Open Forum 4

Welcome to our new “Open Forum 4” discussion page!

We continue to create new Open Forum pages for you to post your questions and comments, and for us all to discuss important marriage and intimacy issues. Please post your new comments/questions to this Open Forum 4 post below.

For additional insights, you can review previous discussions by clicking on the links below. You will then find a list of topics discussed in each Open Forum:

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This is the place to post your questions and comments and have an open dialogue about subjects related to marriage, sex, intimacy and parenting. I hope you will consider yourself a valuable resource in this forum, as you share not only your questions, but also your own insights and solutions.

Please continue to be attentive to the tone of your posts, so that we can maintain an atmosphere of reverence and respect for each other and the sanctity of sexuality in marriage.

I will try to respond as often as I can, but hope you will step up and share your insights as well.

As you reply to the various comments below it will thread each comment in order (newest posts at the bottom) to make it fairly easy to follow the discussions.

Some readers incorrectly post their questions on our StrengtheningMarriage.com Comments Page instead of here in this forum. I will move those questions over here to this forum to allow for easier discussion.

Thank you all for your participation here! Let’s learn and improve our marriages together! 🙂

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Related Posts

Comments
  • Arogen May 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Yay, I get to be first!

    I haven’t given an update on us in a while. Good news to report.

    First, my wife has taken tiny little baby steps (but huge for her) in trying to overcome one of her inhibitions. I’m not sure how far she’ll go in the end, she doesn’t enjoy the baby step but she will willing to go that far again at least.

    Second, we have an old issue from the past that has wounded me deeply and we are still working on healing it. We had some very productive conversations about it last week, and an ah-ha moment that takes a lot (but not all) of the sting out of what happened. More work is needed on this, but I think last week was a huge step forward.

    Third, my wife is frequently having orgasms now, both from manual stimulation and from intercourse. Her desire and willingness for intimacy is higher then it has ever been and I’m more than content with how frequently we are intimate.

    God is good, miracles happen. Three years ago I was afraid for the future of our marriage, now things have never been better.

    • Laura M. Brotherson May 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Arogen,

      I am so thrilled for both you and your wife that things are going better! Yaaaaay! : ) That’s such a treat to hear! I also want to thank you for all your great insight and encouragement that you share here as well!

      I so appreciate everyone’s willingness to share and encourage each other! I’m sure we are all doing at least a little bit of good by being here to process through stuff and gain new insight! Keep it up everyone! : )

      p.s. Thanks too for starting up our Open Forum 4 discussion here! We’ve compiled a list of topics on all the previous Open Forum pages to make it easier for everyone to browse the topics and review other helpful discussions! Here’s the Open Forum link with all the discussion topics listed: http://strengtheningmarriage.com/blog/open-forum-discussion

  • Rob4Hope May 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    WOW!

    double WOW! Fantastic news…..

  • kiss May 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Happy days!!!

  • Rob4Hope May 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    What is heaven like?

    Is marriage better there, or even good? I can’t seem to hold onto the dream. It just vanishes away….

    I’m having a rather difficult evening.

    • Arogen May 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      What is marriage like in the Celestial Kingdom? As I see it, both the husband and the wife have perfected resurrected bodies. They are fit, handsome/beutiful, full of the energy and vitality of youth. I’m hoping we don’t have to have white hair as my wife is a ginger and I really like that.

      Both husband and wife will be free of sin, free of any trauma experienced in mortality, and free of any false ideas about marriage and sexuality. They will be like Christ, in that they are perfectly kind, loving, honest, obedient etc. etc. As such the relationship will be free of friction.

      Together they will continue to raise a family, without the limits that age or economics puts on us here. Through some process (that I expect will also be intimate and pleasing) spirit children will be brought into existence, and also through sexual intimacy perfect bodies can be created for them as well (where do you think Adam and Eve came from after all).

      The husband and wife will fully satisfy each others needs, both will experience the full joy and bliss, including sexual fulfillment and intimacy that God wants his children to enjoy.

      God is our father, and he wants us to be happy. Ask yourself Rob, what kind of marriage would you want for your children? Wouldn’t you want them to have joy, Amore, passion, as well as agape and children too?

  • lovey May 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

    What wonderful news Arogen! So nice that life is moving forward for you and your wife. That’s the beauty of this life is that change can and does happen- even rocks that seem so permanent change over time. Glad you are working through those old issues so they can be left where they belong, in the past. Awesome that your wife is experiencing orgasms more frequently now too. Watch out! She may soon become the high desire partner. I was many years understanding that feature of my body. Once you do, desire for sex can really soar!

    Yes Rob. Heaven will be even better there. I have not even a small doubt that it will be a perfection of amore and agape love- a oneness – a completeness – both man and women need the qualities of the other. I am not complete without my hon. He is not complete without me. We make an amazing team together. Our family – parents, children and grandchildren – are all blessed from our union.

    It is worth working for here on earth. Look around and see if you can see examples of that- the knowing look- sitting side by side- the kiss goodbye. You will know if they have it by how they radiate. A love and deep sense of contentment.

    • Rob4Hope May 28, 2013 at 9:53 am

      YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      If this is true (PLEASE BE TRUE!) I would do anything for it. Anything!

      I’ve tasted enough of the bitter to appreciate the sweet. Can we be done with this test now? please?

      In my way, Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof is me:

      Perchck: “Money is the world’s curse.”
      Tevye: “May the Lord smite with with it. And may I never recover.”

      or in my case,…may I be covered with kisses so that breathing becomes difficult, and may I sufficate with a smile….

      🙂

      • Arogen May 28, 2013 at 11:21 am

        I love Fiddler on the Roof. I shouldn’t have used it for my model of how to propose however. I asked my wife and then told her Dad we were getting married and we hoped we had his blessing for it.

  • Arogen May 31, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Not a good night last night. My wife has an evening class, so she is pretty tired when she gets home. I don’t expect intimacy on those nights, but I hope and she knows it. Last night she asked me to ‘put her to bed’ when she got home and I was happy to oblige of course. She just kind of lay there and she wasn’t responding much to my touch so my body wasn’t responding much to her either. All I needed was a little enthusiasm, a little involvement from her, but she says sorry, she is just too tired and calls the whole thing off right in the middle of foreplay. It really, really, really hurts, even now. I’m not angry at her, she shouldn’t have offered but she was trying to do something nice for me, it just turned out really wrong.

  • Rob4Hope May 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I understand how you feel….completely. I commend you on not being angry. Things get called off in my case clear into sex,…and then there is no follow up,…just her waiting for me to get angry. When I finally do, her attitude is “See, I knew you would get angry.”

    It is a vicious VICIOUS cycle in my case. Hold the line Arogen. You have always been able to find the strength. I’m sorry you hurt.

    • Arogen May 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

      There have been other times though in the past where she put the offer out there for later in the day, then put it off till later still for some trivial reason and I’d go along rather than press the issue, then she puts it off till later again for another reason, then winds up canceling it altogether. I would get angry when she did that then she would say I was trying to emotionally manipulate and blackmail and her into having sex, or trying to punish her with guilt.

      This wasn’t the same thing though, she really was way too tired, there was no way we could have started anything earlier, and the only way the evening could have gone better was if she never offered, or if I didn’t accept the offer (like that will ever happen).

  • Rob4Hope May 31, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I understand this as well. My spouse will tell me she is willing to try, and then it takes her several hours to work up to it. During that entire time, I am subjected to the very real possibility of things being called of,…so it just winds me up with anxiety and fear or rejection. When things go on and on,…often I just give up and quite waiting,…and we have a big fight. If we actually ge there and start to engage, it is not uncommon for her to get everything reving, and then her to call it off…but there is no “reschedule”,…I am just out of luck. This has gone on for years,…decades.

    Mine is a seriously damaged marriage.

    You were very positive a few days ago Arogen, and now you are feeling hurt and sad. My take is you just needed to vent your pain. Like me, that somehow kindof helps you reset and try to press forward.

    My heart goes out to you my friend. Hold the line. You ALWAYS tell me that Christ can get me through. I believe you say that because you believe it yourself. I commend you to your own consel…lean on the arm of the Master and press forward.

  • Arogen May 31, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Yeah, that’s about it. I’m bruised but it will pass. It hit a little harder because I needed to feel accepted more than usual but it turned into being tolerated, then into being turned away. Bad timing and poor decision, just one of those days. She apologized for it but I don’t think she understands really how deep the feelings go on stuff like this and I wish she did.

  • Rob4Hope May 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    There certainly is a mix with low-desire/high-desire people out there. Michelle Weinder-Davis believes that low-desire men in marriage is a well kept secret of national proportions. You know, it is kindfo like cosmic irony for people to get matched like this. I submit that you and I both are clearly high-desire, and our wives are low or, in my case, very low desire…

    Why can’t “murphy” simply land on two people with high desire, or two people with low hooking up? Why the mixy mixy has to happen!???

    ARGGGGG!!!!!!!

    Like Tevye, I still want to be cursed with so much affection and lovin that I sufficate with a smile!

  • Rob4Hope June 5, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I sure hope to get a response on this. I have a question.

    In myself, there are two components of sexuality: 1) an underlying desire–the fire of hunger if you will; 2) a directional component,…who that hunger is directed toward.

    I feel the first a lot, but as my wife rejects me, I am discovering that it is becoming more and more difficult to direct that hunger towards her: I am left with two choices–leave and find someone else, or kill the underlying hunger. But, that is all besides the point.

    My wife acts as thought there is no #1 in her–there is no hunger or fire of any type. Because of this, it feels crazy that there is never a lingering kiss, a slight brush of the hand that is a little more than just casual, and absolutely no way in this world that I will ever be wanted ‘that way’.

    Is this normal? Do woman never ever feel horny? Do they have no underlying desire of any type?

    She claims to be only directional,…but there ain’t no fuel in there. What is she directing toward when she isn’t moving anywhere?

    I am rather confused right now as I read this. This isn’t “good girl syndrome”….this is “dead girl syndrome”..

    • Arogen June 7, 2013 at 7:02 am

      I don’t really have any experience with women other than my wife and the things I’ve heard/read, but based on that it seems to me that for a good many women they don’t have an ever-present driving hunger for sex like we men do, but it can be awoken in them if they do not resist it.

      When they get started being intimate, they can become horny during foreplay. They have to start getting intimate before they start to feel desire. If they have pleasurable sexual experiences frequently enough then they start to have their own fire in them, although perhaps not to the same degree as a man, but enough that there is enthusiasm for intimacy and the occasional evening where she gets aggressive about getting some. If sex is too rare, or unsatisfying, then that part of them doesn’t wake up or shuts down. So it’s kind of a learned thing.

      There are women though who are high-desire naturally, and some women who because of past traumas, deeply held wrong ideas etc. will resist reaching that point.

  • happymom June 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I have been struggling with the opposite of the problems mostly mentioned here. I am the one who wants to be intimate and close more than my husband. It has been that way for many years. There isn’t the drive or interest that you normally hear men having in our relationship. I am the one who initiates any of the closeness that we have, only rare occasions am I pursued. I acknowledge that sex isn’t all there is to a relationship but I have spent many years frustrated and discouraged and often feel rejected. I am unable to turn him on enough for us to have sex. It is something that we talk about often. It appears that medical problems are the main obstacle. He doesn’t seem that interested in talking with his doctor or following through on medications to improve his overall health which might help our intimacy. He doesn’t really feel that anything will change it. It has been way too long that I have felt the closeness that I need or desire. I wish there was more help or suggestions for the wife who struggles with a husband who has a low sex drive due to poor health. We are too young to continue this pattern for the rest of our lives.

    • Arogen June 12, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Would you be comfortable explaining what medical problems we are talking about here? Low Testosterone levels? Depression? If you don’t want to say, that is OK.

      • happymom June 13, 2013 at 8:26 am

        Yes, low testosterone. Less than 80. Which has led to ED. He isn’t good about taking medication especially for his diabetes, and he gave up on the gel for low T a while back. It’s been dropping for about 3 years now. He thinks it is just the way it is going to be and that he won’t be able to get the desire back. We cuddle, kiss, but he just isn’t turned on at all ever!

        • Arogen June 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

          I have the same issue (due to some damage down there long ago making one of the boys rather ineffective). How long was he taking the gel before he quit, I noticed results in about a week, probably less. Perhaps his dose was too low. Anyway, it works, and there are lots of guys in this boat who have really turned things around and are very happy as a result. There are other treatments than just the gel too.

          ED can be very embarrassing and frustrating for a guy, make him feel ashamed and weak and not good enough. That can also create fear of trying to fix it, because if that doesn’t work it makes it all worse. Perhaps he isn’t selfish, just scared. Encourage him, but make sure he knows you will love him no matter what the outcome is but you need him to be brave enough to try for your sake if not his own. Actually low T has a lot of other health issues with it too, heart problems, weight gain, depression…

  • lovey June 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Welcome Happy Mom,
    I like the name you chose for yourself. It implies that you have an optimistic outlook on life. That can be a blessing even in the face of the frustrations you are dealing with your husband.
    Also positive is that you are able to communicate your feelings with him.
    I’m a reader so when I have a problem and am looking for a solution, I often go find out what the “experts” have to say. Not that I always agree with everything they write of course but it might be a good place to start.
    Checking on Amazon the book “Why men stop having sex” looks like an interesting title to explore. David Schnarch’s books are deep but very insightful too- Passionate Marriage or Intimacy & Desire.

    What are his medical problems? Do you think they are the core of his lack of desire? Is he affectionate otherwise?
    Why do you think he is not interested in following through with medication?

    There are solutions and I hope you will keep exploring them because young or old, it can’t be ideal to be in a marriage where either one of you feels so frustrated.

  • Rob4Hope June 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    The Sex Starved Wife is another book that really looks at this issue… written by Michelle Weiner-Davis.

  • Arogen June 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    What are the other LDS Marriage blogs out there? There are a lot of non-LDS Christian marriage blogs but I’m not finding much that is LDS specific. There is this one:

    latterday-marriage.blogspot.com

    There isn’t much there but it seems pretty new. Hopefully it will continue. Who knows of any others?

  • kiss June 18, 2013 at 12:48 am

    The last link also talks about some lds blogs on marriage about half way down

  • kiss June 18, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Links have been taken down, maybe we can’t share them here arogen,
    Do a google search, they come up.

  • douglas June 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Help! So the last few times my wife and myself have made love she said just worry about myself and not try to satisfy her. Well, needless to say it really took the mood out of the lovemaking and afterwords I asked her why. Apparently she can no longer reach orgasm and come to find out has been faking it for years. I have always been slow and not afraid to use manual or oral to satisfy her and usually waited until she was done before we continued with me. Come to find out, she was really never “done” because she never got there at all. I feel very hurt and seems like I have been lied to for years. We have been married 25 years and even though we have had some issues along the way, I have always felt like I was satisfying her in the bedroom. This just happened last night and we haven’t spoke too much about it except for our initial conversation. I mentioned that we should seek out help and she seemed somewhat open but was concerned about being embarrassed with the problem. She did say that she has had orgasms in the past ant the whole 25 years hasn’t been a lie but I do think this has been going on longer than she has fessed up too. I do not believe she has tried masturbating herself to orgasm but I do not know this for sure. She seems like she has just given up altogether. She is only 46 and in fairly good shape. I guess I need help/advice with a few things. 1) How can I help her? and 2) How can I move past the hurt feelings that I have right now knowing that the last several years our lovemaking has been just a lie. She says it’s no big deal and I need not stress over it. I feel like if she gets nothing out of the lovemaking and in her head she is just saying “hurry up and get it over with” it’s just not going to be very satisfying to me either. Thank you for your input on this. I really need some feedback. By the way, she is out of town now for several days so I will have many lonely nights to lay in an empty bed and wonder what in the world is going on. Thanks

    • kiss June 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Eeek!! Sorry to hear that mate! Not cool.
      You must feel gutted.
      Your wife is my age. If she is still ovulating, you might have more luck during that time of the month, but if she isn’t maybe her hormones are not balanced and she ain’t feeling the love anymore.

      Laura’s book has a 7 week project you could try doing together? I think it is 7 weeks. I couldn’t do it…l’ld be begging my husband to forget it and lets just shag, but it might work for you and your wife if she would be willing to try.

      Maybe she wants toe curling sex and it ain’t happening. If she does there is hope ( cos she wants sex but it has to be better) so at least she doesn’t ever want it.

      Maybe email her, now she has gone …a letter might be easier for you both than talking on the phone etc.

      She might e happy to share more in an email than face to face right this second.

      It’s not the end of the world…you will both work through it and it will be better in the end …but you both have to want the gourmet sex Laura talks about…not just one of you.

      • douglas June 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

        Thank you for the encouragement. I thought too of writing her an email and I will be working on that tonight. Of course, I would desire the Gourmet sex as you mentioned but I really think she has given up on herself and is too embarrassed to talk about it or work on it. I will try though. Hopefully she won’t take my trying to help as a way for me to fix her so I will get more sex. It isn’t that I don’t desire more sex, it’s that I desire for her to regain the pleasure that she once had. It isn’t much fun for me or satisfying if I know my wife is getting nothing in return. A big part of my emotional satisfaction came from being able to satisfy her. I had absolutely no clue she was faking. I really feel hurt by her lying to me for these last several years. She was raised very sheltered and we have been active in the LDS religion since we were married. I hope I can work on our communication and she is willing seek some help on this issue. I really think she would be happier too. I will keep you posted.

        • kiss June 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm

          In your email….tell her exactly that. Exactly how you feel ( don’t say lying…call it, ‘ not feeling like she could talk to you about it’ etc)
          She needs to hear how you feel, how you love her and want her to feel sexy, and wanted and how SHE alone makes you horny, not some film, or neighbour…but her. And her alone etc
          But def tell her what you just wrote above, perfect!

          Just butter her way way up….expect nothing back. If she gives you a little hint , just keep buttering her up. Never blame anyone, just come at it from a neutral perspective.
          As I am her age, I expect she is not feeling very sexy at this stage of her life.
          Maybe also her health..and her eyes, are going! Maybe her teeth hurt And are starting to fall out ( it is sooo fun being a woman!) her skin is sagging and she has all sorts going on in her head. Help her to see that you want to help her get through this and get close to her in and outside the bedroom.
          A you tube video I just watched is good. Search Paul and Ruth. That is the title. It is marriage counsel better marriage thing, listen to it. If she can listen as well later on, great and if not…you can work on ways that will help and support her at this time.
          If she is pre menopause, read up about that.
          Just so you know what’s going on in her life.

          It isn’t fun, but I guess others have got through it…and come out the other side much happier in their marriages.
          So will you 2

          It is all part of the plan !!
          But start with baby steps…stop hurting, it isn’t you…it is her and how she sees herself.
          If she is feeling flabby, both of you go on a health kick, I cut white sugar / high fructose corn syrup and lost 9 lbs in 6 weeks . If she wants to also sort out her health, you have to do it too, don’t come in with chocolates etc like my hubby does. That does not help!!
          Maybe commit to walking with her each morning before work, or each evening. Ask her what is missing in her life with you and what she says ( we don’t spend time together, or you never take out the rubbish, or you never hold my hand) that will be her love language. If you don’t know hers, or yours, do the test on line, google ‘5 love languages’ test , and there is a male one and a female one. If you don’t know them ..that might be a big problem too as her love tank is empty.

          She will be acts of service, quality time, physical touch, gifts, words.
          She maybe 2

          Find out what it is and serve her via HER love language.
          Her tank will fill, she will feel loved and sexy again ( after the walking kicks in) and hellllllooooo sailor!!

          Good luck.

          • kiss June 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

            Opps sorry it is Paul and Beth the video.

          • douglas June 25, 2013 at 5:18 am

            Okay,
            Here is the letter I sent. Hope it hits the mark!
            I know this is a hard topic to discuss face to face so I thought it might break down some barriers if I put it in an email.
            First off, let me say this email has been written with Love and the most respect and admiration for you. It’s not easy to talk about the subject matter and I will try to be careful how things are worded and not get too graphic.
            I must admit that I was very hurt when you told me that you had been faking sexual satisfaction for the last several years. I was hurt in multiple ways. One being that you have been too afraid or unwilling to have this discussion with me and communicate the difficulty and second that I was upset with myself for not being able to satisfy the only person that I have ever been with or ever want to be with. I wish we could have discussed this and tried together to make things happen. As I look back on the last few years of our lovemaking, we never spent a whole lot of time to either get you to that point or before you decided to fake your satisfaction. It would not have upset or bothered me if you would have directed me differently, said to slow down, showed me a different way, or spent way more time to help you. I would not have been offended or hurt by this. There are things that we could do differently. We can add toys or vibrators etc. I know this probably makes you feel uncomfortable to talk about, but to me what we do in our bedroom is our business and I see nothing wrong with adding things if they are going to help you reach enjoyment and I don’t have any issues about buying anything that might be embarrassing to purchase. This might be something that will need some help from a qualified therapist or Doctor. I don’t know. But I do know, that I will work patiently with you if you want to try to get back that you once had and It might take a lot of time and trial and error. Maybe there will be frustrations and setbacks. Who knows? This is another new chapter in our lives. I know you would do the same for me if I had an erectile dysfunction or something of the sort and needed your help to overcome..(which I may have someday)

            Like I said the other night. Sex to me is much more than the physical release. It is the closeness, the intimacy, the ability to satisfy you if that’s what you desire that makes the event special and sacred to me.

            You need to know that I love you for who you are. YOU turn me on. Not some movie actress. neighbor, co-worker but YOU. You always have and always will. You are my eternal companion and the only one besides the children that really matter in my life. Yes, we are no spring chickens anymore and our bodies change, we turn grey, we get a few wrinkles and then a few more…love doesn’t stop with age, wrinkles. grey hair, etc. It keeps moving forward.

            Please don’t think this email is in anyway me saying that I want to “fix” you. It is not. I just want you to know that I love you, I care about you, I want you to be happy and if I can help you in anyway get sexual satisfaction back in you life again if that is something that you want, I am willing to help give you support in anyway that I can.

            Lets just make a commitment with each other right now. That we COMMUNICATE with each other. No matter how sensitive or embarrassing the topic is. We are adults and need to be able to hold each other close and have serious conversations with each other.

          • lovey June 25, 2013 at 10:19 am

            Douglas,
            That was a really well worded letter you wrote your wife. I am quite sure such encouragement from you will help a great deal.
            Something else you might want to know from another women’s perspective. Just because your wife did not have an orgasm during lovemaking, does not mean she did not enjoy the sexual experience. It does not make it all a lie.
            One can be too centered on having an orgasm and lose the emotional experience. While orgasms are wonderful, they are only part of the experience. I personally was so naive in the early years of my marriage that I didn’t even know about orgasms for women. Our lovemaking was still something I cherished.
            Now that I have been married for 30 + years, I’m glad to have lots of “tools in the toolbox” including a vibrator to help my orgasms along.
            Life and lovemaking with my eternal companion is still sweet, with or without the big O,
            Lovey

        • kiss June 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

          Wow, great letter, I nearly had tears in MY eyes!!
          I hope she feels the spirit as she reads it, as did I. That you were coming from a place to help you both go into your ‘ middle years’ having an even better time in the bedroom than the last 25 yrs ( although I am sure they were good, you just want them even better…and why not)
          You have a few days while she is away to work on this via ‘ words’ and if words are her love language…you are doing very well my friend. She is going to love this!
          Keep us in the loop….I feel a bit of a perv, but I am hoping you will have the success that arogen and his wife had at the beginning of the year.
          I know you said she has had organisms In the past…but not lately…is that right?
          If she has, then it might just be an age thing. Back then she probably felt sexier etc, or less flabby I don’t know, but tell her from me, as you get older..they get better!!!

          What’s with everyone’s toys!??? Maybe I need to join in the fun!???

          • douglas June 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm

            Thank you for the encouragement to write the letter. I appreciate the ideas that you shared with me that I was able to incorporate into the letter. Yes, she was able to reach orgasm in the past…at least that is what she is saying. I haven’t received a response from the email but hope to receive one tonight and I will keep you in the loop. I hope she receives it with the intention that it was written. My wife might not go for the “toy” idea. She is pretty reserved. I just think that might be something we need to add to help her…i don’t know though. Lovely responded with she probably was getting satisfaction out of lovemaking even though she was not reaching orgasm. I don’t really think she was. She has been pretty non-involved with the lovemaking for sometime and has not showed much interest. In fact she has stated that she doesn’t show much affection toward me because she does not want me to think she wants sex. I really think the root of the problem is going to be more of an hormone in-balance. We’ll see, I will let you all know.
            Thank you for the feedback and the help on this!

    • Arogen June 25, 2013 at 10:29 am

      I’ve been there, I know how much it hurts to feel like you’ve failed her like that, but an orgasm is a mutual thing and her faking it was an obstacle to your leaning what she needs to get to O. She is the only one who can teach you how her body responds and she taught you wrongly. Take comfort in that your heart was in the right place, you were sincerely doing what you could to make it a pleasure for her. Don’t be too hard on her though, she was trying to make you feel good, she just went about it the wrong way.

      Is she willing to stop faking it and learn how to orgasm for real? And it is a learning process for both of you. My wife (thank goodness) was willing to try even though for many years she just considered herself ‘broken’ in that area. Don’t put too much pressure on her that she has to orgasm, it has to be a let’s make a real sincere effort and whatever happens, happens, no pressure.

      She has to be willing to be honest about what is working for her and what doesn’t, she has to give you constant feedback on where to touch her and how to touch her, you both have to be willing to try new things and devote time to this. Take much longer with foreplay and find what works, hard or gentle, fast or slow, up there or down an inch lower. And she needs to learn to RELAX and allow herself to feel pleasure and release control. If there is any physical discomfort issues, find a solution to that (different lube etc.).

      My wife had physical discomfort issues and because she came to link that discomfort with sex it took her a long time to relax to the point where she would have an O. Over a year. Month my month she would get closer and closer and feel more pleasure than before until it finally happened. And once it happened orgasms became a pretty regular thing for her, including multiples.

      • kiss June 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        Show off!

      • douglas June 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        Not really sure why she felt she needed to fake it instead of communicated with me on what she needed. She was also pretty quick to fake it…it’s not like she let the foreplay last long before she was “ready” and done….supposedly. Thank you for the reply and encouragement. I am hoping for the best of a tough situation.

        • Arogen June 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm

          That’s exactly what my wife did. I always let foreplay go on until she said to move on to intercourse, so I assumed she got enough foreplay. Because there was discomfort, she just wanted to get it over with fast, and faking it helped make me finish faster, same as insisting on missionary all the time. She gave up on herself thinking she was broken and just wasn’t one of those women who liked sex, and she didn’t want me to feel like I failed either so that was another reason for her to fake it.

          • douglas June 27, 2013 at 6:27 am

            How did you get your wife from the point of feeling like she was “broken” and sex just wasn’t meant to be for her, to the point that she actually had hope that she really wasn’t broken and decided to seek help and fix the issue? I really feel like my wife has thrown in the towel and has just come to grips that she’d done sexually. Also, not only being that she was raised fairly sheltered and I’m sure she has the good girl syndrome that the book talks about, but she also is very bull headed once she has her mind set. “sigh”

  • Rob4Hope June 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Just listened to Laura’s pod-cast on WIN network,…Sexual Surrender. It says that the key to a woman’s ability to surrender sexually is emotional safety.

    Some of these podcasts are pretty good Laura. Thank you for doing them.

  • Rob4Hope June 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This pod-cast was on “transcendence”….episode 55 if interested.

  • kiss June 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Douglas , have you or your wife read Laura’s book? The first chapter talks about the good girl syndrome. How in the church we are told no…sex before marriage is not good ‘and it is for when you are married’ but not a lot of other help. You said when you married you joined the church but if she had been a catholic, or a born again Christian, she may have those same teachings in her head, and therefore doesn’t know that it is a gift from god, for her to feel sexual and for you to feel emotional. Woman have the emotion down pat and the boys the sexual…but sex brings the other side of us out.
    So we are balanced.
    That is why he gave it to married couples, so they can be a balanced couple. It was never intended for single people…who cares if the man experiences emotions if heis single..he can’t use it to help his kids!!

    Crossing everything for you, and I’m with you on the toys.
    Candles and sexy nightwear…hellloooo!

    • douglas June 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      We have not read the book but boy do I ever want to read it with her. I think it would help so much. I joined the church when I was 22 and she was raised in the Church. After I joined she came home from college and we met through mutual friends and the rest is history. We were married about a year later. I think she definitely has had the good girls syndrome. Hope it’s not too late to overcome that and enjoy what can be. Thanks

      • Arogen June 26, 2013 at 11:16 pm

        Her book was the main thing that turned it all around for us. We set aside one night a week where we would get into bed and read it together, talk about what we read. I though all we needed was more frequency but it helped me see where I needed to change as well. Get it and insist on reading it together. Do the assignments too.

  • kiss June 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    No it isn’t, but it takes some work on her part to let those totally wrong feelings go and know that it is ok to ‘ feel sexy’ or ok to ‘ want to shag hanging off the kitchen table ‘ etc
    That takes some undoing and some time, but if she is willing to change and re think things, you have a chance to have a much happier and fulfilling love life going into your 50’s
    The book is sometimes $9 ( and once it was $5 a few months ago off her website) I read mine via the library here in New Zealand, but it is a very thick book, very thick.
    Takes some reading too….but if you can, get a copy each so you can read and high light things during the day and talk about them for 10 mins each night and practice some of the things.
    Or read together at night.
    That wouldn’t work for me, cos hubby soooo doesn’t want to read a sex book full stop, let alone ‘ together in bed’
    He wants to watch rugby.

    There is like I said before, the 7 weeks no sex. Which will help her re program her thinking.
    Once she sees it is ok to ‘ feel horny’ and to actually realise it is a Decision, it doesn’t usually just ‘ happen’ ( unless she is ovulating and then she might feel a little tingling in the nether regions…or not) but she needs to be thinking about you, and what she is going to do to you tonight in the bath etc, so she can start re programming her brain waves.

    Exciting!!

    • douglas June 26, 2013 at 6:10 am

      I so want to read the book and hopefully she will want too also. Not sure though. Still no reply to the email that I sent her. I know she read it and it’s been over a day now. We have had some idle conversation but she has not responded to what I wrote. Not sure what to think about that??? I was hoping to at least hear something. Silence is a killer!

      • Arogen June 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

        You could ask her if she read it, and tell her you look forward to her reply.

      • Arogen June 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        And don’t be afraid to assert a bit of leadership as the head of the household and insist on her reading the book together with you. Set aside specific times for it.

  • kiss June 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Just send another, telling her you meant every word and this is important to you and you love her blah blah, just reemphasise …
    Etc

  • Arogen June 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

    douglas
    How did you get your wife from the point of feeling like she was “broken” and sex just wasn’t meant to be for her, to the point that she actually had hope that she really wasn’t broken and decided to seek help and fix the issue? I really feel like my wife has thrown in the towel and has just come to grips that she’d done sexually. Also, not only being that she was raised fairly sheltered and I’m sure she has the good girl syndrome that the book talks about, but she also is very bull headed once she has her mind set. “sigh”

    I think a big part of it was her realizing that sexual fulfilment really was as important to me and our marriage as I was telling her. She kind of wrote off what I said as having selfish motives and it wasn’t a legitimate need of mine, and shouldn’t be so important to me. When she saw in the book a woman saying the same things I was saying she realized there was something to it and was open to looking for solutions.

    Also, the book was very encouraging that any woman can learn to orgasm, and gave some information that helped her see that the way she was acting in bed did a lot to prevent her from reaching orgasm. She expected orgasm to come from intercourse and would always end foreplay very quickly and jump to intercourse.

    So, she was willing to let foreplay go for longer, and because of that she started getting more pleasure out of it than before and realized she was on the path to having an orgasm. It took over a year from that point for her to get to the point where she could orgasm but it was a very enjoyable trip for her. She seemed to have a ‘pleasure threshold’ of how much she could tolelrate and it took that time for her to push that threshold back far enough to allow her to climax. Even before she had her climax she had come to really enjoy sex and started removing her abitrary limits on how often etc.

    There wasn’t really any good girl syndrome to deal with in our case, but I think the book tackles that really well too. Get her to read through it together with you, talk about it, and do the assignments. If she is willing to make an honest effort to do that it will have a big impact.

  • kiss June 30, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Douglas, how did things go when she got home?

    • douglas July 4, 2013 at 12:30 am

      She made it home…nothing has been said about the email that I sent. We have had a lot of projects to get the house ready for family that was coming so it’s been really hectic around here. Still disappointed that she did not even acknowledge that I wrote her a heartfelt and sincere letter. Really kind of pisses me off to be quite frank.

      • kiss July 4, 2013 at 1:52 am

        And you are 100% sure she read it?
        That’s very sad that after your lovely letter that you wrote ( brought tears to my eyes and I don’t even know ya) she can’t even acknowledge the bomb shell she told you, and then ignores your pleas for help via email.
        Very weird.
        And very rude…

        So after family leave, you are going to have to ask her what she thought of your email and how you are both going to move forward cos you don’t want to just use her…what fun is That.
        So that isn’t even an option.
        Don’t let it fester…cos 25 yrs will go by and you will still be in the same place and very very unhappy.

        I was looking at marriagebuilders . Com last week, go to the love unit info. By dr Harley. Very good. Women want affection and conversation. Undivided attention etc and men want quality time and sex.
        Give each other what they need = happy couple.
        You need to spend about 15 hrs minimum a week fulfilling those things he reckons. I guess people spend more than 15 hrs on cultivating affairs, a week, so 15 hrs spent on your marriage is not much to ask to protect it I guess.
        Good luck.

  • kiss July 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    ROB: I’m locked out! If you know what I mean!! Let me in.

  • Rob4Hope July 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Kiss, you are in and I am just confirming things are good.

    15 hours a week hunh? when things were going “good?” for me, I got about 45 min a week in my “need” area.

    I am absolutely transfixed by the disparity of opinion out there. This site is unique in that it actually says that men “need” sex.

    What a joke I have found “out there” about this topic. A lot of women think men just make that up–that we are perverts and sex addicts and just creeps. And the divorces role.

    Duh! WAKE UP!!!!

    You know, in LDS “doctrine”, there are two commandments in the temple about this chastity thing. Why is it such a horrible sin to “act out”, and just brushed off as nothing to “act in?” Being sexual outside of marriage is evil. But, isn’t not being sexual and starving/controlling your spouse sexually inside of marriage evil as well?

    We are so one-sided, and like I said above, the dirovces roll on…

    WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Arogen July 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Yes, it is wrong. I would say a spouse who constantly withholds sex without some external cause like illness etc. is breaking at least one temple covenant. Paul says some things in the Bible about it too. Marriage is supposed to be about fulfilling your spouses needs, not judging their needs and picking and choosing what ones you think are legitimate to fulfill.

    My wife never overtly said my need for more frequent sex was illegitimate, but I’m pretty sure she thought I was more focused on it than I should be and was only thinking of my own selfish pleasure. It really helped her to hear from a woman (ie: Laura’s book) that this was normal and driven by biology, not selfishness. I think you would be hard pressed to find a good marriage book that doesn’t take that view.

  • bcdr July 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Dr. Laura, I am a mom of a beautiful 25 year old woman who Has many health problems. She is a newly wed and it was such a blessing for her to find her husband. However she was molested when she was young and even though she does not remember anything about it it may be attributing to her current problems. She was never very physically demonstrative with any male that could be a potential mate. Until she met her husband. She was able to kiss him and hug and stuff before they were married but at that time sex was not a threat. The idea of being alone after the wedding sent her into a serious anxiety attack so the honeymoon was cancelled and they have had sex once which was apparently horrible for both of them. 21/2 months later she is annoyed and angered at his advances. She becomes stressed which then transfers into physical pain.
    She says that she would like to try to change but believes that this is how she is and that it should be okay. We know they need counseling. But how do we find one that can help with such complex problems? Are there lds social services counselors that are equipped to help? We are in the salt lake valley. The bishop has not met with them recently (hopefully soon). they were in counseling even before the wedding but had only had 3 visits before he lost his job and they have not been able to go back. Some of her health problems are genetic and she has no plans to bear children so in her mind there is no reason to have sex. Once this young women gets things into her mind no one can seem to get her to rethink her position. She knows that her issues are hurting her husband and has decided that they should divorce for his sake, because she may never change. and even if she does it will take longer than he should have to wait. They just need to end it so he can find happiness else where. They are sealed in the temple. Because of health problems she has not been back since the sealing. Any help you an offer would truly be appreciated.

  • apr August 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Speaking of the book . . . I bought it two years ago and read it nearly all the way through. I asked my wife to read it, but she didn’t. I’ve reminded her some from time to time how much it would mean to me for her to read it and for us to discuss its content, but all she’s read so far is the first section; she hasn’t made it past the ‘good girl syndrome’ and feels like the book is targeting her and how she was raised. She hasn’t touched it for nearly a year and I don’t know if bringing it up again would be a good idea.

    I feel like our marriage has so much good in it; I can’t say that our marriage doesn’t bring me joy because it does. Just . . . discussing sexual needs is still really rough and that part of our relationship is still far from where it can be. Any suggestions?

    • Arogen August 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      If you feel strongly about it and feel the spirit OK doing this, you may want to consider telling her (nicely but firmly) that as her husband and the head of the home you are asking her to read it with an open mind and heart. Tell her you feel this is important for the good of your marriage and that even though you know she isn’t interested in it you hope she will respect your position as her husband and head of the household enough that she will do as you’ve asked.

      I’m not saying you twist her arm about it, but you lay out that her choice is to either read it or be rebellious against her husband’s leadership and then you step away and let her choose.

    • Laura M. Brotherson December 14, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Hi apr,

      Sorry to be way slow in replying here, but I just wanted to be sure you checked out the Q&A I wrote on this exact question of what to do when a wife/spouse won’t read the book or won’t even try to change in this area. Here are a few links to check out:

      Wife won’t read your book
      http://strengtheningmarriage.com/qa/#QA1

      “How Do I Get My Spouse to Change?!”
      http://ldsmag.com/component/zine/article/7843?ac=1

  • Chipmunk August 28, 2013 at 5:13 am

    Don’t know what to do; maybe I should do nothing and just accept things as they are? I’m 55, wife is 60. She menopaused 10 years ago and that pretty much ended sexual fulfillment. She’s had absolutely no libido over this time. We’ve had intercourse about 3 times over the past 10 years, mostly due to the fact she is dry and won’t attempt to work on solving that problem. Just no desire.

    My doctor put me on testosterone over a year ago due to low energy. Needles to say my desire for sexual fulfillment went up.

    My wife feels we had our time and now this is natures way of shutting down and we shouldn’t be concerned about sex anymore, that at our age its over.

    But I am starving for intimacy. Want to feel wanted, crave the kisses, hugs, touch and caresses.

    We temporarily live in the West (I’m military) so she chose to go back East for the summer, 3 months, to work around our house. Being alone 3 months killed me, but didn’t seem to bother her.

    I planned our reunion this week with preparations for romance, candles, soft music, body massage, even bought her a cute conservative lingerie (in 29 years of marriage have never seen my wife in one)

    It was a disaster. She said lingerie is for prostitutes and if God intended for it he would have given us it instead of garments. She said that its worldly. She is very prudish. She would have been content in the past making love in garments! I’m just shocked and hurt.

    I guess my question is are we beyond the years to have any interest in sex? Is it me? Should I just give up and go on co-habitatiing without any intimacy or romance cause she feels it’ll lead to the “Act of Marriage”? I’m very unhappy. She’s not inclined to discuss this with a doctor or our bishop. We are very active in the LDS church.

    Anybody have any comments or suggestions?

    • Arogen August 31, 2013 at 8:56 am

      My heart breaks for you. She is in her comfort zone, and as long as you allow her to remain comfortable there at your expense, that is where she will be. You are going to have to either accept that this is your life now, or make it very clear to her that you are NOT happy in this marriage, do not intend to just put up with it, reject her excuses and push for change. Not in a bossy way, but firm and loving. You are the head of the house and it is your job to lead your wife and family, so lead.

      That’s going to create some conflict I expect depending on how much resistance she is going to put up, but you are going to have to be the driving force for change and fight for the marriage you want to have. I think insisting she read Laura’s book would be a good place to start.

    • Laura M. Brotherson October 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Chipmunk,

      Sorry to be slow to the conversation here, but I believe I’ve addressed this in a previous post (it may be back in Open Forum 1 or 2 even), but basically one of the first key steps is to be sure you have communicated fully and intently (and for most couples that means in writing) what you are feelings, how much you are missing her, how you don’t want to let that part of your relationship die and that you hope she will consider figuring out how to get that spark back again.

      If she would be willing to talk with her doctor about hormonal/menopausal issues, that would be another first step so you’re not working against her body’s physiology. Lack of lubrication can generally be remedied by either additional relaxation and foreplay or by supplemental lubrication.

      You’ll have to figure out how to provide a little “shock and awe” about how important this is to you especially if this has gone on for 10 years.

      You might also consider listening to our Marital Intimacy Show podcasts to see if there is one she might particularly relate to since that is a little more personal (with me “speaking” to her) instead of her just reading a book. Here’s the link: http://strengtheningmarriage.com/podcasts/

      I wish you luck. Continue to check out the Q&A page and other resources until you find something you think will work for you guys! Good luck. I know it’s tough!

  • kiss August 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    So at 45 the sex was all over ( bar 3 times) and now at 55 it’s done??!!
    You are 55!!!

    Surely things are still swingin at your age. At least I would hope so.

    Mind you at 45 they should have been as well.

    So for 10 yrs you never pushed the intimate side of your relationship? You rolled over and died??

    And now you want to resurrect it, but she has had 10 yrs without it and doesn’t see the point?

    Am I right?

    Is she grandmotherly? Or a hot Sophia Loren?
    Maybe she has body issues.
    Or she is repulsed by you, or just sex.
    Why would she think sex doesn’t go on tll you die?

  • Chipmunk August 31, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I guess after having three children, menopause and not being able to get lubricated naturally she believes its natures way of saying its over. I’ve tried to discuss it with her but it usually gets contentious and then I get the silent treatment for a couple of days.

    I just bought Laura’s book and hope she’ll agree to read it with me but I don’t think she will.

    I just think if she would discuss things with her doctor, maybe hormone therapy or something, a little of that flame of desire might get re-kindled. For now there is no desire to even want to attempt to improve upon it. I would love nothing more than to have her experience the pleasure she enjoyed years ago. I remember her having multiple orgasms.

    Can women age 60 still enjoy sex in that way?

    • kiss September 1, 2013 at 12:28 am

      I don’t know, I’m not there.
      Lovey does! She is there.
      Try Laura’s book, you never know, she might be willing to work on this together if she sees you putting in the work ( the book is thick)

    • Arogen September 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Women at age 80 can still enjoy sex if they choose to. Perhaps she has some pain issues that need to be worked around, or concerns that she doesn’t look as good as she once did. She has no right to unilaterally end intimacy in your marriage.

      Given how strongly you feel about this, I would not recommend a weak ‘Gee honey, I sure would like it if you read this book’ approach.

      You need to spell it out to her that you are deeply unhappy in your marriage and you do not want things to continue as they are as over time it will ruin what happiness you have left now. Tell her this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

      Insist she read the book with you. She can respect your position as her husband and head of the family and read it willing with an open heart or she can rebel and not read it or only go through the motions, but that will probably only make things worse. Let her know you welcome any constructive suggestions she may have as well.

  • lovey September 3, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Hi Chip,
    So sorry your wife has no desire to be intimate. Sounds like she has cast that part of her life aside. Must be so disappointing for you.
    I am a woman in my fifties, been married almost 35 years, an active member of the church and appreciate and love being intimate with my hon more than ever. If anything, as we reach the empty nest stage, this is giving us a new leash on life and on each other.
    I am going through menopause now. While I don’t enjoy being woke up in the night with a night sweat, I see no reason this should hold us back from being intimate. It might mean doing things a little differently like having a bottle of extra virgin coconut oil by the side of the bed for extra lubrication- I like the coco-nutty smell- some types smell others don’t.
    I believe you need to be bold as Arogen suggests. Your wife has a right to her feelings but you also have a right to yours. You must stand up to what you desire without letting her get her way by giving you contention and silence. (Her way to control the situation) Do you believe that more intimacy will create more happiness for both of you? What you are asking is not a selfish request. Love & intimacy with your partner is not selfish- It will enhance your life, hers & your children & grandchildren too!
    Are you reading Laura’s book? What have you learned that is new to you?

    • Chipmunk September 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Thank you for your comments, as well as from Kiss and Arogen. You’ve all given me some hope. One would have to know my dear wife to know that this is not going to be a quick solution. It’ll be baby steps all the way. I bought Laura’s book and that has been the vehicle to help initiate good discussion between us. We’ve read the Introduction together and I think with Laura’s spiritual approach to marital intimacy and including the comments from church leaders has resulted in her being a little more open-minded.

      Her main concern is the pain and dryness resulting from the menopause. We once or twice tried K-Y Jelly but that didn’t help her. She is not currently willing to see a doctor; I hope maybe in time she will?

      One thing I know for sure is that sex without the emotional demension is unfulfilling. I’d like her to want and enjoy the experience. I think thats going to take some time.

      She wanted to learn more about the memopause, hope we can find some answers in Laura’s book.

      • Rob4Hope September 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        coconut oil is a good choice. You said that sex without emotional intimacy is not fulfilling. This is VERY true. However, intimacacy that is devoid of sex (in my case) is also not fulfilling.

        It seems so very sad that so many women (and men often) feel that they can have everything they want in marriage, and because sex isn’t something they necessarily gravitate to, they can omit that with impunity, not taking into account the damage it can cause: the rejection, feeling unloved, and giving room to satan to open up the floodgates of temptation to help “satisfy” unmet needs. The whole idea is really stupid,…and more so, dangerous.

        I have written this before,…but there is only one thing that defines marriage as different than any other relationship: SEX. Do you realize that you can have everything else without breaking moral law, except that? You can merge your money, you can adopt a child, you can share a home, you can hug someone (non sexually), look them in the eyes and say “I love you!” (I have done this with a dear sister MANY times–and I didn’t break any commandments).

        Rack up the list folks. Bring it on! Tell me what you can have in marriage that you can’t have outside of marriage without breaking moral law? There is only 1 thing,…and that thing is SEX.

        So, when a spouse sais in affect: “I don’t want to have sex with you”….it is akin to saying “I don’t want to be married”.

        According to Laura’s book, sex is the “CAUSE” for which two people come together. You really want to eliminate the very cause?

        So Chip,…the concern I see (and I am not pulling any punches here at all) is your wife has forgotten that marriage has requirements, and she doesn’t get to choose what those are. If she unilaterally drops sex, and it isn’t with mutual consent, she is out of line. She is striking at the very foundation of marriage. She needs to wake up–she has NO IDEA the dangerous water she is playing in.

        I don’t know you mate,…but you have my love and sympathy. I know your pain. I am getting to the end of my pathway. I am in the bottom of the 9th, and the final batter is up with 2 outs and the bases loaded. I wish you all the luck I can so that you don’t have to be where I am now.

  • Rob4Hope September 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    My wife wants me to love her regardless of sex,…and if she gets the sex fixed of not, doesn’t matter. We are working a plan suggested by a therapist,…but at the end of the plan, my wife has been tasked with a happiness question: “If we are not happy, why should we stay married?” She is in a tail-spin. She is terrified because there is accountability. One of the reasons I got married was for sex–and I am tired of oppologizing for having those feelings.

    I’m sympathetic to her situation. She blames me for crushing the sexual fire out of her life. OK,….I will take full responsbility for that–damn me to hell of that. But, does that mean the future is lost? It is if she is unwilling or unable to solve this. I can help and encourage her only so much. We are not happy, and if she is unwilling to address this adequately (I mean, how long can a “work in progress” drag on!!!!), then I am so sorry to have to end the marriage.

    She is terrified. Sorry,…can’t help that either. All I can say is I want this to work, and you get to have this much time to be up and doing. Yep,…we are at the ultimatum stage. I will do everything I can,…but staying in perpetually sexlessness is not something I can do. It has nothing to do with anything else,…I can’t do it, and I believe it is unfair for anyone to expect that of a spouse.

    I also think it is unfair to expect or demand your spouse be sexual. My wife DOES have a choice–and will respect that. But, her choice affects the happiness I need to have in marriage, and I have a choice to. Sometimes, agency cuts both ways.

    • Arogen September 4, 2013 at 8:37 am

      I’m actually glad to hear that you have upset her apple cart. A wake up call can be unpleasant but important to get change happening. I hope that however things work out you both find happiness.

      • Rob4Hope September 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        Arogen, as always, thanks for the feedback. Someday I think we will meet, and when I strike up a handshake, forgive me if I get a little emotional. This has been such a difficult pathway over the years (and years and YEARS it has been).

    • Laura M. Brotherson October 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Hey Rob4Hope,

      I haven’t doublechecked the entire history of your story, but I’m trying to remember if sexual addiction is in the mix here. That certainly complicates things if it is and certainly makes the healing process for a wife MUCH more difficult. I’m just trying to get up to speed here and see the picture from both sides…?

  • Rob4Hope September 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    This year there is a date set for decision making. I have yet to do the last thing I can do, and the process is underway. I’ve tried eveything else,…but this last thing.

    I have three choices coming up as the time ends:

    1) leave the marriage and divorce.

    2) stay in the marriage and accept failure (this isn’t going to happen).

    3) pospone the decision because there are changes happening.

    I have been expanding my circle of friends, and I know another lady who works at the temple. She was with two friends,…both in their mid 50s, and one of them was having a birthday. The other lady said: “Hey,…its your birthday, so you can finally decide to NOT have sex today!” This lady stopped in her tracks: “No WAY! I love sex. BRING IT ON!”

    Total polarization right there. How interesting.

    I am in my upper 40s,…and I actually KNOW women who like sex in my age-bracket. I am not without options if my marriage ends. I for sure am done playing dead.

  • Arogen September 14, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Love the new look. I think we are missing some of the more recent posts. Will they be showing up later?

    • Laura M. Brotherson October 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Hey Arogen,

      Are you seeing all the recent posts from Sep 4 – 14th now? Looks like you may need to click on the “UnHide” replies to comments to see them. We’ll see about making that the default.

      I’m also wondering if everyone is getting the new RSS feed of the blog comments (http://feeds.feedblitz.com/strengtheningmarriageblogcomments) through email. I imagine many of you have subscribed to that to be sure to see when someone replies. Hopefully this new system will make it even easier to conversate here! 🙂

  • Laura M. Brotherson September 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Thanks Arogen! What are we missing? I’ll have my webguys check. : )

    • Arogen September 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Anything posted after Sept 4th by the looks of it, and I know there were a few posts over the past week.

  • AceofClubs October 15, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for all your great work Laura, its a real blessing to us and all couples working together to build a loving and growing marriage!

    I am looking for some advice – We have recently been blessed to find out we are expecting our second child which we are so grateful for.

    Its a difficult period for us as my wife gets REALLY sick and we live away from family supports and i’m halfway through a demanding post-grad uni degree. anyhoo

    I’m looking for advice on how to adjust/deal with a lot less/no intimacy over the pregnancy/post birth period as my wife’s sickness and emotional/hormonal rollercoaster makes it a bridge to far for her (understandably).

    Pre-pregnancy we have our fair share of intimacy challenges, but we work on them together and do our best.

    I understand that needing to be kind and considerate to her through this time (which is challenging for her on lots of levels) is a part of developing my character (kind of like fasting), and ability to love in a truly self-less way –

    SO – I guess i’m just looking for any advice, perspectives, practical approaches and idea’s that might help me in my own individual efforts to deal/adjust and anything that might help in terms of interacting with her?

    Many thanks!!

    • MrShorty October 22, 2013 at 9:24 am

      AceofClubs:

      Two thoughts come to mind:

      1) Recognize that this is temporary. If needed, talk to your wife about your concerns and see that she intends to re-kindle the sexual relationship as soon as the challenges of pregnancy and post-partum recovery are passed. I find it is much easier to endure a temporary loss in the sexual relationship if I know it is temporary.

      2) Broaden your definition of “sex.” Vaginal intercourse might be difficult or impossible, but there are other ways to nurture and continue the physical/sexual relationship even when vaginal intercourse is not desirable or possible.

      • AceofClubs October 23, 2013 at 3:12 am

        Thanks for your reply MrShorty. I appreciate your advice – i’ll follow through on that, having not really had that specific conversation. I agree, I think having a proper talk about things being temporary will help my perspective.

        10 4 on the definition of sex, I think the challenge is that due to the combination of her sicknesses at the moment and her previous struggles with intimacy – the whole ‘thing’, regardless of it’s form is on the morning sickness gag list : ) as things develop, will definitely keep that in mind though.

        Thanks again

    • Arogen October 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

      My wife’s second pregnancy (and after) was a lot easier for her than her first, so hopefully things will work out like that for you guys this time too. Usually it gets better after the first trimester. Sometimes women think that since they can’t go all the way with their husband that the best thing to do is to keep him at a distance and not ‘start anything’. You may need to let her know that some intimacy is better than none. If she is able and willing to give hand jobs or blow jobs that is great, but there is also just holding each other naked in bed, showering together, massages, cuddling up to watch a movie, kissing, caressing. If she is doing what she can and you don’t push her to do more than she feels ready for it should work out without a lot of struggle.

      • AceofClubs October 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm

        Thanks for your response Arogen,

        Unfortunately with my wife’s physical and emotional challenges, even considering/discussing those things at the moment causes anxiety – which is obvously down to pre existing things that have flared up which we will have to work on down the track. I’m just aware that now isnt the time to try to deal with them, so trying my best to find healthy ways of dealing with no intimacy/physical affection for however long it takes.

        Great advice re. not pushing her to do more than she’s ready for – I guess dealing with my own need for physical closeness is the key to being able to do that well.

    • Laura M. Brotherson December 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Hi AceofClubs,

      Sorry to be slow in responding, but you’ve received some good counsel here already. I agree with many of the suggestions already given, but it almost sounds like you may really be asking for help with how to be okay if your wife is not emotionally or physically accessible at all…for sexual intimacy of any kind or even much discussion of it either.

      So, here are a few other suggestions along that line of simply needing to find a way to be okay while you’re not really okay with the lack of sexual connection in your marriage:

      — Write intimate letters to your wife as if she could heartily hear and receive them while not actually sending them. These might be almost like letters you would write if you were serving in the military while she was many miles away. This allows you to express your sexual feelings still but in a healthier way and without adding undue pressure if that’s the state she’s in.

      — You might consider humbly and prayerfully speaking with God utilizing this Surrender Prayer (http://strengtheningmarriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SURRENDER-PRAYER.pdf). It works with all kinds of things that are out of our control, but that we are trying to change or wish we could change! 🙂 It helps keep your heart and mind connected to God and in a humbled state of surrendering to Him.

      — As humans we all have a need for touch, so even if your wife is not quite as available to you as you would like we can often fill some of that need for touch by giving touch to others. It may be that you regularly provide a foot massage or hand massage to your wife (if you can do it with no strings attached) or find ways to hold or snuggle your son or daughter to both give and receive nurturing touch. (I discuss this in Chapter 12 of my book And They Were Not Ashamed.)

      — You may also find it helpful just posting here once in a while, so that you don’t feel so alone.

      Good luck! I hope something here will be helpful! 🙂

  • LearningR October 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I have never been married, but am dating a man, who has been previously married. He is a convert to the church and he says that he consistenly masturbates and that if he wasn’t able to, “he’d die”. He said he did masturbate in his past marriage sometimes when his wife wasn’t interested in sex. I don’t know if this is ok or not? Is masturbation a cause for concern? Are there negative effects to a relationship? Thank you in advance for your help!

    • MrShorty October 22, 2013 at 9:48 am

      LearningR:

      As I see it, there are several aspects to your question:

      1) Is masturbations sinful? A careful reading of canonized scripture (the 4 standard works and official declarations) will find no direct reference to masturbation and whether or not it is sin. This is usually a long and ugly debate, and I’m not convinced by either side. My personal conclusion is that it cannot be a very serious sin, if it is a sin at all. It is not your place to decide whether or not it is a sin for your boyfriend — he needs to decide for himself, and it sounds like he has decided. The main question for you, then, might be how you feel about it.

      2) Which brings up point #2. Dr. David Schnarch’s favorite concept is what he calls “differentiation.” If the two of you do not agree on this subject, are you going to be emotionally independent enough to stand on your own emotional feet, or will this disagreement cause you undue pain?

      3) Finally, negative effects to a relationship. Secular science has been unable to consistently find any harm from masturbation. Anecdotally, you will find cases where one spouse prefers masturbation over couple sexual encounters, but those seem to be a minority. And, in those cases, it isn’t masturbation itself, but the unwillingness to engage the spouse in a mutual sexual relationship. If your boyfriend is being honest about masturbating in his previous marriage, this doesn’t seem to be the case with him.

    • Arogen October 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

      General Authorities have very clearly told the members of the church to not masturbate. It isn’t on par with adultery, but it is wrong and I would encourage him to stop.

      As for it’s effect on the relationship, it is something that reduces your place in his life. He doesn’t have to rely on you for his sexual fulfillment, he can go off and ‘take care of himself’ and I think that weakens the husband-wife bond. His pleasure and fulfillment should come from you, and yours from him.

      If the two of you are making love frequently I don’t see why he should even want to masturbate. And he certainly will not die from stopping. It sounds possible that he may have an out of control sexual addiction. The church offers a program in most areas for people fighting any kind of addiction so perhaps encourage him to stop it and go to those meetings.

  • namaste February 5, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I have been married almost 33 years and our sex life, for the most part, has been good. I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse at age 15 until age 17. I had an ah ha moment yesterday when trying to figure out why I hated it when my husband was always relating everything to having sex and wanting to fondle me all the time…ugh it was driving me crazy. I then realized this is what happened to me when I was a victim. I have been through counselling and other ways to heal from my abuse and they have all been successful. My question here is how can my husband show he wants sex in a way that is not always relating everything to sex or feel the need to always sexually touch me? I want him to be able to show his need without feeling overwhelmed with the constant talk or constant touching. We have sex at least weekly so this isn’t a hungry dog syndrome we are talking about.

    • Laura M. Brotherson March 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Hi namaste,

      Just a quick thought, but I’d recommend the book The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz. If you could both read it together even it would really help your husband better understand your sensitivities in the sexual arena. Other than that it’s definitely something you may need to gently but firmly teach him how to approach you sexually.

      I would suggest you also read my book And They Were Not Ashamed or go through some of the Marital Intimacy Show podcasts I have here on this site to see if it can help you understand your own sexual wiring as well and what might be more effective for you sexually!

      I hope something is helpful here, but if not consider joining in on our next Q&A call March 20th if you want to brainstorm more specifics for your situation.

      http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=bchbevkab&oeidk=a07e8zpzzbzc3a008f3

    • DevonthHeaven March 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      It occurs for me that perhaps counseling and other ways of dealing with abuse have not all been successful or it would not have been an “aha” moment relating your feelings of “groping” to that. I am not suggesting you need to always feel comfortable with “groping.” I happen to love to “grope” my wife and we have been married just year more than you.

      Since coming in contact with Laura’s work, we have had an open discussion on the issue and she has never really liked it but has been very accepting of my expressing myself that way. Since the discussion, I still like to take her into my arms in the kitchen, the living room, on the porch or anywhere else, but now I most often leave my hands out of the groping zones. When i don’t, she knows it it’s coming from the heart as well as the groin.

      As for Hungry Dog Syndrome, I also wonder if there has been a direct conversation on the subject. I prefer 2-3 times per week and my wife 1-2 times per month. We generally shoot for 2/week and sometimes it works out to that, sometimes less, sometimes more. But there was some Hungry Dog Syndrome going on before the open discussion as once per week on an ongoing basis doesn’t really cut it for me.

      For me, there never was a relationship between our frequency in making love and “groping.” I happen to like giving and receiving directly sexual touch even if we just got done. My wife doesn’t. Each of adjusting to the other seems to be a blessing for us.

      BTW – My favorite translation or explanation of namaste is – “The light in me honors the light in you.” You picked a wonderful user name!

  • twrobertson2 February 7, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I am wondering if anybody have any problems with ‘Sensory’ and ‘Shyness’ in the marriage intimacy?

    • twrobertson2 February 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Hmmmm…. nobody have these problems as I have in my marriage?
      Sensory like anything with your hands (ex: lubrication or massage oil) and shyness (don’t want more than basic sex or love making)? i do a lot more of loving my wife’s body than she do mine. Am I the only one have this kind of problem?

      • GSantini February 27, 2014 at 10:23 pm

        We have the same problem. The LM is great, but it is all just as my wife wants it, which is well, unadventurous and infrequent. My wants are not heard. and expression of my wants are completely blocked out by her. She says to talk about my wants in LM is wrong, because to speak of the physical aspect of sex is to make it all about the physical aspect and for her she wants to be loved as a whole person, not just as a sex object.

        What can i say to that?

        • MrShorty March 1, 2014 at 8:31 am

          GSantini: I wish I had some good advice. I think one of the most interesting discussions I have seen on the issue of “what’s on the [sexual] menu” came from Dr. David Schnarch. It was based on his book Intimacy and Desire and he talks about how “sex always consists of leftovers” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intimacy-and-desire/201106/sexual-relationships-always-consist-leftovers is the first blog entry, followed by 3 or so additional entries that extend his thinking on this). In the LDS church, we talk a lot about growth and progression. Dr. Schnarch I think does a good job of showing how sex helps us grow and how part of our personal growth is “growing” our sexuality. In some ways, the first step in “growing” our sexuality is learning to see how sex goes beyond the mere physical.

          • MrShorty March 1, 2014 at 8:33 am

            twrobertson: I might suggest you review the same series by Dr. Schnarch. I really don’t know how best to negotiate sexual differences in marriage, but it seems to me that it is and important part of the marriage bed, and some of Dr. Schnarch’s concepts might be helpful to you.

          • GSantini March 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm

            Thanks for the great reply and the great link! One thing the article reiterated for me is that I have to take responsibility for myself and push to improve our communication.

            Though we are in our 40’s and have been married over 20 years our communication about sex is essentially zero. Though I have tried to improve it a few times over the years, with a big job and a large-ish family my attention gets drawn away, and I haven’t made the consistent effort on my part to improve it.

            I think one of the main problems is our church. In our church sex is surrounded by anxiety and shame. Men’s sexuality is seen as sinful, dirty and to be tamed by women. Sex is not to be talked about. This is kind of the unwritten rule, or general attitude. Sex is never talked about so it’s hard to say what the official position of the church is, but i think in reality their official position on sex may be closer to main stream Christianity than the attitude that actually prevails among the Church goers.

            But this is my wife’s attitude exactly about sex. Men’s sexuality is sinful, not to be talked about, and in general, a lot of anxiety surrounding sex.

            Any thoughts on how to overcome this Church attitude and improve the communication?

          • GSantini March 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

            Actually to clarify on my above 3/4/14 comment. I think it’s more the general culture rather than just the church that surrounds our family, that has this attitude of anxiety and sinfulness about male sexuality. It is prevalent at our church, but also in our general culture among our parents, our extended family and friends.

            This cultural attitude is similar to my wife’s attitude and is reflected in my wife’s inability to grow sexually.

            How do i deal with that?

            She did agree to read Laura’s book, so that’s a possible start.

  • twrobertson2 February 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I really appreciate to know my previous comment or question? ???

  • GSantini February 21, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Laura:

    I just wanted to write you a note to say how fantastic your work is and what an incredibly great job you have done. I just recently found your site and bought your book. You are really one of the only experts out there who is telling the truth about sex in marriage. I really think you are a genius sent from God to help married couples!!

    I’m a guy in his 40’s with a wife I’m crazy in love with and 3 beautiful daughters. Unfortunately I’ve got the same problem many others else here have as my wife has very low interest in sex and won’t work or even talk about it. I’m hoping to get her to read the book, but realistically my hopes are really low.

    I think we are heading for the big D and I don’t mean Dallas! Seriously, pray for us if you think of it, we’re not doing well at all.

    G. Santini

    • Laura M. Brotherson March 10, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Hi GSantini,

      Thank you for your kind words. I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It’s such a tough one for both husbands and their wives too actually. (Wives tend to feel like a failure in that arena after a while and quit trying.) I will pray for you as I do all my clients and others I come into contact with through my work and such. I hope something will touch your wife’s heart.

      I do believe that one person in a marriage can bring about positive changes even if you feel you are making the effort alone. I have a couple resources that I hope will be helpful to you since the only one you can directly change is yourself!

      Wife won’t read your book
      http://strengtheningmarriage.com/qa/#QA1

      “How Do I Get My Spouse to Change?!”
      http://ldsmag.com/1/article/7843

      Good luck and try to join our Q&A call March 20th if you want to brainstorm specifics for your situation
      http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=bchbevkab&oeidk=a07e8zpzzbzc3a008f3

    • rosskw March 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Recently a couple in our branch decided to go inactive. It was quite shocking to the whole branch, but I saw it coming. He was serving as branch president and you could see the worry and burden it placed on him, but whenever I talked to him about it he would shrug it off. They are still our friends, but he suffers pretty heavily from a passive-aggressive personality. This caused him to not open up about his frustrations and burdens. If you think there is a problem in your marriage, speak very open and honestly with your wife, don’t let it fester in your heart like our branch president did. She may reject your opinions, but at least you will know where each other stand and work from there. If you wait for something to happen, you will eventually lash out in anger toward her and yourself. If she is unwilling to move, then seek counselling from leader or professionals. You can do it. Love can win the day, just have faith and use tact when talking to your wife. Good luck.

  • twrobertson2 March 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks, Mr. Shorty, for your reply with a link in one of post you made.

  • Laura M. Brotherson March 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Hey everyone! I know it’s been a while since I’ve said hello. I have hopefully tried to remedy that somewhat with a new event I’ll be doing! It’s an online Q&A session that I’ll be doing once a month on a Thursday night. I have long realized that I just can’t ever get to all the emails, posts and other message requests for information. So the idea is to help get information and answers out to people a little more quickly and regularly through these Q&A calls.

    So, I’m here to personally invite you all especially here on the Open Forum to join me in our first “Sexually Speaking — Live Q&A with Laura” online teleconference calls. The first one will be Thurs, Mar 20 from 7:30-9 p.m. (Mountain Time), so I hope you will join in to be sure we talk about the things you’re dealing with here. You represent so many other people that addressing these issues would be beneficial to many.

    Here’s a link to all the details. It’s going to be much cheaper and and a lot more accessible to everyone I hope! As always, I welcome your thoughts and hope to see you there!

    http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=bchbevkab&oeidk=a07e8zpzzbzc3a008f3

  • DevonthHeaven March 10, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    My wife and I have been reading the book and utilizing the site for over a year now and it’s been a true blessing. I have gone through a lot of the material here and I try to pick up principles and precepts and apply them to our situation. I’d like to get feedback from Laura and the rest of the forum on this topic – Phone- or Cyber-sex for a married couple when work keeps them apart for weeks or months at a time. What say you folks?

  • rosskw March 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    DevonthHeaven
    My wife and I have been reading the book and utilizing the site for over a year now and it’s been a true blessing. I have gone through a lot of the material here and I try to pick up principles and precepts and apply them to our situation. I’d like to get feedback from Laura and the rest of the forum on this topic – Phone- or Cyber-sex for a married couple when work keeps them apart for weeks or months at a time. What say you folks?

    Go for it. As Laura points out in the book, sexuality in the context of marriage is divinely appointed. Things that bring you together intimately should be utilized to full effect. Like everything else in marriage, please discuss this openly and honestly with your wife, but if it is between you and it does not involve letting Satan in your relationship, then go for it.

  • rosskw March 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I just wanted to let other know my story. I am 34 and finishing up a PhD. This past year we had our forth child and my wife suffered post-pardum psychosis. If you don’t know that is, it is like when someone goes insane, but it happens very fast and she had to be admitted to a psychiatric ward for three weeks. She has some after affects, but is healing really well. When we were dating she was very sexual to the point where we decided to not initiate any sexual (heavy kissing, or discussing sex) contact until marriage to avoid stepping over any lines. On our honeymoon, she suddenly clammed up and did not want or enjoy sex. I knew something was wrong, but it took another three years before she opened up about her sexual frustrations. We then talked about it regularly and we even saw a councilor. She is a very sweet and honest person, but she does not like being pushed. There have been times in our marriage where she has enjoyed sex, but they are not consistent. She is very adamant about not having the “good girl syndrome”, but I think there is a hint of it. Over the past 5 months since she has recovered from her mental illness, she was lost about 30 lbs and is determined to tackle our sexual problems. her inhibitions are pretty strong, but we have figured out how to get her to orgasm. She still struggles with getting aroused initially. I have now agreed to give up sexual control completely, it has been very hard because sex does not happen as often as I would like, but I have redoubled my efforts to be more intimate and loving as a PhD student can be. I am really hoping that things will change. We have been praying about this and fasting for answers. I think we are going to make progress, but it may take a while.
    If any of you have suggestions, please let me know.

    Ross

  • twrobertson2 March 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I am wondering about the seminar of ‘Getting from 0-60 Sexually’, does this cost to attend or free seminar?

    • Laura M. Brotherson April 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Tom,

      Sorry for being slow getting back to you on this. The Dating Divas seminar of mine “Getting from 0-60 Sexually” is just a small fee like $7.97 or something, but it’s really good information for couples, so I’d encourage you to sign up for it to get the recording!

  • GSantini March 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Ross – Thanks for your great comment.

    It’s scary for me but i really have to work on improving my communication with my wife.

    But your courage in what must have been a pretty scary situation is inspiring.

    I don’t really have any knowledge to offer you about your situation, but my prayers go out to you!

  • mrj April 5, 2014 at 3:14 am

    First, Ross — God bless you. You’ve taken “for better or worse” to a new level. I hope and pray your lives will show encouraging signs of improvement. Your comment “I have agreed to give up sexual control completely” shows you’re made of some solid stuff.

    As I am new to this forum, I will try to be brief and not turn this into a rant. I love my wife. At the same time I am incredibly frustrated. We’ve been married for 25 years and have four of the best children on the planet (I’m sure everyone here feels the same about their children, even though mine are really the best — we will just have to agree to disagree).

    I’ve read roughly every relationship book (from good, trusted, religiously-based sources) that’s been published including “And They Were Not Ashamed.” Sadly, though all the information is great, I’ve failed in my approach. My wife feels like she has failed, or wonders why I feel the need to read so much because, as she sincerely asks, “We’re happy right?” And I am happy with her and my family. I love them so much and am so incredibly blessed. But I don’t think I can take the lack of intimacy much longer and I don’t know how to fix the damage I’ve done in trying to correct the situation in the first place.

    The thing that hurts the most is how she seems to forget I need sex. Thankfully, she enjoys sex when we have it, but it’s incredibly pedestrian. Plus she’s got a headful of really bad guidance from her pre-honeymoon visit with her 108 year-old, trusted family doctor (were he alive today… ahem). We discuss the same issue over and over again. She agrees we need to have more sex and is willing, but then the next week rolls around and it’s like our last chat never happened. When I asked to have a hug and a kiss when I leave for work and when I get home, she was all for it. That lasted exactly 1.5 days. If I want sex, I have to ask, or pathetically blow up and receive some pity sex. Never an initiation. If I want a hug, I have start it. I’m tired of feeling unwanted and undesired. I’m tired of working so hard to be true and faithful with no compensation.

    I listened to Laura’s Q&A — she was great. But it sounded so much like “men, do all the right things at the right time all the time, then hope and pray your wives will show you a little shoulder occasionally.” I just pray God will provide some type of restitution in the next life. The chances to enjoy the fruits of this one are growing dim.

    : How do i go back, repair the damage, let my wife know she’s not a failure, and encourage her to read “Not Ashamed”? Hanging by a thread here.

    • Laura M. Brotherson April 16, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Hi mrj!

      Welcome! I am working on compiling an outline of ideas for the many husbands like you who are in a similar situation. It’s a really tough thing when wives just won’t even look into working on the sexual dimension of the marriage. There are usually reasons for that too…

      I hope you’ll find some helpful insights here and especially some support from others who are going through the same thing and are at different points along that road! You are definitely not alone! 🙂

      • mrj April 18, 2014 at 2:36 am

        That outline of ideas is exactly what a man needs to address these issues — like an instruction sheet. Well, maybe that’s not the right reference because all men generally ignore instructions. And maps. And user guides. We rule. But in this case an outline will help tremendously — there’s a bit more motivating it than assembling a piece of swedish pressed wood for the TV.

        • kiss April 18, 2014 at 4:54 am

          And won’t ask,.. For help either . Not only ignore maps, but will drive aimlessly for the fun of it. One question, why won’t you ask ? At the garage, the paper boy, the corner shop…why? No one thinks you are an idiot to ask for directions. that’s a Truth !!! Driving for hours makes you look like an idiot

  • kiss April 15, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I have been trying to log in for a few weeks, it’s finally been fixed, so sorry for replying so late to the party and your wife might have been magically been cured by now anyway! But here are my 2 cents. ( from a girls perspective )

    She has a blockage in her system re the doctor, that needs to be released. Any trauma whether it is sexual, any abuse, car accident, anything that happened to her, that she hasnt worked through, is frozen in her,
    Chinese call it chi, or energy. They use acupuncture, I have just found tapping or ‘eft’ to be as affective , and no needles.
    She has an issue with the doctor. If she can tap out the problem with that then she can move forward, till then it is like a block, a frozen moment in time that she needs to acknowledge at a deep subconscious level and then she can move forward and learn how ‘ to be sexual’
    All we know is how to be ‘ pure and virtuous’ ‘ which does not help one bit in the bedroom.

    I listened to rob nelson this week, tappingthematrix.com is his website and get her to do the basic tapping video on his website, he looks like a creep, but has great knowledge and use to be a massager / chiropractor but really, unless you get to the root, no amount of chiropractic stuff is going to help. The pain people feel is usually from deep down and it is manifested in physical pain.

    She may have also had sexual abuse, even if it was the way her dads mate looked at her funny when she was 13, from then on she decided deep down that was bad, and any glances, sexual or otherwise are bad etc. do you see where I am coming from? There could be all sorts of reasons she doesn’t do hugging ( I didn’t grow up with hugging, my hubby did, he always initiates…but you know what, that’s fine, I hug back and love it but I always forget, as not part of ‘ me’ he doesn’t seem to mind initiating. And he always hugs and kisses me good bye and hello and I suggest you carry on and do the same, not stop after 1.5 days) and just suck it up that you have to do all the running till she sorts out this problem she has.
    It can take one round ( of 40 seconds) of tapping, it might take 3 but it won’t take long, it will bubble up and make her cry. That is the release.
    And then it won’t ever come back.

    It’s the way we are brought up..don’t awaken those sexual emotions, so of course, we get rid of them, by you continually touching her, and her working on her doctor trauma, and her then reading or listening to Laura’s podcasts, ( they are great, at the top of the website, click one a day tell her, and if she wants to do it together, do it together, help her through this blockage)
    They are 17-5 mins long, no excuse.
    Listen to bridling or awakening, that is near the top …number 53 I think, it was great.

    Anyway, keep touching her, kiss her passionately and then walk away, get her loins throbbing, even if she doesn’t want them to throb, they will automatically. Get her to feel what it is like to feel sexual. But don’t push it…walk away, leaving her wanting more. Or wondering where that came from!!

    If she is over weight, rob has a weight loss tapping, get her to do that too. It is brilliant. Unless a woman feels sexy, it is hard to be sexy, but you need to tell her in words and actions, that you know she is sexy, her boobs are brilliant, she makes you horny etc, when she hears these things even through it might be hard for you to say them, she will eventually start believing you. Listen to the spirit and act when you feel you should, even though it might not ‘ seem’ like a good time, the spirit will help you both to feel connected physically and then hopefully emotionally.

    We have 2 triggers..flight or fight.
    But there is one more no one talks about. ‘ freeze’ and that is what happened to her re the doctor or anything else in the past.
    Work on those issues first and hopefully the love and closeness and intimacy will follow.

    Good luck, keep us posted.
    And Ross….good
    Luck as well. Try the above info for your wife too if you want.

  • kiss April 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Number 56, not 53 , that was great!! ( 56 is what you want!!)
    http://www.strengtheningmarriage.com/podcasts/

    Robs tapping is free, as is brittanywatkins .com. She is good too ( use to be a member but got thrown out of home at 15 so not so much a Mormon anymore after that experience !!! Some parents….grrr, but anyway, she deals mostly in weight issues)
    Start today….

  • Laura M. Brotherson April 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hi all!

    I just wanted to remind everyone–here especially–about the new online Q&A sessions that I’ll be doing every month or so on a Thursday night. (Our next one is this Thursday, April 17th from 7:30-9 p.m. (Mountain Time). Click here for details and to register — http://www.strengtheningmarriage.com/online-qa-calls/

    Since there are many questions here that I haven’t been able to answer yet, I’m going to try to get more of the questions here addressed on those calls (keeping them anonymous of course). So, if you want to join in on the call (and get the recording automatically) it’s just $9.95 or you can purchase the recording after the fact here — http://www.strengtheningmarriage.com/store/

    So, I wanted to personally invite you all here in our Open Forum to join me on these “Sexually Speaking — Live Q&A with Laura” online teleconference calls.

    I do so appreciate your willingness to try to tackle some tough issues you are facing in your marriages here in this Forum. I know it helps others. I refer my clients here all the time to see they are not alone and for some strength and support from others who are dealing with similar issues. You represent so many other people that are working through some similar challenging issues.

    Hope everyone is doing well! 🙂

  • mrj April 17, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Kiss, thank you for your thoughts and insight. You are right, there’s a block somewhere. And though I wish, neither of us have been magically cured.

    The good part is we’ve been having more constructive discussions lately. I tend to be a little more driven than necessary (in all parts of life) and need to trim the motor and accept a few things – this is my wonderful wife, not a project, not a job for me to rearrange and make work the way I want. It’s only taken me about 25 years of marriage to have that dawn within my thick and cavernous skull.

    For example, we’ve actually talked about making some changes to bring a little more variety into the bedroom. She feared I wanted a myriad of activities which would make an island-stranded sailor blush. Now that she knows I’m not looking to install ceiling swings (though not discounting the idea in the future) and get sized for full-latex suits (which, hey, if that’s anyone’s thing… you, go, right, ahead. Ahem), she feels more secure in exploring possibilities.

    Going through Laura’s book together is still a big priority for me; thankfully I’m beginning to see how this could develop. Patience, time and letting go. Will be listening tomorrow to my purchased recording of tonight’s Q&A.

  • kiss April 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Mrj, that sounds great. Men like to fix problems…and that’s ok. Otherwise nothing would get fixed! ( or broken in the first place 😉 and sometimes when it can’t be fixed quickly it spirals out of control. Well done for continuing to talk…rather than throwing your hands up and saying forget it. Keep at it and the swing might one day become a reality.

  • mrj April 18, 2014 at 2:32 am

    BTW, I was a bit flippant regarding possible intimate practices. Please forgive my references in regard to the sacredness of intimate relations. Having a penchant for inappropriate humor is a weakness I am continually working to improve. In future posts, I will do better to edit those elements down to a respectable level.

    While my situation is almost a textbook case to the issues discussed here, I’m deeply grateful for this outlet and for a community filled with such thoughtful members. I pray we can all find the life our Father in Heaven wants for us and use the Savior’s atonement to build the peace we need to make it through each day. God bless all of you.

  • kiss April 18, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Inappropriate ??? Says who? Im a fish wife like the next person. It’s nice to have a laugh about something so incredibly depressing at times. Don’t apologise. Don’t change….you write well, and it was funny. Not offensive at all.

  • mrj May 5, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    A plug for some of Laura’s recent Q&A advice: Learned a great lesson on expectations yesterday. My wife took one of our children on a short trip to nail down some college options. I had a solid, yet achievable “honey-do” list to work through in their absence.

    They were due back on Sunday — everything on the list was completed in spectacular fashion (not bragging… just part of the set-up). That morning I even wondered which soap and aftershave I should use to make the welcome home just a little sweeter for her.

    Dinner was being readied when they came in the house. i was greeted with an angry question as to why dinner wasn’t ready because while traveling, they had both chosen to fast and were starving. No hug. No kiss. Just a parody of a 1950s television show… “I’m home! Where’s my dinner?!”

    I knew what time they were to be home, but the expectation of having dinner on the table was never brought up. My wife was tired after the whirlwind trip and the pressure of helping to make some life-changing decisions for our child. All understandable, but it paled in comparison to me not having things as she had hoped upon her return.

    I experienced the exact same thing. I too had other expectations — a nice hug and kiss welcome home, a lovely dinner, tales of the travels, followed by some quiet time and mad and passionate animal-like sex (I’m a guy… it’s what I work for).

    The rest of the evening settled into a quiet avoidance of everything — while I was hurt by the cold reception, I was more hurt by my own expectations not being met. My wife felt the same way — a quick snack quelled the hunger pangs — she was more upset by my carelessness of not having the dinner ready upon their arrival. Neither of us shared our expectations with each other at any time during her trip. We chatted several times a day while she was gone, yet never discussed our hopes or what we would like to have happen upon her return. Looking upon the whole event with clearer eyes, I am seeing how the worst part wasn’t what really happened, it was the failure of unvoiced and unmet expectations.

  • kiss May 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Oh my goodness, you had a list!?? I’ve never In 25 yrs of being a wife written a list!
    ( is it 1954?)
    No hug hello, no smile…really. ? How rude.
    Where’s my dinner?!!!!! Did you say , treat me like a piece of poo on your shoe and you will find your dinner in the garbage.
    She needs to pull the stick out of her a$se , you did her list, surely she should be happy with that.
    You need to not take that behaviour. You stop taking it, she will start to change. You letting her treat you like that….will just continue.
    Don’t fight and scream at her, just tell her you won’t be accepting her behaviour from now on.
    When you are both apart from each other we greet each other with a hug and a kiss before slamming into each other, about food etc,
    if we leave to go out, a hug and a kiss after talking about ‘ the list’ . The hug and kiss is how you depart…not a ‘ don’t forget this that and the other’ as you slam the door.
    Start getting some love back into the relationship instead of disrespect.

  • mrj May 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Kiss, sorry — I don’t want to make you feel badly because your thoughts are right on point. Your rock-em sock-em robot, take no prisoners style is so very appreciated. We always make lists together; no dictates. They were mutually agreed upon projects. In fact, I initiated the projects by asking what she would like done while away.

    Which, again, goes to the lesson of expectations — I asked with the idea that I’ll find out what she wants, then maybe I can get what I want. There are behaviors which need to change on both sides of the aisle here. More and more though I’m realizing I’m only in control of my side and there are some things I really need to let go — like my tit for tat (I really tried to find another phrase) approach to doing things for her. Gotta do it for the good of doing it. Beginning to see some of the lessons God is trying to teach. It’s a horribly humbling process.

  • apr June 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    This is a change in direction from the way the thread has been going, but I’m totally lost and don’t know what to do and need your advice.
    My wife and I have been married for 5 years now and sexual intimacy has always been a sore spot in our relationship. We really struggle in communicating love this way and it’s a barely tolerable process for my wife. This really troubles me because I don’t feel like I’m meeting her needs; she in turn has told me that she feels like she’s letting me down because she feels like she can’t please me. Long story short, we aren’t intimate consistently and when we are it’s . . . .well, NOT intimate and leaves me feeling worse than if we had just gone to bed.
    I fully recognize that I need to keep the focus on myself and changing myself to be the best spouse I can be in all aspects of our relationship. I get that; I’m trying to do that every day. Does that mean that I just forget our sexual relationship altogether? If I just focus on being the best husband I can and take my own needs out of the picture, we wouldn’t have sex – ever. She’s told me several times that she’s not willing to initiate, she doesn’t like me to touch her in erogenous areas, She doesn’t like it, doesn’t want to be aroused, and doesn’t want to reach climax. She doesn’t even know what arouses her and she’s not willing to find out. All I know, it seems, is what she DOESN’T like; when I ask what she wants me to do, she just says she doesn’t know. She’s told me that when she thinks about what I’d like to see happen, she wants to cry because she can’t stand the thought of it. I’m no pervert; the stuff I want to do is leave the lights on and take off clothes and basic stuff like that. She also says she feels like she’s changed a lot in the last five years and that I’m wanting things to change too quickly, so she feels pressure. I think she has negative conditioning and has a psychological block to sex that will be very difficult to overcome.
    Anyway, I guess my question is: what do I do? She wants a large family, so sex is still in the picture, but as a means to an end and not as something beautiful that is be enjoyed, too. Do I accept the fact that sex will be horrible for the rest of our lives, so just forget about it and improve the parts of our marriage that we can stand to focus on? This drastically affects both the quality and satisfaction of our marriage for me; it makes our marriage feel more like a partnership. She tells me to just be happy, but I feel so inadequate as a husband and lover and she keeps telling me that I don’t need to change anything. What do I do?

  • kiss June 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    I’m sorry I don’t come here often ( we are all on another forum) and looks like no one has replied to you, so I’m sorry.
    My 5 cents for what it is worth.
    She says she has changed in the last 5 yrs but you have only been married 5 yrs, so sounds like nothing has changed from day one, she isn’t prepared to change and won’t seek help as she feels nothing is wrong with her.

    She is missing out on the best bits of marriage!!??? She is crazy!!!

    But that aside. If she won’t listen to Laura’s podcasts, won’t tap ( eft) for sexual abuse blockages, or past trauma ( see my post above and yes I’m female ) that makes her not let you touch her where a husband is commanded to in the endowment! Then you have to decide if you really want a life with her.

    Unfulfilled sex will consume 89% of your thoughts….it’s a fact. Fulfilling sex life will not affect your life negatively in anyway and you will just be happy and prob think about it 4% of the time as you ‘ remember last night and was that even legal!!’ Etc but it won’t consume you unless you are an addict as pres Uchtdorf said in priesthood session in April. But unfulfilled….it will eat you up.

    If I was you, I wouldn’t stay. I would find a wife who wanted a family from having wild crazy passionate love making every few days and will teach my kids that sex is awesome and worth waiting for with the one you love with all your heart feel safe with ( maybe not lights on but candles mate!!) and want to go to heights no one else has taken you too…ever. Where you scream like a wild bore.
    That’s the kind of marriage I would want….

    So it’s your choice

  • kiss June 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Sorry, boar!!
    Not bore..although as the moment it is borrrriiinnnngggg

  • apr June 25, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Thanks, kiss. I appreciate the comments. We have three kids: a four-year old, a two-year old, and a ten-month old. I’m sure a lot of the problems she has are stress related. Anyway, I’m not going to jump ship on our marriage because I know she is committed to keeping our family intact, no matter what. Since my post last week, I think I’m going to start saving up money for counseling and will bring it up with her later. The big deal now is that she says we have a great marriage and that counseling is crazy expensive and is only for people whose marriages are on the brink of falling apart. How ironic that I can’t make her see how badly we need it. Anyway, that’s what I’m hoping to do. I believe that we’ll be able to come out on top, but it will require extreme change on her part. I’m ready to do whatever I have to on my part, too.

  • kiss June 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Oh sorry, I thought you were a childless couple. If you have 3 kids, then you are committed and in it for the long haul or at least till the kids have left home.
    The only person you can change is you, and as Laura says on her first podcast, one person can change a marriage. If my husband was begging me to be more open sexually and be more responsive to my sexual needs etc I think I would listen to him. I’m sorry your wife is ignoring your suggestions, comments and your perseverance . If she won’t share what she hates about being touched ‘ cos she doesn’t know’ ask her to try and find out why.

    Don’t know answers after 5 yrs are not washing with you anymore.
    You need to make this better, otherwise like rob4hope above, you will be him in 25 yrs time.

    I will post a link to a movie rob shared with me, it’s great. Watch it ( if the wife will watch it great…but if she won’t , you watch it) and see if that might start to give you some ideas how best to move forward.

    It’s called fireproof
    http://www.cross.tv/86373
    Good luck.

    I guess it is no point asking if she has read Laura’s book!?? As you say, she doesn’t have a problem!!

  • lovey June 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Hello Apr-
    Read your last couple of posts. You have three kids in 5 years. It is pretty easy to put Sexual intimacy on the back burner with the demanding needs of young children around. Here is an article by Esther Perel that may help.
    https://psychologies.co.uk/wise-words-esther-perel-sex-and-relationships-0

    Have you read Laura’s book? Is your wife open to reading it too?

    You might want to join the conversation on our ldssexuality forum too.

  • apr June 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you for that article!
    I’ve watched Fireproof (thanks, kiss), and have read the article (thanks, lovely) and am determined to work this out with my wife. I realized in watching Fireproof that for the time being I will have to rely on God’s love and acceptance while my wife figures things out. We started reading Laura’s book, yes. I’ve read it through all the way and my wife started reading it with me earlier this year. I wish I could say we had great breakthroughs in our discussions together, but we haven’t. My wife is always so defensive and won’t openly share what she thinks. I know she’s hiding some issues from me, but apparently she’s not ready to share them with me. I read the following article on KSL.com today and sent it to her, telling her that it would mean a lot to me if she’d read it:
    http://www.ksl.com/?sid=30514872&nid=1010&title=why-physical-intimacy-is-important-in-marriage&s_cid=queue-12
    Anyway, I will focus on totally loving, accepting, and admiring her and will continue to pray for her heart to be softened. I’m sure my own problems and the way I approach my wife are part of the problem; I’m praying that God will help me recognize those problems and change them. I love her and I believe we can make this work. Thanks again!

  • kiss July 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Good luck and keep us posted with any break throughs!!! 😉

  • mrj July 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    apr, I recall Laura mentioning — either in a blog post, or one of her open phone sessions, that education is often the key that brings everything together. It appears your poor wife has had a lifetime of bad conditioning with sex. Of course she doesn’t want to be aroused — those feelings will lead to bad things (generally speaking, not specific to her experience). Then enters mission creep. I love mission creep — if not being aroused while single is good, then controlling those feelings while being married means you are even more in control and, therefore, more holy and more righteous.

    I am so there with you. I’ve been fighting this conditioning for the last 20 years. We’re working on a double-whammy of a hardcore Young Women’s president and counselors (I can only imagine how happy their marriages were) coupled with a highly opinionated, walk-on-water-trusted, old family doctor who gave very specific instructions on virtually all the do’s and don’ts of the marriage bed.

    It has taken me a good six or seven years of working and praying to start to see some semblance of change. We actually had a discussion about things that felt good to her — that was amazing and had never happened before. She even brought it up. I give the education of Laura’s book, some other great books I’ve been reading on improving our marriage and lots and lots of very specific and explicit prayers.

    If this has taught me anything, it’s that when speaking to God, vague “travel in safety” prayers mean nothing. He knows what we want. He knows what we need. He knows what will lead to closeness and what will eventually tear us apart. He knows all of this. Speaking to Him with specificity has meant the world to me and has brought me closer to Him than I’ve ever been (even during my wonderful mission).

    The pain is having the patience. On the happy side, you’re starting early. It’s a big mountain, but you’ve started the path early in the day. You are very right to bring in some counseling. A third-party may help her see the importance of a healthy sex life — and they may help you see some additional things you can do to help move the game closer to that goal.

    I will pray, very specifically, for you. Everyone here knows the weight you feel upon your chest and soul right now. It’s crushing, but you will grow stronger. God bless you and your wife — and your wonderful children.

  • apr August 11, 2014 at 10:48 am

    mrj, I appreciated your comments! Thanks for the advice, encouragement, and prayers; I need them.

  • bella August 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    apr, my heart truly aches for you. My husband and I have been married for 9 years and intimacy has always been a sore subject from day one. To this day, I clearly remember an argument we had during our 1st year of marriage where I vowed that I would NOT be dealing with this problem a decade from now. Through the years I’ve gone through a full range of emotions from sadness to anger to frustration and resentment, then exhaustion (as we kept having babies and, I have to tell you, intimacy truly isn’t a top priority for a recently-given-birth mommy, even for a one who has a high sex drive) to complacency and indifference, feeling that it is what it is, such is life.

    In the last year, however, as I’ve fully recovered from all the child-bearing, I started to feel myself again, that is to say, akin to a horny teenager. Unfortunately, with an increased desire for intimacy we came back full circle to the familiar cycle of constant rejection. Surprisingly, though, instead of crawling back into my self-loathing, soul-crushing, self-doubting hole, something shifted. Unintentionally, with an astonishing ease of thought, as if considering a different hair color, I started considering infidelity. It happened almost innocently and as the thought flew under every one of my spiritual radars, like a virus it spread and spiraled out of control, consuming me entirely. All of the sudden it became very clear to me how easily, as Laura stated once, good people are left to wonder how this happened to them after infidelity has occurred.

    Luckily, determined to persevere, I dived in, head-first and fervently, into the first line of defense – prayer and scriptures. I solicited help from my bishop almost immediately, establishing accountability. I held a frank discussion with the subject of my “affection”, who also happens to be my work spouse (I’m the breadwinner), establishing boundaries and a clear understanding of what is to never (ever!) to happen. Finally, I had a serious heart to heart with my husband, not much different from the many we’ve had before, but this time not me pleading with him for things to change, but clearly and sincerely explaining the reality of the devastating possible consequences that may take hold of our marriage if they don’t change.

    I’m happy to report that there has been somewhat of a breakthrough as a result. To my surprise and great relief my husband took it to heart and has been making tremendous effort to chase me around the house and to communicate his thoughts and wishes on all matters intimacy. As I myself learn to let go of years of resentment towards him, we are together learning to have great fun exploring and learning things about each other in the bedroom. I think I even remember one time, shortly after our discussion, we made love 4 nights in a row, unheard-of occurrence in our marriage, and the thought still makes me giddy. I don’t agonize over the frequency anymore, because it is no longer an issue.

    The point that I am trying to make is, don’t be young and stupid … um, I mean naive! Don’t just let it sit and wait and hope and pray for things to change. Fight for your temple marriage in every aspect! The work pays off beautifully. Talk to each other until you’re blue in the face and use every avenue of communication to get the point across! Get help! Counseling is a must and is tremendously helpful. I get the feeling that your wife feels that your marriage is immune and that you two, literally, have an eternity to “work” on things. I mean, you’re not going anywhere, right? That is until you, apr, meet a woman who will unexpectedly, and very unassumingly, happen to connect to you and look at you and talk to you and touch you in a certain way that will light your fire and will make you feel alive and handsome and oh so desirable. Until you start to have a very hard time resisting the temptation to fight the natural man and will succumb, seeking relief and fireworks, especially if she reciprocates the longing and starts to beckon you with every fiber of her being. The very thought of this happening may be appalling to you both now, but don’t leave it to chance when you’re in the throes of it, every day forcing yourself to choose to be dormant and docile, faithful to the woman who has no interest in pleasing you or in making your sexual needs a priority. Through the years it will take its toll on you and your marriage and you will start count the years until children are out of the house and you can be free.

    God intended for husbands and wives to cleave to one another and become one, literally and figuratively. In fact, clitoris has no other function, anatomically, other than to bring pleasure to the woman. Female orgasm has no other purpose, other than to enjoy lovemaking with her husband. There is a very profound reason for that, and not to merely entice the woman to have sex with the man just as means to an end, as you say. It is a powerful bonding experience that has no comparison in any other aspect of our lives. You both, voluntarily or not, are missing out on so much joy and passion towards each other. So, go get her, apr, and tell her, in Meg Ryan’s words in “Top Gun”, “Take me to bed, or lose me forever!” And definitely make counseling a priority! Your marriage is worth it!

  • mrj August 19, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Apr, how are things going? And Kiss (not a kiss for Apr, ’cause that would be awkward), what other forum are you involved in? Not to deter from this in any way.

    • kiss August 31, 2014 at 3:57 am
    • kiss August 31, 2014 at 3:59 am

      Lols! There is an Ldssexuality forum. But you need to sign in to read. It is all about SEX .

  • mrj August 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    That should have read “Not to deter from this FORUM in any way.” Sigh. Writing. English. Things and stuff.

  • apr August 20, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    bella, thanks for you story and candid advice. The reason I’ve been so determined to wait it out patiently for the near future is because I’ve been so vocal about everything since we were married and I almost feel like I’m being so open with her that it’s turning her off to all intimacy. Being quiet has made a little difference; she’s more proactive about this part of our relationship, but I still know there’s a huge wall there that she won’t let me help her over.
    I promised myself recently that I wouldn’t say anything critical about our sexual relationship for the next five years because she’s apparently already had an earful from me over the first five years of our marriage. This has helped some, but I still feel so cooped up and unable to speak with her meaningfully about this issue without any headway. I’ll do what I can to help her see that I really don’t feel like I can talk to her about this, hence I look for opportunities like this online to open up.
    About infidelity, I had a brush with that over the past year. My wife’s sister is an amazing person, and I’ve always thought so; she’s a very attractive person and is always so pleasant to be around. I told my wife one day that I struggled with attraction to her and she lost it. For the next week she totally resented me and kept bringing it up. I hadn’t acted on my attractions at all, but had tried to be open with my wife so she knew. Anyway, my wife’s sister and her husband have been struggling financially really badly and we had an opening her at work, so I was able to get things lined up for her to work here. My wife was furious, telling me that was a really stupid thing to do given my situation, but I insisted that wasn’t the source of my going out of my way to help her and her husband, which is the absolute truth. She worked here for about six months and because we are related and she was new, we talked a lot, but I was not unfaithful to my wife in the least. I’m glad I had that experience because it showed me where I stand and has helped me beat that particular challenge (because hey, we’re both in the same family and I’ll know them as long as we live) and gave me renewed desire to strengthen my own marriage. But you’re right; I feel constantly vulnerable to temptation and am beginning to feel that my wife will never have a sexual appetite for herself; the thought of her really wanting me sexually and to want orgasm tantalizes me daily, but it’s laughable right now.
    I’m the ward clerk and have to meet with my bishop on Sunday anyway, so I’ll talk with him then about all of this to see what he recommends. I would love to go to counseling ASAP, but my wife is so independent she would feel such shame in going to someone else for help. You’re right; she doesn’t realize how big of a problem this is.
    I’m not backing down from a fight at all, but am doing my very best to love her with my whole heart and regard her needs as highly as my own.

  • mrj September 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    As the old joke goes “Hey, guess who has two thumbs and is wondering why any of this is worth it? That’s right, this guy.”
    I could use some direction. I’m sure the answers are in front of my face, but right now I’m feeling so hurt I can’t see the forest through the trees.
    My wife doesn’t see a need to put forth much, if any energy in our love life; and I’m not just talking intimacy. I feel brushed aside and taken for granted.
    Talking numbers, today is a big anniversary for us. I took time off work to surprise her with lunch at her job. I ordered a lovely bouquet (which is something she really and truly loves… not a knee-jerk “get flowers” sort of thing) of her favorite flowers. I got a few presents she had been hinting about.
    Nothing back. She was thrilled with everything, but then put her attention to discussing other issues with her coworkers. I had to interrupt to get a hug goodbye. My day is incredibly full, yet right now all I’m doing is sitting here feeling sorry for myself — it’s a new degree of pathetic behavior, of which I am so very, very proud.
    I’ve been putting so much work into trying to be a better husband. Trying not to fall into the Hungry Dog Syndrome. Working not to put expectations on her or anything. Today sort of took all of that away. With the expectations, I tried not to have any, but after bending over backwards to do something for our anniversary only to be casually dismissed leaves me wondering why I’ve been trying at all. Why read the books? Why pray about the problems? Why continue to do anything when all the signs point to those efforts never being reciprocated? It just doesn’t feel worth the effort anymore.
    Thank you for reading — if anything I selfishly needed a sounding board or somewhere to put these emotions so they don’t explode later and cause real damage. Please forgive the indulgence.

  • kiss September 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    So it’s a big anniversary for you BOTH and she ignores it and you? Really?!! Did I read right? Oh my goodness. That is so sad. She really isn’t that into you huh. I would focus on you for a bit, forget her. If she wants some she can come running. I’ve been reading and listening via you tube to lots of jack Canfield, mike Dooley, Larry nims ( he does this crazy “be set free fast” stuff I did yesterday…fantastic, try it! You tube him or check out his website of the same name) reading books by Louise hay, you can heal your life etc and listening to her and doing some affirmations, and also a woman named Catherine ponder, wrote a wealth book in the 50’s I’m listening too ( yay you tube) wow, so good. From a spiritual view point.
    Concentrate on you and your mind and your goals and dreams and if she wants to come along..she will let you know and if she does, she will also let you know and make a decision then.
    Self help books and audios are soooo good huh.
    I read Neapolitan hill 15 yrs ago but then stopped..why!?? They are sooo mind nourishing.
    Get yourself spiritually, physically and mentally and career wise on track and to where you want to be. Don’t worry about how, that is gods job, just set some bucket list stuff down on the iPad notes area and go from there.
    I can’t get your wife to change, nor can you, so hug yourself and go to work on you and send yourself something nice in the mail or take yourself out for a night of fun with the lads if she ain’t interested.
    Do 2 things daily…just for you. You need to love yourself first, before you can love your neighbour,
    Good luck and happy anniversary, you lucky man!!!

  • mrj September 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Kiss — thanks for the thoughts and the references. I’ve made some changes on my end — because, as we know, that’s the only thing we can possibly control.
    I’ve hired a personal trainer (it gives me a couple nights away with a non-church appointment and it alleviates some of the physical frustration). I’ve also started several projects which have been sitting on the backburner over the last year.

    I’m going to do my best to be patient and concentrate on growing closer to the Lord and finding what He wants from my life at this point. The rest of it can fall to the wayside. It’s been too much work for too long to see any payback at this point. I don’t mean that in a fatalistic sense, just being realistic in terms of age and what can be done within our marriage. We’ve lost the best years to bad programming which I can’t seem to break through. And now she simply has too many other things drawing away her time and energy. I was about to ask our Bishop to cull her involvement a little so we could concentrate on our home life, but realized it would be for naught and just start up the cycle again of talking about something which likely will not be solved in this life.

    Arriving at this point is helpful. It’s provided some focus and helped direct my prayers in more effective ways. I’m not giving up, just redirecting. It feels like the right thing to do.

    • Tortdog May 2, 2016 at 3:02 am

      Along with what Kiss said, it may be time to focus more on yourself and becoming self-validated. There is a real good book on it and it includes the marital relationship. Forget the title but I have been through this too. Another side is that your partner is not doing this out of a lack of love but just loves differently. I know of that is hard to accept and may be a means to just excuse selfish behavior from the other. In my view though, it is accept the situation while doing your best or divorce.

      I am now trying to focus on being thankful for what she gives me as opposed to what she does not.

  • kiss September 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Good for you. You pulling closer to The Lord is a step in the right direction. He will tell you what will happen and how. He did me when I wanted a divorce.

  • sagebrush June 12, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Ok, I know this is a sensitive subject but it’s one I have yet to see addressed. So there are many pleasure and variety enhancing toys that have been discussed and promoted which are really geared toward not just teaching orgasmic response in women, but for variety play as well. Does it offend women that there are now variety and pleasure enhancement toys for men which replicate a molded vagina with a tightness that most women post childbirth cannot duplicate in sensation for a man? Since many women after several children will never feel as wonderful vaginally to their husband no matter how well endowed he may be…you just can’t compensate for the loss of tightness and elasticity that comes from passing a 7-9 lb object out the same canal you are trying to give the sensation of fullness to. Are these new man toys something many women would object to using with their man as a variety and sensation enhancer? I Have heard some women who are open to using vibrators and toys for variety go off on the idea of men having access to something like this that their body can no longer duplicate. Are they being fair and honest with themselves or are they being a little selfish in getting to enjoy things their husband can never duplicate while denying the husband a similar variety toy that creates sensations a woman can’t reproduce?

    • LDM November 19, 2015 at 8:26 am

      I don’t think the church has said anything about sex toys themselves, but they have been very clear about masturbation being contrary to church standards and the kind of toys you describe are IMHO a form of masturbation if a person uses them on themselves. I think its ok for one spouse to use one on their partner, and if you get to take a vibe to her, I don’t see why she should object to using a toy to pleasure you.

  • AceofClubs October 21, 2015 at 10:13 am

    This is more of a vent because I don’t really have any one to talk to about this. feel free to comment if you feel to.

    Im 28, my wife is 27, we have 2 kids 4yrs and 2 yrs. I am 4 weeks from finishing medical school. I have no idea what i ‘really’ want to do with my life. my wife has a severe chronic illness (endometriosis), which ranges from debilitating to bad, and has meant she struggles to function a lot of the time, across the board. The strain last 4 years of med school have nearly wrecked both of us. We both struggle with our mental health – depression/anxiety. we both see a psychologist to help. my wife is very (appropriately) needy of my time, effort attention and sympathy. The strains and stresses of our life really trigger her depression/anxiety. we actually have a really strong relationship. except for our sexual relationship. She was sexually abused by her brother when they were both children. Her endometriosis means that intercourse and even arousal is intensely painful, at the time and for days after.

    one of my main love languages is physical touch, and intimacy is a big part of that. Im so tired of it not being able to be part of our relationship – and it is worse because to be honest, in terms of ‘love currency’ in our relationship, its the biggest, if not the only thing that i really care about, particularly when im stressed and struggling (most of the time lately). I usually do pretty well being respectful (celibate) of her situation/struggles and needs, and even if i do try to seek out some intimate connection (rarely if ever actual penetrative intercourse), I try to do it in a very open, non-pressured kind of way. This is mainly becuase of the pain factor, but tonight we went through the whole thing again and she said that the big problem is also the effects of her sexual abuse. I was able to connect with her and comfort and reassure her and bond, but I just need an outlet for my sadness/grief over not having, and the prospect of never having a normal, if any, sexual relationship – without that outlet being her, because it’s unfair to burden her with that, and it will just make her feel guilty. But I just spend my whole life giving away – to her with her legitimate (but really draining) needs, my kids and their legitimate (but really draining) needs, my studies which I really dont enjoy, my extended family members who are all a bit nuts and draining and my involvment at church which is all just a big demand.

    And the only thing I really care about in terms of things that will fill my tank, and help me to feel ok with everything/loved etc etc I can’t have. And I don’t know if that’s ever going to change.

  • kiss November 18, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Laura, you need to help this poor man NOW! he is 28….he should be hanging from chandeliers and having pop rocks in his wifes mouth while she pleasures him (I heard about it on real housewives, OC…im trying that tonight! macdonalds were giving them away…lols, so i thought…give it a go. might taste like a piece of candy..win win )
    anyway, this poor boy, who will be a doctor but feels he cant cure his wife, need you!!!! Is she really going to be chronically ill for the rest of her life? I know nothing about it…so have no idea, but buddy…i feel for ya.

  • k1ss December 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I can’t log in as kiss, can’t remember password so have re registered. Laura, you need to help this poor man !!!

  • twrobertson March 31, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Has anybody have done in your own experience with a hand on top of your spouse’s private or sexual part (penis, vagina, & Breast(s)) while you are asleep?

    Has anybody sleeping naked with each other (especially within LDS Church) at night? Year round? Just Summer? Or too much heat in the house?

    • kiss April 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      All the time!

    • Tortdog May 1, 2016 at 10:43 am

      I have wanted to sleep with my wife without Gs for a while. Neither of us ever pushed it. I have always felt funny given the requirements of the temple. I asked a friend who also is endowed and he advised it is not that great. He said that it starts out all nice but by the middle of the night you are sticky and sweaty due to the body heat. I have never dwelt on it since.

      • kiss May 6, 2016 at 4:49 am

        I see it as intimacy,
        when we wear them ( which we have done , very rarely …I get hot and sweaty in them!!! ) it feels like I’m sleeping with Joseph smith and there is absolutely no touching. Too sacred.

        After a few days it affects our marriage. I like touching his warm back, or him cuddling me naked. To me that’s intimacy. And yes I like it all night, not just for 3 mins of sex which men seem to think is ‘ intimacy’ it isn’t.

        Some people are ok wearing them and ripping them off etc, I am not one of them.
        I wear them ‘ throughout my life ‘ like we are instructed in the temple ( not day and night like the interview says ) and I wear them on a holiday etc, where I see some people seeing that ‘ as time away from them ‘ and wear skimpy t shirts and shorts.
        I wear them every day of my life and some nights !!

  • twrobertson March 31, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Has anyone of you experience degenerate/degenerative in your body that you cannot perform certain making love positions?

  • twrobertson April 1, 2016 at 11:55 am

    All I need to know, with no details, if it was a peaceful/spiritual/enjoyment/pleasure, etc kind of experience or feeling.

  • Tortdog May 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Here is an issue that many write about but I still struggle with it. My wife is going on a month long vacation to Europe without me. I work and can’t take that long. Also, the time she is going is the height of the season… The ticket is north of $1500. We can afford it but I see that as an individual draining the family budget without thinking of the family. I would rather save this money for a family vacation, or a couple retreat.

    She needs her time with a friend in Europe. And she is tagging along with our daughter who is spending a month to visit friends on her own dime.

    I get the mother daughter joy, but honestly it really bothers me that she would choose to spend so much money and time away. I would never suggest doing this.

    This is the third time that she has gone on an expensive vacation without me in our 25 years of marriage. The first two times it created a lot of fighting. She went regardless. This time I reminded her how this hurt me, but she needs this and is not changing her mind. So I am trying to be supportive (I will make work adjustments to watch the youngest kids while she is gone) and I try to out on a smile.

    Honestly, though, I want nothing to do with her right now. I want to just focus on the kids and avoid conversations where she and the daughter talk excitedly about this trip (that I am paying for as the principal earner) and avoid the situation altogether but that risks me coming across at sulking or being pouty (not attractive).

    How do you cope effectively without harming the relationship?

    • kiss May 6, 2016 at 5:00 am

      Has she only been away three times or three expensive times but goes away at least yearly etc ?
      Do you go away alone? If not, I suggest you start.
      Organise a golfing weekend ( if that’s your thing ) with buddies, or a trip to Hawaii with siblings.
      Sitting stewing ain’t going to change her mind. You need to plan your own fun time away as well.
      I have to go,on a plane every six months, just my thing ! It’s not set in stone…but seems to happen that way!!! Lols.
      Hubby is the only bread winner,but I have girlfriends pay , or sons pay or Santa paid for my four days in Perth in February to see a son graduate Uni, etc and as we live in NZ wherever we go is a three hour plane ride min to Ozzie./ pacific islands

      I’ve been to England etc but my dad paid cos I was taking my mum back..but I went home via Singapore and Melbourne…hey, why not!

      So what I recommend, is yes, the money is a lot, but you earn it, you can also spend it, even if you don’t know how it will appear…start making some goals and the money shows up ( tithing back from Tax, pay rise etc ) and use that on you. But make a PLAN!!

      If you have no friends like my hubby, then go visit your family.
      Or take a treking trip to India if that’s what you have always wanted to do.

      Be happy she is going….

      And be happy you will be a few months after she gets back.

      What’s good for the goose etc …

      And also plan a weekend just her and you away. Get a young married couple to baby sit. They only babysit the once..as they are so traumatised but as there are a steady stream of YSA young married you will have others to choose from the following year.
      Plan a six mth or yearly trip together and a single trip alone / with a friend separately to the spouse.
      Keeps the marriage healthy.
      Better to be spending on you both than on lawyers fees for a divorce.

      We had young kids and every six- 12 mths we went away for one to three nights.
      We had five kids.
      Like I said..people only babysat once !
      But once was all we needed..as there was fresh meat coming along.

      It’s the best though when the oldest can drive and can babysit the siblings so you can go to the barrier reef together for five nights !!
      That’s so good when they get to that age !!

  • kiss May 6, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Laura , can we start an open forum five. ? You have to scroll so far down on this one, Ta

  • kiss May 6, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Tortdog, I’ve replied to your two comments but they are awaiting approval.

  • kiss May 6, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Hopefully they won’t be too long in showing up, cos my advice is AMAZING!!!

  • kiss May 9, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Ok, so obviously if you click quote and reply your messages don’t appear, so people don’t do that!
    I’ll reply to both your questions on this post.
    Re being naked with my husband at night, I see that as intimacy and not just the 24 seconds which might be ‘ sex’
    So no I have no problem with taking them off ‘ to be intimate’ which we are allowed to do, supposedly.
    Touching my husbands warm back through the night is intimate,
    Him spooning me , flesh on flesh is intimate. No one else does that to me.
    We live in a moderate climate so I don’t get hot and sweaty not wearing them ( get hot and sweaty wearing them )
    Some people can wear them and rip them off in the throws of passion, I haven’t been one of them cos they are too sacred.
    I wear them all day every day even on holiday, unlike some I see in photos etc
    If I wear them at night ( and I do, sometimes ) there is no touching, cos they are sacred.
    That’s just me.
    I didn’t covenant to wear them day and night, ( unlike the interview question states ) I was told ( instructed is the word that’s used ) in the temple TO WEAR THEM THROUGHOUT MY LIFE and I do.
    No covenanting was done re them. Unlike the question in the recommend interview .
    So yes, I wear them throughout my life…
    Job done !

    Re holidays. Is this the wife’s third holiday in your lives together or her third expensive holiday ?
    No amount of sulking is going to get her to change her mind, so I would now start planning a boys trip away when she gets back. Fishing, golf etc or if that’s not your thing or you have no friends then maybe a sibling trip to Hawaii etc.
    Even if you have no money, plan it. The money comes.
    You might use your tax back from tithing or you get a bonus from work, so that then pays for it but you need the goal.
    Why should she go away and you not!
    We have five kids, I always go on a plane every 6 mths, just how it has worked out. Hubby is a school teacher, only bread winner.
    Sometimes I go with hubby, sometimes alone, or with girlfriends.
    We live in New Zealand so any plane ride is 3 hrs min.
    One year I took my mum back to England and my dad paid, but I got a stop in Singapore with mum and Melbourne with girlfriends out of it !! Milk it!
    We had young kids but planned to go away once every 6 mths for a night minimum when we got married, There was always a YSA or young married couple who were willing to babysit. USE THEM
    plan to go away singly , and also as a couple once a year.
    Even if it is a local flee pit motel down the road, just do it. Better to pay for that than a lawyer and a divorce.
    Invest in you both. As a couple and also as your own space
    If going hunting alone is your thing, then set a date and plan to go.
    Don’t make excuses…
    Set the goal, expect it to happen. God takes care of the details..like money, time off work, babysitters.. etc if you are doing your best to be obedient, he will help you.

    Be excited for the wife. Support her …and she will,support you,in return.
    Don’t sulk.
    It’s not pretty.

    Ask her to bring you something you have always wanted back…
    Look forward to that gift !!

  • twrobertson September 15, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Anybody is reading or have read the latest Laura’s latest book called “Intimately Her Sextraordinary”? Just wondering how was the book?

  • twrobertson September 15, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I mean “Knowing Her Intimately”?

  • Discouraged wife April 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Not sure if this forum is active anymore, but I need advice with my intimacy and marriage.

    I have two completely different questions.
    First: My husband and I have been married 20 years. We are LDS, which makes it a bit more difficult to find help since we live outside “Mormonville” Utah. I have recently started to have more “woman” problems, bleeding heavier, cramping, etc. I had an IUD placed a few months ago to help, but it seems to be making it worse. The options in front of me are kind of scary. As a background to my question, the last half year or so I have finally began to accept myself enough that during lovemaking, I am able to let go of my self-conscious thoughts. That, along with years of figuring out what works for me to be stimulated and what doesn’t, has resulted in the ability to have multiple orgasms nearly every time my husband and I have sex. Because I kind of like this, I worry that having to get a procedure done, whether it be an ablation of my uterine lining or a hysterectomy, they may change things in that department. My doctor said if a hysterectomy is needed, he removes the cervix as well, and I know that plays a role in my own arousal and orgasms. I don’t want to have to go through another 20 years figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t.

    Secondly: There were several years that my husband and I were not intimate at all, but for the past seven or eight years we have worked through some of those problems and have had sex on a semi-regular basis. The difference in my situation is that I have always been the aggressor, the one who wants sex more than he does so I tend to need to initiate it. There has been a struggle since our celibacy years ended, with knowing when he is ok with me making advances on him, and with the emotional/spiritual intimacy during sex. My husband doesn’t seem be getting any fulfillment out of it. Since our situation is pretty reversed from the usual, I have been unable to find answers without having to weed through all the explicit “information” on the internet. How can I help my husband? I fully understand the importance of intimacy in marriage and how much it can strengthen our relationship. We have some REAL problems in our marriage that I know won’t be worked out without some outside help, but my husband won’t even entertain the idea of counseling.

    Dr Laura, please advise me on these! I don’t know where to turn.

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