Well, I don't blame you for being at the breaking point. After 20 years of a wife who isn't interested in sex, if your kids are up and gone, it might be fair for you to say enough is enough and leave.
I think you, and society, is off the mark a little on the causes of female lack of libido. I don't think it has anything to do with job stress, tiredness, whatever. If that were the case it would bubble back up when stressers were lower.
I think in a lot of women, it's a purely hormonal lack of libido. And so advice to men to help out with housework, rub her feet, plan a date night, won't help. That doesn't create sex hormones.
I had no libido for a few years when my kids were little, and it's weird having zero sex drive. It's like i'd just as soon empty the dishwasher as have sex, they're both equally neutral chore events.
So. With that in mind that your wife probably feels like having sex in the same way she feels like loading a dishwasher for recreation, I can offer these tips:
1. Don't make a huge chore of it. If your wife is willing to have sex, do it, but don't make it take forever, expecting to find some position/technique that suddenly lights her fire. That's like she's about done loading the dishwasher and you come around the corner with a huge brimming tray of caked on dirty dishes.
2. Don't expect her to initiate.
3. Don't keep saying I wish you wanted sex like you used to.
The truth is, she probably puts a lot more effort into avoiding sex than the effort it would take her to have sex. The amount of planning not to be naked around you, not to take your hand, not to move in close to you, not to allow you to rub her shoulders, pretending to be asleep or tired, etc., because you'll just try to have sex is probably wearing her out. If she'd just have sex, it would take a lot less effort.
Anyway, I agree that there is a problem between a LOT of married couples in this area, and I wanted to give you the female other edge of that sword. Living with a man who is constantly wanting sex is as annoying as living with a woman who won't give it to you.
Well, we are women NOT men so don't except us to act and/or think like men. That's why communication is important. If you don't communicate your needs...........guess what? We aren't "mind readers."
Ignorance goes both ways. It's not that we have to "get you" and you don't have to "get us." It's a two way street.
"And, all I can think of is why has she had no sexual desires for the past 20 years."..................WOW, why are you still there? I am not sure why she won't seek help. Maybe she is ok without sex. Those people do exist..........men and women.
Perhaps this has nothing to do with your wife's ignorance or ignorance period, but a problem or problems in your marriage. Have you had loads of problems in the marriage? If so, then that will for sure affect things in the bedroom.
I wouldn't generalize women and ignorance. We all aren't equal in that department.
I would suggest venting this to a sex therapist. She, your wife, might not want help, but if you do you should consider this. The therapist could give you more insight about your individual situation. He/she can also help you to decide if you should continue to stay in a sexless marriage.
I agree not to make a huge chore out of it. Say "Do you have 5 minutes?"
And don't keep saying you wish she wanted sex like she used to. Just be cheerful that she'll give you the 5 minutes. You can do a lot in 5 minutes!
I think part of the issue is that guys who have been married a while don't just want sex (though they often think they do), they want their wife to be hot for them the way she was when they were first dating, because that flattery will perk up their own desire and make them feel good about themselves. Many women snowed under with work and home responsibilities would gladly have the fast and easy sex with their husband so he won't feel deprived, but the relationship is not one of hero-worshiping his studly body any more (if ever it was). I have yet to see a guy married 25 years who looks like Brad Pitt (except, perhaps, Brad Pitt).
You read of some men having the same issue so it's not always the women that pull the plug on sex in a marriage.
I agree that it is unfair to expect that women just 'know' and that communication is the key. (and say for men to know what women need/want/think) Couples need to talk to each other.
And I believe that when a couple has not been sexual for a bit of time, that resuming can have a lot of anxiety around it. It helps if the mate that is more sexual is sensitive to that and makes it easy for them to get back into the 'swing' of things.
good luck to all couples making each other happy. peace
I'm in the same situation. Will be married 23 years. my wife has no interest in me at all. our marriage has been nothing but a loveless one. I ask my wife why she cant show me any affection or love and I get because you don't do eneough around the house and you don't parent our son with me, she's always on his back and I disagree with her at times and she holds this against me. I'm tired of always having to earn her affection. we have sex maybe once a month, thou this year only 4 times and its like it's a chore and she does it cuz its a job. thing is it's always been that way. every time I touch her she tells me to stop. We have 2 kids 19 and 16, we have never gone away alone, and when both kids aren't home we sit in different rooms. it's sad.I'm not looking for sex everyday. I just want my wife to be in love with me, be excited to see me. when I get home from work greet me with a hug and kiss, be affectionate. I don't know what to do. this has gone on for so long prob last 18 years. I tell my wife several times a day that I love her and she'll repeat it back as if to be courtious. she has never told me first that she loves me. I guess I'm starting to get angry about this marriage, I go and see a counselor by myself she won't go, say;s it's all my fault. I'm 43 is this how the rest of my life is going to be? living like roommates. I want her to be happy but so do I. Thanks for letting me vent and for any advice.
Plug, sounds to me like your wife is unhappy and she's just guessing it's because of you.
The fact is, there are happy people and unhappy people. Except in extreme times of crisis, most happy people feel generally happy. And even in the best of times unhappy people find things to blame their unhappiness on.
You see people sitting on a gorgeous beach in perfect weather with a drink in their hand cursing because that damn sand blew into their towel. They think they're unhappy about the sand but they're unhappy period.
I don't think anyone would blame you if you waited two more years, until your second child was up and out at college (or wherever) and filed for divorce. Marriage isn't a suicide pact.
There are a lot of unhappy marriages out there. Sorry to say.
when couples begin withdrawing from each other sexually or otherwise, it's never a good sign.
SM, I've come to believe there are people who are good at marriage and relationships, and there are people who aren't. And those who are good can be good partners in a relationship with any number of people, and those who are bad partners will never make a successful pairing. They just don't have the mindset of being kind and caring.