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Dear DSO: “The Dead Bedroom Fix works… but only if I continuously put in work.”

Dear DSO,

I’m a big believer in The Dead Bedroom Fix book and everything you teach, but I have one big thing that keeps bugging me and I don’t know how to properly address it.

When my wife and I first met, we were all over each other. I have never felt that kind of connection with another woman, ever. We connected emotionally as well as sexually. Everything clicked into place. I knew after a month of dating that it would never get better than her. I know this is called the “honeymoon phase”, but this lasted about five years! We did everything you can imagine together. We traveled. We partied. We even had threesomes with other women. Obviously, this was the greatest time of my life.

Then we got married and had kids. EVERYTHING changed.

That’s why I got your book. I realized that I was falling asleep at the wheel and did pretty much everything wrong to try and get the energy back into our marriage. I put in the right kind of work and yes, things improved. But I notice that with my wife, I always have to put in some type of work to get any kind of actions out of her. Here are some examples:

We had a party at our house and invited friends over. Two of her friends said out loud that I was looking great they loved my style. They said I was in great shape and one friend actually squeezed my arm (just like you said it happened to you). My wife, while the party was still going on, drug me into the bedroom and attacked me. It was exactly like old times. She was a little drunk, but I hadn’t seen that type of activity from her in about eight years. So… great! Validation from others gets her going. Noted. The problem is we didn’t have sex again for another two weeks after that.

Then I took her away from the kids to a weekend in Napa. Three nights of just us relaxing and enjoying ourselves. More great sex. It was perfect. I was on cloud nine. We did EVERYTHING imaginable. My old wife was back! Then we returned home. Two more weeks of no sex.

My boss and I had my annual review and I was awarded a HUGE promotion. I texted my wife right away and she was thrilled. We celebrated when I got home. Took the kids out for dinner. As soon as the kids went to bed it was game on. This woman attacked me like never before. Probably better sex than we’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot given our past. After that, it was about another two weeks of no sex.

 So you probably see the pattern here. It takes some kind of serious action on my part to get a rise out of her, and when she does respond it’s met with an equally serious amount of downtime. What gets me is that before we got married and had kids, all I had to do was take her out for a shitty meal and this woman was blowing me in the parking lot. I just had to put on a nice shirt and take her dancing and we were bringing another girl home. Just the fact that I was ME and we were in love was enough… but now it takes work. Always work. I’m not enough on my own. She hasn’t surprised me with spontaneous sexual energy in over eight years. I have to get outside validation, take her on expensive weekends away, or get a big promotion at work just to get a little bit of the old her back. 

Am I wrong for expecting more?

Darren

No, you’re not “wrong”, but you may need a little bit of a wake-up call here, chief.

You’re married. With kids. That’s a relationship on hard mode. Sorry, that’s just the truth. What you had before was the perfect recipe for sexy: Two people that are wildly compatible living the good life of fun with no big obligations outside of each other. Every man wishes he had that, and you experienced it for a period of years! That’s pretty awesome.

I’ll say to you what I say to every guy: You want unbridled holy shit levels of sexiness? Go get a girlfriend. Seriously. You will be unencumbered by all of the stress that marriage and kids bring. You’ll just be in the fun zone. No work is needed. Then you’ll get to this point with her, too. Then you’ll have to replace her, too. This will go on and eventually you’ll be an old man with a string of girlfriends in your wake… but no real-life partner. Is that what you want? The fact that you’ve put in this much work and reached out to me tells that the answer is probably NO. You’d much prefer to get that level of fun from your wife.

Your wife is showing you that the domesticity and stress of married parent life REALLY turn her off. I imagine that if you spent some time with her father and asked him how his sex life was after marriage and kids, he would probably report much the same. Your wife probably saw throughout her childhood and teen years what married life meant: Zero sexuality and intimacy between mom and dad… at least in front of the kids. No kissing, snuggling, giggling, butt-pinching… none of that. That’s what she probably saw, so that was imprinted in her brain. Parenthood is not sexy. Ever.

Some women are just flat-out wired that way. Kids and stress = no sexy time. You have to remove them from that element or provide them with some kind of “holy shit” level of surprise (like a big fat promotion and more money in the bank account) to get a rise out of her. Based on what I hear, she represents the norm. Some women recognize that they “need” to put in some work to “get in the mood” with their husbands, but some do not. Some sit back and let the man do the work… and if he doesn’t, then it’s no sexy time for him.

Maintaining a sexy marriage is work for most of us men. For some, like you, it’s a lot of continuous work… but it sounds like it does result in some pretty good times. So, the energy is in there… you just have rip off that smothering blanket of family life and kids, and do it on a more regular basis.

So… am I saying, “Put in more work?” Yep. Sorry… but I’m not going to bullshit you. Why do you think there are so many outlets out there for the male sexuality? Why do porn and hookers exist? Because MOST guys out there are saying, “Work? Well, screw that. I just want to get my rocks off. Show me the easy solution and I’m satiated for a while. No big deal.” Are you one of THOSE guys, or are you a guy who rises to the challenge and is ready to see what else he can do to move the chess pieces around on the board and get a rise out of his wife? Totally up to you, dude… because frankly, I don’t think your wife is going to spontaneously change and turn into a woman who is just as sexually aroused when playing the part of mom as she is when she’s away in Napa sipping wine with her husband who just got a fat promotion. I think many women can relate to that. 

Welcome to marriage with kids. If it’s any consolation to you, most men I talk to would kill for the occasional porno movie that you experience, and they would be more than happy to put in the work to get there.  The good news is that you know exactly what that work entails. You know the secret button combination that gets your wife going. Better get pushing or step out of the way and let somebody else do it.

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