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09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

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intrepides96
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09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

Post by intrepides96 »

As years go by and we've gone from being newlyweds, to young parents, to parents of a school age child, I've noticed what I would call "sexual seasons" where how much we each desire, how much we actually have, and even the type of sex we have changes.

Have you been aware of sexual seasons in your marriage? How would you identify the factors behind the change of those seasons?
Last edited by SeekingChange on Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made sticky


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Irnmyk
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Re: 09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

Post by Irnmyk »

intrepides96 wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:55 am
Have you been aware of sexual seasons in your marriage? How would you identify the factors behind the change of those seasons?
Absolutely yes. I've been toying with a thread for a long time now, but you asked, so I can do it here.

With 20/20 hindsight, looking at over four decades in the rear view mirror, I/we - and DW and I have discussed this more than a few times - see that those seasons existed. There may be more, but I'll list them as I have seen them.

1. Honeymoon period. DW reminded me that in our first year, we had sex every single night. I hadn't remembered that, but I did remember that that had been a goal of mine after a lot of years of abstinence waiting for her. I think that tapered off, but continued at a high rate until children came along.

2. Child raising years - young children. My DW, when she had cubs became a Mama Bear. Those cubs were her life, and I lived with her and got squeezed in when the cubs weren't demanding something - crying, hungry, messy, sick, lots of things to demand Mama Bear's attention. She, when she wasn't dealing with her cubs was just too exhausted for much of anything else, and that included me.

3. Child raising years - adolescents/teenagers. Now, the demand is different. That's where the term "Soccer Mom's" comes from. They, and their schedules seem to rule the roost. Add to this that they are old enough to understand what they see and hear means that things sexual - time and... perish the thought, sounds... not permitted.

4. Menopausal years. Now you have the kids raised, or mostly raised, but her hormones begin to change, and in strange ways, ways that mostly have negative impacts on your sex life.

5. Rearrangement years - and this may go along with #4 above. This is when the "...rectomies" begin for some women. My DW lost her uterus first, then lost her ovaries a few years later, but let's just say that what lost out the most was interest in sex. Her hormones - the ones that make her want/like sex - go into some kind of never-never land during those times.

6. Empty nest years. This may or may not be concurrent with #4 and #5 above. But, at least, the tugs of the kids is gone - if they are gone.

7. Hormone replacement years. Now, this is a time that many of the readers might not have reached yet - and some may never, but I recommend that all check it out as they approach the older years of their lives. Both of them - man and wife. All I will say here, having said more in other threads, is that getting the hormones right has returned us to the honeymoon years. Shucks, we actually say to each other that we wish our honeymoon time would have been as good as things are now, but we were too young and dumb to take advantage of those years. Not now. And, we wonder if, had we done the HRT much earlier, say, during the kids-in-the-house years, with the drive(s) that we have now, could we have fit in what we do now into the "Soccer" schedules of the day back then? We suspect that that would have lead to a lot of frustration.

So, others might have their thoughts as to the "Sexual Seasons" of their lives, but the above describes ours.
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Re: 09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

Post by SeekingChange »

I definitely have noticed "seasons".... they can be as short as a few days, to years at at a time. For me, I think it all comes down to an emotional bank, or emotional availability...which, mental, physical, and spiritual all have a factor in it as well. The more that is required out of me emotionally, such as tending to babies and young kids, or being in a situation where I have others "taking" from me, the less I have to give sexually.

Simply put, busyness drains me, whether it's dealing with people or things, and if in that busyness, even if it's a very good thing (helping, loving, giving, listening, advising, doing ministry, etc etc), if I don't have adequate "filling" of some down-time/me-time, or relief and rejuvenation time, then other areas suffer, and the most noticeable is sexual.

Another visual, let's say we each have $100 worth of coins in our bank....where my husband's may be pennies, so he can give many more coins (time and energy) to others and still have a good chunk of reserve left. Mine are more like silver dollars, giving one coin depletes my reserve a hunderd times faster compared to him. Therefore, any stage in life that requires more coins, the less I have to give sexually, and vice versa, the less I have going on, the more I have to give sexually.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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Re: 09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

Post by newwifenewlife »

We have noticed seasons in our short marriage compared to many of you. There was the initial first year...then the working some phase...the menopause phase. We also have seasonal phases of life and ministry which change the dynamics of our marriage bed. We just came off of an awesome vacation phase where the sex and adventure definitely went up quite a few notches for dear wife...now it's back to reality of schooling...Covid in the house...Cmas & holiday stressors...and we haven't even talked about my "mAn"-o-pause on occasion which can seem pretty ugly sometimes...or parental "discussions" and blending family issues which upset the household on occasion as well.
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Re: 09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

Post by ng95901 »

We have gone though seasons during our thirty plus years together, but I think there’s always been a focus on maintaining status quo in spite of everything. Our honeymoon years were several years of experimentation, adventure, and understanding each other’s unique needs. While some things changed with the arrival of children, many remained the same including the quality, and that mutual sense of adventure. During the child raising years, I would say that health issues, and career choices coupled with our return to academics to pursue science and medical degrees played a role in affecting some aspects, but we never deviated far from the path we were on.
Now that the children are in their late teens and early twenties, we have evolved into a routine that maintains what we both need from each other. Knowing each other as well as we do, we instinctively understand what the other needs and we meet them together without much dialogue. I think our seasons were weathered with greater continuity due largely to the unique interest we both share that has benefited us mutually and our marriage bed throughout the years…
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Re: 09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

Post by Olorin »

In broad terms we have had two seasons in our now 30-year marriage (as of Sept. 14).

There were the 20+ years when DW could not have an orgasm during which time sex was frequently frustrating for me, and mostly unpleasurable for her. During the latter part of this phase, we began searching for ways to help her enjoy sex, and we eventually stumbled on this forum and started experimenting with sex toys. As I have recounted many times here, we got around to trying the magic wand, which enabled her to orgasm for the first time. Sex is now much more enjoyable for the both of us, and in this new season we continue to explore ways of expanding our range of activities, etc.

Season 2 has been MUCH better than Season 1!
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Re: 09/16/2021 - Have you noticed "sexual seasons" in your marriage?

Post by LBD »

I will use some economic terms here - I have seen macro and micro seasons in our marriage.
The macros being more slow attitudinal changes that are years in their development. Maybe somewhat resembling the typical “phases” that are often mentioned, but not necessarily in that order, though they do somewhat follow the typical life stage seasons. We are now in the empty nester life stage and I’m not sure how the sexual season is going to play out. Maybe that IS the season - “unknown”. The swings have been “hot for you”, “baby making”, “baby rearing”, “I’m tired”, “I’m angry”, to now we are in “I’m trying”. The first two had lot’s of sex, the next three were of little sex, this last one is not settled into a recognizable pattern.

On the micro level, the “seasons” were more like daily weather changes. 90 and steamy one day, cold and wet the next. The macro season always influences the micro, but blips can and do occur. It was usually a few days of good sex followed by longer periods of struggle.

Right now, I see my DW struggling with hormonal drought conditions, work issues, empty nest depression and general age related issues, and I don’t know what to do to help. Approaching her for sex can be like easing up up a suspected IED. You don’t know where the trigger is, but you’re pretty sure there is one. I feel often like it’s best to not approach and let her make the move, but lately that’s left me going too long without. And I sadly find myself feeling more and more accustomed to that. But what do you say? You tell that to an emotionally stretched wife and all she hears is “you’re not good enough!” It’s been rough sledding for us both this season. There have been some good times (micro) but more tough times than I was hoping in this life stage.

Before someone suggests HRT for her - she has had an estrogen sensitive breast tumor so all of that is off the table for her. She won’t consider any version of it. The most she will do is vaginal estrogen support, which she does and has seen some local benefits (less dry, etc). She’s always been an independent, opinionated woman. Now add hormonally challenged, often stressed to that.

And me….I too am still adjusting to the empty nest. I get depressed more than usual. When I get depressed, it sure helps to feel like I have an opportunity to plug into a source of comfort and connection. There was a time that I relied on porn to give me a false sense of intimacy during those times. But like every other “drug”, it only makes things worse in the long run. Now I’m seeking other avenues and the search is t going that well. The problem is, the things I like to do, I enjoy them most when she can join me. And even when I try to set that up, she often is “too tired”, “too depressed”, or it’s “too hot”, “too cold”, “too many bugs,” etc, etc. So I’m getting better at just going on without her. But it’s not my preference. Then when I get back,I still would like some sex! But it seems the more I remove the sexual pressure I was once applying too much of, the less she thinks about sex and figures I’m just fine and must not be wanting it. Yet if I say anything to her, things still could blow up 50% of the time. I know those may be good odds for many, up but I don’t think that’s how it should go.

I guess bottom line is sacrificial love is hard and it hurts sometimes….that’s why it’s called sacrificial I guess. I think it’s probably just our human tendency to think we are sacrificing more than we are getting. I know I’ve had sex once in about 12 days and that is not feeling too good right now.

To bring it back to “seasons of change”; as I age, late night sex (after 10) is a real struggle for me. It was never really my preferred time, but it happened just the same. I’m sure it’s just age and testosterone depletion happening earlier in the day. Now, it’s almost to the point of ED after 10. I can still get it up, but only with serious direct intervention on her part. I’m not just gonna think up a stiffy anymore. So it involves me either asking her to actively do something or just letting it go. It’s much easier now to just let it go. The obstacle is that morning sex is equally as problematic for her, albeit for different reasons. Sex outside those “normal” times has always been problematic for her our entire marriage. Asking for her help may not seem like a big issue….but it is. It means I must step out there and ask her to do something when it is obvious by her current engagement in other things, or her current attitude/mood, or just the overriding knowledge that she is low desire, that she isn’t seeking to do of her own accord. Just about every time I think about it, that seems to be the situation. I find myself growing more and more unwilling to do that and getting more and more apathetic about it. Not good. And I know that part is on me. That’s a macro level change I need to address but I’m not sure how to do so and still be the husband I feel I’m called to be - sensitive, sacrificing, loving.

(Sorry for the long post. This thing blew up on me this morning….)
It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance. -Thomas Sowell
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