I married a wonderful man – loving, affectionate, funny, and responsible. However, he has zero passion.
He’s not as interested in sex as I am. He’s often “cuddly,” but I usually initiate sex.
Even when he does initiate, he’s not passionate in the moment. My sex drive’s lessened because I feel self-conscious.
He’s super-reserved and doesn’t like to discuss it; instead he gets really upset. I’ve ended up in tears and he responds little.
We love each other, but I can't imagine how we'll go years without strong desire and passion.
I've tried sexy clothing, asked what he likes, to little effect. I’m young, attractive, and fit. He’s not into porn or anything else that affects a healthy sexual relationship.
Sex and passion weren’t an issue at the start. A few months in, he was in an accident, which made sex difficult. It's been an issue since.
Now I feel that it isn't going to change. It’s affecting my self-esteem and probably his, too.
It’s telling that you mention the accident almost at the end of your story. Look closer at what’s happened to him.
He’s been deeply altered by that accident and its impact of sexual difficulty – whether from fear/anxiety about pain or performance, or an actual physical change.
Drop the resentment and get pro-active.
Tell him you’re worried about him, and want him to have a health check. Don’t base this on your sexual needs, but on his well-being. If he won’t go, talk to his doctor yourself about how this accident could’ve affected his responses.
My husband got angry because after I cooked him dinner, I said it’d be nice to be served a meal sometimes.
I cook all the meals, do most of the house cleaning, and he washes the dishes. He thinks it’s a fair equation. I disagree.
Cooking involves meal preparation, planning, and inventory - so it’s more work than washing dishes.
I’m a feminist, and cooking and preparing every meal for my husband makes me feel taken advantage of because of my gender - as though it’s a woman’s job to do all this extra work.
When we married, he was interested in eating healthfully and I thought we’d share the cooking; but that’s since waned. I love him, but me doing all this isn't the life I pictured. After this discussion, he said I criticize him too much and need to change.
I grew up around a family who jests each other and makes passive aggressive comments about nearly everything, so it seems second nature to me to act this way.
I experienced some emotional neglect as a child and have poor self-esteem and I suppose that's why I act this way to others. I feel horrible that I’ve hurt him but I don't know how to change.
Feminist and Critic
You’re muddling two separate issues:
1. Past emotional neglect doesn’t give you a pass on being critical and passive-aggressive. If you have something to discuss with your husband, so-called “jests” and sarcasm aren’t helpful. Hurting close people won’t raise your self-esteem; just cause more hurts both ways.
2. Discuss division of labour at home. Think of options – hire cleaning help, if he works and won’t do it. Buy some prepared food from a health-oriented deli (they’re increasing in many locales). Make a batch of healthy soups/veggie stews on a weekend IF he’s willing to help chop n’ slice in exchange for more relaxed meals the next few weeks.
Find solutions, not wisecracks, and excuses.
My boyfriend of three years and I started as good friends. We love and respect each other. I’m 21.
I cheated on him while on vacation. He rarely passed through my mind. He didn’t want to break up. We worked things out, but when I’m away from him I still wonder what else is out there...
Should I spend more years together or sort myself out and see if I’m better suited with someone else? I want him to let me go, but am staying for his sake.
You’re conflicted due to caring for him. But it’s not the stuff of lasting love… at least not now.
You’ve already acted out a desire for wider experience. Staying will ultimately hurt him more; you’ll cheat again, and part unpleasantly.
Take a break for at least six months, likely longer. Be friendly when you meet, but don’t keep up constant contact or keep re-making the decision.
Tip of the day:
Marital problems that are specific call for a mutual look at solutions, not resentment, or criticism.