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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    1st Post...17 year Age Difference
    Ashrey12 posted:
    Hello, Ive never posted on here but I am getting tired of asking people around me that just don't experience it. I am 26 years old been in a 4 year relationship with a 43 year old. I have been engaged 7 years total prior to him *high school sweet hearts* the guy turned into a jerk by 20 so I wasn't dealing with his immaturity when I learned to grow up and support myself by 16.
    My boyfriend now of four years has been great. He has 2 boys that live with us and 2 older girls that are nearly my age living on their own one already has 2 babies and married. We both have a lot in common I chuck that up to me growing up so fast and not being the typical 26 year old.( Give me a rocking chair on the porch vs the shot on some strangers belly anytime. )
    The only main issue I have came to terms with that is really frustrating is the lack of sex. It was great the first 2 years. Then all hell happened. He lost his job of 21 years to bankruptcy we lost our dream home we just signed on and he is still currently jobless fighting this economy. He is always stressed yet never shows it. I have a nympho hell who isnt at my age? But thats the one dept he has no concern about. He is content being sexless and it is never on his mind. Ive been turned down so many times I have no self esteem left and feel like I am the problem. I am just at a lost trying to cope with this. I dont want another sexless relationship. Seems every serious relationship after 2 years it all goes to hell. Anyone have any suggestions? Besides just know that gets really old and boring. But thats my main issue SEX! I'd rather deal with his ADD 24/7 then deal with no sex. Which btw...he refuses medication or to admit its any other issue but stress...yet wont do anything to help it. Maybe he enjoys the misery?
    Thank you
    stephs_3_kidz responded:
    Unfortunately this is quite common. When people are under a ton of stress, losing a job, losing a home, it is not unheard of for the sex drive to go south.

    You are going to have to talk to him, lay it all out on the table, and tell him how serious this is for you. Are you willing to stay in the relationship if he refuses to seek help? Are you willing to be patient and give him time to recoup his losses and pull himself back together?

    These are questions you have to ask yourself, and be honest with him about. I'm a firm believer that tough times should bring you closer not drive you apart, but at the same time I've seen firsthand how difficult that is to actually put into action. Compassion goes a long way but at some point something is going to have to give one way or the other.
    cjh1203 responded:
    I agree with what Steph said, but also want to add that he is almost certainly suffering from depression, which would understandably kill his sex drive. Maybe you can convince him to see his doctor and get some help for it.

    When you're depressed, everything is an effort and nothing is enjoyable, so sex is probably at the bottom of the list of things that he feels like doing.

    Before getting his current job, my husband was out of work for about nine months and I could see him getting more and more depressed every week. It's not just financial worries, or being unemployed, but the constant feeling of rejection when you keep applying for jobs and don't even get a phone call, much less a job offer. It destroys the ego and is completely demoralizing. It makes you feel worthless.

    Also, losing a job after so many years must have really shaken your boyfriend. When you work at one place for a long time, you feel a sense of security that is completely and permanently taken away from you when you lose that job. He's always going to be fearful that whatever job he gets can be pulled out from under him at any time.

    I don't know if he would be at all interested in doing this, but you might suggest that he volunteer somewhere. It's something that can give him a feeling of satisfaction when he doesn't have a job to go to, but it's also a great way to make contacts. There are a lot of business leaders involved in non-profits, and it can be a valuable networking tool.

    If you can stick it out until he's able to get a job, you will probably find that there will be improvements in all parts of your life. As Steph said, though, you need to ask yourself some questions about whether you are willing to wait.
    3point14 responded:
    Every serious relationship going to sexual hell after two years? Well, what do all of your relationships, past and current, have in common?


    So, look at your behavior after two years. Are you still making an effort appearance-wise? Are you still engaged in the relationship, being an active listener and a dynamic part of your chemistry? Besides initiating, which hasn't been working and leads to a vicious cycle of rejection and feelings of neglect, what else have you done? Have you discussed with him how dissatisfied with him? Have you seen a sex-positive or specifically sex related therapist? Would you consider that? Is he satisfied with your sex when you have it?

    If he's refusing to seek medical attention for his ADD, does that mean he's typically opposed to doctors in general? Maybe getting a check-up would be good for him, to see if there's some medical reason to explain his disinterest. Is he overweight? Is he otherwise unhealthy?

    I don't think you can possibly overestimate the amount of stress he's going through. What are you doing to contribute to that stress going away? Are you working? Are you doing an even amount of chores? Are you kind to him when he talks to you? Do you help initiate conversations about your financial situation with possible solutions? If not, maybe if you took a more active interest in the things that are stressing him out would make him feel more comforted by you.

    Not to be an ass, but he's not going to get any younger. His libido could be waning simply because it's not as important to him. He could just be comfy in the relationship, and for him it could equate to less sex. For some people, it does. Are you prepared to stay with him if he's just not interested?

    Best of luck. I think the age difference is less significant than his stress levels, and I think a good conversation would only do you both some good.
    cjh1203 responded:
    I want to add something else. In the beginning of your post, you said, "...I am getting tired of asking people around me that just don't experience it."

    This is a very private problem, between you and your boyfriend. You shouldn't be going around talking to a bunch of people about it. Imagine how humiliating it would be to him to find out that so many people know that he isn't interested in sex. You can bet that the people you're talking to are going to tell other people. If the situation were reversed, would you want to be the subject of gossip among his friends?

    I can understand your talking to, perhaps, your best friend, if you know that she won't tell anyone else. Anything else shows a lack of respect for your boyfriend and your relationship.
    An_229224 responded:

    43 is young. I'm 58, have severe heart disease, or did as of 5 years ago, and have an extreme diet and careful exercise to try to heal myself.

    Libido ? I don't react instantly like I used to do seeing a beautiful woman. But behind closed doors, my 48 year old wife of 20 years has NO desire to give me up; no desire for any other lover.

    Sex is at least free. When husband can't look for a job, or study for one, he needs to relax and chill. I can't imagine a better treat at home than an "interested" wife your age. He's blessed and missing it.

    Maybe he needs one of those "count your blessings" sessions, to realize what he still has and what else there is that could go wrong. Maybe help him with that. If you're not living out of a car, and getting food from behind restaurants, life is not so terrible. And there are people who live that way because they can.

    Your relationships should not just "go south". My two long relationships have been 7 and 22 years. The only time there was diminished sex was when I was ill or upset with my partner over her behavior or language toward me. Even then , things were nearly always better inside of a week, and resumed intimacy that was always at least a few times a week, very often daily for months at a time.

    Go to bed early, be well rested, your husband, too. Avoid being negative, take care of your bodies with exercise and healthier foods, and the libido should return, possibly with a vengance.

    If without a job, healthier food like fruit is not expensive, some fruit is free for the picking. Exercise costs nothing as gyms are not mandatory, and sex is free too, except maybe condoms and birth control. You both have available free entertainment for two. If he's having trouble with an erection, ask him for oral sex. He'll please you, and very likely discover his arousal in the process. Always works for me.

    Be patient, be supportive, laugh and love when you can. If you're both home, he should be "taking care of you" whenever he can and you have the desire.

    What should he eat ? Less meat, very little fat, more colorful fruit, especially berries and pomegranates, pistachios. They might seem expensive, but bypass surgery from my HMO was a $30,000 bill I did not have to pay. Don't buy bad stuff, just get the good stuff, and you just may also get your man back. Those foods can make that big a difference, though not instantly.
    Ashrey12 responded:
    Thank you all for your input.

    The main question was...Are you willing to stay in a sexless relationship....considering 2 years of waiting I am turning to no if he doesn't help himself soon. I paid for all his health care and bills to help him through his "depression" and ADD. I bought the kids christmas and such because his @ home job does not bring in nearly enough money. I work a very stressful job in health Insurance and simply my de stresser is sex.
    I don't feel guilty after waiting so long to say no I need sex and I'm sorry I love you but bye. As he would say "I wouldn't blame you" When I hear stuff like that it really dampers stuff like he wishes I would leave so that he didn't have to deal with it.
    Ive learned that everyone has typically blamed me in the relationship for its downfalls. Everyone feels sorry for the 43 year old man that lost his 21 year job. I get that but 2 years later that should not be it at all. I am 26 and working 60 hour weeks to make sure the kids are cared for *mind you these are not my children* and that the house is taken care of.
    But these are my issues to deal with I guess. My decisions to make.
    I just appreciate yall giving input. Thank you.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to Ashrey12's response:
    I am not blaming you at all. I think it was very, very unfair that you got blamed a couple posts up. I also didn't see where you actually said that all YOUR relationships go south after a couple of years, I read that as you were generalizing that statement. I get what you mean, but yeah....most relationships after a while do fall into a comfortable mode and it does take effort on both parts to keep that spark burning.

    I feel sorry for your husband for what he's going through. But he has to hear from you what his lack of attention/affection/sex is doing to your self-esteem and to your feelings about the marriage. Lay it out to him, and be completely honest.

    You also have a lot on your plate, and I can completely understand why coming home to a loving husband and having a close intimate relationship would be a huge stress reliever for you.
    cjh1203 replied to Ashrey12's response:
    It sounds like you've decided what you're going to do, which is fine.

    I just want to comment on this: "Everyone feels sorry for the 43 year old man that lost his 21 year job. I get that but 2 years later that should not be it at all." I'm sure it's much worse for him after two years. Imagine 2 years of feeling worthless because you don't have a job and can't support your children. Two years of trying to find a job and being rejected. Imagine how worthless and hopeless you would feel after two years of that. The longer it goes on, the bigger toll it's going to take on him. Being unemployed longer isn't going to somehow make him feel better -- he's not going to get used to it and suddenly feel fine about it.

    You put "depression" in quotes, which makes me feel that you don't take it very seriously.

    Don't dismiss the impact of being unemployed for two years. You can be sure that he hates the way his life is right now, and he's not any happier about his loss of interest in sex than you are.

    All that said, you're certainly entitled to leave if you're unhappy, and it sounds like you've done a lot of good things for him.
    3point14 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    That was me.And I did take it as her relationships, not a general statement, only because she didn't give any other examples or anything. I could 100% be wrong, though.

    And it is a persons fault when they notice an overreaching pattern in their relationships. If, in every single relationship, you find one thing happening over and over again, yeah maybe you're just lucky/unlucky, but I think it's rather disingenuous to say "Well, it's gotta be them" every single time. And the way I took the post was that every relationship the OP had been in, the sex had petered out after two years.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to 3point14's response:
    But she did say she WANTS to, TRIES to have sex with him, he's refusing and isn't interested.
    3point14 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    Yes, and the way I took the post (being that every two years or so her relationships fall flat sexually) just wanting to or trying to isn't enough. Maybe she's the type (though it doesn't sound it after her most recent post) to start really slacking on her appearance after two years. Maybe after two years she gets really snippy with people. Maybe after a few years, her idea of "trying" is just looking over and saying "Wanna do me?".

    Again, it doesn't sound like this is the case here, and I probably did misinterpret her post. But crap relationships are like a symptom of disease sometimes. A person can keep breaking up and moving on, getting rid of the symptom. But if there is an underlying "sickness"- low self-esteem, poor decision-making, not wanting to try, being mean or something, a person might just wind up perpetuating the same patterns.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to 3point14's response:
    I also thought they were married, so I missed the boyfriend part, too...

    How old are his children? Are they old enough to get jobs and help out? If so, I'd make that an ultimatum as of yesterday.
    MrSnowy replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    There are some great discussions on here about sexless marriages.
    Ashrey12 replied to cjh1203's response:
    I quote because he doesn't believe in depression and you are never aloud to tell him he is or needs help or talk to someone.

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