Feeling like an absolute fool - opinions please

Sorry if this post is not in the correct forum. I am in a dark place at the moment and would appreciate your opinions as I'm not seeing a positive outcome.

Back ground is that my partner and I have been married for around 18 years and we're together for around 10 years before than (School sweethearts) We have children and and a relatively good life except for the fact that we have had largely different sex drives with my partners sex drive being far lower than mine. There were times that I was almost certain that my partner physically and emotionally had no interest in sex at all and was only even having sex to appease me. We discussed this many times too along with my other concern that my partner would never open up about her sexual desires , wants or needs or even comment about the sex we may have just had a few minutes earlier.

I have always tried to be supportive and have never forced my partner to do anything she didn't want to do but I did try to encourage her read more about sex and relationships to try help her understand why this was not a healthy part of our relationship. I bought several self help and general info books for us to read but she refused to ever read them . While this frustrated me massively, I still held onto the hope that one day things may change if I worked hard on the other aspects of our life which I have done plus I have worked my guts out providing a good home for our family . On a few occasion I have written to her about my feelings, needs and worries and on one occasion even about my most personal fantasies which included trying new things like, water sports, anal and light BDSM. Her reaction left me feeling a bit embarrassed since she thought some things like anal and water sports were disgusting . Some time after that we actually tried a few new things and for a very short time enjoyed some pegging and a couple of times and some light BDSM with me being the sub but although I enjoyed it immensely, she showed virtually no interest in perusing it more. Over the years I shared several LH wish lists with her that have got no positive response other than once saying the men's underwear I was showing her looked too feminine - another embarrassing moment but I was being open with her.

Jump ahead a bit, our relationship hit a breaking point a few months back and she went to see a counsellor to share her thoughts and to see if there was any advice on how to improve things. It took her around a month to tell me the outcome and when she finally did it was, "there is nothing wrong with me, you need make an appointment to see the counsellor yourself" We had a few more discussions over the weekend and I was told that my " bizzare sexual fantasies" are too much for her . I haven't even told her of any bizzare fantasies, I don't pressure her and I almost never even instigate sex anymore as I'm made to feel like a raging sex maniac even though I'm miles away from being that!

I guess I have finally come to the realisation that despite how much I love my wife, that she is never going to change into the loving sexual person I want and need in my life - that's OK and I can accept that however difficult it is but I feel like an absolute idiot for ever telling her my intimate desires as it feels like she has turned them against me and know knows things about me that I would not want shared outside of our relationship. I don't even want to see the same counsellor that she did as I have no idea how she has maybe distorted the truth and turned me into an apparent sexual deviant!

I'm struggling to have a clear head over all that is happening now, so any opinions or advise you can offer will be appreciated. Thanks


It may be a good idea if you both went along together to speak to a specialist. Sometimes openly talking in front of each other with a mediator can be helpfull.

Similarly, I think seeing a counsellor together would be helpful. She needs to see that the desires you have and things you have shared with her are normal. Could there be a reason why she has such a narrow view of sex? We are all different and our desires are all different too. Personally I wouldn't be up for water sports or anal sex, but I love bondage and the use of toys.

It does sound like you have been very understanding and patient and tried several things in the past. Would your relationship be stronger or weaker if your sexual desires were met outside of the marriage? Would this be something she might consider?

Hi Overthinker. Firstly glad you posted, you are in the right place. Excellent advice above. I'm going to come at this from a slightly different angle. I think sharing your desires will always come with a risk of having them rejected and what two individuals are comfortable with are more likely to be different than the same. I suppose that I'm lucky that my Husband and I are comfortable exploring together. However we operate very differently, I'd like to talk about what I'd like us to do and also talk about what we have done. He doesn't - I know if I try something and he doesn't like it he will say (in the moment) and same goes for me. I never push him to talk if he doesn't want to and accept that. My approach has changed and as a result he has actually introduced new things into our sex life (in the way discussed above). If your wife isn't comfortable with talking or trying things that's is her decision. You have to decide whether the lack of such things are a deal breaker. Now for the positives. She has stayed with you. She has been to counselling. She is being honest about her thoughts on your sexual requests. This means she is still IN for the time being. Remember you are giving us your version of the events in your relationship - your wife has given hers to the counsellor. I think in your shoes I'd see the same counsellor, you may be surprised by their reaction to you. Then as both the lovely members above suggest you could look at going together. Good luck and try to work this out.

Thanks for your replies - it's reassuring to know I'm not necessarily the bad guy.

I do think that her upbringing has a lot to do with her feelings as she spent a few years in a convent boarding school which she has told me some things about it that by today's standards would be considered unacceptable but that was only for a couple of years out of many. Also, although during our younger years together we were quite vanilla ( didn't really know there was any other way) we were still very sexually active we enjoyed each other then.

Having kids changed things a lot as you would expect bit she never ever got her mojo back afterwards. It's been 8 years since our last child was born.

I absolutely understand that everyone has different likes and dislikes it just seems that she has no sexual likes and at times is very dismissive or even belittling of my desires and wants and refuses to engage in any sexual dialogue if it in the slightest bit away from vanilla. She is physically fine and is extremely attractive to me and when we have sex it's generally OK although in her own words " not the greatest " and she can "take it or leave it" . This made me feel absolute shit , when she told me this today as I've tried darn hard to please her and get her onboard to mutual enjoyment.

I will go to see a counsellor as I need get support through this anyway and hopefully something good will come of it n the long run.

On the topic of finding sexual fulfilment outside of our marriage: I don't think this would be a solution as although it may help with the physical needs, I don't think it would be the emotional fix that I need.


I would most definately not look for alternatives out side of marriage, as good as the advice given was, in my opinion that is a no no.

I am not in the slightest an educated counsillor on such matters, nor do I claim to know everything about everything, but I did read your posts.

"Having kids changed things a lot as you would expect bit she never ever got her mojo back afterwards. It's been 8 years since our last child was born"

As you are aware, when a lady gives birth her body changes dramatically. Some have stretch marks, others gain wait and find it difficult to lose that weight, add infinitum to a females body changes.

I was wondering, do you think there may be a slight possibility, that your partner does not feel happy with her body anymore? That she may feel unnatractive to you? Is there a possibility that if she hates her body now, she may think how could you ever find her just as attractive as you did before you both had children?

As said I am no expert in this field, just another avenue to look at having read your last post.

Hi. I don't think it's a body image issue and when we are being intimate, I'm always telling her how much I love every inch of her body . She still has a very attractive body .

Could it be a pregnancy worry? Menopause starting? I don't want to talk about it but I've been in your situation only the other way round...it's soul destroying...hope you manage to sort it.

Good for both of you for staying together despite mismatched sexual needs. You clearly love each other, and your children.

I would echo others in suggesting that you go for counselling together - or at least that you do now that your wife has taken this step.

Given what you have said about your sex lives, I think it is a positive sign that you do both talk about it - maybe not as much as you like, but the subject doesn't seem to be banned.

If things before kiddies were quite vanilla then maybe try sticking with that and building on it. Taking time over ordinary sex (lots of women need time and a lot of clitoral stimulation), helping her to feel pleasure and to feel confident and keeping things romantic eg buying romantic rather than raunchy lingerie, flowers and wine etc might be the way to go.

Suggesting water sports, anal and light bondage would be a step too far for many, even when relationships are going well. Some people don't like kinks but still enjoy sex and want to feel loved.

Good luck!

Hi 👋🏻

I was like your wife for years and years (about 7 or 8) but as soon as we agreed to try for another baby and I came off my contraception the flip switched again.

After having our son I breastfed and my libido hit rock bottom, I was working 50 hour weeks (returned to work when he was 3 weeks old!) and expressing breastmilk for him as he couldn’t directly nurse. I was exhausted but we just muddled on. When I stopped feeding our son my sex drive sky rocketed. My husband didn’t know what to do with himself!

Recently things have changed and one of our parents has been diagnosed with a life-long and life-limiting disease so it’s been stressful, our youngest is poorly with a congenital kidney condition. I’ve started a new job out of the house. My husband works stupid hours (4am he leaves and 8:30pm he gets home!) etc etc etc

My body is not the best. I hate it. I know he couldn’t care less though. My confidence had gone. I started choosing lingerie from LH and it helped me regain some confidence.

What I’m trying to say is that women have an awful lot going on in the background. I don’t know how you split the household chores but between you there is the food planning, shopping, school things (homework to oversee, books to be read, spellings to be learnt, tag days, school dinners to pay for, packed lunches to be made etc), there’s the household budget to juggle, the Christmas presents to think of, buy and wrap (possibly send/arrange to swap with others etc), the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, making sure the car has fuel, mot is up to date, the dog needs walking, the hamster needs cleaning out etc etc etc I know some won’t apply to you but you get my drift. It could be that her head is too full and she’s just exhausted.

Have you tried just touching her? A glance here, a brush-up against her there? A gentle massage (clothed first), just taking things real slow. Take her out, to the cinema and get a kiss in the dark at the back. Take her back to when you both had fun together.

I might be barking up the wrong tree but everyone wants to be wooed every now and then. Everyone needs to reconnect and go back to basics.

Wishing you all the best, sounds like you’re a really decent guy. Hope it all works out for you

Hi. Thanks again for the replies, there are a lot of valid points for me to think about .

I'm going to try my best to understand my wife's point of view better so at the very least I'm not left carrying a load of animosity towards her . We spoke a bit more last night and she confirmed that she would not want me to be with some else but also would not want to try and change her position.

To answer an earlier point, my wife is not on the pill as I've had a vasectomy after our second child as we agreed that would be a better solution so I don't think fear of another pregnancy is an issue here.

I do think that busy lives has played a huge part in why she has lost the intimate connection with me a long time ago already and has been trying to gloss over that fact , so I do need to address that also. For many years now she has not felt comfortable to kiss during sex and that has bothered me for a long time as I knew it was a terrible sign but she always agreed to try work on it and assured me it was not a big issue - obviously was to me though. If I think back we have had a steamy kiss only twice in the past 5 years. I'm feeling like I'm missing out on what should be a mutually fun non sexual and sexual relationship and it's amazing how often I see other couples who appear to be really happy with each other and I wonder if I'll ever be in their position again.

I don't think I will post anything further on this thread but it has helped me to share my thoughts outside of my own head! Thanks

Over thinker wrote:

I do think that busy lives has played a huge part in why she has lost the intimate connection with me...

I don't think I will post anything further on this thread but it has helped me to share my thoughts outside of my own head! Thanks

I hope things work out for you. You've described your feelings very well here, which is why I think you might get something out of counselling - alone or together.

Delightful87 makes some excellent points. Things do wax and wane in a marriage for all sorts of reasons - my sense of desire disappeared totally a few years back due to an early menopause, family stress and a caring for a disabled family member. It took a long time but it came back very strongly, so don't give up! What helped us was taking time over intimate, non-sexual acts. Massages, showers together, just showing greater affection and thoughtfulness (on both sides)... in the end these small things can help to keep a connection.

Wishing you both all the best together.

I definitely agree that seeing the counseller together would seem more logical and productive, rather than having two separate conversations.

However, I also believe that any counseller worth their salt would not view you as a deviant based on your wife's feelings. So I would try not to feel remotely self-conscious about seeing that counseller if that's what you decide to do.

I can sympathise with your situation, as my wife also has a much lower sex drive than me. However, she completely accepts that I'm a raging pervert, and I feel like I can talk to her about any weird fantasies, even if she doesn't end up wanting to pursue them.

In short, I very much doubt that mis-matched sex drives are something which can be "counselled away". You most likely have different (and different levels of) need and desire, and nothing will change that. HOWEVER, counselling may help you both to accept and embrace your differences in a more positive way.

Over thinker wrote:

Jump ahead a bit, our relationship hit a breaking point a few months back and she went to see a counsellor to share her thoughts and to see if there was any advice on how to improve things. It took her around a month to tell me the outcome and when she finally did it was, "there is nothing wrong with me, you need make an appointment to see the counsellor yourself"

For some reason I was logged out before my reply posted. So, in a shorter version, I would recommend not seeing this counsellor again. Alarm bells ring at multiple points in this paragraph.

Did you ask your wife to go to counselling or did she suggest it herself?

It reads like she felt responsible - she went to the counsellor for "advice on how to improve things." and her conclusion is that there is "nothing wrong" with her. Possibly should could be feeling resentful as it sounds like she felt the onus was on her to change.

Additionally the sugestion that "you need to make an appointment to see the counsellor yourself" and your "bizarre" fantasies that make you feel like a "sex maniac", make me think that either the counsellor is/was too judgemental (which a counsellor should not be) or that the counsellor has been ineffective at working through your wife's feelings (the counsellor should, and probably would, address the idea that bizarre is an opinion and not a fact).

There was a period of a month before your wife opened up to you, that would make me think that either she was thinking through her feelings or not comfortable addressing the subject of your sex drives.

Either way, it looks like the situation was not handled well by the counsellor.

HNHanin - thanks for your reply. You raised a few interesting points especially the apparent way in which the counsellor handled the situation, firstly leaving my wife with enough uncertainly not be able to speak to me earlier and certainly not assisting my wife in how to deal with her new feelings.

The idea of her seeing a counsellor came about from me suggesting she do so to see if she could get advise on how to be more comfortable with herself sexually as I think this is the route problem . As an example, she outright refuses to even touch herself intimately (not even her breasts) during sex or foreply and she says that she has never masurbated or apparently never tried to see her own clit, although she's not adverse to me touching her intimately or her using a wand on herself .

We have had a few more discussion over the past week and she opened up and told me another example of my wierd interests that freaked her out was seeing me play with a sound when we had one of the rare sexting sessions a few years back while I was away for a few weeks. - This was clearly a big issue for her that I was a sex freak in her mind but she never to a single moment to find out more about it or to speak to me about it. BTW, I'm not into sounding and it was something that I tried a few times but I don't think it makes a person a freak or wierdo for experimenting with themselves - my wife disagrees.

I have now decided not to see the same counsellor and I will be cancelling the appointment I had for next week. I'm still undecided on what to do next but for now will be focusing on my own mental wellbeing for a bit.

Sexual pleasure is a personal thing, but it can often come with baggage from our environment: social, societal, psycholigical, religious, etc.

Many people are taught or conditioned in their early lives to believe that certain pleasures are sinful, and struggle to overcome shame associated with sex & sensuality. It sounds to me from the description that your wife may perhaps have judged your sexual tastes based on her own worldview for reasons that aren't clear (I don't know either of you well enough!).

Also, bear in mind that not everyone enjoys sexual pleasure in the same way or to the same degree. There is a spectrum of sexualities out there, including Asexuality, for example. We are all different, and have different drives, and that's ok. It's just that it's also good to be able to talk about what drives us without judgement or shaming in a long term relationship.

If I were in your situation, I'd still be keen to talk to the same counsellor to find out her opinions of your own feelings and situation first hand. Your wife's interpretation and explanation of her own counselling session may not have given you a full picture of the advice given, particularly if your wife struggles to talk about complex or difficult feelings and topics of discussion with you.

This counsellor, or another, may then be able to help you and your wife to find some some common ground for opening up discussion in a future session. A common source of advice at the outset could help you both here.

Good luck with your decisions, I wish you both well.

Be VERY careful in your choice of counsellors. There are counsellors, and counsellors.

Pick one you can both feel comfortable with. And make sure they cover cognitive behavioural therapy. Make sure of that.

We had a counsellor years ago. Absolute rubbish. Never again.