able to live with myself.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Also - can you elaborate on the Madonna/whore thing and porn issue? I think the plays a part in my story, too, and I'm trying to unravel it.

[–]bettertogether143 1 points [recovered]  (2 children) | Copy Link

Hi, yes that scenario sounds emotionally painful and indeed I've been in similar situations. One thing I can offer you, whether it helps or not, is to know that you are most certainly connected at the soul-level and none of these conversations and fights can change that. Might sound a little hokey but I believe it is reality. One of the traits that is said that women crave in men is for them to tap into their conscioussness (seems to be true for you where you wanted his depth). This is a tricky and complicated topic but perhaps worth googling and looking into a bit. Its a sensitive subject and I haven't yet figured out how to really discuss this with my own husband, but it does seem to be truth. One other thing you mentioned was that this conversation had taken place when he'd gotten home from a bar. Alcohol is said to reduce conscioussness and put a man in a much shallower (no judgement) level of thought. So he had a lot working against him. You both did. :) Again, not sure if this idea will resonante with you but if it helps at all his depth and essence are indeed there even when you can't see them. Sorry if this sounds vague, but it's hard to explain and also hard for myself to fully understand but I'm trying! :)

And yes, he took the bait of an open relationship. So we know he is a human man. ;) I know it's painful but as you may have learned from reading here, this has nothing to do with you, just his biological desire. It's a regular challenge for most men to fight this state for a woman he loves, which he's mostly done for you. And his biology is not his fault, he was born into it. If you feel angry at him for this, it understandable but it won't take you anywhere good. In fact, he most likely battles with this, himself and doubts his goodness in his true being because he can see the impact his desires have on you. The human condition, I guess! Doesn't mean you have to actually allow him to do it, obviously. But whatever voice is telling you that this means he doesn't love you as deeply as possible, quiet it. It's a dishonest voice.

In my other comment I talked about nurturing your feminine in the essence in absence of his masculine, but I also wonder if some deep mindfulness meditation would help you connect with the deeper pars of your self and bring peace....?

The Madonna whore thing is talked about a lot here, where man basically can't get turned on for the Madonna, which in his eyes I became when I got pregnant. I think excessive porn exacerbates this for a variety of reasons. Maybe seeing someone else sexualize me helped it diminish?? No idea, really!

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Your comments seems to hit the nail right on the head as far as wanting him to tap into my consciousness, intimacy, male biology and whether or not his desire for random sex deminishes his love for me.

All of this has really been a battle of me revisiting beliefs held since childhood and figuring out what it really means to me to be vulnerable and intimate and to love. And I respond in fear when I sense his attraction to other women because a) I can’t imagine wanting to experience another man at all and it’s really difficult to comprehend how he could want to experience another woman so intimately, and b) we don’t have time to waste pursuing other people. I’m a little macabre sometimes - watching myself and my kids change so rapidly these pasts three years has really made me quite aware of our mortality, and I don’t want to waste the precious time I have throwing my heart and emotions at people who are at best just distractions from the real joys of my life. And all porn and interests - even passing or superficial ones - just seem like it takes away from what we have. How can we be building so great and eternal and deep when energy, emotion, and physical intimacy are being doled out to those outside the bond? Even the thought makes me feel threatened and despairing. I know he loves me and cares for me and protects me. That’s not the issue. It’s almost like a spiritual desire (I’m not Christian but Christian terminology seems to best describe my thoughts and feelings), and I want to him to take my soul and care for it like it’s his most precious gift. Plus, I have this idea that true sexual intimacy is when a man and woman use sex to bond and say things that are too difficult to put into words. Banging and raw animal sexuality get very boring for me very quickly.

Do you think you and your husband are closer now? Has your relationship improved apart from the physical?

I really appreciate your comments! They’ve been so helpful!

[–]merel--13 points14 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

You're the mother of his children now... I would say be a bit more slutty for him. Send him naughty texts when he is at work and whisper in his ear what you want to do to him after you put the children to bed. You can't expect a man to just be ready for sex whenever, warm him up a bit!

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Teasing is fantastic

[–]Flockofpuppies11 points12 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

This is the opposite of what she needs to be doing right now. Her neediness and insecurities and self-doubt are at toxic levels, chasing him and begging for attention is just going to make it worse.

There is a difference between need and neediness. Need is healthy, needing your spouse makes him feel valuable. Neediness is unhealthy, over reliance on others to fulfill you is maladaptive behavior. She's doing everything out of neediness right now.

[–]merel--1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I thought this was a thing that happened during the pregnancy, just read a comment that she still tends to be a nagging wife.

But I still believe this would help. Sending a text like, "I can't wait to have you inside me" is always a good idea imo. I love sending naughty texts to my bf.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think I am doing everything out of neediness. I'm having really difficult time figuring out how to rise above that. I used to feel proud and content with myself when I was a single woman, and I think the desperation and fear of abandonment during my first pregnancy became so intense that it has been really hard to completely clear myself of it, because hardly anything I do anymore is for my own self or fulfillment. My sons are finally sleeping through the night, so I do feel more at peace since I'm sleeping more and regularly, but I miss the small things I used to do, like singing in my choir.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I will try! Although... Is it just me? I really have a hard time feeling "right" when I'm too over about sex. The only reason I explicit tell him I want sex is because he told me to just be frank and let him know when I was in the mood, BUT I really feel way too aggressive and not very genuine when I'm being overt or too aggressively sexual. I like sex, don't get me wrong, but I've never felt like I'm the forward girl and it's quite a buzzkill for me.

[–]WhisperTRP Founder19 points20 points  (11 children) | Copy Link

Maybe I had fallen into the trap of "mom pants" and just stopped putting effort into myself and appearance. Nope. Nothing. Then I realized maybe he just saw me as a giant, ugly, screeching, disrespectful witch and pulled away in response to me. I think this is more accurate, and while it's really painful to think that my pain and my need for him was displayed and interpreted in a which which alienated the very person I wanted the most, it was a relief to think that I had caused the problem by a totally changeable behavior. So here we are now; day-to-day relations are very good, pleasant, and enjoyable. He watches Netflix with me with I say I'd like to spend time together, and he does little things to make me laugh and asks me at night if I'm happy and gives me little kisses on the forehead - but I still have the undeniable, deep yearning for something more substantial. Especially when I'm hormonal/ovulating. I tell him I want sex and he flat out says something like, "I'm just not feeling you right now." Doesn't seem happy at all, just kind of annoyed.

The problem is not simply alienation... it is demanding behaviour. Men hate demanding behaviour because it triggers the fear that their protective instinct towards women will be exploited.

It sounds like there a few factors in play here:

  • You became the very avatar of demanding during pregnancy
  • He is also unavoidably subjected to a lot more demanding behaviour by virtue of being the father of two young children.
  • I don't see anything in your summary that describes what you have done to make amends.
  • Or any statement that you ever acknowledged your behaviour and apologized.

The circumstances as they are now look like:

  • All his sexual contact with you is focused around you serving his needs (the precise opposite of a demand)
  • He is resistant to anything that could be perceived as a demand on your part.
  • He is avoiding penetrative sex with you, precisely the thing that got you pregnant in the first place.

  • You are focused on how to deal with adjusting or dealing with your needs in this situation, rather than reconnecting with him, and getting an understanding of what is going on within him.

  • Frankly, you give me the impression of someone who only cares about how he feels because of how it effects you.

I wouldn't be surprised if he is very angry at you, and has been suppressing it for a long time because he doesn't have any faith that you care enough to listen.

Men use sex as a barometer of love. If your bedroom is dead, your marriage is dead. You need to be responding to this in crisis mode, not wait-and-see.

[–]vodoun 1 points [recovered]  (8 children) | Copy Link

Men hate demanding behaviour because it triggers the fear that their protective instinct towards women will be exploited

why should this matter? as a woman I expect to fulfill my womanly duties to my man without letting my emotions and insecurities overrun me; why wouldn't I expect the same from my man?

if he's feeling insecure when I haven't given him any reason to, why is that up to me to fix? I wouldn't expect him to fix my insecurities

[–]durtykneesEndorsed Contributor8 points9 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

why wouldn't the onus be on the husband as well to fix this issue?

Masculine nature is confrontational, so when there's conflict, his instinct is to resist. This makes a man resilient against life's various challenges, but can also make him uncooperative or unwilling to compromise.

What a woman (one who embraces her femininity) does best is dissolving masculine resistance --- to resolve that conflict by yielding first (having the initiative to make amends first).

Yielding in a committed relationship literally costs you nothing .. well, unless you consider your "self-esteem"/pride to have higher worth than your relationship .. ? :p.. I mean, I personally have no use for "self-esteem", but I have plenty of self-respect to make the best of everything in my life.

This isn't to say that a man has no need to make amends as well, but a woman has the advantage of achieving the most desirable outcome by using her natural feminine charm to initiate the resolution to a conflict.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think this is true.

No, I really don't care about my pride in the face of this relationship. I would much rather feel close to him and be safe in his love than have some sort of weird pride in being "right."

[–]WhisperTRP Founder0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy Link

Duties? Men have no duties to you. They don't owe you shit.

You get what you motivate.

[–]MangoMangue6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I'm relatively new to TRP women but posts like this are such a turn off. Yes, men have duties to you, just as you do to them.

[–]WhisperTRP Founder4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Not really.

Association between the sexes is voluntary. The core notion here is that we get the behaviour we want from the opposite sex by motivating it, not demanding it.

Ultimately, you lack the power to force men to do anything. Your wisest course of action, then is to make them want you to be happy.

The best way to start is to abandon the idea that you are owed something.

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The best way to start is to abandon the idea that you are owed something.

This. Obligation kills boners and relationships both.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Truth. If duty plays in I think it is mostly around children.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think a lot of this is accurate.

As to responding in crisis mode - I feel as though I am in a crisis. Maybe I have been very selfish, and that is why there has been no change.

I have very little opportunity to talk about these things with him, and honestly think that talking about it only serves as a reminder to him of unpleasant things in the past. What do I do? How do I ask him to allow me to apologize? Or how do I tell him, out of the blue, that maybe I've been selfish and I don't know how to act or what to do, but I'd at least like to hear his side of things so that maybe I can get a better understanding?

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

The problem is not simply alienation... it is demanding behaviour. Men hate demanding behaviour because it triggers the fear that their protective instinct towards women will be exploited.

Another thought.... I think this is probably very relevant. We got pregnant before we were married. Sometimes I think he feels like I trapped him with my pregnancy, and I think that's how it played out, although I really did not mean to - at least, not consciously. I look back at my actions and feelings at the time, and I really thought he wanted me pregnant. He had told everyone he was going to marry me, and he was asking around for a ring, and told me that he wanted to knock me up and if I got pregnant he wouldn't be worried about anything... And yet, judging by the way things unfolded afterwards, I think (just guessing) he felt forced to give up a lifestyle he wasn't ready to give up yet, and forced to give up being player before he was ready. I really wish I could go back and change my actions in the past. I would not have allowed him to have sex with me (the early sex cost me a lot in terms of my own integrity) and I would have waited for a signed-and-delivered commitment from him (marriage) not because I actually care about the legal status, but because I would have known 100% that he choose this life.

[–]Geronus6 points7 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Sounds like you may have killed some of his attraction to you in the harpy phase. My guess is that you haven't managed to entirely put the harpy to bed, either. The man you describe genuinely cares about you and your happiness, but he also sounds like a man who's acting more out of a sense of duty than love. My guess is that his feelings about you right now would best be described as conflicted. I'm sure you can sense that ambivalence on some level, and that's what's putting your insecurities into overdrive. You can feel that he is emotionally distancing himself, and it's making you anxious.

Part of your problem, I would venture, is that everything you've done and are doing has been for him, not yourself. It's great that you got back into shape, and I'm surprised that your efforts apparently annoyed him - unless of course your attitude about it was "look at all these things I'm doing for you, honey, now love me!" This is called a covert contract - doing something and expecting someone else to react to it in a specific way. "If I just do this, then he will do that." Sounds great, until it doesn't work out the way you wanted it to and then you blame the poor guy for not doing something he didn't even know he was supposed to do.

Covert contracts are really bad for a relationship. So is neediness. It's good to need your partner, but it's bad to turn that need into an imposition. My guess is that you are continuing to take out your insecurities on him in various ways, and this is why he keeps reacting poorly to your efforts and keeps pulling back. You're treating them like covert contracts and then probably reacting poorly when he doesn't respond the way you wanted him to. This is a self-reinforcing feedback loop, the only way out of which is to strangle your insecurities and stop letting them dictate your behavior.

Does this sound like you?

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Definitely sounds like me. I've really been struggling to ID the harpy within me - so far, it seems like I retreat into criticism and nagging when I feel threatened or fearful. It's like a default defense mechanism.

I think the challenge for me is figuring out how to override my fearful emotions. I don't really see any reason for me to feel anxious anymore, but it's like my body remembers it, and the fear is there, like a tension in my body and I have to figure out how to unwind that tension.

[–]DelicateDevelopment2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You don't have to look for the reason. Women naturally have a higher state of anxiety at their core than men and it is natural that you react with even more anxiety when you feel that he is emotionally distancing himself. It is not that you emotions are wrong, it is the way you deal with them and seem to some extend expect that he is acting in ways that doesn't cause you unpleasant emotions. So the only thing you need to learn is how your actions impact him and how by that you create this self-reinforcing feedback loop that will lead to him more distancing himself and you feeling even more anxious, him distancing himself more and you feeling more anxious and so on.

It is still your emotions and therefore your task to learn to control them such that your partner has not to compensate for them. This compensation is what will make him distance himself even further. To see your insecurities and your fear is to him nothing else than proof that he is not able to make you happy. Nevertheless he tries and this is draining. It is draining to him in the same way as the whole situation is draining to you.

What helps me when I feel so panic- or sadness-ridden is to remember that I want the other to be happy as well and when I then change perspective by trying to imagine how my actions probably affect him then it is easy to find the strength and calm I need in order to control my actions.

[–]Flockofpuppies1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

This is the answer, the neediness and insecurity and clinginess are all still with you.

I would go to therapy by yourself. Challenge your old beliefs, find new coping strategies, heal your emotional wounds. Everything else is just going to be a bandaid solution.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I have wanted to go to therapy! I really think about it witch such a positive and longing attitude. I have not gone because of price and childcare - I have no one to watch my kids while I go. I did go to one session several months after my first son was born and he came with me, and it was not productive and I could not speak like I needed to while I had to watch him as well.

[–]pearlsandstilettosModerator | Pearl[M] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Please remember that men must have an active presence on TRP before posting advice on RPW.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You need to talk to him about this. You also need to stop agreeing to giving him a release unless he does something for you. You are allowing him to take you for granted without putting in any work. If you find yourself getting insecure or upset, ask yourself, will saying something to him even help? If not then simply don't say it. Keep some things out of your marriage.

[–]ManguZa1 Star1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Try to behave with him like you're a college girl with a secret crush on him. Be pleasant and arouse him.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Make sure you aren't getting too caught up in what YOU are feeling. A good lover should be primarily focused on what their partner is feeling - physically and emotionally. Just focusing on him by listening to him and caring for him more might be helpful.

Food for thought, hard to say if that's your case but I know it's important. And I can see how, even if you know this already, it might fall to the back of your mind when YOUR body is undergoing all these dramatic changes and you feel like YOU are doing something wrong.

On an unrelated note, I'm also a big advocate of playful teasing throughout the day.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I think you're really right. Thanks!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Can't tell you how happy that makes me. Glad I could help.

[–]cocodecoca0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

I was really confused about this because I was a psycho while pregnant too and I rarely make an effort with my appearance, too busy with the kids. My husband is ALWAYS horny. We had a great sex life when I was a hippo at 9 months pregnant. He knows I need more effort from him to get in the mood now so he takes me out regularly, wines and dines me, we spend the night flirting and then get into it.

My husband wakes up with a boner like most healthy men and is pretty much ready to go for the rest of the day. He'll go in for a full kiss in the morning before I've even had a chance to wash my face/brush my teeth. He's a good 7 years older than your husband. So I asked him his opinion on this.

He said he highly doubts that it's because you were a bitch while pregnant (wouldn't put him off, he knows women are crazy when preg) and he doubts it's the way you dress. He says that some men have trouble separating the image of their wives as the mother of their kid and a woman for sex. He says loads of guys he knows, it doesn't do it for them when they see their wives as mommy. Seeing mommy in a sex context will actually repulse them.

He says he feels that way too a bit because he saw the damage my son caused when he came out (my son was ten pounds and I had a lot of stitches which made me feel too tight) and so he tries to hold back from hitting on me (lol) and he knows I need to recover in my own time. He feels like he needs to give my vagina some space and healing time. He says he doesn't feel horny every day, just every other day.

Also, he doesn't really watch porn/masturbate as part of a routine/regularly. I know he's telling the truth because he knows I do 🙈 I wasn't convinced at first but I feel like porn addiction can cause a lot of damage to a man's sex drive.

Sounds like you and your husband need a good chat about it so you can find out how he truly feels.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I don't know if my husband is horny at all any more, tbh. I'm quite jealous of the intimacy between you and your husband, as much as I'm embarrassed to admit it. I feel so cheated out of love and intimacy at times.I wonder if he can't feel sexual towards me anymore because he actually does care about me and I'm now his wife and the mother of his children. I honestly remember his saying once that the more love he feels towards a woman the less sexual attraction he feels. I really should have paid attention to that.

[–]cocodecoca1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

To me the situation sounds really odd. Because I don't think there's anything special about my situation or my husband, I think men are horny by default and I've heard so many cases of men wanting to sleep with women they don't even like/aren't really even attracted to that I think there is a bigger problem with your husband's sex drive. Plenty of women I know, even way older women, feel pressure from their husband to have sex EVERY day. A mum bun and tracksuit isn't going to put off most men.

I have no advice about that but I really don't want you to feel like it's all your fault. Yes the red pill is about personal development and ownership of your life. But I don't think that what you've described you're doing would kill a man's sex drive. Everything you've described is in my opinion, a normal part of having a baby. Most people struggle with sex after baby. I think if you dress up for him, it's not going to fully solve the problem.

My mum is in a similar situation with my dad, he stopped being horny very soon in their relationship and he completely pulls away from any intimacy. I really don't think there is anything she's doing wrong, and plenty of guys would be after her, she's an attractive woman.

I have no idea what's going on with your husband but I don't think this is something you can fix alone. He needs to be truthful about what is causing him to pull away. Otherwise you're going to be feeling insecure and unloved for years. If you put all the effort in, and get nothing back, it could really break your feelings for him.

[–]mrssmithhh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I wanted to thank everyone on here for the advice and comments. Just being able to talk about it (even if just via Internet) was a HUGE relief in itself. I think there’s a lot for me to consider and think about, but the support really did help. Thank you RPW!

[–]CalvinRichland0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Men usually can forgive easily. Admit you were insane, apoligize, and then just be really sweet and soft until he comes back around. Don't have him do anything for you. Do eveything for him and ask for nothing.

3 months minimum as long as 6.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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