When a Madonna-Whore Complex Happens After Marriage

I never thought it would happen to me.

Jennifer M. Wilson
Sep 17 · 4 min read
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Photo by thom masat on Unsplash

When I speak to marriage counselors (there have been many), I tell them all the same thing: my marital sex life plummeted on Day 2 of my married life.

Many factors contributed to my dead bedroom, which I described in another story.

One issue was a Madonna-Whore syndrome. From Bellesa:

According to our friend Sigmund, men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the whore), while they are incapable of desiring the respected partner (the Madonna). “Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love,” he wrote.

As soon as my husband slipped the wedding band on my finger, I was no longer a sexy, hot woman he could fuck with abandon. I unknowingly morphed into a virginal prude who at best could get silent missionary sex once in a blue moon.

Even worse, I had no idea.

A friend of mine jokes that there’s something in wedding cakes that makes women no longer want sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. I thought I would be the average 20-something, having sex on the regular. I assumed that when things settled down, most married couples had sex at least once a week. If you’re too stressed during the workday, you’ve got weekends, right?

Except my sex life plummeted to once a quarter. It wasn’t from a lack of trying on my part. Most guys I know let it roll off their backs when their wives rebuffed them. Par for the course. Maybe it’s a cop-out, but as a young female I thought women were the ones who typically rejected their spouses. The constant rejection attacked my self-worth and made me think something was utterly wrong with me.

When we did eventually have sex, it wasn’t very enthusiastic. I believed the problem was me; I wasn’t sexy enough, thin enough, hot enough, porn star enough. I felt dumb every time I tried to initiate sex, fumbling around in my insecurity and self-doubt.

Since then, I’ve learned that men are generally simple when it comes to sex. All they want is to be wanted. Whisper to your man, “my pussy is aching and wet for your cock” and watch how fast he’ll throw you in the bedroom. If I tried that with my husband, he would have given me attitude for choosing the wrong time to pull such a stunt or he would have given in, albeit begrudgingly.

I was surrounded by my married friends who were getting laid and I was the big loser whose husband had no interest in sex with her.

To my husband’s defense, it wasn’t intentional. He didn’t purposely give himself a Madonna-Whore syndrome with his wife. He was just as clueless as I was, sadly without the drop in self-esteem.

Marriage counseling brought the problem to light. It felt like a dozen bricks came off his shoulders when we found out this was a “thing”. He explained that he felt bad when viewing me sexually. In his mind, he thought he was supposed to honor and cherish me. How can he be respectful and love someone while simultaneously getting dirty and nasty with them? As such, I received as virginal sex as possible.

Unfortunately, that made sex feel transactional and like a burden. Marriage counseling didn’t help us resolve the issue after identifying it. I felt like a human glory hole from the lack of connection between us.

In 17 years of marriage, I can count on one hand how often he spoke dirty. And by “dirty” I mean, he used the word “fuck” less than five times. He’s used “tits” once (after my breast augmentation) and “pussy” maybe twice at best. I’ll throw a bone for the time he told me I was really tight; that’s a side effect when you don’t have sex.

It’s not like he wasn’t accustomed to using dirty language. He had a porn addiction and I’m confident those performers weren’t speaking the Queen’s English in those videos.

After the Madonna-Whore syndrome diagnosis, I made things worse by putting pressure on him with erectile issues. Which then became a vicious cycle. He freaked out during sex and would lose his erection, I would tell him how his lack of an erection or ejaculation would make me feel unattractive, which then added to him freaking out the next time we had sex. The loss of intimacy was profound.

I gave up.

Sex shouldn’t be this hard. I can’t continue trying to play porn star and cram myself into uncomfortable lingerie to offset the Madonna-Whore component. I have over three drawers full of lace, satin, and barely-there ribbon that costs more per inch of fabric than entire snowsuits. Can’t I just be fuckable when I’m wearing a plain t-shirt and cotton underwear?

I told my husband I wanted to end our marriage last month. I reflect a lot on our past issues and how we got to this tragic place. It saddens me that he would jump at the chance to have sex again now that I’m done.

Just simply done.

Heart Affairs

Love and lust can be messy.

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Jennifer M. Wilson

Written by

My midlife crisis and adventures along the way. I write because in real life my humor is allegedly too sarcastic and inappropriate. MediumNinjaGirl@gmail.com

Heart Affairs

Love and lust can be messy.

Jennifer M. Wilson

Written by

My midlife crisis and adventures along the way. I write because in real life my humor is allegedly too sarcastic and inappropriate. MediumNinjaGirl@gmail.com

Heart Affairs

Love and lust can be messy.

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