My wife and I have been married for more than 10 years, but recently our sex drives have gone in different directions. My desire to have sex with her is increasing, but this is not reciprocated. She has said we can have sex only at the weekend, but that it should not be planned as she prefers spontaneity. Given that we have two children with lots of hobbies and activities, as well as our own interests, the opportunities for even planned sex are limited. I find myself getting tense at the thought of no intimacy and it can feel quite stressful as the weekend progresses. Any suggestion that we could do it on a weekday is immediately rejected. I love my wife deeply and find her even more attractive than when we met. But this situation is very difficult and I am not prepared to have an unsatisfying sex life for ever.
Sex can become a realm in which a couple plays out a power struggle, and this may be true for you and your wife. Given your busy lives, with the stress and uncertainty of your family responsibilities, I’m not surprised you are feeling frustrated and that you lack options. It is very likely that your wife is making sex impossible because, in reality, she is tired, preoccupied or overwhelmed. Instead of trying to fit in with her demands or negotiating time for intimacy, I think it would be best to try to take a look at the broader picture – which would ideally be done via couples counselling. There is probably something of an imbalance between you that is being expressed in the sexual arena and it would be important to get to the bottom of it before your sex life can be restored.
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