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I think my marriage is at it's end

ksmom14's picture

Surprisingly this isn't really step related, however I don't really know who to talk to right now so I'm posting here.

DH and I only really have one recurring issue/argument and that is related to bedroom activities. Without getting too specific he has a way high drive and I have pretty average drive. Our issues are beyond a simple mismatch of drive tho...even content desires are vastly different. Anyways, I feel like I've finally come to the realization that I cannot make him happy, and he can't make me happy unless one of us makes ourselves unhappy trying to please the other. I'm willing to try counseling, but I just logistically don't see how that's going to change anything. The basic issue is we simply have different desires/needs and are no longer able to fulfill those for each other. 

I haven't specifically talked to DH about divorce but I just feel like it's inevitable at this point. I just want to be able to end things in an amicable way so that we can co parent peacefully. I don't want him to have hatred towards me the way he does towards BM.

I guess I'm here just to say it and put it out into the universe so I can start moving forward, but also I'm looking for advice on where to go from here, how to prepare and take I just blurt it out and tell him what I'm thinking, or should I prepare things first as far as money/ plans on where to go etc?

I know I need to start going to a counselor, because of the topic of issue I don't really feel comfortable talking to friends/ family about our issues so I don't really have an outlet. I need to go to a counselor for myself, and as a last ditch effort with DH. I am totally willing to work and try to fix my relationship with DH, I honestly just don't think it's possible, not because I'm angry and don't love him anymore, but because what we want is just so different I don't see a compromise. 

I'm just sick of being on edge, stressed out, and unhappy. I feel on edge anytime DH tries to make the moves, because I'm anxious that he'll ask me to get in line with his desires and I honestly just don't like myself when I do. So my options are to just do it to make DH happy, but then I end up hating myself a little bit, or to say no and deal with a frustrated pissy DH that feels like I don't care about him. This isn't normal right? My marriage shouldn't have to be a choice between making myself happy or making my husband happy on a daily basis right? Sometimes I just feel a bit crazy...

Thanks for reading


futurobrillante99's picture

This is a tough one because while he's saying he feels like you don't care about him because you're not down for his level of frequency or kink, the same could be argued that he doesn't care about you enough to be patient and not PUSH you or coerce you into doing things you're not comfortable with.

I think before you plan to end it, get into counseling for yourself then see if he'll join you for couples counseling.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark, but I suspect your spouse is watching some serious porn. What goes on in porn can be very exciting to watch so the thrill from regular "boring" sex isn't quite scratching his itch.

A therapist will tell him to cut the porn out altogether, if that's what he's doing.

ksmom14's picture

Yea I think there is some definite outside influence as far as content. 

I guess a big part of the problem is I've always been willing to try new things and be a bit wild  here and there, but it's just spiraled out of control. To me having some wild kink every once in a while, or once a week is fine. But he's not satisfied with that, for him he wants it almost every single time and it just leaves me feeling unwanted and honestly dirty and not true to myself. 

futurobrillante99's picture

It's definitely PORN. He is being unreasonable and I would do some sleuthing to find out how serious his addiction is.

lieutenant_dad's picture

It's not definitely porn. That may be driving him finding something that he likes, but that doesn't mean that porn is the problem.

If you find something that fulfills you sexually, it makes sense that you'll want to continue to do that. Probably more frequently at the start.

It could be addiction, but it could also be someone having found what brings them the best sexual satisfaction. 

ETA: That doesn't mean he should pressure OP. That's not right, fair, or ethical. But like the term "abuse", I don't think it's appropriate to throw around "addiction" for everything disordered.

Gimlet's picture

Based on what you've written before, your husband's "drive" sounds disordered and I'm not one to kink shame.  

A high drive is one thing. Being obsessive about it and badgering your partner to engage in activity they find distasteful, and then punishing them when they don't comply, is another. 

Is he willing to talk to someone? 

ksmom14's picture

We've mentioned counseling in the past and I know he'd be willing to go. I suppose I need to talk to him more specifically about it tho. Because our issues are bedroom related I know it's going to be a bit awkward to be 100% honest to a stranger to try to fix the problem. 

I just don't know that even counseling would do anything...I don't expect it to change his desires...or mine

Aunt Agatha's picture

He writes a sexual advice column called Savage Love that you might find helpful.  It's NSFW.  He has a theory of 'good, giving, and game' (GGG) for people who are willing to give some more spicy things a try.  For partners who abuse the GGG partner with very similar behavior your husband is showing you?  He really takes them to task and offers advice. 

If nothing else, after a few columns you'lol be exposed to enough that it should be much easier to talk to a sex-positive counselor. *biggrin*

ksmom14's picture

Thanks for the advice, I'll check it out!

I get that a situation like this needs compromise, but I guess I feel like I'm usually the one compromising and it just doesn't feel fair, and it's honestly exhausting.

Gimlet's picture

That's great advice.  He frames that really well and there are a number of things he's written that would be relevant to OP.

Monkeysee's picture

I’m sorry this is happening ksmom. I can understand the strain because we’ve got a similar issue happening (though not to the degree you’re dealing with), and it really takes its toll on a relationship.

To be honest, your DH (and mine) are being selfish. I think a lot of couples have mismatched libidos and it shouldn’t be on one person to meet the needs of the other all the time. Both parties should respect the needs & feelings of the other and find a middle common ground that works best for them. Instead your husband is giving little wiggle room on his expectations, and makes you feel like sh*t when you try to assert your needs to him. That’s not healthy, it should never be all one way like that.

Im not totally sure what advice to give, because we’re still struggling with this issue as well, but I’d keep talking to him. Counselling seems like a good place to start as well. If he’s watching kinky porn it’s obviously causing damage in your marriage and that needs to be addressed. It would also be helpful for him to understand that his needs don’t trump yours just because his drive is stronger than yours. Your need for ‘normal’ sex, less frequent sex, or whatever is equally important. Guilting your partner for not constantly meeting your needs will only ever wear your partner down, it simply doesn’t work.

ksmom14's picture

Sorry you're going through something's just so tough

I am totally at the point where I feel worn down. Its so sad for me to realize that I'm willing to walk away because I just don't feel like I can keep doing it. I feel like I keep compromising over and over and over and it's fine for the short term, but I usually have little break downs and I just can't imagine living the rest of my life like this!

tog redux's picture

DH and I have mismatched libidos too. He always wants more and I'd be happy with less, so we've found a compromise. Though I still feel like I'm disappointing him, but not because he pressures me, he doesn't.

Everything you read seems to imply that the person with the lower libido is somehow deficient but I think that's BS. Sex isn't a need like food and water, these men will survive without it. 

As for the kinky stuff, that would be a deal breaker for me. No one should push anyone to do things they aren't comfortable with. 

ksmom14's picture

Is your DH usually the one initiating since he wants more?

My DH gets really frustrated when he tries to initiate and I turn him down. I've tried to talk to him about specifics, in the past he's said ideally he'd want 10X a week, but 7X is reasonable. I told him I'm not that high and I asked him what he could be comfortable with and we both agreed 5X was doable. 

He gets frustrated that "I always say no" but I feel like he asks 10X a week and we "agreed" on 5, so yea half the time I AM saying no! It's like he's frustrated at me for "always" saying no, but in reality he's just ALWAYS asking!

tog redux's picture

He used to get upset that I never initiated but why the hell would I when I want less, not more?!  Basically we've settled into twice a week which isn't enough for him, and he still asks, though he doesn't get upset when I say no.  He'd like more but it's not a deal breaker for him. It's more than I want and less than he wants. 

It annoys me that he asks, but I've learned to say no without feeling guilty.

Your DH does sound like sexual addiction might be an issue. 5x a week and still wanting more would be a deal breaker for me. 

futurobrillante99's picture

I would be down for 10x a week, LOL! But my partner is at his best when it's 1-3 times a week.

Monkeysee's picture

It’s ridiculous to think the one with the lower libido is somehow deficient, but that’s what I keep reading too. What a crock of sh*t. All that implies is that only the needs of the person with the higher drive are important, and it’s up to the person with the lower drive to always be the one compromising to make their partner happy.

How about no. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, I hate all the suggestions that "once you get started, you might find yourself more interested", blah blah. I did finally find an article about how it's also hard for the person with the lower to always feel pressured, and that they are disappointing their partner, etc. 

People are wired differently and I don't think it's any more fair to insist someone meet your (excessive) needs than it is for the other party to cut you off entirely. 

ksmom14's picture

I struggle with a way to explain to him that just because I don't always want it, doesn't mean I'm not attracted to him or don't love him. To him they're one in the same, but for me not even close.

A lot of time him initiating is him asking "want to go have some fun time" right after we put our toddlers to bed. I've tried explaining to him that it does not help me to have no warm up and just jump in like that. My mind is not in the right mindset to just be like "oh yea that sounds great" but his reasoning is always that we just don't have time to be romantic/ have build up because of our littles. 

Also, I get frustrated because if at night I'm just really not in the mood and exhausted I'll say no and go to sleep. Then he'll be asking for it as soon as I wake up in the morning because he didn't get any the night before. I feel bad saying no two times in a row, but it's so frustrating to have to be rushed in the morning, but I usually end up going along with it. He usually can't sleep if he asks and I say he's looking for some releif I suppose?

tog redux's picture

He's got a hand, he can use it. 

I used the analogy of cooking for DH: I said, "You love to cook right? But you don't like to cook every day. Sometimes you want to do it, and sometimes you might do it even if you don't want to, just to make me happy; but other times, you just don't want to do it at all."

It seemed to help for me to compare it to something else, lol.  Honestly, he doesn't understand my position, and I don't understand his - we both just try to compromise.  It's definitely gotten better since he no longer thinks of it as me not finding him attractive. But I do have to remind him to quit bugging me every now and then.

Your DH is being very selfish. Sex is not an entitlement, but he seems to think it is. 

Gimlet's picture

Buy him a damn Fleshlight.  

If my husband tried to guilt me into sex first thing in the morning and told me he couldn't sleep because I said no, I would hand him the damn Fleshlight because if he's not considering your emotional needs, it's pretty much the equivalent.

He doesn't have time to make it good for you.  What a load of shit. 

susanm's picture

I tend to be very practical rather than especially religious or spiritual so this is going to come from that angle.  Obviously that school of thought is not for everyone.

I would sit him down and say "Look - we have a good life and a good marriage except for this one area in which we are never going to agree.  If it is important enough to you to have (fill in the blank on the kink) in your life that you are willing to throw everything else in your life away then I can not stop you.  You are an adult and you are free to chase your dreams of the lifestyle you want.  My belief is that the rest of our life outweighs the sex and we can come to a compromise. 

I am willing to do X, Y, and Z.  I am not willling to do A,B, and C and there will be no more discussion of it.  EVER.  You can satisfy your needs for that with videos and magazines.  So long as I do not have to see it and it does not interfere with our relationship, enjoy.  If it ever expands further and you start spending family resources or involve a third party to chase the experience of those things then you have made the affirmative choice to throw away the marriage and we will part as friends to the extent possible.  What do you say?  Do we have an agreement and can we move forward with our life together?"

Hopefully he will decide that he can make do with fantasy and that the rest of your marriage is more important than acting out whatever has caught his imagination.  Or he will end up deciding he should split assets and pay child support so that he can go live in a dungeon in Santa Fe wearing assless chaps with electrodes on his balls.  Either way, you will know and be able to live in peace.

ksmom14's picture

This is great advice, thank you, and the comedy at the end was perfect Smile

I guess I big part of it is I need to set my boundaries so that he can know where he stands. It's just hard because I'm willing to compromise and do some things occasionally, but it just ends up opening the flood gates and it being all the time.

DH's relationship with BM was apparently very boring so he's liked that he can be more exploratory with me, so I honestly don't know if he'd be willing to reign it back in for the sake of our relationship. He's always said how he just wants to be himself and not pretend to be something he's not. I guess I just don't' care any more because I'm not happy with the way things are so I'm better off with him walking away if he can't make some changes. You're right though, I need to be clear about what I will or will not do so he can decide for himself what it's worth.

susanm's picture

LOL    I had to pick somewhere.....

justmakingthebest's picture

Sexual incompatibility is really hard on a relationship. Before my hysterectomy I was definitely the "can we have sex 2x per day, please?!?!?" kind of person. Now... eh... Once a week is cool. DH wants it every other day like clockwork. It is so silly that I know which days to shave my legs. Even though my drive isn't there like it used to be, I am good after he starts.. working a little magic. 

I will say that his kink factor is higher than mine, but he never pushes me to do anything that makes me uncomfortable. Also, if this is porn driven- it would explain a lot. Those are not realistic examples of healthy sexual relationships. He really probably should see a therapist and there are plenty that help with sex and couples.  

hereiam's picture

To me having some wild kink every once in a while, or once a week is fine. But he's not satisfied with that, for him he wants it almost every single time and it just leaves me feeling unwanted and honestly dirty and not true to myself. 

I agree that kinky/dirty sex is great every once in awhile but ALL of the time and it's just about sex, not love and intimacy. He should not be asking someone he loves to do things she is not comfortable with.

Many years ago, I knew a guy who would not let his girlfriend give him BJs. To him, that just was not what a girlfriend did (it was what a slut or a whore did). He felt that there was no intimacy to it and it made him feel dirty. I have never forgotten that, it seemed so out of character for a guy. He was only about 17-18 at the time, so it really surprised me (no, I never dated him or anything else).

I don't know much about sex addiction but it sounds like it may be an issue.

futurobrillante99's picture

My first husband was anti-BJ. I found it extremely odd. Haven't had that reaction since.

CLove's picture

So - let me get this right - EVERYTHING else is hunky dory except this aspect?

Id try counseling.  This is a big part of a marriage, in my opinion. And its causing you anxiety and stress.

If couseling doesnt help, then line up a lawyer. You dont know how he will react to divorce. Start getting the financials in line first. Separate finances, make photo copies of ALL important docs.Start researching how you want things to look, post-marriage, both legally, custody et and financial.

But def try couseling first. You deserve to live a happy fulfilled life.

ksmom14's picture

No not everything, but in general we work through other things just fine. This is pretty much the only consistent thing we disagree about, that comes up regularly. Most other things we can discuss/figure out and move on and it's not a recurring issue.

I have some frustrations in our marriage about some other things, as I'm sure he does too, but it's not things I'm considering ending our marriage over.

tog redux's picture

I would definitely do what susanm suggested - it's good advice.  Talking about it is key. 

Kiwi_koala's picture

He's not okay with sex 5 times a week? Yikes I don't really like having sex more than 2 to 3 times a week. I'd rather have 30 to 40 minute sessions a couple times a week than less lengthy and every day. How old is your husband? 

What is his definition of kink? Some people might describe oral as kink or are we talking serious S and M stuff like choking, slapping in the face? No matter what your boundaries should be respected especially if you are really uncomfortable with it. It seems like you are fairly open though. Maybe a therapist could help you guys to see if this situation is able to be worked out.

ksmom14's picture

Another issue that I try to just let go is the length of sex, it's usually a minimum of 30 minutes, but generally closer to an hour...yes 5X a week!

Kink is mostly a sort of role play in which he wants me to be some sexual deviant. Also some toys, not bondage stuff tho.

Kiwi_koala's picture

Wow that's really a lot and long. I honestly don't think you're being unreasonable. He might have some kind of addiction. 

Okay that's good. I wasn't sure if it was some heavy borderline abusive kind of kink. 

Gimlet's picture

An hour of intercourse??  My hoo haw just burst into flames thinking about that. 

If he wants to role play every time, that would start to feel a little dehumanizing. 

ksmom14's picture

Yes! Always have to keep the oil near by. Also I have to throw in the towel sometimes which leads to a whole other list of issues...

justmakingthebest's picture


If he can't figure it out in 20 mins he needs to handle it himself!

ITB2012's picture

is he perhaps compensating for male issues (ED?) by having it have to be this complicated and stimulating? Perhaps like an addict it's taking more and more to get him there?

ksmom14's picture

Possibly...he definitley doesn't have any ED issues when his fantasy is going on. Without it sometimes theres a lag, but I guess I always just assumed it wasn't ED since it was situational and not all the time

tog redux's picture

The fact that he can only get stimulated in certain ways points to an issue with porn. ED can be physical or psychological.

Either way, it's time to have a Come To Jesus meeting with him and request couples counseling.  Let him know all of this is too much for you, to the point where you are considering ending the marriage. I'd insist on NO sex for a while, until therapy can start.  If you are truly at the point of leaving, you have nothing to lose with any of this.  And - you can likely find a therapist who specializes in these issues.

DPW's picture

Sounds like a sex addiction to me. I have an incredibly high drive but my exSO was a sex addict. I was extremely ill once and he was pouting about not getting any; I looked at him and said "If my mother were dying in the hospital right now, you'd still expect it at least 2x per day, right?" And he agreed. That's when I realized there's a difference in the thinking of a sex addict and someone who has a high drive and really enjoys sex like myself. And after dating him for a few years, he "progressed" in his addiction.... first it was sex but when I wasn't supplying enough, it went to porn, and when porn was not enough, it was talking to women online, and then when that was not enough, he cheated and so on. 

I'd say couples counselling STAT. You deserve to give it a try to say you tried to save your marriage. I'm going to bet the therapist sticks your DH into his own therapy STAT. 

ksmom14's picture

I've never said it to him, and I have joked about it, but I do think its become an addiction for him.

He literally cannot sleep unless hes dog tired, or he gets sex

He asks for sex when I'm sick

He couldnt wait more than a few days after I gave birth before he was asking when I'd be ready. Plus if I wasnt, maybe coukd I help him out with something else

Hes crabby and irritable when its been close to 24 hours since sex


tog redux's picture

Yeah, that's not normal. My DH has a high sex drive, but not one of those things apply in our situation.