I do not find it fair that because your needs have changed over time you now expect [your wife] to fulfill them. She changed too and is willing to go back [to] the way it was but you are not... It might be hard for her to deal with it but just [her] that she isn't enough anymore. Is it not harder to make her believe that if she has sex with you it will be fine when you know you will always need more? It could drive both [of] you crazy... No sex for months is inhuman already, when you're married it becomes a duty, if she doesn't feel like she can fulfill your needs, but doesn't want a divorce, she should be fine with closing her eyes on your behavior with other women from time to time...Lots to unpack here. First, let's establish that my needs have never changed over time. I have always been a highly sexual man with a very healthy sexual appetite. In my earlier years with DW I never shied away from trying to expand her sexual vocabulary and skills to be more in line with what I liked and wanted. This was done while I also worked a 12-step program for sex and love addiction. When my first child was born I left that program, feeling that I was likely not an addict but was in denial that my sexual needs were totally healthy and normal. So what has changed, I guess, is that I have formed a healthier ("sex-positive" if you will) relationship with my sexuality. By then, my relationship to DW had deteriorated over sexuality, culminating in her telling me nearly nine years ago that "I don't care if I ever have sex again" and suggesting that I find a girlfriend for sex outside the marriage. I knew instinctively that she was only testing me to see if I'd actually go through with it, but I also knew that was a very practical solution to staying in a marriage with a woman I deeply loved but who was signaling the end of our sex life together. I kept my mouth shut and started seeing other women, and did so for over eight years until she accidentally caught me. Now that my activities are known to her, there is no going back to secrecy, because I want to stay married.
Second, in our discussions both in and out of counseling of returning to a marriage that involves sex, we never discussed going back to the way it was for us. I won't accept a life that doesn't involve a rewarding and fulfilling expression of my sexuality. I've told her repeatedly, and she's heard me and understood me, that I've accepted her for who she is right now. This means that I'm okay if sex is no longer going to be part of her life, and that it's also no longer going to be part of our life together, but only because sex must be part of my life. If she wants our marriage to be sexual again, that's wonderful, but she has to be on the same page as me. And a totally fulfilling sex life for me must include a willingness to try anything, or at least talk about it. If she doesn't want to participate in certain things, that's fine, but I'm no longer going to restrict myself to being less than satisfied. Part of our marriage surviving has to include her accepting me for this man that I have always been, but have only recently begun to express outwardly. She's not thinking at all that if she has sex with me it will be fine, particularly if her idea of what's acceptable for her is less than what's acceptable for me. She knows very clearly that what she has to offer might not be enough, and in her mind, she's still struggling with whether or not she can live with that in her marriage to me. If she can, we survive; if she can't, we don't survive. In a perfect world, we would have had this discussion before getting married or having kids, but the world is messy and we now have to clean up the mess we've both made.
Finally, I disagree with the comment that when two people get married, sex "becomes a duty." That's the last thing it should be. Sex should never be obligatory in any relationship. In some religious traditions, I can understand that way of thinking. The purpose of marriage is to create families and bring children into the world, so there needs to be sex to make that happen, etc. Also, if sex is only acceptable within a marriage, then sex must be part of that marriage. But times and morals have changed; people have sex before marriage, and outside of marriage, all the time, and no one really has a problem with it. People in committed relationships bring in other partners all the time, and no one really has a problem with it. To me, sex should always be desired, and never seen as a requirement, in a relationship. As soon as couples have sex because it's an obligation, then I think the emotional connection is damaged. Do that enough times and the emotional connection can become severed, perhaps permanently.
Let me be very clear: I don't require DW to submit to me sexually. I don't require that she do all that I want to do in bed. What I do require is that she accept who I am: that she supports me in being who I want to be (including sexually), and trusts that I will always honor our marriage and relationship no matter what I do. This isn't even about sex.. It's about two complete people creating and nurturing a relationship that in turn nurtures each of us to be the people we've always wanted to be. I'm hoping that DW's journey to come to terms with her sexuality helps her become a more complete woman. It's a big investment for me, of course, with two young kids being part of the picture, so there's a lot at stake. I'm determined that I'll never give less than 100 percent to this work.