Based on the conversations I’ve had with many 30-something married friends lately, it’s safe to say that most would benefit from couples therapy or sex therapy. From minor communication issues that cause resentment over time to straight up dead bedrooms, most couples can use help, especially at the vulnerable stage of a marriage when kids are introduced.
It’s unfortunate, then, that this type of support is so out of reach for so many couples who need it. My insurance does not cover this kind of therapy, which means if we want help (and we need it) we are looking at $300-$400 PER SESSION for a therapist to tell us how to resolve issues that need solving.
When you husband doesn’t want to touch you, it’s an issue. It impacts your entire life. For someone like me, it becomes a personal mental health issue. It makes it impossible to focus. I take responsibility for some of the problem—-I work a lot. I’m tired a lot. I fail to keep my things organized and be on time to events and airports, which makes my husband sad. I’m trying to fix all those things. But all I want is for him (/anyone at this point/ok not anyone, I’m incredibly picky, but someone) to actually be attracted to me and want me. He says he is, but actions speak louder than words.
And, about words, there are none. He’s not much of a talker to begin with and I get that, but so many of the fights we’ve had over the years have stemmed from me being disappointed that—-even if I’m dressed up and looking my best—-I never get told I’m beautiful or sexy or whatever. It may be I’m asking too much, but I’m insecure to begin with and the I have a husband who would rather watch porn (or other people playing video games) than touch his own wife.
It’s unclear if couples therapy can improve any of these issues, but I’ve realized this is not just a small whatever problem in our relationship, it’s a major, major problem. We are basically roommates and best friends right now, and as wonderful of friends as we are, the intimacy is just not there. After two years of this, I have to cut myself a little slack when I see how I’m reacting and where my mind goes. (I have not cheated. I do not want to cheat. I do but I don’t. I want to fix things. But I’m going crazy and as a woman with a high libido (hate that word btw) it’s severely impacting my life. And, no, I can’t just handle it “myself.” I do that plenty. I crave passion and a warm body and desire and all of it. And instead, I have a cold couch and, if I play my cards just right, maybe I’ll be allowed to go down on my husband.
Well, this is the most TMI post I’ve written on this blog, and I haven’t written in a while—-welcome back readers! It really fits here, though, because getting the help we need will cost a lot. Can we afford it? Sure. We can afford $1200-$1600 a month to learn how to desire each other again, but maybe instead we should put that $ to moving to a 2 bedroom apartment so we have a bit more space. Having our toddler sleep in our bedroom isn’t exactly helping things…
But it’s not just that. It is that I should have probably paid more attention to chemistry and intimacy before committing to marriage. Because I thought, after growing up with parents who HATED each other, the most important thing was to find a partner who was my best friend. And I did that. And we’ve been together 14 years and when we were young and carefree we both would, if I remember correctly, have fairly equal sex drives and our frequency of touching each other was never an issue outside of my always wanting to feel more desired and wanting spontaneity.
When we moved in together, things went downhill. Then we got married, and had a kid. And I got more stressed as the breadwinner and mom —- because no matter if a guy is the SAHD (or part time SAHD) the emotional labor moms do is real (dude, our kid is not ok in size 5 shoes when he is a size 7. This isn’t an aesthetic thing, it can cause him foot issues in the long run.) Our son is living on bananas and bread —-maybe we should get his iron levels checked. Did he get his flu shot this year? If mom doesn’t think about these things, they just don’t happen. Husband is good at completing assigned tasks but project manager of the household he is not. And because I also play the traditional male role—-breadwinner, keeper of the household finances, planner, etc, I’m just so overwhelmed and irritable and THAT doesn’t help our sex life because who would be attracted to a woman who can’t keep up no matter what she does —- who feels like she can’t be a good mother or wife or employee, and isn’t even, well, fuckable.
I never used to understand but it’s pretty damn obvious why people end up having affairs. It’s just hard to lust after someone who is your business partner (because let’s get real, that’s what marriage is), especially when you disagree on how that business is being run. You may still even find the other person physically attractive (for the record I find my husband hot) and the amount of resentment that builds up over time makes it hard to want to be intimate with that other person. It’s easy to long for the simplicity of intimacy without that baggage, even if you realize that if you were with anyone else for 14 years with a young child you’d prob be back in the same exact spot of a similar spot to the left of this one.
So couples therapy supposedly helps with all of this—-getting you to communicate healthfully as married people so you can be intimate again. I think. And sex therapy helps if you have unmatched sex drives or levels of kink or other dynamics at play (in our case I think we are actually too similar as we both lean dominant and that is a challenge—-funny enough I’ll go rather submissive with the right style of intellectual, articulate domme —-but that’s a whole other persona that isn’t in the cards for our relationship.)
This is important stuff that doesn’t get talked about enough because we live in such a puritanical society filled with porn addicts and dead bedrooms and frustrations and the rare married couple that, for both parties, have healthy communication and have pretty good sex multiple nights a week, or more. For the rest of us, we get by. We try to fix things. We give up. We say—-maybe in a few years when the kids are older, it will get better. Sometimes it does. Often, it doesn’t. Often people get divorced and they say they’ve just grown apart. Nah. I don’t believe it. They’ve just stopped trying to be something they aren’t to make a relationship work that in their head made sense at the time when it felt like one ought to settle down and have kids.
I’ve heard so many stories from friends to. Husbands who were abused as children who have extremely high sex drives and some kinks that upset their wives (one found a male coworker who wanted to have a threesome with them and presented this idea complete with a video of the man taking his pants off.) Others are SAHM who are married to brilliant avoidant men (typical on-the-spectrum engineer types) who do little around the house and have wives who do too much and feel under appreciated as stay at home mothers or part time workers as the men think they bring home the bacon and do enough around the house so their wives should be grateful (funny enough my situation is likely closest to this except I’m in the male role!) Or the relationship where the woman married the alpha man because she wanted to be all “red pill” wife but then she realized she too was under appreciated and her husband fails to spend time with the kids as he can’t do emotions and he leaves that stuff to his wife.
ALL relationships take a fuck ton of work and selflessness and you have to be willing to remember why you fell in love in the first place, esp on the nights when your partner is being “unreasonable” and you can’t convince them otherwise. And, for it to work, they have to also give you that. I think. I mean, what do I know? I’m sleeping on a couch talking to strangers on the internet at 3am because I feel lonely when my husband is asleep in the next room. I am the one trying so hard not to fall into complete self destructive mode because I just want to feel alive again.
For $1200-$1600/month (on a talented sex therapist), maybe I can. In the meantime, someone tie me up right and don’t let me do anything I will most certainly regret.