I would have to agree that when there is a discrepancy between the married partners there has to be some sort of compromise.
Unfortunately, one of the prerequisites to compromise is an open line of communication and a healthy dialogue between the couple.
In my case, even though I am a male and expected to want more sex, I was a relative novice at sex with only one short term partner prior to marrying my WW. Because of this, I dealt with a lot of anxiety over performance and tended to avoid initiating sex with my wife. At one point, she brought up the subject but I was so embarrassed about my issues that I wouldn't talk about it. She was faithful for about 2 1/2 years and then just decided to seek out sexual gratification from men who had been actively and persistently "coming on to her" at work.
Prior to this information coming out after DDay#1, I had never known that there are men (and women for that matter) who actively pursue "happily" married people to have sex with because they don't have to worry as much about the emotional attachment part of things.
After all the information came out about how WW had been with 5 men while married to me, I asked her: "If I had been more open to communication and dialogue about my sexual hang-ups, would you have found it easier to be faithful to me?"
Her responses was: "probably would have had less difficulty in being faithful but in the end probably would have eventually had her affairs since she had an overactive sex drive and would literally have sex multiple times a day if it was available to her" she also has said that part of her problem is an occasional feeling of "being trapped/confined" by the marriage.
In short, both parties need to be open to communication about the subject: not only to be free to express themselves but also to be receptive (in a non-judgmental way) to the other person's point of view and suggestions. And communication should not stop with the topic of sex but address other issues which may be contributing to the problem with the intimacy aspect of the relationship.
FWW used to tell me she felt obligated to have sex and resented it. I did not want obligated sex either. She now has sex as a way to communicate her love for me. She continues to work to find ways to feel more aroused and enjoy the act more for herself.
Similarly, but prior to recovery, my wife treated sex as a payment, and often she felt a payment was not due to me, resulting in resentment. She never viewed sex as enjoyable or an expression of love. It was just sex. Sex was not enjoyable to her due to FOO issues, it was almost disgusting. Sex meetups with her AP were just payments/investments to keep him strung along. Imagine a person not enjoying sex but having an affair. This is what caught me off guard. It was difficult to understand. Things are different now
My dog farted, startled himself, wondered where the noise came from. I wish my life was as simple.
What didn't help:
Thinking I was broken
Just accepting it
Reading books by myself
Writing it off as "just the way I am."
What has helped:
Reading books together
My husband meeting my needs for time and conversation
Feeling first in my husband's life
Reading/thinking about sex
Questioning messages I got from FOO, etc.
Accepting myself as a sexual being.
I am from the South, and many of these things did not come naturally to me. I wish we had seen a MC or a sex therapist earlier -- it would likely have prevented the affair. Not that it was ok for him to do it, but it was very, very important to him.
You may never have the same sex drive as your husband, but things can be better; I am certain of it.
And atsenaotie == that was beautifully put.
I edit, therefore I am.
I think whenever there is a discrepancy between partners on any topic (money, religion, sex, mutual interests or hobbies, etc...), there always needs to be compromise. It is when either side discounts the feelings of the other partner that trouble begins.
I would also argue that one does not need to be 'orgasmic' during every sex act for the act/s to be fulfilling. I find certain acts like giving oral to be very pleasing and fulfilling at times and it has nothing to do with me. Also, there are times that I am not orgasmic during sex and I enjoy it just the same. Not every woman is out there reaching the BIG O every time or even through penetration. There is nothing wrong with you from that perspective.
I guess I would ask if you ever have felt satisfaction, maybe not orgasmic, from having sex. Do you feel closer, more intimate, loving etc? If not, I would try to dig to the root of that question and not so much about the 'O' part of it. It is true that women need emotional connection to often connect in the bedroom. Was there some event prior to the A that triggered this change for you? You said you 'became' less interested that is why I ask. Were you just going through the motions when you first got together? All things to think about...
I don't think anyone is trying to attack you here and confirm what your husband has said "there is something wrong with you." I think what some of the other posters are trying to say is that if sex is important to your WH, you both will have to work on this issue and find a compromise, you will also have to work on your whys as well. I don't think you can ignore it. Taking the position that this is just who you are is dangerous. I am sorry you are struggling with this.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl
"When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal."
[This message edited by DoneWithLove at 9:11 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
My WH and I would go months (yes plural) without having sex. I had no desire, didn't care if I ever had sex again. It did nothing for me. I never felt sexy, never thought about sex, never had an inkling of desire. Over time, I got resentful and angry at my H. There were times when I would have sex with my H and be pissed off about it. HOW could he not see that I was miserable? HOW could he enjoy himself at my expense? I felt like he didn't care. I felt like I didn't matter. We would be in the middle of intercourse and these were the thoughts going through my mind. I would stare at the ceiling tiles and just wait it out. I would tell him to hurry up and be done with it. I would tell him that I needed to FEEL close to him in order to enjoy sex. I told him that he wasn't giving me what I needed. I couldn't articulate what the "things" were that I needed in any kind of tangible way. I only knew that I wasn't getting them. None of MY needs were being met. I told him I wanted more intimacy. I wanted to feel close to him. I tried to explain that when he was sexully aroused, I wasn't even at the starting line yet. That I needed more to get in the mood. Again, without giving him anything concrete to try and do differently. It felt like he didn't care enough to give me what I needed. But really, he didn't know how. And part of the reason was because I couldn't explain it to him. We were at an impass. We pretty much ignored it. Did't work on it. Let it fester.
NOT a reason to have an A. But I would be lying if I didn't say it was a contributing factor in creating our broken M. I played a part in not giving my H what he needed for a loving and happy M. I didn't even make any attempts at it. My H would often tell me that the fact that I didn't enjoy sex made him feel less of a man. He began to question his attractiveness and thought it must be him. He thought his penis must be too small (it's not) His penis had nothing to do with it as far as I was concerned but it meant a great deal to him. He felt emasculated. It was a blow to his ego, again and again and again.
Being in an unhappy M left him vulnerable to an A. For him, the A was mostly about ego stroking and how she made him feel good about himself. Lots of other factors too, but this was one.
So what did I/am I doing about it?
First thing is that I communicate better with my H now. I had to learn in IC how to do that. I wasn't sharing enough with him for me to feel close to him. We talk a lot more now-and I have to take the risk and open up to him. I found that by doing so I feel closer to him-which is really what we both wanted.
I figured out why I had no desire. For me, a big part of it was a medication that I was on that KILLED my libido. I weaned myself off of the meds and began to FEEL desire again.
I also began to do things to make me feel better about me. (I had really let myself go!) I cut my hair, started to exercise, took some pride in my appearance. I'm never going to look like I did in my 20's but I could do a lot better than I had been. I had stopped taking care of me-so I started to again. That in turn made me feel desirable.
I decided to let go of the "he said, she said" impass we had going on. Something had to change, so I did. I made a point of being more in the moment when we were having sex. I didn't let myself think about what I WASN'T getting and thought about what I COULD GIVE to make him happy. And THAT made me feel good. It makes me feel sexy, and like a woman to be able to "please" my H sexually. And that is pretty damn normal!
I let go of many of my "hang-ups" that I had about sex. I was uptight and reserved. I am working out why I am like that (thanks mom!) and learning to let it go.
I got a vibrator.(really, first vibrator at 42!??!) Not a scary giant one (maybe one day-lol) but something unassuming and non-penis shaped. I learned about my body and found that I could enjoy myself physically. And I got used to the fact that those feelings are OK. I let go of the embarrassment that I used to feel.
I hope that helps in some way. I think you just need to try RELAX a little. Take small steps if you need to but you have to take action to work on this. You can't just read and talk about it. It is scary, and it feels like a big risk to open yourself up like that-but you have to do it at some point. If you aren't ready yet that's ok. Don't be pressured into it-that will only breed more resentment and anguish on your part. Talk to your H about how you are feeling and make sure he understands your point of view. Make sure you understand his too. Come up with some baby steps together that will address both of your concerns and allow you to gage progress. Maybe that "positive feedback" will make you feel more comfortable to opening up to more. *hugs*