Carolyn Hax: Their sex life ‘sucks,’ but husband says ‘it’s fine’

Dear Carolyn: I’ve been married for 10 years, together for 14. We — he — waited until marriage for sexual relations because of finishing college, and he wanted to wait to make it more meaningful. He was a virgin the day we got married. I was not. I get that and respected him for it.

However, fast forward, and our sex life sucks. There is just no action happening, and I’ve tried everything, to no avail. I’ve brought it up multiple times, cried about it to him, etc. I get the same old “I’m tired” or “bad day at work.” He says it’s because I go to bed before him and I’m asleep snoring. I’ve tried when he comes home from work, but, nope, he’s tired. I know he’s not having an affair.

When we first got married, sex used to be once a week, then slowly started to taper off. I’m at the end of my rope. I’ve tried different things, always to be turned down with the same excuses, and talked to a professional. He just has a very low drive. I’ve asked him to see a doctor, but he says it’s fine. I just don’t feel connected anymore. What can I do to bring romance to the marriage?

No Action: To this marriage? Nothing.

Even if his drive could be fired up, he’d have to want it to be. He’d have to want to learn about remedies. He’d have to want to try them. He’d have to want to do this for you, if not for himself.

Everything you describe, everything you have done, every one of your 14 years, has given you the same answer: No. He does not want more sex. Your no-talk, no-action relationship is what he wants. At least, he wants that more than he wants to be honest with you about how he really feels, or wants to try for something else.

There is one good thing about staring down and accepting, finally, the utter futility of continuing to hope you can have a satisfying sexual relationship with your husband: It tosses all the what-if clutter from your path.

Now all you have is a decision: Stay for this, as is, till death do you part, or leave.

Hi Carolyn! My mother-in-law recently reconnected with her God after beating cancer and has taken it upon herself to “save” the whole family, even going so far as to change her perfume, because it has alcohol in it. I am agnostic, and my husband, her son, is a devout Christian. We get along fine with our religious differences and have a comfortable plan with how to raise our daughter.

However, my mother-in-law cannot have a five-minute conversation, even about weather, without bringing up how it is God’s will or something or another. It is starting to make me very uncomfortable.

I respect her right to practice her own faith, but I think I should also be able to enjoy mine as well without hers being shoved down my throat every time she visits. My husband doesn’t want to make a big deal of it. What should I do?

Anonymous: Nothing, if she is just thanking “her God” for things. She has every right to do that, even if it annoys you. That is a basic exercise of her right to practice her own faith.

If she is asking you to thank her God, then you say kindly, firmly, respectfully that your faith is not up for discussion. Back that up by not engaging, ever. May your patience be with you.

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