Sexless Marriage Part '2'

mommof1July 31, 2006

I had my husband read the post about "Sexless Marriage" hoping that it would spark something in him to open up too me. Wrong Again! There is no passion, not an ounce left in this man. How do you go from being increadably in love with someone to try and find a way out of the marriage.

I am like other posters, I can't live with a "Roommate", I need a partner for both physical and emotional support, care and compassion. I can honestly say that we dont love one another, but he dosent want to divorce. He would rather continue the marriage as it is. I am too young (37) to live out the rest of my life with out compassion.

I do love my husband but I'm not sure if I am "IN LOVE". If I chose to divorce, I would ask nothing from him, I have looked around town for homes to rent for my son and I, but right now I have no job. We live in a small community and its a very hard place to find work. I want a clean slate, any guidence would be appriciated.


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Momm, I'm going to cross-post part of something I wrote on the stepfamily forum, because I think there is something you need to hear and understand. (It was originally written last night, in response to a discussion on stepmoms who basically want to keep their stepkids out of their dads lives...a very sad thing I think...I will edit out those portions since they don't apply.)

I once heard (I think it was in a song), that "Love is not a feeling, it's an act of the will".

Being "in love" is an immature physical/emotional response that happens when you meet someone, and they give you the 'warm fuzzies'. LOVE, the stuff that keeps you going when your world is falling apart. It's what keeps a couple together when one has suffered a tragic dibilitating accident, or is facing rounds of chemo and radiation. It's what makes a person willing to make tremendous self sacrifices, in order to see that the person they love has what they need...the parent who skips meals to allow their hungry child to have extra when there isn't enough food (third world countries)...the person who risks their own life to protect someone who is persecuted (think of during the hollocost...the ones who risked their lives to save the jewish people who were being persecuted)...the man who works eighty hours a week, in order to pay his child support and still allow his new wife to keep her dream of staying home with the baby (THANK HUBBY!!). It's the mother who spends the night holding her sick child even though she has puke on her slippers and her legs are cramping from not being able to move (Thanks mom!). It's the man that spent twenty years twisting wrenches, to keep his family housed and fed, it's what kept that same man doing it, even when the arthritis set in or his knuckles bled from scraping them while fixing cars, or that time he grounded an electrical short in a motor through his wrist watch, welding it to his flesh. Gruesome but true. (Thanks dad...)

LOVE is not a feeling. It's what's left after the honeymoon is over, the warm fuzzies have faded. After you've come to realize that that little thing he does really ISN'T cute. After he's come to realize that you (leave the dishes in the sink for three days at a time, stay on the computer until midnight, sometimes annoy the heck out of him...) It's being WILLING to look past the other persons faults and realizing that your life wouldn't be as fulfilling, as meaningful, if that person wasn't in it. It's making a choice, a decision, to do what makes THEM happy, even if it doesn't make you happy, because it will make THEIR life richer.

Falling 'in love' is what brings people together, but it's making the choice to develope that into real LOVE, and then acting on that choice, that keeps them there. Maybe that's why so many people divorce. That fuzzy feeling fades and they decide they want out. Maybe I'm lucky. I grew up with both my parents, and they have both demonstrated real love, both for each other and for us, throughout our lives. The personal selfsacrifice for the betterment of others.

It's funny, in a sad sort of way, but it seems to me that there would be a lot less people on here if there was more REAL love in our homes. When there is love, there isn't room for selfishness. As a parent or step-parent you aren't called to LIKE your children all the time, heck, you aren't even called to like your SPOUSE all the time, but you are called to LOVE them. And you can...because it's a decision.

Love is working through the hard times to get to the matter how far off it seems. And the funny thing is...the more you give that type of love away, not worrying about your own wants, the more of it you give...the more it's returned.

Trinkets and toys, money, a bigger house, a newer car, a life with someone who never challenges you to step outside your comfort zone, never asks you to become a better person, that maybe tidy, easy, comfortable, but it will never bring lasting happyness.
Loving someone may not give you a 'tidy life', but it will give you a life worth living. My life with(out) step-children is hard, messy, ugly, stressful, draining...I can admit that...but at the same time, pouring my life, my very soul into those I love, my husband, my son, my stepkids, that is what makes my life ultimately fulfilling. When I am (hopefully) old, I would rather die, knowing that, with love, I have enriched the lives of those around me, than die, knowing that I lived only for myself, and left noone who will celebrate my life or mourn my death.

They say the best way to love your children is to love their other parent. If you have a child of your own, with your current partner, but you are unwilling to love your partner in the way he needs and deserves then in reality, by not showing love to your spouse, you are not loving your own child. It's something worth thinking about.

Momm, I'm guessing that, since you are here and not on the stepfamily forum, the child that you refer to as "my" son, is actually the son of your husband as well? Perhaps you should come for a visit of the stepfamily forum. Read the posts. The children who go through this...they end up losing a great deal. And it affects them in ways impacts them in their adult lives as well.

It is sad when that 'in love' feeling fades away, but if you are willing to work on truely loving your husband, and not worrying about what you feel you aren't getting from the relationship, you may find in time that they are replaced by a love that is far deeper and stronger. No relationship keeps that new exciting feeling forever, the feelings that people associate with being 'in love'. They fade. You say that you love your have the perfect opportunity to show it. Try an experiment, adjust you thoughts, and make a decision to really love him. For the next month, every time you see, think of something wonderful he has done for you (even if it was a while ago) and give him a smile. (It will let him know that he brightens your day). When he wakes up, give him a hug and a kiss. (It will let him know that you still love his touch.) When he goes to sleep, do the same. When the negative thoughts creep in, banish them by reminding yourself of something good he has brought into your life (your son, perhaps?), tell yourself it's time to bring some richness into his. Everyday, try to think of one thing, something out of the ordinary, you can do to let him know you appreciate him. Then do it. Let him know you've been thinking of him throughout the day.
Do this for one month. Don't focus on how he responds, unless it is positive, don't get upset if he doesn't rociprocate. For the next month this isn't about you, it's about him...about pouring out your heart and actively giving your love to him...You say you love show it. You may find that it doesn't take long before you see that the spark is still there...that it just needed a little help to get burning again...or you may find that it's needs a little more. After a month, if he's still unresponsive...try doing it again. Just worry about loving him.

If you can't, or rather won't, do that, then come spend some time with the stepfamilies. Believe me, things could be a lot harder for you and for your son, than just having a "roommate". I really belive that you can make this better for all of you, if you try. But to do that, you have to stop worrying about what he is or isn't giving you, and start thinking about what you can give him, about how you can make his life more fulfilling, more meaningful. Because THAT is what LOVE is.

Kind thoughts,

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 12:20PM
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I turly enjoyed your post, and I wish it could be that simple for me. You see, I have tried what you have described above, not only for a month, but for 5 lonely years. The more I gave, the harder he pushed away to a point that I have stopped giving. His other problem is drinking, we fight almost on a nightly basis (mostly due to his drinking and dis-honesty). You see, at some point, you give and give until there is nothing left to give. I will always love my husband, ALWAYS. But as I posted above, im not in love any longer. Yes the son is both of ours and I feel in the long run us not being together would be the best for him.

Just like tonight, he asked me what was wrong. I replyed that I was lonley. His response was "Call a Friend". HELLO is any one at home in there! I very much appriciate how hard he works for us. I make sure the house is kept up, and there is always a hardy dinner each night when he comes home.

You say that what I can give him or how I can make his life more fulfilling and meaningful is love, yes I agree, but in that case I love everyone. I am always trying to make sure that everyone is appricated, but as I posted you can so love all you want, but also need to show some "compassion".

I bet if you asked each and every person who has posted on the subject will agree. Each and every one has love. But in order to truely have love you need compassion. Not just a hug here and there or a peck on the lips. Hold and squeeze my hand while walking down the street, brush my hair out of my face, touch my arm when walking by. All of this is compassion. compassion isn't only sex, but a selfless act, which in turn is "LOVE".

Please don't find me too harsh, but as I mentioned this isn't something that has happened overnight. We only have one child for a reason and he's my miracle child and I thank god each and every day he's here with me.

Thanks Verena, I do appriciate you sincerety.

God Bless :>)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 2:51AM
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Momm, Thank you for putting things in perspective, five years of that is a long time.

Just one question though...When he asked you what was wrong, and you told him you were lonely, did you consider telling him that you miss the closeness you used to share?

I'm not bashing the guys here, don't get me wrong, but when it comes to emotions and the subtle nuances that women use to describe those emotions, men can be thick. He may have thought that he was really being helpful by suggesting that you visit with a friend. It may not have occured to him that it was HIS company you were longing for. Is there any chance that you could get a baby sitter and take him on a date that he'll love (off to a ball game or fishing), and then let him know how much you're enjoying his company at that moment, and (in a loving, non-offensive manner) that you've been missing that closeness and would like to hang out more often?

DH and I had a fight right after we got married, and for a week after we hardly said two words to each other...I finally couldn't take anymore and blurted out "I miss you" He gave me this funny look that basically said 'crazy woman, I haven't gone can you miss me?' I had to explain to him that I was feeling the emotional distance that was there after the fight and I wanted to be close to him again. In my female brain, the words "I miss you" were the perfect explanation of how I felt and what I needed from him, but to him, and his male brain, it was an expression of something illogical.

While to you "I'm lonely" may have been subtle short form for 'I love you but you have been emotionally distant from me for years. I want to regain the spark of when our love was new..." and to your or my female mind, we understand that, to your Hubby it may have been interpreted completely different. He may have, seeing that you were unhappy, and hearing that you were lonely, decided that the logical male solution would be 'call a friend'.

I do understand more, now, where you are coming from, than from your original post. You know what love is, but you are hungry for the romance. I can understand that...I would have a problem if my Hubby stopped making romantic jestures for an extended period of time. Romance is what keeps love fun.

Good luck, whatever you decide. May it be what is best for all of you. (Just remember if you do go, that your son still needs his daddy, and be able to view him as his hero, no matter what faults you may see in him.)

Kind thoughts,

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 3:41AM
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Thans Verena,

He does understand what I mean, we have and may frank discussions regarding "Im Lonely". We have tried the date thing, even motel rooms. When it comes time to go to bed, he does just that. Goes to bed. The next morning, his back hurts too bad...he has an excuse for everything. He did ask if I would shower with him a few weeks ago, but my 13 year old had 5 friends staying the night...don't think so. My house is too small and only 1 bathroom. He knew what he was doing. He dosent even want me to see him naked anymore, this is a new one. I may want to get touchy feely or some stupid thing like that.

If something happens that I leave, I would never ever take my son away from his dad or his grandparents. I hope that we could still remain friends, it's in his ballpark because I have all but given up.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:54AM
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bnicebkind mentioned that if something happens that you decide to leave him, that you would never take your son away from his dad. Reading this forum, it would appear that the pain your son would experience besides the obvious pain a child experiences in the loss through divorce is the loss of his family. And by this...if you can find a post I wrote on the step parent forum titled "Lost everything...where is home" describes it pretty well...

mom and dad divorce. at first they both make a real effort to make sure that their child feels loved. But at some point, dad marries someone else. New wife may or may not have children from a previous marriage. If she does, your sons father is now living in some house being father to kids your son does not even know...and may not even like. It will feel very painful for your son to see his own father being father to someone elses kids if that is the case. Or new wife will have a new baby with your ex. And chances are (if you read this forum) she will try and push your son away. Not all new wifes do this...but if she is anything like many of the women on this forum...not to mention my own friends who have done this very thing, and they are all terrific women)...she can make it very clear that she cannot stand your son around her new little family.
You may find the love of your life, and he may have a child or two. And you son may find his own mom living in someone elses house, being mom to someone else's kids. No one plans on causing their child such pain. You just have to be aware that many, many children are finding themselves in this situation, because the adults are not looking at their new life (remarriage) through the eyes of their children. They want their child to be happy for them because they are so in love with this new person in their life. And if the child isn't - they are upset, because they don't want to lose him/her. So the kid goes along and...well read the step parent forum for your self...just so you go into this with your eyes wide open, should you decide to pursue a new life. There is a cost...and your child will be the one who will probably pay the price for the new found happiness of you or your husband.

I also want to say that I hear the pain and lonliness that you feel, and I understand. Only you can decide what to do. I would encourage you to spend the time and really read the step parent forum so that you are aware of what the cost is to so many children of divorce, should you decide to proceed. And only you can decide whether to wait a few more years as your son goes through what may be rough teen years...where you may or may not have his fathers support...depending if there is a woman in your husbands life at that time. these are all things to ponder as you make choices that will certainly affect your family for years to come.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Lots of talk about what love is.

I have come to the conclusion, after 23 years of marriage, that LOVE for my family is simply, "wanting the members of the family to be happy". If you think like this all day, everyday, and live with this as your standard (for want of a better word), then it will all flow along beautifully.

Momm, ask youself "does your husband want you to be happy"?

My DH contributes to our family, by making sure we are all happy. Holidays, driving daughter to railway station at early hours, chopping wood for the fire, working late at night so we can have you get the idea ?

In return, I make lovely meals etc..... everything I do is out of love...its really an everyday thing.

I have explained this to my children, so they can understand this concept as well.

Do I make sense ?

I hope so.

I wish you clear thinking and the courage to deal with your situation in a dignified way. You sound like a loving person and I think you deserve better in your life. I am sure you will always do the best for your son, treasure him.

Much love to you Momm


    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:01PM
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I posted a message on this topic a few months ago, so please forgive me if I repeat myself. I don't want to go over everything again, but for those who didn't see my posting, I will try to be brief. I have been married for 33 years. I wanted to wait 'til marriage until I had sex. I had plenty of dates and crushes on guys. When I met my husband, I really felt I was in love. I also thought we were having sex, until after about a year, when we wanted to have a child and I went to a gyno. I found out I was still a virgin. I ended up having a complete check up and was not a "virgin" anymore - the dr. said it would be easier for my husband and me. I wanted both my husband and me to get counseling - he fought me over it. I left him 'til he agreed (it was only few wks.). We went, and I thought it was helping but it was shortly after that we discovered my husband had a pituatory (spelling could be wrong)tumor. He has been on medications ever since for that as the tumor shrunk and he has been on teresterone shots which may help him in some things but never increased his libido. My desire for sex has always been there and even married, I have had crushes on guys. There was 1 guy who if I had had a chance I might have had an affair with (he was single)if he had wanted me. But other things have been going on in my life so I was not always thinking of sex. Until I got into menopause 2yrs. ago, and my libido has gone sky-high. At about the same time I went into menopause, I met a guy at work who has been a friend (more of an email friend, 'though we see each other on occasion). We confide in each other but he is married, too - but he has other woman friends, too.He has flirted with me which has confused me but I don't want to say anything as this is a work situation. I am trying to let go of this guy but it is not easy. And I have seen 3 different counselors to help me with my marriage, including a clergyman of my faith and they all tell me the same thing:
Leave your husband (I would but I have no where to go)
Have an affair ( the clergyman didn't say that, the counselors did. I would, but it would have to be with the right person, not just anyone and there's no one knocking on my door)
Just buck up and accept it. (that's what I'm doing)

I always felt what my husband and I had was real love. We don't have children (obviously). He is basically a good man and is somewhat affectionate but he does not have passion for me. He does have passion for his hobby (Radio)
I am doubting everything now - unfortunately, even my faith. A friend from work, a woman, has opened my eyes to another faith and I am questioning my own faith. No, I do not expect my life to change with a change of faith. I just find comfort in what she has been showing me but I still have my own belief.

I know I am a very confused and naive person but I also know that things could be worse. I remind myself of that every day when I hear about people who are really sick or when I read the newspapes or see TV. (does anyone else find it hard to see romance or sex on tv without being frustrated?)

I was wondering if there are women or men out there that have a similar situation to mine - but also, are there any stories that have happy endings? And sorry - I guess I wasn't too brief!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 11:25AM
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Hello Again,

I guess I need to reply to all....First to Popi, I do take care of my husband. If I compared love to picking up empty beer cans an dthe lack of "Compassion" thereof love I DONT WANT IT. My husband is a very good person, willing to help anyone out (Except me) he does work hard to support us and I do appriciate it. The last time our son and I tried to "Take a Drive" and do something nice because we love him we ended up turning around before we were half way there and my then 12 year old ending up in tears.

Your house should be a home, a home filled with love and compassion and as I stated earlier, I don't mean just sex. I just had a job interview and start work in a town that is an hour plus away. In my house, If I don't do it, then it dosent get done. Just to make a point, I haven't touched the garbage for a week. It's all stacked up and smelling Really good right now, and guess what... It will still be there next weekend if I don't take it out. A marriage is not a meeting of each other giving 50%, it each one giving 100%. In my house I feel as though I am giving 200%. I cook, clean, do laundry, mow the law you get the picture and all I ask is for a little compassion (Sex would be fine to). His defination of compassion is getting a treat at the grocery store, a pop or a piece of Death by Chocolate Cake...

My husbands problem is, he dosent like to be alone. He is not in love with me...I would say he hasnt been for years. He just wants someone in his house to take care of him~

As I also mentioned above, I do love my husband, but I'm not in love. All I have ever asked from him was compassion!

I am too young to give up on "Compassion", Suntide, does your husband show you compassion. Because there is much more to life than a "Roommate". I cant and wont tell you to leave, but ask for a little compassion!



    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 9:50PM
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His other problem is drinking, we fight almost on a nightly basis

So what you're saying is that your husband is an alcoholic who behaves like ... an alcoholic. He keeps it together enough to hold a job, but doesn't in any other way (e.g. emotionally) support his family. And you are asking what you should do and thinking that you should leave and let your son stay behind with an alcoholic???? Girlfriend, you need to get your own depression under control and get yourself some counseling to build a little self esteem. If your husband won't get help for his drinking, you need to get yourself and your son out of that situation. What kind of life is your son going to have if his role-model for male-female interactions is a drunk?

Your child is entering his teenage years and that's when kids start to experiment with alcohol. You need to be on your guard for that, too.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 1:53AM
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I think you need to re-read my post, first and foremost I would never "Leave" my son behind. Second I NEVER said that my husband was an Alcoholic! I said he drinks alot. I grew up with an Alcoholic. Third, my depression~I'm a normal housewife who wants her husband back~Honey this isn't depression, last and not least, my self esteem is just fine! I'm asking for sugestions from other wives who's husbands lack the ability to give intimacy or compassion. If thats depression or lack of self esteem then every one on this board needs counseling!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 11:58AM
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"I'm asking for sugestions from other wives who's husbands lack the ability to give intimacy or compassion."

You finally said it -- the 'I' word. It's intimacy that's really missing. That magical connection of the spirits, minds, bodies that binds two people into one, that ends loneliness, that fills the void... When you wrote:

"The more I gave, the harder he pushed away to a point that I have stopped giving."

... you identified the core problem. Some men are just incapable of sustaining intimacy. I was married to one of them for ten long, lonely years until I finally ended it and met my current husband, the most wonderful man I've ever known.

Have you tried counseling? Not because there's anything wrong with you, but because there's a big problem with your marriage. I don't imagine your husband will be interested in going, but the tactic that worked on my Ex was this:

"I've made an appointment with a marriage counselor for Monday at 10:00 am. You can come with me to discuss how to save our marriage, or I will go alone to discuss if our marriage is worth saving."

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 5:12PM
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This is the first time I have spoken about this so it feels strange to send this out into cyberspace but here goes.
My husband and I have been married 24 years and its been 15 since we have been intimate. The issue at the beginning was my weight. I have lost weight over the years (then put it back on) and nothing ever changed. I used to not care so much. I was busy with 2 young kids and they filled the void. Now they are growing up. My oldest just got married and was a virgin bride. I now find myself obsessing about her life and wanting to hear about everything. I think about the two of them just starting out, so in love, all day long. I realize this is because of the void in my own life.
I just can't take it anymore! But its just so embarrising to talk about. My husband is willing to go to counseling (I'm grateful for that) but I really want to lose weight first so I don't have to have the pain and embarrasment of being told its because I'm a fat cow. (my husband wouldn't say that but thats the way I feel)
Anyway just needed to vent. Let me know what you think!!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 6:40PM
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The greatest fear among children and the elderly is that of being abandoned.

The greatest fear among everyone else is that of being unloveable.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 7:42PM
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Ksd, it is too easy to blame everything on weight. If that was really the problem to start with, "someone" was being right shallow. And since you say that things did not change when you lost weight over the years, I think we can lay that aside.

If anyone tells you that you are a fat cow during counseling, stand up and defend yourself. A right counselor would not allow that. You don't deserve to be called names no matter what your weight. Your concern is with your relationship and the weight issue has already proven to be coincidental. Don't let anyone make you wear that one. In my opinion that is just a "good offense."

I hope you will have a satisfying result from your efforts. Please let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 9:13PM
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"If anyone tells you that you are a fat cow during counseling, stand up and defend yourself. A right counselor would not allow that. You don't deserve to be called names no matter what your weight. "

Hello. Nobody did that. She said that didn't happen. She said that was her own feeling. You've launched over nothing.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 9:55PM
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I think KSD should make a different posting, so her issues can be addressed by all these lovely people who do care about her life and want to help.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 10:37PM
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I think Mommof1 ans Serena both have good points. Sure, love is a decision. But physical intimacy and affection and emotional intimacy and support go a long way toward enhancing the likelihood of reinforcing the love decision every day. Especially when combined in an exclusive tight relationship.

14 years ago, I had a strong feeling that my then fiancwas averse to sex and that she disliked the physical side of intimacy. Then I was a nicely mannered, handsome, fit, well-paid professional with a good personal situation, just one who worked a lot of hours.

Well, shortly after marriage, I continued to suspect that the marriage wouldn't be nearly as much fun in bed as my college and post-college relationships had been, but as an aging boomer, I wanted to have a family, and the situation seemed to work for us both.

It's just that my new bride told me that if I wanted sex when she was frustrated from work that I'd have to find a mistress. And that should have been a real clue. Now that we have 2 beautiful children, the opportunities for sex are greatly diminished, but the physical side of our marriage has been a disaster for me.

Check out this article in the NY Times:

Here is a link that might be useful: NY Times Article

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 3:08PM
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