I Need Advice About My Third Wedding Anniversary.

So here’s the scoop. I am in a sexless marriage, and it is killing me. Our third anniversary is coming up in November.

If you want me to, I can expunge further on how I got into this mess, and missed the warning signs. I’ll do that later if this thread takes off. But here I am, now.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife. It’s our marriage that is just a mess. We are like roommates that live together. In all of the platonic parts of a relationship, we are best friends.

Yes, we have done the counseling. We have done the fighting. I’ve done the book reading, but she refuses to, and gets mad when I nag her about reading a book about this problem. She’s very passive aggressive.

But I also am a great gift giver. I love giving gifts. I am known within my family of putting the extra mile into researching, picking up hints, searching, and producing the gifts that everyone talks about afterward.

So, my third wedding anniversary is coming up in November. My underlying gift giving genie is starting to go bonkers thinking of ideas. But I’m not sure that I want to give my wife a great gift. I don’t want her to erroneously think that suddenly everything is fine. I want to give her a gift the says, “Eh, so you’re my wife.” :o So that she will get the subtle hint. Just the fact that I didn’t go the extra mile will clue her in.

I’m not looking to purposefully make her mad, or gross her out. I’m looking for a gift that make her pause, and say, “Hmmmm. What exactly does he mean by that?”

I would think that females would have more creative input into this, so I’m encouraging ideas from both camps.

What should I get her?
Will presentation matter?

You could choose from any of the list of gifts my (now ex-) husband gave me.

  1. A dozen long-stemmed red roses

  2. A frying pan.

  3. A cheezy little metal trinket box from Kmart.

  4. A $10 gift certificate to a bookstore.

  5. Dinner out, and a card.

  6. A knit vest in a color you have never seen her wear before.

You may pick only one gift from the list. Two gifts imply effort. She will have something to show when people ask what you got her, but she’ll know it’s just a token so that she can’t complain.

Presentation matters…leave it on the bed or the table, don’t hand it to her or give her a smooch.

i believe the official “husband doesn’t give a damn” gift is a vacuum cleaner.

i could be wrong though.

it might well be a toaster.

it took me five years to realize I made a mistake. Try the truth, unless there is younguns around, if so post again. I will not offer an opinion.

Just the fact that I didn’t go the extra mile will clue her in.

Sounds like she’s not the only one that’s passive-aggressive.

I think The Joy of Sex is still in print.

I can’t say that I think giving your wife a gift for the purpose of making a dig at her is a great idea.

I don’t think that a bland gift will help the relationship. You might just cause her to feel even more distant from you with that.
I would be interested in some more background info about how this situation came to be, to perhaps get an idea of how you might be able to deal with it constructively.

Cruel, but I like the sentiment - a book whose subject encapsulates how you feel about the state of your marriage. Even if she never reads it, it will make a statement on your behalf…

Some possible titles to get you started.


Chicago Faucet, I’ve seen you post several times about being in this sexless marriage and I keep wondering why you are still in it. I don’t mean this as a negative against you in any way, but based on some of your previous posts you seem like a nice person who is miserable.

Maybe I’ve missed a post that explains your situation, but are there children involved? Why are you still in this marriage when your wife seems not to want to do anything to try and make things better?

I’d give her divorce papers. Not wanting to have sex is out of her control. Not wanting to find out why she doesn’t want sex is passive-aggressive in the extreme. She can put an ad in the paper to get a roommate.

Hey…maybe you can take an ad out in the paper. Wanted: Wife who gives a shit about our marriage.

I’m so sorry you are in this situation! I can see why you wouldn’t want to really go the extra mile for the gift-giving this year, but I think just getting something generic would do the trick.

Can you just send her like 1/2 a dozen or even 3 roses. Something really small, and she’ll know you didn’t put much thought into it…

Also, I know it isn’t as easy as it sounds but maybe you should look into divorce options. There is somebody out there who would make you happy.

For most of the day, this is the main subject that is on my mind.

There are no children involved.

I first got a whiff of this problem about two months before we got married. All of the downpayments had been made, dresses ordered and such. She said, “You know, maybe we shouldn’t have sex until we’re married, so that it is more special.” We were living at our separate parents’ houses, about an hour apart, so it wasn’t out of the question then, for inconvenience sake.

The first slap in the face was actually our honeymoon. Over a ten day honeymoon, we had sex a total of three times. Once she made me feel like I was raping her, and she cried afterwards. This was in Disneyworld.

The first year we had sex a total of 12 times. Year two was 10 times. So far this year, we are at 7. When the numbers are this low, it isn’t hard to keep track.

Under my instruction, we started going to a marriage counselor after six months. We went every week for about four months. What it boiled down to, every time, is the counselor would say something to the effect of, “Your wife is very upset. If you didn’t want sex so bad, then this wouldn’t be a problem.” I called her on this one time, and that was the last time we went.

Between all this were little sporadic fights. I learned that she was faking it. That angered me.

By the end of the first year I was looking for consolation from other sources, men’s groups, online, message boards. That’s when I found out that this is a wider spread problem than I had thought. Ironically, there is data that women suffer from sexless marriages more than men do.

That’s when I turned up the heat. I wasn’t picking fights, but I was putting my foot down more and more. I was addressing the situation head on with her, instead of skirting the subject in fear of angering her. I was reading articles and passing them on to her. Her response, if she didn’t ignore the article, was, “What is this supposed to mean?”

Year two was a blur.

At the beginning of the third year, I bought a book called “The Sexless Marriage.” I read every page of it. I would put it on level with getting advice from Oprah Winfrey, but it helped me cope with this. I handed it to her. She put it on the shelf. There it still sits. I brought the book up again just last week. She yelled at me, “I’m not reading that damn book!”

How have I coped? We have just bought a run down house. I spend my time focused at work, or at home working on my house. I also dabble in the stock market, with small amounts of penny stocks. I like researching the companies, numbers and such, and cashing out my profits of ten bucks at a time. I also do RPGing with some buddies, and do some freelance computer work on the side.

My wife is an intelligent, beautiful, funny, and witty woman.

However, she is also passive aggressive (I have to nag her to deposit her paychecks), spoiled by her parents, and immature.

The funny part is that her parents are going through a divorce right now because their marriage was sexless. Her father did his consolation with a mistress.

That’s about all I can think of right now. That’s our marriage in a nutshell.

Oh, and she sees the parallels between our marriage and her parents’ marriage. I bring it up often. She is worried sick that I am going to cheat on her, eventhough I take the marriage vows seriously. However, she is not willing to do anything about it.

She keeps saying that she wants a new job and/or go back to school, but she has yet to fill out an application or update her resume.

I love her to death. We get downright goofy together.

We both work average jobs, that are quickly becoming careers. Divorce is out of the question on financial and moral grounds.

I truly don’t mean this to sound snarky but I once was in a horrible marriage and didn’t want to get a divorce for moral reasons. I was sitting in a seminar for my job and the speaker said something that changed my life forever.

If you are unhappy in a situation, be it a marriage, a job, a relationship…whatever you have 4 options. That’s it. Only 4.

  1. Accept it
  2. Try to change it
  3. Quit or
  4. Be miserable

I didn’t hear a word she said after that. All I kept thinking about was that I had tried to accept it and couldn’t. I had tried to change it and couldn’t. My options were down to 2…quit or be miserable.

I talked to my pastor and my parents (who have been married 30 years BTW) and finally decided that I was 21 years old and had a long life ahead of me. I chose not to live that life in misery.

My situation was even worse because I had an 18 month old child with this man.

But I did it and it was hard. Some days I wanted to die and some days I thought it was the best thing I ever did.

You don’t have a marriage. Not the way it should be and it obviously bothers you.

You aren’t doing either of you any favors by staying. You are missing out on a potential mate out there who will love you and want to share that love with you physically.

Yet you seem resigned to your fate.

If you told your wife that you were divorcing her unless she helped you try to work on the marriage what do you think she would say?

Chicago Faucet, giving her a bad gift won’t fix things. Giving her a good gift won’t fix things. Making her see how sad you are about not having sex won’t fix things. Pretending that everything is fine won’t fix things. Showing her how much you love her won’t fix things. Being mean to her won’t fix things.

You two are incompatible. Period.

By staying together you are hurting yourself, and you are hurting her. You may think divorce is too hurtful to even contemplate, but it isn’t. It’s like pulling a rotten tooth, or setting a broken leg. Sometimes pain is necessary to be healthy. The longer you stay in the this marriage, the more angry and unhappy you’re going to be in the long term.

Take it from someone who knows, and get out of this relationship.

I can’t address the financial issues, but I suspect that the moral component could be addressed by an annulment. Her refusal to even look at the situation as one that needs to be addressed would seem to me to indicate that she was not adequately prepared to enter into the commitment. (And if she knew that sex was going to be an issue before the marriage, she entered the marriage under false pretenses.) I suspect that the Assembly of God folks would declare that you must simply suffer a sexless marriage, but most other denominations would cut you more slack.

(On the other hand, try the roses: I have heard several women declare that flowers are the most intense aphrodisiac. :wink: )

Exactly what are the moral grounds that keep you in this horrific situation? Is there something in your religion that tells you to be miserable with someone who refuses to:

  1. behave like an adult and confront problems head-on?
  2. live up to her end of the marriage contract? (and yes, sex IS part of the contract, whether she wants to admit it or not)
  3. think so little of you that she would put you through this pain?

She may be fun, but that’s only part of a relationship. That’s the friend part.

Sell your house and move on with your life. Have you considered you have another fifty years of this to look forward to? Christ! It’s a no-brainer!

  --- Kalhoun (who was in a sexless relationship for two years)