Brief background. When we were first together, she was way more into sex than me. Every night. After a while things settled to something we were both comfortable with. (End of 'honeymoon period'? Who knows)
Then we had a child. Beautiful little boy we both adore. I expected sex to dry up. Pushing a watermelon sized person out? Yeah. Bound to hurt and have issues.
But 3 1/2 yrs later? If I'm lucky, sex = once every 3 or so months. (Literally. Normally 4 months. But on one spectacular occasion I got sex twice within 1 week. 3 months later, I got sex again. Once).
It doesn't hurt her when we have sex. She has told me this. She orgasms (She tells me).
I have no idea how often she masturbates. She hides it. I've told her that she can masturbate if she wants. I've said that "I recognise that just because you're masturbating doesn't mean you want sex". I called it "Taking the edge off." When you don't want sex, but you need to take the edge off things for now. No dice with her. To me, it's like a "Catholic schoolgirl" mentality. (She's athiest. So that doesn't hold water).
I am supporting her, and will continue to do so. But it's frustrating. I do masturbate. It helps me. But I desire to have more intimacy with my wife. Love her to bits. Won't cheat. But would love ideas on how I could encourage her that "Masturbation isn't bad".
And there-in lies the crux. I have this idea which is probably wrong (And I've tried to talk to her about this and it raises a discussion which always ends on the same note which I'll get to). She hates her body. If I tell her that her body is gorgeous, she responds like it's a "That's what you're meant to say". I don't feel she understands that I feel that SHE needs to think her body is gorgeous. (And I've even said those exact words!)
I suppose I need someone to bounce ideas off me. I feel she needs to love her body more than I do. I feel that in 3 1/2 yrs since childbirth she would have progressed more. I've tried to talk about my feelings, but it always get twisted into a "You want sex more often than once every 3 months? Are you some kind of sex maniac? You need help".
It's to the point where I am going the wrong path. I know it. I'm working on suppressing my libido. Not ideal. But at present, it's the only way I can keep my sanity.
Any ideas you have, I'll gladly listen to.
(Yeah. Doozy of a thread to you. I know.) Any questions, feel free to ask. Honesty is my only ammo now.
This is a very common problem especially after a woman has given birth to her first child. Sometimes I think they might fear another pregnancy, but if she has some form of birth control or you let her know you will wear a condom, that's easily solved. Also hating her body is another common problem.
You can see why so many men get into extra-marital sex. It sounds like you've done all that's possible to encourage your wife to get more involved into maintaining a happier sex life for you both by at least masturbating. Perhaps some couple or individual counseling might help her.
If nothing you try works and you don't want to have sex outside of marriage, you have masturbation. Get some good sex toys. I'm told the Fleshlight is a winner. One husband claimed it was better than fucking his wife. Also the Anneros which is an anal stimulator that's guaranteed to heighten your orgasms besides also helping to maintain prostate health is great.
For the last 5 years of my marriage w/o partnersex, just as I was about to tell him I was going to have extra-marital sex, my husband announced he'd fallen into love with his secretary and wanted a divorce. Phew! Just in time. Of course we didn't have children which makes a big difference.
You are between the proverbial rock and a hard place as you struggle with mating in captivity. There's a book by that name. Perhaps the author Esther Perel has some suggestions that might work.
Let me know if you find a solution.