'My Wife Prefers Her Vibrator To Me'

05/15/2016 08:57 pm ET
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Reader Ousted By Vibrator writes,

Help, my wife is replacing me with plastic!  To start, my wife is constantly absorbed in her phone. Whenever she is at home, she either has her nose buried in the phone or she has her headphones in listening to a podcast. It's to the point that the kids know not to go to her because she won't hear them and even when we are sitting on the couch watching TV together she is messaging with friends or reading articles. I have confronted her, and her response is that it's work or she's helping a friend with something. She doesn't talk to me anymore about anything of any importance and I feel as though she has replaced me emotionally.

And I now feel like she has replaced me sexually. We had a great sex life up until recently that has continually improved over the years. We had been having sex several times a week and even on occasion meeting each other at home for quick lunchtime breaks. So about a year ago I bought us a vibrator to use together and spice things up. We regularly keep it in a dresser drawer that we both keep things in and I use on a daily basis for my keys and wallet etc.

Because I use the drawer regularly I notice when things get moved around. Shortly after we got the vibrator I noticed that it was getting moved and left in different places in the drawer even when we hadn't used it together. No big deal, I was happy for her and I said nothing. But within the last few months I noticed that it was getting moved more and more often almost on a daily basis. Unfortunately this coincided with a dramatic and sudden drop in her sexual interest in me. She stop approaching me at all for sex and turning down my advances more and more often.

So now I am left with this feeling of uselessness in my marriage to the point that I am pulling away and distancing myself. I have tried to tell her how I feel but I just end up feeling like an ass for even bringing it up. If she prefers her other emotional and sexual connections to me then who am I to say what she should do and I should just accept it. But then I am faced with losing my emotional and sexual connection to her. What do I do?


Dear OBV,

I am sorry that you are feeling so lonely.  It may be that your wife isn't feeling close to you, but honestly since she's avoiding talking to the kids also, I think it's likelier that she is depressed, or at least overly stressed (has she had any increase in responsibility at work?).  Stress is a marriage killer if people don't make time for each other, and depression is very hard on marriages as well.  Whatever your wife is doing is not working to decrease stress long term, but phone time and masturbation are great at short term stress relief, which is why she may be getting addicted to both.

I encourage you to take a step back and think about how your wife's mood has been lately. This uptick in self-medicating behaviors is associated with feeling depressed.  It is easier to engage in conversations via text than in person, if you have limited energy and motivation, and it's also easier to have an orgasm with a vibrator than to engage in a sexual encounter with a partner.

I suggest that you tell your wife that you are worried about her, because she is pulling away from you emotionally, sexually, and even mentally.  Tell her that you are worried she is depressed or running herself ragged.  Be prepared for her to say that she is tired, overwhelmed, busy, and has no time or inclination to work on things, and that she feels "fine" and the problem is you. This is when you need to come out with that you've been observing the vibrator placement, and that you miss your sex life, and that you and the kids also really miss talking to her.  State that you are feeling very lonely in your marriage right now.  Ask if she would be willing to see a couples counselor, or a counselor on her own.

I would recommend that you research individual therapists and couples counselors and have someone that you can make an appointment with right away if your wife says yes to either or both.  Tell her that you have someone picked out, which seems a lot more serious than just mentioning counseling randomly.  If she says no to individual and couples, go to a couples counselor yourself the first time and ask her to join you for the second session.  Often, spouses who refuse the first session will go to the second, just to make sure their partner isn't telling the therapist a bunch of lies about them.  For real.

Anyway, good luck and kudos to you for reaching out rather than just detaching and allowing your marriage to deteriorate.  And till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, I Have Seen This Vibrator Addiction Happen To Other Clients; Those Things Should Come With Warning Labels.

This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.