loveless/sexless marriage

shelstoneMarch 30, 2011

Ok, here's my sad story. I've been married for 24 years. We have not been intimate in any way, since my 18 yr old son was conceived. We also have a 21 yr old daughter. We just let it go. We never talked about it. For myself, I felt ashamed for not pursuing it, but rather I put everything else first. I have been unhappy for years, but I chose to raise my kids together with their father; we built a house together, cared for our parents when they were declining, and shared mutual friends. Now that our parents are gone and our kids are grown, I've been seeing a therapist to figure out how to talk to my husband about how I feel. I finally got up the nerve (I know, pitiful) and I told him I am no longer willng to spend the rest of my life unloved and unloving. He basically said he would have gone on like this forever if I hadn't said anything; I am not willing to do that. He never once attempted to have sex with me in all those years... nor did I. I'm half to blame, of course, and I am the one to choose now to end it. I asked him to come to a therapist with me, even though I know there is no way to mend the sexual rift. I mean if there was any spark or attraction, one of us would have tried a looooong time ago. He declined. He said he hasn't been with anyone else either. But he doesn't think he has a problem, yet he would not have said anything if I hadn't. Really? We are not close in any way. We are parental and financial partners period. We don't touch. We don't even talk. We both work, and when we're home we spend our time in separate living areas, but, amazingly, we still sleep in the same bed. The only time we really spend together is if we're with friends or relatives. They think we're the happiest couple. There's no animosity or abuse, there's just nothing. I told him I want to move out of our bedroom because I no longer want to sleep with my "roommate." He doesn't want me to because it will "look bad". How do I tell my kids now that I want to divorce their father? They've never seen us be affectionate towards one another, but they've also never seen us fight. We don't fight; we just don't talk. I am worried about the feelings of our relatives and friends when they find out we're splitting up. I need to get over so many fears. I want to have a chance at a mutually-loving relationship. I feel paralyzed with fear. I've never even paid a bill on my own. Also, we own this house and he can't afford it on his own. I don't want him to have to move. I'd be the one to leave. He's a great guy. I just don't love him anymore. Well, I love him as a person, as the father of my great kids.. but not as a husband.

I don't know why I'm posting here, but I'd welcome some thoughts on how to proceed. I need a backbone.

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IMHO, you've been good, noble, and loyal. Kids up and out. Parents taken care of...etc., etc. I don't think you have to worry much what ANYBODY else may think about it.

Plenty of life left. Go get it.

You can learn about the bill-paying and other life-skills stuff. Your husband may even help you. He knows this thing is going to end.

The house? Of course he'll have to change. Everybody will have to change. Get on with it.

Love/respect doesn't have to disappear. You don't have to be enemies. But, IMHO, you DO have to move along. I suspect you will be surprised at the admiration that comes your way.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 8:04PM
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What I meant by that last sentence is ....

1) I'll bet you will not lose the respect of friends/family/children. And...

2) Interesting men will come out of the woodwork when they learn you're available. Certainly be careful. But don't worry about how you're going to meet someone.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 8:17PM
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I know exactly how you feel. I am married and the past six years our marriage has no intimacy in it. My husband is bi-polar and some of his side effects from medication is sexual disfunction. I have not cheated or had a fling and there are times I have my urges. I see my marriage to be dull with no sparks in it but we I love him and we both care for each other and I feel like u do I am not in love with my husband and hes bought a nice home for us and he has two children I have none, I was not able to have children. I am 49, native american. His daughter is 19 and son is almost 17, so one more to graduate then off to college. I feel at times that I do not know what direction to take. Just know your not alone girlfriend.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:23AM
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I know its easier said than done,but you need to stop worrying about other people.Its about time you had a life now,so get out there and have one,rather than just have been selfless for way too many years,its your turn to enjoy life now.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 4:40AM
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I'm so happy to have found this thread... I am currently going through a similar situation. I am unhappily married with two beautiful children. I have been with my spouse for over 7 yrs and married for over 6 years. I started hanging out with him because of the stability and security that I had never seen in other men. We ended up getting pregnant and decided it was best to get married. I try to live according to society's opinion of what life should be and I'm miserable. I am not friends with my husband, I'm not attracted,nor do I love him. I have been trying to stay with him for the kids and the newly built house but I feel like I'm dying... I've told him all of the issues but we haven't decided to let this marriage go. We both have stable careers but not ones that we can maintain the same lifestyle if we were to split. I just know that I don't want to continue to live my life this way. I want to experience being in a loving relationship someday.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 7:18PM
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It never ends. Everybody has babies first, then decides they can't stand it.

Have to stop writing this....this stuff makes me nuts.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:00PM
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Well...based on your email address ("BMW diva"....yikes) it would appear that you are probably a bit on the high maintenance side, so you need to consider the financial impact of leaving. Take it from one who knows...there is a lot less cash left over when you have to pay for two households instead of one. When I think of where my ex and I would be financially if we were still married, as opposed to where we are now, it really bums me out. Can't complain too much, I was able to buy a house after about 4 years of renting...but I am fortunate that we both have very good jobs and with 50-50 custody, there is essentially no alimony/child support....most guys i know who are divorced are not as fortunate.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:08PM
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Shelstone, if he refuses to seek more with you, what are you waiting for? Life is short. Your kids are grown. You did a good thing being responsible and seeing them grown. It is your turn now. You don't have to go fall in love. Wouldn't it be wounderful, though, to climb into your own bed. One where there isn't a void between you and someone how is turned away from you. Get your own little place, a cat. Take some classes. Rediscover you. Sometimes the thing that scares us is the thing we need.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 9:25PM
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What a terribly sad post.

First, because there's a good possibilty that your husband has health issues that should have been addressed many years ago--but neither of you cared enough to see that he got diagnosed and treated.

Second, because your children have been raised in a househoold where there was no love. They haven't seen or learned what it means to be a loving partner in a relationship. Just because they've never seen you fight, does NOT mean they're unscarred by the situation. We learn how to treat our spouses by how we see our parents interact. They're going to have a tough go of it in their own marriages, I fear.

I know at this point, you're looking out for yourself and your future, but if you have any feelings at all for the man you married, concieved children with and have lived with all these years, do one last thing for him. Drag him or drug him (only kidding about that last) but GET HIM TO A UROLOGIST for a complete, thorough check up and go into the appt. with him, and tell the dr. that hubs has had no sex drive for the past however many years. It's the least you can do for him.

Otherwise, I wouldn't be too worried about the kids--they're not stupid, they know your marriage has been a sham and that neither of you are particularly happy. They'll probably be glad you're both looking to making yourselves a better life for the future. Kids usually know a lot more about our marriages than we give them credit for--trust that if they love you, they'll want you to be happy.

No one else's opinion really matters, does it? But if you do tell your relatives what you've told us here, and they lose respect for you--it will most likely be for the fact that you've both put up with a terrible situation, and inflicted it upon your children--NOT for seeking to make changes to make your life better.

You've definitely got to do something. Just make sure that whatever you do, it's the right choice, because often, we can't go back down the road we've left. Take your time, evaluate your options and your finances very carefully, get good advice (both personal and legal), and only once you've gotten all your ducks in a row, make whatever change you feel is right at this time.

As far as the finances go? I do know some divorced couples who continue to share the marital home--each having their own sections (sort of like apts) of it. You and your husband might--given your lack of emotional discord--be able to make that work. It's a bit unorthodox, but definitely a little easier financially, if you could swing it.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:15AM
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It sounds like you've spent too long looking after other people, and it's now time to look after yourself.

You deserve to be in a normal, loving relationship; you just need to find the courage to do it.

I'd advise seeing a counsellor, not to repair your relationship with your husband but to prepare you for life on your own.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 9:44AM
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I could have written you post except I have another year on you - 25 years of marriage this year. Just like you, no emotional or physical love. We don't even speak to each other unless we have to. We have had separate bedrooms for years - the excuse to others is that he snores and go to sleep much earlier than I, which honestly is more the truth than not.

My kids are more than aware of our unhappiness and I have had to have some very frank discussions of the realities of life. The best I can do is hope they don't make the same mistakes I did. Already though, my daughter at 19 is with her 3rd loser boyfriend. She will be the first one to tell you that the latest one is just as arrogant as her father is. Not good, need to break the cycle somehow.

Yet as azzalea stated, we live a comfortable life (not wealthy by any means but we pay our bills) and dividing our household would affect that so we have joined the "unofficially separated but living under the same roof club". There are many of us out there I have found.

Years ago I heard a marriage counselor give advise to a young girl about to be married - "keep your girlfriends" and I think it is about the best advise ever. I can't change what is going on with our marriage if he has no desire to. What I can do though is fill my life with my kids, charity work, reading etc. etc. It took a while, but I have finally reached the point where I will not let him ruin what little life I have left.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Love it and doing my best to live by it. Sure am a hell of a lot happier.

So good luck in whatever decision you make. You are not alone.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 1:18AM
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