10 year marriage with no spark?

I have been married for 10 years and my wife shows no affection. We do get along good but we are more like roommates. We both have careers and we also have three children. I can count on 1 hand the number of compliments she has given over the last couple years. She almost never touches me, I am not talking about sexually touching. I am not the stereotypical husband either. I cook almost every night for our kids, have a good career, clean the house, exercise, give her numerous compliments, listen to her, etc. I am not perfect but I have really tried to be a good person/husband. I even had us go to marriage counseling to talk about our differences. She did not feel comfortable talking to the counselor so we stopped that. My problem is that life could be so much more enjoyable and I have told her that I need some affection. I am not being dramatic all I am needing is simple verbal and physical affection I am not sure what else to do at this point. The strange thing is if I initiate sex she has no problem receiving and fully enjoying it.


Most Helpful Girl

  • have you ever thought maybe she has changed?

    From my personal experience with my marriage, it's sort of like that.

    well, I'm sure she does some things with the kids and cleaning around the house. PLus you said she has her own job too.

    As for me, I quit my job to live with my husband. I do all the errands (pay bill, grocery shop, finance, and cleaning + cooking). I am trying to look for a job, but no luck as of yet. I have a BA so my husband doesn't want me to flip burgers. Anyway, we don't have kids but we have the two problems you say you do with your wife.

    -I don't really give him verbal praises which he only gives to me, and he gives it a lot

    -I don't really like to touch him/hug or kiss him. Which he does it a lot to me.

    Why is it that I don't? There's a lot of reasons. One is I'm just not the touchy feeling type. I never wanted or had a boyfriend. He was my first at the age of 24, and we got married right away. I just felt pressured to marry because I was getting old and all my friends/relatives pressured me to... so I got married to a nice man. I feel like marriage is just two people being roommates and as long as they get a long, why push it? So yeah, I guess I do all the laundry and we eat together all the time but I'm beginning (just today) to think that. Maybe I should just do MY laundry and we shoudl just eat seperately and make our own meals ourselves. I think we should be two seperate people just living together. It'll help us to be more independent and stuff... that's just me though. I'm NOT saying that your wife is like that. You should just talk to your wife, about things like her wants and her needs and her desires... get her to reveal what she likes and is happy or content with.

    Its all up to you to find out what's in your wife's mind and what kind of person she is and why she is that kidn of person. you need those answers and you have the opportunity to do it, and you are the one she needs to talk to about these things. counselors just some times are there, for the talking to encourage you to talk but if she doesn't want to then it's not goign to help. So I would just suggest you and her talk more, and talk about this issue specifically.

    • We have talked extensively and she is content/satisfied with the status quo, I am the one that has needs that are not being met. That being said I asked her if she would be happy if I gave her the affection she gives out she says "no" because that would not be normal behavior from me. I feel there are multiple factors, attraction is lower over the years, she takes me for granted, and selfishness. She is a nice person, I think she fears the repercussions of honesty because she wants 1 more child.

    • Love does involve feelings, but love is a choice before anything else. No matter what your view of what a marriage relationship should be, you really need to understand that both partners have needs. When they're not fulfilling each others needs (and I am not talking about sex, in general, but it is one of them) then a decision has to be made to either suffer without your needs being met or look for them to be met elsewhere. It's unfair to have your needs met and expect your partner to suffer.


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What Girls Said 3

  • has she always been like this? Or have things slowly gotten to that point. Because if that is how it has always been, then I think it is hard to ask her to change now. That being said...with all of your responsibilites when is the last time you had time alone together? Maybe a night at a hotel or a weekend even will help aleviate the stress of the everyday. You sound like you are doing the right things, but it isn't moving her. Plan a romantic evening where she won't be able to keep her hands off of you.

    • I believe from what I have read he probably has no problem being Mr. Romance. The problem is that after he went to all of the effort to set all of a rendezvous like this up, he would end up fulfilling her pleasures and needs and still left wanting. His wife has a selfishness problem. Not a nasty personality, but she can get all involved when she is on the receiving end of any kind of affection, but her energy and desire wanes to nothing when she is expected to give or reciprocate.

  • Well, your wife could be thinking that you don't love her anymore, and that she isn't as sexually attractive as she used to be. She might start to think that she is getting old, wrinkled, or ugly and worried that you think that about her. This may be making her feel less confident and less motivated to initiate anything romantic.

    Don't JUST initiate sex. But give her passionate hugs and kisses often. Grab her hand under the table. Hold her. Tease and flirt with her. Do the little things. Touch her more, and she will touch you back. I know, I know, this sounds extremely corny, sorry. But, tell her how much you love her every day. And not just when she does something great, just out of the blue. Try your hardest to make her blush.

    Do kind and unexpected things; days might become so routine that small things you do might brighten your wife's day, such as when you go get gas at the gas station, unexpectedly pick up a chocolate bar for her or her favorite drink or food. Bring more humor and make her laugh. Go on a date! Do fun things together, leave the kids at home and go to a movie, take each other out. You should take a vacation together when you can.

    Maybe every month or every year on your anniversary, have a special dinner and talk to each other about both of your needs and things that should be fixed. Talk about your year or month together. Things that need to be improved upon and what you expect from each other. Do not hide your feelings ever. Ever, ever . . . ever. Tell her how you are feeling this moment. She will never know unless you tell her, she could be surprised because she was expecting a completely different thing (like that you don't love her). Or she might feel exactly the same.

    Remember that you are not roommates, you are a married couple. You may still remember that, but does she? And it may seem like you are the only person putting in the effort, or that she may think that only reason you are doing these nice things is because you are guilty about something. But try it out. You seem like such a wonderful husband! Your wife is very lucky to have you. Make her remember why. Don't let her take you for granted, though. :)

    • He is doing all of these things. His wife is happy to soak it all in and not reflect any of it back. Unless he makes a conscious choice to suffer without his needs being met, then she's going to have to face the fact that he's going to need to leave her or cheat on her to have them met. It's not right for her to have her needs met and just expect him to suffer. It doesn't matter if she's not wired the same way he is. Suck it up, put in the effort baby (wife). Eventually it will become enjoyable.

  • I'm very sorry for your situation. It seems like you have a marriage that works and that neither of you are bad people, but there are needs that are not being met. I congratulate you for being a husband and a father who does the things that you do for your family and tries to rebuild your romance.

    Keep trying and keep try8ing to commincate with her. I'm not able to tell you why she is acting like that because it seems she is happy with you. Maybe life has just taken hold and she takes you for grantide. Sometimes when people have been in a relationship for so long they need to be reminded of what it feels like to be fresh and new. Most woment are open to talking so try to just talk to her about it. Maybe over a very romantic setting so that she feels safe, comfortable, and very loved.

    • For a few years we both kind of neglected the relationship. We realized what we were doing so we tried the love dare book, but when it came to showing affection she lost interest in what the book suggested to do. I have always been an affectionate person especially the last couple years I really have tried doing all the little things mentioned above (flirting, small thoughtful gifts, compliments, we do date nights, etc.). I am frustrated because I have done everything she/women tell me they want.

    • The Love Dare only works if you commit to it and do it no matter what. It isn't coincidental that the book lasts just as long as it takes to form a new habit, but you have to see it through and the rewards should help make it a lasting change. Obviously, you would see it through, but it is probably she that needs to do it the most.

What Guys Said 3

  • I feel obligated to answer this seeing as how I don't feel the comments have well suited the situation. You haven't really given enough information. Have you always been the one to initiate sex? Was she ever complimenting while you guys were dating? How about during the first few years of your marriage? If she was never affectionate before or complimenting before then odds are she won't change now. Spark doesn't last forever unless you are constantly thinking of new ways to keep it up. Your no longer the mysterious sexy guy, your daddy and a provider. Perhaps pick up a hobby that she finds attractive that you would enjoy doing.(perhaps learn dancing but don't let her know and surprise her with it. That's if you both like dancing.) Bring sexy back lol Give her some mystery, mystery can bring excitement. Right now you guys know everything about each other. So it's no fun because she has already figured everything out. Try not to be so predictable either. Stop being so overly nice. Your not obligated to compliment her 24/7, and you don't have to listen to her problems every time she has em. Now I'm not saying be a d*** and never listen to her or never compliment her but at least stop being a doormat. She may just be in mommy mode and doesn't feel like she needs to be so affectionate anymore because she has other things to worry about. Also people just become used to each other and it's hard to keep a spark when it's the same day in day out routine. The newness has wore off of the relationship so now it's just a constant battle to keep it exciting. It's neither one of your faults it just happens.

    • Unfortunately, if she is like a lot of women that fall into this category, these things will make things more exciting for her and she will just assume that this means everything is great and she doesn't need to work any harder. After all her needs are being met in abundance so everything must be great. She has to wake up to the fact that she is leaving her husband without his needs being met and this is very dangerous to continue this way.

  • I actually just read an article about this on Askmen.com yesterday. Look it up (it's title is something like how to have great married sex, or something like that.).

  • I have been kind in all of my other comments, but here is where I am going to get tough on you. You are doing great at being a provider and meeting all of her needs, but you need to step up as a leader. She needs help and you need to make it clear to her how desperate you are and greatly in need you are of having your needs met. You need to be clear on just how she is neglecting you and how long it has been a problem. You need to get tough and tell her that if she doesn't get help (counseling), then you are not going to be able to sustain the output she has been receiving. You have to have something in your love tank to be able to give something out. You have been operating on fumes and credit and the debt collectors are demanding recompense. You cannot continue to give and not receive. It is not healthy. If it doesn't drive you to leave her or cheat on her, then you are going to become empty and resentful. You have to push her to get help as much for yourself as for her. You need to man up and be consistent. Don't back down. I would recommend going back to couples counseling or try to find a marriage educator in your area. A good place to look for an educator is healthymarriages.com. You will find a list of regular couples who have been helping other couples and would love to help you too. In most cases this couple-to-couple mentoring does not cost anything but your time and commitment to improve your marriage.