Wedding Woes

I have to fulfill the 'honey do' list before my 'honey' will do me.

Dear Prudence,
My wife of 12 years and I were planning to have sex after a six- to eight-week hiatus (an all-too-regular and depressing reality). She and our son were watching YouTube videos together well past his bedtime. Later, she lectured me about how important it is to nurture moments with him and called me impatient for wanting to have sex instead. I said that I felt ignored and was frustrated with how rarely we have sex. It doesn’t seem like a priority for her. She said she understood my point of view (and that she wants a better sex life, too) but that there’s a long list of things I need to work on first to make her feel better about having sex with me. I admit there’s a lot I have to work on, but my needs are not being met. I can’t talk to her about it because it turns into a discussion about the laundry list of things she needs from me. I tell her what I want, but I don’t really feel like she’s listening. There is no spontaneity, she will never initiate sex, she frequently says no when I try, and our sex life is dying. I don’t know what to do. I’m depressed and considering ending my marriage.

—Unfulfilled

Re: I have to fulfill the 'honey do' list before my 'honey' will do me.

  • Sounds like her love language is Acts of Service and she doesn't feel like her needs are being listened to either. I agree they need counseling but has LW tried doing some things on the laundry list to see if actions are rewarded? I know that if I am wanting to do something (anything, sex, waterskiing, grocery shopping, etc.) and my SO wants X done first then I help with X so we can get to Y faster.
    DrillSergeantCatOurWildKingdomshort+sassyInLoveInQueens
  • I have to agree that counseling is what they both need. I think sometimes sex is work and that they both need to put more priority on making it happen, or he will end up leaving. 

    Also I got the vibe that LWs wife may be dealing with some things in her life that he is not aware of...the whole staying up with their son then lecturing him thing, the list of improvements for him, and going 6-8 weeks and still rejecting him, makes me wonder if she is dealing with feelings of inadequacy or depression (or something else that I am not certified to arm-chair diagnose based on a Prudie letter).

    charlotte989875HeffalumpOurWildKingdom
  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    "I admit I need to work on myself" but I want her to have sex with me before I'm willing to do that? Start making the changes she needs from you and maybe your needs will also be met. Marriage isn't 50/50, it's both sides giving 100. If she feels like her love bank is empty, you need to do what she needs done to refill it before she can start taking out of it again. 
    DSC is PREACHIN' today!!! 

    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomjustsie
  • "I admit I need to work on myself" but I want her to have sex with me before I'm willing to do that? Start making the changes she needs from you and maybe your needs will also be met. Marriage isn't 50/50, it's both sides giving 100. If she feels like her love bank is empty, you need to do what she needs done to refill it before she can start taking out of it again. 
    Totes.

    But it also needs to stop being passive-aggressive.   

    I have a DH who I love a ton that does this.  And when he does, I call him out. 

    It takes two.  And both of those people need to talk or understand the love language of the other.
    Thenimage Nowimage
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomcowgirl8238
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    banana468 said:
    "I admit I need to work on myself" but I want her to have sex with me before I'm willing to do that? Start making the changes she needs from you and maybe your needs will also be met. Marriage isn't 50/50, it's both sides giving 100. If she feels like her love bank is empty, you need to do what she needs done to refill it before she can start taking out of it again. 
    Totes.

    But it also needs to stop being passive-aggressive.   

    I have a DH who I love a ton that does this.  And when he does, I call him out. 

    It takes two.  And both of those people need to talk or understand the love language of the other.
    You're right and they're way out of whack and need to communicate better. 
    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • I can't help but wonder, and I'm jumping way into gender stereotypes here that are maybe unfair to the LW, if this is a situation where they both work full-time.  Or one works full-time and the other stays with the child all day.  But only SHE is expected to do any of the housework and running errands.  So she's more tired.  And she's resentful.

    Not necessarily any evidence of that in the letter.  But he was awfully cagey about not giving an example of what she is complaining about.  I can't help but wonder, if we heard her side of the story, he wouldn't come up smelling like roses.

    At the same time, nobody should ever use "Sex As a Weapon".  Couldn't help the little shout out to Pat Benatar ;).

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    MissKittyDangerOurWildKingdomMesmrEwe
  • kerbohlkerbohl member
    500 Love Its Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments First Answer

    I can't help but wonder, and I'm jumping way into gender stereotypes here that are maybe unfair to the LW, if this is a situation where they both work full-time.  Or one works full-time and the other stays with the child all day.  But only SHE is expected to do any of the housework and running errands.  So she's more tired.  And she's resentful.

    Not necessarily any evidence of that in the letter.  But he was awfully cagey about not giving an example of what she is complaining about.  I can't help but wonder, if we heard her side of the story, he wouldn't come up smelling like roses.

    At the same time, nobody should ever use "Sex As a Weapon".  Couldn't help the little shout out to Pat Benatar ;).

     This is what I was thinking.  Maybe the wife is really stressed, and as a result is finding it hard to get in the mood.  In that  case, LW has an easier fix, and he should just stop wasting his time writing to Prudie and help out his wife.
    imageimage
    short+sassyOurWildKingdom
  • "He can write a letter but he can't see the writing on the wall"...  
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    OurWildKingdombanana468short+sassy
  • If couples therapy (which I highly recommend, we go once a month) is prohibitively expensive I really recommend reading His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley. It's been really positive for my relationship.
    OurWildKingdom
  • Marriage isn't 50/50, it's both sides giving 100.
    Love this!


    Also I think the title of this thread is putting the wrong spin on the issue. Calling it a 'honey do' list implies she wants LW to complete household tasks before she'll have sex with him. I did not get that vibe from the letter at all. He says "there’s a long list of things I need to work on first to make her feel better about having sex with me." From this wording I think she needs him to work on something internally (eg communication, respect), not that she needs him to work on the clogged rain gutters.

    ILoveBeachMusicshort+sassylovesclimbing
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