I was listening to your podcast you did with your wife, and I loved it… but it also made me realize that maybe I can’t get the level of closeness I want with my wife. We’ve never had what I would call a very loving and close relationship. I’ve always felt shame for wanting to be closer to my wife. She doesn’t like public displays of affection. She doesn’t like hand holding. She doesn’t like kissing. When we have sex, it’s usually around time of her ovulation and it’s always with the lights out. No foreplay. Just get it over with.
I’ve been a huge fan of your writing and started implementing The Dead Bedroom Fix about a year ago. There have been improvements in her attitude for sure… but we still can’t get past her problems with physical intimacy. I tried holding her hand the other day, which was very unusual, and she just looked at me and said, “You know that I don’t like that. I’m never going to change. I know you don’t like it, but that’s how I am.” It’s like she read my mind.
So my question to you is… isn’t it just easier to start over with somebody new? Are we all just beating ourselves up again and again and just coming to the same conclusion? Did we all just make mistakes with our dead bedroom spouses?
Great question. I’ve often said to guys: What’s the easiest and quickest Dead Bedroom Fix? Go out and get a new girlfriend. She’ll validate you. You’ll have that new relationship energy. You’ll have amazing sex. You’ll have the intimacy you crave. You’ll quickly forget about your ex. Then time will pass, and the feel-good fog will wear off and you’ll be left saying, “Maybe I should’ve worked harder on my first relationship”. BUT… that doesn’t necessarily apply to you or to all situations.
The answer is simple: What is it you want exactly out of a relationship? Define it. Write it down. Make it specific. Then… ask yourself the second question: “Can I get there with HER?” Have you ever had a piece of evidence that shows that yes, your wife possesses qualities that fill your “must have” criteria for a relationship? For example, if a healthy sex-life is a must-have for you, can you point to times in your relationship where your wife has been free and sexy? If so, great. You have something to work with. If not… well then, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. A new relationship may in fact be the answer.
For you, it sounds like your wife just has a very real “zero physical intimacy” personality trait… or just a very real lack of connection/attraction to you. Either way, it sounds like you may have enough evidence to show that NO amount of work on your part can get you to the relationship you want with this woman. You’re just going to continue beating your head against the wall. As far as I’m concerned, to hear my wife overtly say to me, “I’m just not into touching you and I never will be that’s just how I am” is another way of saying, “Let’s get divorced”. I’m not one to stick around in a loveless one-sided marriage. If she were super open and honest, it may surprise you to hear your wife say that she’s personally shocked that you’ve stuck around her for so long… since she’s given you such blunt signals over the years.