Dr. Berman Answers Your Sex Questions
He even asks if what he's wearing is okay with me before we leave the house together. I know his mother failed him miserably by being a control freak and belittling him and making him feel insignificant and stupid, but I have no desire to constantly stroke his manhood (excuse the pun) and tell him how wonderful and manly he is. I take full control and responsibility for myself, my family and my actions. He, on the other hand, when left to his own devices, paid close to $3,000.00 in late fees in less than a year because he doesn't like doing paperwork, so he didn't write checks and pay his bills! I had to take over so he didn't lose the family homestead not just once or twice but three times!
I know what I want in bed and I have no problem telling him what does and doesn't feel good but at one point he kept telling me that he was too tired for sexual relations. This went on for a year, and during this time I kept asking him if he was going online to look at porn and he insisted that my mind was in the gutter. When I caught him he admitted that he was looking at porn and then masturbating in the bathroom while I was waiting for him to come to bed. We went to see a therapist that told him that I was normal for wanting it close to every night and that masturbating when you have a willing partner was abnormal. I am almost 47 years old and he turned 53 this past June. What should I do? He just doesn't want to grow up and be a man! Can you help me? Is it time for me to throw in the towel once and for all?
I hear your frustration, but what's also clear is your resentment. Believe me, I don't blame you. It sounds like your man has been frustrating, irresponsible, and unwilling to step up. But if I see your resentment, you can be sure he feels it and experiences it tenfold. It sounds like you are stuck in a hero mode you don't want to be in, while he is stuck in victim. The only way to change that is if one of you shifts. That means that you stop rescuing him. You can make up all kinds of stories in your head (all of them arguable) about what would happen if you didn't pay his bills or you didn't stroke his ego. But as long as you are going back and forth between babying him and demasculinizing him, nothing's going to change.
I would bet he's depressed too. The combination of feeling immobilized, depressed and being criticized by you, not to mention the wounds of his childhood—boy! No wonder he's got no libido! It's time for you to stop trying to "fix him" and get him to a therapist to heal those old wounds and get to the bottom of what's going on for him in the here and now. I would suggest that you get very clear about this. Instead of just throwing in the towel, are you ready to commit to letting him become the man you want to be? So often there is a part of us that unconsciously needs or wants that control role, even though we consciously cant stand it! Sometimes it makes us feel needed, better than, stronger, etc. Just something to think about. Let him know in a loving way that you feel scared and angry and sad about how things are going in your life together. Find a therapist and go to see him or her and see if you think your husband will like them. Then ask your husband to come with you. Don't make him the "damaged" one. It always takes two to tango and if you take responsibility for your part in your relationship struggles,you can bet it will make it easier for him to do so. Once he's engaged in the therapy, the therapist will be able to address his issues as well, either with both of you as a couple, or with him alone.