Helen in Chapin wrote:
My husband won’t have sex with me! We have only been married for five and a half years and have had some very hurtful arguments. Our sex life has dwindled to almost never. I’ve apologized for the hurtful things I’ve said, and have tried everything I know how to spice up our relationship. My husband just turns away and says that he is afraid of me. I love my husband, but I’m beginning to feel like a roommate. Please help with your insight. This is just not a normal, healthy way to live.
There comes a time when apologizing for past mistakes has to end, and working out the problems of the present must become a priority. One person can’t save or improve a relationship – both people have to put forth effort, take responsibility, and improve themselves for the sake of each other and the relationship.
Your husband has a lot of pent up hurt and anger, but what he is really struggling with are his deeper feelings when it comes to you. His claims of fearing you almost seem more like a controlling manipulation than an actual fear. He does dread fighting with you, because things can get quite nasty. There is a big difference between dread and fear. Quite frankly, I think he enjoys it to a certain point when you become submissive and are feeling badly about yourself. That is just about as unhealthy as your sex life.
Because your husband doesn’t want the turmoil of fighting with you, nasty arguments, and each of you trying to impress your viewpoints on the other without respect or consideration of the damage harsh words can cause, he has essentially shut down. He would rather have you as a roommate than a lover, because it is easier. There is less drama in a coexistence than there is in a marriage. Your husband is taking the proverbial “easy way out.”
You have a lot to risk by trying to save your marriage, because your husband is coming through as resistant. He doesn’t want a divorce, but he doesn’t want to be married in every sense of the word, either. Counseling would help your relationship, and would be a wonderful way for your husband to release a lot of the emotions he is repressing. You may have to face some areas of your character that can be improved upon, as well. Even though the path won’t be easy, what do you have to lose? The way things are going, the two of you are going to continue drifting further and further apart.
Your husband is one of those people who needs to feel emotionally intimate in order to express physical desire and intimacy. In order to repair your sex life, you must first repair your relationship. Rather than spice things up in the bedroom, your challenge is more along the lines of reminding him why he fell in love with you in the first place. The love is still there within him, but it is pretty deeply buried in the muck and mire the two of you have waded through over the past several years of your marriage. While this may seem like an impossible task, it isn’t. A little counseling and improved communication would do wonders – at the very least it would point your marriage in the right direction once again.
You’ve got a pretty tough road ahead of you, one that is going to test your patience and your temperament. If you can motivate your husband to meet you half way, then your marriage (and sex life) will be better than it ever was before.