Mike you’re right. In the end, the advice of older men that we ALL ignored “don’t get married” is still the best advice. Both you (and in a way, your wife) will both end up disappointed. I used to think this is “sad”. I don’t know. Happy, sexually fulfilled men are much more capable of giving joy and compassion to the people around them than a man who is stuck in a sex-deprived marriage. If you’re single, don’t get married. If you’re married, well then it gets complicated doesn’t it.
I don’t know, I feel like there is more to the story. Personally, I feel like my marriage did bring me the security that I didn’t know I wanted, but with it came some unexpected “benefits”. I started exercising an agency over my body that I didn’t feel I had before. I can blame my parents or my culture, I don’t know where the deeper problem lies, but as a younger person, I did not “own” my body. We dated and made out, and I was entirely not ready to explore and be explored like we did as teenagers, but I went along with it because it was “what you did”. On top of it I had this competing-with-men thing going on where I felt like I wanted to prove that I could do everything the same, or better, than any guy.
So I got into fishing, playing with knives, and keeping a little black book. None of this was done because it made me truly happy. Again, I do not know exactly where all of this feeling that I had to be that way came from. The point is, I did a lot of things because that’s how they were done, and not because my heart desired them. I didn’t find true sexual desire and pleasure for many years after I had become sexually active. I didn’t feel forced to do things per se, I was sure I wanted to do them at the time, but looking back at my experiences with some honesty, I can see how my mind forced my body to perform. So fast forward many years, I get married, we do commitment, kids, financial problems, adjustment issues, etc.
And I hit a brick wall. My mind starts refusing to want my husband in that way. I start realizing quite consciously that I want to do what my heart desires and not force myself to be someone I’m not anymore. I feel like for women who felt like they did not have agency over their bodies to whatever extent, for whatever reason, this is a necessary stage in their marriage. I may be over-generalizing based on my experience, I don’t know. But I feel like we all get “stuck” at this stage, with our husband complaining more and more and the gap growing bigger and bigger, instead of working on it as a couple. Now in my case, I have not talked about this with my husband.
I am too afraid of being judged and disappointing him. It is not an unfounded fear, he is quite judgmental and lacks empathy when it comes to these issues. There are too many things of my past that he “doesn’t want to know” and feels that people shouldn’t talk about if they feel they’ve made “mistakes”. In my few attempts to even approach the subject of choice and agency, he just says “I just don’t get it how people can be like that” and that closes that bottle. Ssssooooo… Here we are. He is unhappy and over joking about it anymore, I don’t feel like it’s my “fault”, but I know it’s not his either. I feel like therapy could do us some good, but he doesn’t believe in that either, plus we can’t afford it.