I Need More Sex and Affection From My Wife | Ask Athena | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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I Need More Sex and Affection From My Wife 

Published March 30, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated March 31, 2016 at 11:36 a.m.

Dear Athena,

My wife and I have been married eight years. We had lots of sex before we got married. It died down some after, but it was enough to keep me satisfied. Over the past three years or so, we have had very little sex. This has become a big problem for me.

We have kids. I do all the meals on days I am home and get the kids ready in the morning. I do most of the cleaning. So the lack of sex is not because my wife is exhausted from daily life.

My wife easily spends 75 percent of her time away from work on her phone, even when the kids and I are around. I receive almost no love or affection from her, and when I mention it, she gets mad or acts like I am being ridiculous. (I don't remember the last time she hugged or kissed me.) I try to take the kids for a few hours on the weekend, get her flowers, give her massages, etc., to get her in the mood. Nothing works. When we do have sex (a handful of times a year), she is very uninvolved and doing it just because I have been bothering her about it. 

I love her and my children very much, but something has got to change. What can I do or suggest to her in order to have more sex, love and affection?


I Need Sex

Dear Need Sex,

You sound dejected and hurt, and I don't blame you. It's frustrating to feel distanced from your partner — even more so if your sex life has gone out the window, too.

Mad props for bringing your A game with the attentive gestures. Carrying your load as a member of the family should be par for the course, but I get it — you work hard, and you don't want it to go unnoticed. Keeping the romance alive while working and raising a family is a serious balancing act.

Unfortunately, the lack of sexy time might indicate a bigger issue in your marriage — one that requires counseling to uncover and address. Your wife sounds defensive and distracted. Somewhere along the way you two disconnected, and you need to figure out what went wrong. I urge you not to wait any longer.

Insist that the two of you have a serious conversation. Ask her if she's happy and if her needs are being met. Listen, and then let her know how you've been feeling.

You say you've tried to talk to her before, without success. But perhaps she felt the conversations were only about what you need, not what you both need. Maybe she feels like she's the one pulling all the weight. Maybe the way she wants to share affection and intimacy has shifted; becoming a mother can lead to a great deal of change in a woman's body, self-image and libido. Or maybe she's stifling an old hurt that she hasn't been able to articulate to you.

If you express a genuine interest in your wife, she'll be more likely to open up and hear your needs, too. And that's the first step toward mending your marriage and getting back into the bedroom.



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