Thank you all for your responses. They have each given me much to think about and I will share this thread with my wife when we net get a chance to sit down and have more conversation about this.
In the interests of clearing up a few points, both my wife and I are women. Our children are young (6 and nearly 3) so yes, we do suffer the inevitable tiredness that comes with this. I carried both of them, not that this makes any difference now that I'm no longer breastfeeding. Magdlyn
, you ask some great questions, some of which I can answer now and others my wife and I need to discuss. I think I am going through the same 'sexuality exploding' thing that you mentioned happened to you when your youngest grew beyond toddler age. When my sexuality was lower due to having babies/toddlers my wife and I were better matched. Now it is growing again and hers is not. Hence these conversations.
Since we started having these conversations we have reintroduced a weekly 'date night' which has resulted in much more close time both on those nights and in between which has been lovely and is something we will continue, but it's made no great change in our sex life.
I don't believe my wife wants to be celibate. When we do have sex it can be amazing and she really enjoys it, but it never stays high on her priority list for long. Yes a busy home and work life impact on this but I have that too. And I don't believe she is trying to 'punish me by denying me sex with her' if I were to choose to have sex with others. I can see how it could be interpreted as this but I genuinely believe that she is trying to find a way to manage some very big and difficult emotions that are at odds with what she accepts intellectually.
, I think you hit the nail on the head. Discovering that the thought of cutting off our sexual contact makes her feel better about me being sexual with others is one thing but understanding why is so much more important. I wish I understood why intellectually it sits OK yet there is still this big emotional issue to contend with. And I think you're right. We need to try to get to the bottom of that before I act on any of this because otherwise we are just asking for trouble. Big emotional mountains don't get squashed just because you build a wall around one part of them.
, I'm off to read your post now.
Oh and I suggested we have some couples counseling (psychology/therapy is my wife's professional field as it happens) but at present it is beyond our means financially.
Thank you all. Any other thoughts, please do continue to share them. I suspect we're going to be discussing/wrangling with this for a little while and your combined input thus far has been invaluable.