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Her Terms

I am in what I guess you would call an 85 percent marriage. We have a lot of small talks but a little serious conversation. I always thought there could or would be more for me.

The biggest symptom of our questionable marriage is we have very little sex. Twice a year is a norm. We have been married ten years, are in our mid-thirties, and have no children. Before I was married, I had an active and successful sex life.

I would like to have children but can't imagine sharing that with my wife. I go for months when I am okay, but the pressure of no intimacy, on all levels, gets to me and I am miserable. She keeps giving me different reasons and conditions. Heck, I even ended up cleaning the house more, which makes me laugh thinking about it.

When we first met, the spark was not overwhelming. Why is it we throw out those relationships for "sensible" ones? Then we spend our whole existence thinking about sparks.

All this being said, we have fun together and I cannot imagine leaving her at this time. She loves me and has based her whole life on our being together. It is perplexing.


Farley, some people might tell you sex isn't everything, but that's like saying "Money isn't everything." When you can't pay the rent, when you can't put food on the table, then the money is everything.

When you don't have the minimum requirements, your focus is drawn to what is lacking. Is it too much to say you can't imagine having children because you know that would be the trap you couldn't escape? Excuses and conditions freeze you in hopefulness. If she stalls long enough, you will feel it is too late to begin again.

Everyone agrees the one relationship in which physical intimacy is permitted and inherent, is between husband and wife. You jumped through hoops to improve the chances for intimacy. Now you know firsthand you can't trade household chores for lovemaking. Bargaining for sex has another name.

Why can't your wife pinpoint what is wrong? Because an honest answer is going to put her somewhere she doesn't want to be. Single. Evading the problem allows her to have her marriage on her terms. She has decided you will not have sex for the rest of your life.

The issue is black and white. Can you accept a marriage of small talk and no sex, or not? Many, maybe most, of the letters we receive boil down to this. You can't change anyone else. The only power you have is over yourself.


All That Matters

Just read your answer to "Judged By Appearance." I totally agree. I went on my first date with my husband. He was short and had a beard. When I told my very conservative father who I was going out with, he said, "The guy with the beard, be home at midnight."

Well, on our first date, I got sick, and he had to stop the car every five minutes so I could throw up. No, we weren't drinking. Upon arriving home I ran into the house determined never to see him again. I was so embarrassed. An hour later he came back with a beautiful bouquet of roses. My parents were hooked.

We have been happily married for 30 years. My family adores him and so do I. Under that beard, inside this not-too-tall guy, beats a heart of gold. He values family, honesty, and integrity before all else.

Any parent who truly wants the best for their child should get to know the person. I know many women married to handsome men with big wallets. They don't always end up happy. The only thing that is important is what's on the inside.


Marian, thank you for sharing your story.

Wayne & Tamara

Wayne & Tamara are also the authors of Cheating in a Nutshell, available from Amazon, Apple and most booksellers.


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