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Interesting article on Husbands Dampening Wives' Libidos

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InnerLight posted 6/15/2013 11:41 AM

I read this article and identified with it. In my NB I recovered my sexiness and it made me realize how much I let this go while being in a long marriage. Fortunately while M I developed personal interests, but I did give up at least a good part of my sexiness.

I thought I would share this article, I found it interesting...

Husbands Who Extinguish Their Wives' Libidos
Posted: 02/17/2013 11:35 am
Huffington Post

Modern wives often lose the sensuality of womanhood. They are feminine when they marry but are quickly relegated to the roles of caretaker, wage-earner, housekeeper, and waitress. Burdened with responsibility, fatigue, and what can feel like a monotonous, uneventful grind, many experience a loss of libido and the gradual diminishment of the deep yearning of youth. They exist but are not fully alive. They live up to their responsibilities but fear that every day will present the same, uneventful grind. After a while they are no longer women but wives, no longer females but mothers.

Paradoxically, the grand extinguisher, often, is the wife's own husband. Financial instability, moral uncertainty, consumerism, and shifts in the essence of masculinity have led husbands to exchange the untamed sensuality of a woman for the predictable safety of a functional wife. In an attempt to maintain control over an uncontrollable world, the husband's need for order, routine and a sense of competence has been displaced onto his wife and he has reduced and contained her in an attempt to forestall his fear of confusion and inferiority. The result is a wife who meets his basic functional needs, but whom he may find uninteresting.

The wife is trapped in a double bind. If she acquiesces to what her husband wants of her, she becomes boring to him and a shell of her true self. There is little room for her to express her authentic sensuality or self-actualize. Why pursue beauty? Why pursue wit, insight, creativity, personal sensuality? Is she forced to choose between marriage and selfhood?

The individual psyche of the woman is particularly important to her expression of sensuality. To be desirable, she must be separate from her husband. She must have a sense of herself. She must know, at a visceral level, the presence and power of her beauty. Too much familiarity and functionality, undermines her sensual nature. A woman wants to be wanted, longed for, and lusted after.

In my counseling of married couples, I have seen this phenomenon at work. What often robs a marriage of erotic longing is a husband's subconscious desire to transform his wife from a woman into a homemaker and from a seductress into a nanny (without the sexy nanny outfit). I say subconscious because most husbands would vehemently protest that, to the contrary, they want their wives to be sultry and sexy. But irrespective of what they say, they end up turning turn their wives into housekeepers.

Why would any sane man sexually extinguish his wife?

Because buried deep within the male psyche is the fear of not being able to fully possess his wife, not being able to control her natural attraction to other men, and not being able to snuff out a woman's sexual insatiability. A husband's greatest fear is that as a man he will not be able to measure up, sometimes quite literally. This is especially true once men confront the sheer erotic power and multi-climactic nature of the female libido which is so much more potent than a man's. By domesticating her, he robs her of her passion. He may now possess her without much effort because she is diminished. By slowly extinguishing his wife's libido and making sex into a once-a-week encounter lasting seven minutes at a time (the American national average) he gains proprietary rights to her body even as he guarantees that she will never excite him as much as an illicit love.

How tragic that the modern American male has little clue as to the consequences of his actions. Does he realize that by failing to compliment his wife he teaches her to think she is not special? Is he aware of the fact that by failing to go shopping with her for beautiful clothing he makes her feel she is not worth the effort? And is there no friend who can tell him that sex without foreplay ensures that her body will go through the motions but will never come alive with real sexual lust?

And why doesn't he see all these things himself? Because he cannot look past his own insecurity. He does not realize that he is uncomfortable being in a relationship that will really challenge his masculinity. He looks for challenges at work on and the sports field. But at home he looks for nirvana and bliss. A compliant wife will provide it. A seductress will not.

The sexually insatiable woman generates excitement for her husband, but excitement that is always accompanied by the pain and panic of incurable tension. His comfort zone is gone. He must now permanently pursue her, woo her, and compete against paramours even after he is married. Sexual tension may get a husband's engines revving, but it can also make him feel as though the floor is collapsing beneath him. He spends his days trying to impress his boss, does he have to spend the night impressing his wife as well? Give the man some peace! Did he not get married so he could enjoy a tranquil domestic existence? Why should he have to put on a show at home, too?

If he sees his wife as a woman who could get another man in a heartbeat, not only does he have to worry about keeping her as his woman, but also that there's a possibility that he is not up to the job. And this he fears more than walking a tight rope over the Grand Canyon. To get out of feeling inept and inadequate, and more importantly, to stay in control, he subconsciously and systematically douses the embers of her sexuality.

Being married to a seductress means that he will forever be at war to retain her fidelity. As a man begins to recognize how his wife, like all women, is desirable to, and desirous of, other men, and that attraction increases commensurately with the degree to which she feels unappreciated or ignored, he will be shaken with feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

Men are naturally competitive. They don't want to have to compete for a woman they've already won. Sure, they want the erotic thrills that come from seduction and pursuit. But they also want to know, now that they're married, that they have a comfortable, safe haven to come back to. So they want to know that their wives are not attracted to strangers or attractive to strangers, at least not in a way that's in any way unsettling. Also, if they want to pursue their own erotic thrills by finding women outside of the marriage, they don't want to feel that their neglect of their wives will lead their wives to pursue other men in order to satisfy their own erotic needs. Much better, therefore, to subtly and even subconsciously extinguish her sexuality.

What ensues is the boring domestication that most married couples suffer. Two people who live in the same house, share a life, share kids, have perfunctory sex, but never make love. Two people who are married but never generate true erotic friction.

Shmuley Boteach, "America's Rabbi," whom the Washington Post calls "the most famous Rabbi in America," has just published his newest bestseller, The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/15/2013 11:56 AM

I love Rabbi Shmuley. I don't always agree with everything he says, but for the most part, I feel he is spot on. He understands women a lot more than most, that is for sure.

caregiver9000 posted 6/15/2013 11:57 AM

Thank you for sharing. I also have enjoyed rediscovering myself in NB. Part of that has been making ME a priority and doing such things as pampering myself and buying pretty clothes... AND THEN WEARING them.

aLadypilot posted 6/15/2013 12:01 PM

I definitely lived this in my marriage. I'm not even sure how to NOT repeat this with my fiance.

It's nothing that we (my fiance and I) are consciously doing. But since I've met him, I've gained 20 pounds and feel like I've lost some of my zest. He hasn't complained about anything (bless him!), but I feel like I pulled the old 'bait and switch'.

[This message edited by aLadypilot at 12:03 PM, June 15th (Saturday)]

Nature_Girl posted 6/15/2013 12:47 PM

One of the things I've enjoyed since removing STBX from my daily existence is waking up the woman inside me.

wildbananas posted 6/15/2013 13:10 PM

This is really interesting, IL... thank you for sharing.

I see a lot of my M and relationship with XSO in here. It's hard to feel sexy when you're juggling babies and work and the house and bills and other family obligations and such. It's so easy to get lost in that shuffle.

I too have rediscovered my sensual side but now I have no one to share it with. I make a lot of jokes about it but it does make me somewhat sad to have found it and now, I have no one to share it with, you know? Of course, I like having it for me because it's authentic and it's who I am but the flip side of that is having a partner to share it with. But then we come back to possibly losing it again in everyday life.

So 'round it goes. I don't know to reconcile it all. Maybe it's easier to do when you go into a relationship aware of it. Lord knows I didn't even think of things like this when I married at barely 20.

Kajem posted 6/15/2013 13:38 PM

^^^^^^What wildbananas said.

I hope realizing this will cause me not to repeat it in my next relationship.

inconnu posted 6/15/2013 16:14 PM

This is an interesting read. I can look back and see that this happened in my marriage. I also think that it wasn't entirely ex's fault. I let my issues and lack of self-confidence undermine my sensuality, too.

PhoenixRisen posted 6/15/2013 16:42 PM

Makes a lot of sense
But not sure if the husbands targeted in the article are purposely turning their wives into hausfraus to prevent male competition but more likely because it saves them having to do all the hard work themselves!

I love NB because with shared custody I actually get to shower EVERY DAY!!! do my makeup and wear cute clothes again. During M I was lucky if I could shower every other day as my morning were frantic getting the kids dressed, feed, ready for school/daycare, getting lunches packed, mapping out dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, and starting laundry...while ex poured his coffee & headed out the door to work.. then I had to drop the kids off at school before work... after work it was solely me who had to pick them up, shop for groceries, & have have dinner on the table as he walked in. (and ex and I had similar jobs/salaries).
Great life!
for him.

Honestly, made me want a hausfrau myself.

Instead I just got rid of the husband :)
(though he was also an abusive NPD and serial cheater... not just a guy shirking housework)

OnceInALifetime posted 6/15/2013 16:54 PM

Wow, I've never read an article so chock full of gross generalities.

So husbands are responsible for deadening their wives' "untamed sensuality?" I have little doubt that many husbands would say the same thing about their wives. Almost sounds like the crap explanations you hear for affairs.

downunder posted 6/15/2013 17:17 PM

I'm a female and I found the article to be spot on. And I really don't think you need a SO to feel sexy. If anything I can feel my SO dragging me down that path again. He is 'tired of dating' and wants to 'settle down'. In other words he wants to get comfortable so no more effort required. That's not what I want.

stilllovingher posted 6/15/2013 17:51 PM

Schmooly's already covered any male rebuttal, it was something about not being able to see past our own something or other...can't remember clearly cuz I got too drunk with all this power I have over SLHim's untamed sexuality.

gma56 posted 6/15/2013 18:12 PM

I think there is truth to this article. I was one of those wives but I also was married to a NPD.

I worked full time, handled all domestic chores and the kids. FT wouldn't even mow the lawn or pick up his dirty clothes.

I envied women that had husbands that would help in the house, with kids, and didn't need to be asked. They actually worked as a team.
I finally couldn't do it all any longer and it was shortly after that FT started looking for a replacement. Health problems didn't stop him.

Sad in AZ posted 6/15/2013 18:19 PM

Interesting; but this was definitely not the case in my life with the X.

tryingagain74 posted 6/15/2013 20:44 PM

I take responsibility for my behavior in the M. This article, however, really speaks to what my marital situation was. It is very hard to feel sexy when you feel more like a work horse than a wife. If I bought something nice for myself, the receipt and price would be scrutinized; I was lucky if I got a compliment when wearing it. And foreplay? What's that? And believe me-- we'd talk about these things, life might improve for a little while, and then we were back to the same old rut.

I don't think that it's a generalization of all men-- it just talks about certain men who behave in a way that extinguishes their wives' libidos. And while I was feeling asexual in the marriage, largely because of the dynamic in my marriage, I didn't run off to rediscover my sexual self with an AP-- STBX did.

I feel much more feminine and attractive in my NB. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Nature_Girl posted 6/15/2013 20:52 PM

OIAL, my STBX would deliberately ignore me when I gussied up. If I asked him for a compliment he would refuse because it was what I wanted. When my interests conflicted with his, he always won out. My interests were extinguished because they weren't worth his mantrums. The things that mattered to me were either ignored, put down, or only mildly noticed lest I get a big head. And as for sex? What I wanted was NOT up for consideration. ONLY what he wanted, when he wanted, was do-able. Any preference I expressed was met with ridicule and anger at being told what to do.

Before STBX I was a tiger in the bedroom. Loved sex, loved men's bodies, loved it all. Now? My libido is so deeply buried I don't know if it can be resurrected. I don't even think like that now. I'm just pleased with myself that I have the freedom to wear pink & perfume. Make-up and something sparkly. I can wear pretty things and not worry if I'll be noticed or not. I can just be me.

Chrysalis123 posted 6/15/2013 21:28 PM

I know if I ever have a SO again I will NOT fulfill the role of house-servant and cook. That will be shared.

It will be shared because I have a full-time job as well. I have learned since divorce that my life only got easier once I unloaded NPD-x's demands.

I will not do that to myself again.

Side benefit....I get to be the sexy, beautiful woman I was destined to be.

wildbananas posted 6/15/2013 21:31 PM

I don't think that it's a generalization of all men-- it just talks about certain men who behave in a way that extinguishes their wives' libidos. And while I was feeling asexual in the marriage, largely because of the dynamic in my marriage, I didn't run off to rediscover my sexual self with an AP-- STBX did.

^^ This. I don't think all men do this, not by a long shot. I can only speak to my situation, where it was the case. Of course, infidelity shades this as well. For example, ex-asshat went between chasing me around for sex while either pouting or demanding; sanctimoniously cutting me off because "it wasn't right" for us to have sex while he was deciding between me and OW ( ), or following me around and telling me that any guy could just look at me and tell I'd be "the best lay they'd ever have." So. Not. Okay.

All my t/jish ex-asshat ranting aside, I was pondering this earlier... guys, do you ever feel this way on your side? Like maybe us wimmenz somehow, I don't know, undermine your masculine role at times and it affects how you feel?

stilllovingher posted 6/15/2013 21:40 PM

" mantrums"
thank you for that! I'm using it on my brother !

I am positive that schuley's situation above DOES exist, what bothered me, and possibly OIAL, was the way it was written came across as if this was "par for course" for most if not all men(you know, unless you happen to already live by schmuley's guide).

There are other aspects of this article that, if posted in any of the upper forums, would be torn apart by the SI masses in a hot second as blameshifting/excusing/entitlement/ whathaveyou.
I won't point them out, they are fairly obvious.

but, like I said, I'm sure this situation does play out in some households, especially where there is NPD or other controlling personality flaws. But it seems like that would be the exception rather than the rule, which isn't how its portrayed in this article.

inconnu posted 6/15/2013 21:42 PM

You know, we have some pretty terrific guys on SI. I think, though, they (cough*OIAL*cough) don't always realize that they are truly that far above the bar, compared to the guys that brought a lot of us women to SI.

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