T Nation

Calling All Husbands and Significant Others

Hey brothers, I’m looking for opinions from my fellow husbands. My wife says I’m asking for too much but I don’t think so.

I’ve been married to my wife for 4 years, together for 5. Was previously married for a very long time.

Anyway, I do a ton of stuff for my wife. I do ALL OF THE COOKING, I do a majority of the laundry, I do the yard work, maintain the pool in the summer, and tackle pretty much any project she comes up with (and there are many). We have her family over at least twice a month and I do all the cooking and set up for that and entertain them until late. I keep her truck filled up, and I go with her to the grocery store. Even her 23 year old daughter wants me to adopt her. I say all this because I think I’m doing a pretty good job as a husband.

However, for all this I feel extremely UNAPPRECIATED. Its become where she expects me to do these things and I’m happy to do them if I get rewarded and by that I mean FREQUENT AND REGULAR SEX. To me, sex should her way of saying “I see everything you do for me and my family and I appreciate it”. The reality is that sex is typically the last thing on her mind, and she rarely initiates it. Its our biggest fight.

Now before you say maybe she’s getting older or her libido has decreased, let me say that prior to us being together, she had a “friend w/ benefits” that she would go way out of her way to see and even take trips with. To be blunt I would like her to put some of that similar effort into our marriage (i.e. planning dates, meeting me at the house before I get home to surprise me).

Thoughts, opinions, criticism?

How often do you have sex?

Trading chores for sex in a relationship seems VERY transactionary.


About 3 times a week. My preference is twice a day on weekends and at least 3 times during the work week.

I can see that but she doesn’t really reciprocate in any way other than give me my shots.

I think this is every guy’s preference, but doing chores and being a good husband doesn’t necessarily up her desire for more sex than 3x/week, and if you use chores and the like as leverage to get more sex, it may make her resent you, or resent sex with you.

ASIDE from the sex, do you feel like she is a good wife and partner?


Do these things require reciprocation though? These are simply things that need to get done in order to keep the house running.

When I make dinner, my wife tells me thanks, and when she makes dinner, I do the same. Compliments on the meal as well. Otherwise though, these are just chores.


We have a lot in common and enjoy the same things but I feel like I’m busting my ass to please her and she is not matching my effort.

I can see that but if I feel go a long time without feeling that she is appreciative of my efforts, then I begin to resent her.

Dunno about the transnational sex, that either happens gladly or it doesn’t. No way to press the issue, really.

But the bigger problem is it sounds like you married a brood parasite – e.g., a cuckoo or cowbird that lays its eggs in another bird’s nest and tricks them into supporting them and their young:

It’s basic biology. Women are hard wired, first and foremost, to favor their young over everyone and everything – followed by their parents and their siblings and their sibling’s children.

A biological father may make the mix somewhere, but a step-dad almost never.

A step dad is almost always a just means of security and money.

There are some wonderful women who overcome this biological tendency, but you’ve clearly raised her kids to the point where they want you to adopt them, you provide her needs, and you entertain her biological family. Sounds to me like the parasites have won.

I have zero doubts she does not do the same for yours, huh? If you have your own kids, watch out.

The spawn of brood parasites often pressures the biological children out of the nest.


Well, her kid was 18 when we got together so I didnt raise her but her real father has never been in her life.

My daughter is grown and on her own and never lived with us, In fact they dont really get along.

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This is the thing: are you doing this to please her, or are you doing this so that she’ll have sex with you?

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Coming up on year 12 myself.

Have you told her that and does she agree? Sometimes, in my experience, these types of disagreement can be a perspective issue. One person hasn’t thought about what the other does or is going through. As cliche as it is, this is where communication has to be crystal clear on both your parts. It might not solve your issue, but it should help improve at least the tension.

I think a lot of guys are the same in that we don’t care nearly as much about anything else in a marriage than the amount of sex we have, but I don’t think women see it that way at all, generally.

Is that realistic? I have young kids so having sex twice a day on the weekend is not possible. It’d be fucking fantastic, but unrealistic.

My wife and I were talking about something similar the other day. Basically, the only time for us to have sex is once the boys are in bed and we pretty much have to do it right then or she ends up being tired or falls asleep on the couch (a pretty regular occurrence), but she also wants time to unwind from a long day (she has a pretty stressful job). It’s a real conundrum…

I agree with the others that your idea about chores and sex are very transactional. Marriage is a partnership, not a business. If it works for you, great, but it sounds like a recipe for disaster long-term.

This must not have been a very gratifying relationship because it’s over, right?

The novelty of your relationship has worn off. It happens. When my wife and I first got married, I would come home for lunch and we’d fuck. We’d fuck multiple times on the weekend. BJs for days. It was all the time. Life for us is very different now. To me, 3 times a week is a good week. We probably average twice a week these days.

I think this should be your biggest concern. If the two of you don’t find common ground it’s going to cause you to resent her. She either isn’t doing her fair share and she needs to help more, she thinks she’s doing her fair share and isn’t and needs to help more, or she thinks she’s doing her fair share and is (and you’ve failed to recognize what she does).

It doesn’t sound like she thinks sex is a reward and I agree with her. Sex should be something the two of you enjoy together as part of how you express your intimacy with each other not transactional in nature, IMO.

I like to please her but to be honest, I guess I’m hoping that the more I please her, the more she will want to have sex.

I feel like that may be the crux of the matter. You don’t do these things for her, but ultimately for you. It’s the old cliché about buying your wife a present that’s really something that YOU want to have.

Oh yes, every time we fight! LOL

When we first got together, we had sex twice a day nonstop for 4 months. Then she started having issues like bleeding and stuff. Said it was too much.

I don’t think most women think along those lines. Trust me, I’ve had those same thoughts. If I just clean this kitchen before she gets home, if I help plant these flowers, if I fold this laundry… I just don’t think women go “studhammer folded those clothes. Let me unfold these legs.”


Thank you brothers. @T3hPwnisher and @anon50325502. Lots of insight here which is what I need. I’m starting to feel pretty selfish


Ding Ding Ding… Exactly. That’s the way us menfolk think !

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Maybe you should sit down when you’re not arguing and work through it. If the only time you guys talk about how much you do and how much she doesn’t do is during an argument it’s only natural that she’d be defensive even if you’re right.

Ahh, that new love.

Sex is like anything else in a marriage, both of you have to be willing to compromise. She absolutely should be putting effort into sex and I think you have to be willing to meet her somewhere at least in the middle of your expectations and hers.

I guarantee the majority of husbands here have felt the same sentiment. Marriage is hard, man. You have to talk. It’s cliche as fuck, but you have to do it even if it’s uncomfortable and not when you’re angry or fighting. On Saturday, brew some coffee, grab two chairs on the patio or whatever, and just talk it out.

Lol, feels like it sometimes! No, I’ve just been there and I can sympathize.