Marriage Crisis

mngardenergalMay 31, 2007

I know this is going to be I apologize in advance. I've long been a lurker on this site for the Gardening info, and have decided to post my conundrum here since the community is more of a community than some of the less supportive forums out here goes...

I've been married to my husband for nearly 8 years, known him for 11. I turn 33 in June, and he's 32. I never dated in High School - guess I was saving up for College, where I dated....*a lot.* My husband was the first man I really slept with. We've never had a fabulous physical relationship; it's always been a struggle. The last time we followed through with sex was a little over 5 years ago (pick your jaw up from the floor).

I recently had a wake-up call. I met a man a month ago through work, but who's from out of state; he's also married. Our friendship (long conversations, etc) quickly turned to something more. We recently saw each other and I stayed overnight in his hotel room. Although we *nearly* did something, we didn't. We didn't even kiss, no big aided "O", etc (so please, no flaming). This made me realize that I am not physically "dead" but just in a long coma. It also made me realize that relationships need to have a little sizzle, and I'm not even sure my marriage had any to begin with.

I've shared with my Husband that I'm not happy and he feels the same. We're going to try counseling, but I'm not sure my heart is in it. How can a counselor fix that you're not physically attracted to your husband? We're compatible in most other ways - we share a love of travel, photography, books, gadgets, etc; we have no financial issues; we like each other's families, and he's very sweet to me. Can a counselor help us figure out if we're still in love?

I didn't know that a person could long for (lust for?) someone else until recently - the kind where your eyes meet across the room and everyone nearby can feel the sparks. I thought it was something the Movies & Books made up. I'm not saying the guy from the work is "the one" because obviously he's not (he's now trying to figure out his own relationship)- but he's opened up my eyes to the possibilities....

So I guess my question is....isn't that spark important in a marriage? and how important is it? And how do I deal with this feeling of impending doom, and my discomfort in being at home (because I'm having trouble even liking my Husband) until we figure this out?

I haven't told my husband of my near-encounter, but I've shared with him that I feel like I've been in a physical coma and am just waking up...that I'm realizing I want to have fun and we're boring (LOL)...that I'm totally terrified of being alone....but what I haven't told him is I just don't fantastize about him and I just feel awkward physically around him. Is that something a counselor can help with too?

Help. :( Would love some advice.

PS, I fully want to make this decision independent of what's going on in the "other guy's" life - this needs to be for me, and not what might or might not happen with the other guy.

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Well, now....

I think some degree of chemistry is needed for a good relationship but I don't necessarily think the stronger the chemistry, the better the relationship and every relationship will have it's up and downs. Personally, I could be sexually attracted to almost any man especially a good guy I was friends with so, I can't really relate to how you could have not sexual feelings for your husband...except...and I'm just throwing this out there...but 5 years is a long time...could he be gay? subconsciously sense this and, thus, are not attracted to him, or are so angry that he hasn't wanted you for sex that you have turned off possibility of desiring him as a lover?

I'd forget the other man in the picture; he's married and it's just never a good idea to cheat. Why are you so afraid of being alone? Do you have kids?

I've never been one that thinks that their are only certain people you can be sexually compatible much more depends on the relationship then the actual sex act. I would bet that there are probably big time lack of intimacy issues in your marriage that spill over into the bedroom...not vice versa. So, theoretically, your marriage could be saved...problem is you need to find out what is at the root of your problem...Is he gay or sick/mental? Why no sex?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 4:36PM
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Thanks - to answer some of your questions: eventhough 5 years is a really long time, he's definitely not gay, and yes, it could be intimacy issues. And they're likely on my part, not his. I know re the married guy. No kids.

Why afraid of being alone? now that's another question...that I don't think I have the answer to. I guess I just always envisioned myself married, with kids, living out my days - and to do otherwise just never crossed my starting over at (nearly) 33 is contrary to how I had imagined my life.

Can one marry their best friend when the best friend is maybe more of a brother than a lover? I'm worried that's what I did...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 4:59PM
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So are you saying you have been withholding sex from your husband for 5 years because sex is just not that good with him and you think of him as a brother? Most people would love to have a best friend for a husband. Obviously, it's possible to marry someone you have no sexual feelings for but how can you get that far into a relationship with NO sexual feelings and...

I'm just wondering if maybe something else isn't going on with you. I find it odd that you have never lusted after anyone before your 'almost' fling...really, never? Sorry, but I 'm thinking maybe your libido is off and that it may not be your husband, but something wrong with your sex drive. I'm telling you, I have lusted after so many men in my life that I can't even begin to count them.. it is not just in books and movies.

How does your husband take/handle the no sex thing?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 5:22PM
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i haven't been withholding for 5 years because i think of him as a brother - there just hasn't been chemistry or desire there. i've tried to be interested, but it just isn't there. it was a problem for us even before we got married...

i definitely lusted after men in college, and before marriage, but i think something just kind of died inside of me. I'm's kind of like a garden where if you don't tend to it, it dies? and now my garden is springing to life again. LOL

My husband doesn't take it well. actually, let me re-state that. he's been exceptionally patient and devoted. it's obvious he really loves me...

I had brought up the possible sex drive issue to my OB/GYN in the past but they said that's not really a problem with women, blah-blah-blah. Now my sex drive is in overdrive (just not acting on it), so i'm starting to think they're right?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 5:31PM
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I think you owe it to the marriage to go to counselling and work through the issues that you mentioned. Your DH seems like a good guy, so do it for the marriage.

You never know what the counselling will reveal, things could change, you might feel differently about the whole thing. Or you could just split up and go your separate ways.

To have someone love you is really special.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 2:47AM
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So, your sex drive is in overdrive right now...but you still don't want sex with your husband? Or him with you? Maybe now is the time to push yourself to have sex with your husband...even if you fantasize for a while it is the other person. Get it jumpstarted, you might like it. Small steps can turn into big ones. It's worth a try isn't it?


    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 7:11AM
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You owe it to your husband and yourself to go to get help together. You took vows with this man and he sounds like a good guy. However, if you still feel this way then you should leave. Thankfully there are no children involved. Be sure to keep it that way until this is resolved. Unfortunatly you need to tell him about your "near encounter." What happened with this other man was cheating. If the tables were turned and your husband did it to you, you would be hurt. If your going to try to make the marriage work then you must be completely honest.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 10:03AM
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I'm not sure telling your husband about your 'near encounter' is the best course of action. People usually confess their affairs to make themselves feel better, not to benefit their spouse. And, I see no benefit to telling your spouse at this time. Almost everyone lusts after people other than their mates at some point in longer relationships; those thoughts and that information is usually better left unsaid.

I just read an article on this subject, but can't find it. Below is a different one I found. (Although not so sure I agree with her on the child-not-his issue--). But bottom line, Complete Honesty is Overrated, IMHO.

And, please remember love and lust are two totally different things and finding love is a lot (a lot) harder to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Telling All ?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 10:59AM
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I agree that if your husband is your best friend, you owe it to both of you to at least give it one last try. Maybe try seeing a sex therapist. Try something new to reignite the spark between you. Maybe it won't work, maybe it will.

I think that all relationships have their ups and downs and times where you just don't know about it anymore. I have found that when I feel like that, if I just stick it out for a little while, the feelings always come back and I'm glad I didn't do something I would have regretted.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 2:14PM
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I would give anything for what you have, I have a husband that is exactly opposite of yours and the sex is great but nothing else is. I agree with carla 100%, finding love is so much harder than finding a good sexual partner. Remember that and think about it before deciding on giving it up.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 7:23PM
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Thanks everyone for the advice.

We ended our dry spell last night, and I think I realized why we stopped in the first really hurt to all get out and we tried multiple positions. I recognize it could have hurt more than normal given the amount of time it's been, plus the expectation/pressure, maybe we didn't have enough foreplay, etc - but I don't really remember a time where it didn't hurt (not quite as much as last night, but definitely it's hurt). PS, might be TMI but we even tried lubricant last night.

He's the only one I've been with, so I don't know if the problem is me or that we're physically incompatible (i'm a petite 5'2" and he's a big 6'2")...

We have an appointment set up with a therapist for this Thursday at 3pm central. I'm half terrified, half hopeful.

Thanks texisgirl for your perspective - I appreciate that.

PS, I agree that telling him about my near-encounter would probably be counter-productive. It helps me better understand myself, I think, but doesn't necessarily help move our relationship forward. thanks for the link, Carla35.

What stinks right now is that he feels much better about our relationship and I feel worse. How can our therapist (who lists "sex therapy" as one of her specialties) help us with this? I just can't

Thanks everyone for your replies. :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 2:48PM
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Have you discussed the pain with your GYN? There are several medical conditions that cause excuciating pain with intercourse or any kind of penetration. Interstitial Cystitus is one. Some females even expeience painful spasms when undergoing an pelvic exam.
Your problem could be physical and not mental.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 4:27PM
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Ditto monablair. The kind of pain you've described may be an indicator. Do check it out.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 4:56PM
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You might check with a different ob/gyn;
since the one you've been going to doesn't think it's a problem if a woman lacks sexual appetite, he might not think pain is a problem either...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 5:30PM
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Also ditto sylviatexas.

I didn't care for that bit about ob/gyn saying: "...not really a problem with women." Don't care for doctors telling me there's not a problem when I've come to them to ask SPECIFICALLY about it. I'm not a doctor but even little ol' me can tell you it is, indeed, a problem for some women.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 5:49PM
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Lets think about this a minute. You were a virgin so you don't have any experience except with your husband and that was painful.The reason that the other guy seems like a wonderful horizon is because you haven't done anything with him, and you are assuming it won't be painful.
The fact that you avoided anything intimate in high school and in college suggests that you have inhibitions (lots of us went to Catholic schools and can understand that.)Since you have little outside experience coupled with pain, I believe that you need a new ObGyn and also need some counseling for yourself. Not a lot--but somebody to assure you that sex is okay and maybe give you some practical advice. there are great books out there. Lonnie Barbach wrote several that will help. Joy of Sex is another good one.
A new guy is not going to solve your problem and will make it worse especially if they are tactless.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 2:41AM
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I'm sure you must know this but womens' sex drives really kick in in our 30's, just as many men peak at about 19 or 20 years old. Suddenly everything is very different.

It sounds like for one reason or another, you have been missing one of life's sweetest experiences! I hope you will get some education about sex and definitely a new OB/GYN and don't throw away these wonderful years. It's a window that does close, after awhile, so enjoy it while you are at your peak.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:01PM
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My OB/GYN has told me the same darned thing! DH has to be very careful, or it hurts like the dickens! been that way for 14 years, even had 2 kids, didn't change anything. And we usually never go longer then a few days so I know it is not from not having it (although the few times it has been a week or so the pain is worse) is the pain more in your abdomen?
can you try to find a way to be totally turned on before the act? that makes the pain almost non existant (in my case anywho)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 12:25AM
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Are people still responding/viewing this posting? mngardenergal - I have an almost identical situation with my own husband and would like to talk about this issue with you and others. I see that the last posting was made in July - anyone still reading/responding?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 5:53PM
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Why don't you start your own thread?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 2:28AM
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here is another person who is not attracted to her husband and i hav been married only 3 yrs. so i wud love to know wht ur therapist has to offer.

looking fwd

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 4:23PM
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