Help showing masculinity

I was raised to believe that men were only "real" men if they had a lot of sex and brought home a big fat paycheck to their families.

I cannot have sex with my wife. I am sexually impotent unless a lot of conditions are met. My wife is unwilling to help me meet the conditions because sex only satisfies her if it is spontaneous intercourse. It is what it is and I can't change it.

So I've been spending a lot of mental and emotional energy at a very unchallenging job because I've come to realize that if I want to be a man it's all I've got. But this also causes me a lot of problems at home, especially now that I have to work from home. My wife needs ton of help with our kids right now, and wants me to be emotionally present as well instead of thinking about or doing work.

If I can't have sex, and my work means nothing to my partner, I must be a eunuch - or at least some kind of not-man. (I've been thinking about the gay slur my classmates in middle school used to call me all the time. Maybe that's what I am.)

Please help me reframe my life? You'd think I would have thought of something by now. But I haven't.


Staff member
Harsh words incoming:

Firstly, I reject your definition of a "real man". Money comes and goes. Jobs are gained and lost. Anyone could have sex, man or not.

Secondly, your job may be unchallenging, but it is how you put a roof over your head and food on the table. It is important, and must be treated as such, because if you lose that job, where does that leave you and your family? I get that your wife wants you present and not doing work, but you need to keep everyone clothed and fed, so for the hours you work, that takes precedence, regardless of what your wife may want. That means leaving you alone to do your work.

There are millions of relationships that are sexless. You stated that you could have sex if certain conditions were met, but that your wife doesn't care to meet them. That is an incredibly selfish attitude in a partner. "I'm not going to help you because I don't get anything out of it," is the attitude of one who is arguing for a business deal, not to keep a marriage alive.

She is trying to break you down with every word she says, and you are buying into it. You are letting your wife define you: your masculinity, your male-ness. She doesn't get to do that.

And for what it's worth, this struggle your facing right now? The distractions keeping you from doing your job, but you doing it anyway? That is the definition of a man- taking care of your family regardless of anything else.

You are a man.

End of story.

Full stop.
I am sorry for your situation, Strangeways. Society conditions us, pressures us. It says that if you are not making lots of money and having lots of sex then you are not a man. And that is a lie. Truth is most of us are broken and hiding behind a phony reputation.

It is needful to help with your children, but how can lead your family if you have needs that are not met (more than just sexual). Perhaps you need some outlets that exercise your talents and abilities, and affirm your masculinity. Do you have any hobbies? Sports, musical instruments, reading and writing, building things? Do you play video games? You can spend time with your kids doing that. I suffer from sexual brokenness myself, so am honestly not much help there. I dont feel like I have much to share, thing I know is that if I have projects that I enjoy and keep me.busy then I am doing fine. I get a sense of fulfillment being able to fix stuff and build stuff. It affirms my masculinity. Hope that helps