I am a 41-year-old father of two and husband of 11 years. I live in a mid-sized American city and own a small business. You can call me Thumper.
Recently, my wife and I started couple’s therapy (for reasons that I will make clear). Short story, after 11 years, we found ourselves in a situation not unlike that of many other couples (whether they know it or not). We grew apart, I hurt her, and there we were. Luckily, we both wanted to save the relationship. Regardless of whatever I did, I’ve never for a second stopped loving my wife, and neither did she stop loving me. However, there were issues. We had stopped communicating and our sex life had pretty much disappeared. I resented her lack of sexual availability and she resented having to shoulder the majority of household tasks (on top of her demanding job). At least we hadn’t yet started to resent each other’s existence.
Today, though, I’d say our relationship is better than it’s been in probably 10 years. Yes, the month we’ve spent in therapy has helped. But the real revelation – the one that has so fundamentally altered my outlook on life – didn’t come from the psychologist’s couch. It came from the internet. Through the happy coincidence of linked web pages, I stumbled upon a concept referred to by many names. For the moment, the name for it I like best is “orgasm denial”.