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A sexless marriage

Posted by northernca (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 15, 06 at 0:38

Hello,
I would love to hear from other women who are in a similar marriage, or have been in a similar marriage, as I am. Particularly I would love to hear how you coped with it--whether you divorced, considered divorce but stayed for the kids or for other reasons, found a lover, took long showers, (smile) etc.

I have been married for 23 years to a very kind man and a good father. However, he has an extremely low sex drive and refuses to talk much about it, seek help of any kind, etc. I have tried for years to try and change things (why is it that intellectually we know we cannot change someone else, or make someone else do something they do not want to do, but we try anyway?) I knew he had a much lower sex drive than myself when we married, but I convinced myself I could change things and after all, how shallow is that, to not get married to someone you love and you have so much in common with because your sex drives do not match? After all, there is so much more to marriage than sex, right? Well, no one told me that sure, sex is not everything...until!!! Until it becomes a problem...then it becomes EXTREMELY important...and problems with intimacy will inevitably begin to wear on the marriage and create voids...no matter how much you love each other...it just does.

We have not had sex since my youngest was born...he is turning eleven in July.

Needless to say, my marriage is sibling like at best. I care very much for him, but I really don't know if I can say I love him still. I do not carry the anger and hurt and frustration on my sleeve, but certainly it is there...

It is very difficult for me to consider divorce because I really hate to put my kids through a divorce. I realize there are many ways to look at this...and every situation can be different.

How do other women deal with a sexless marriage?

Thanks for listening.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi Northernca,
I couldnt have expressed MY feelings any better than you have, except that I am a man in your very same position. I have been wanting to say what you said but didnt know how. I know how you feel. I dont see how a man or woman can be so cruel. I have been rejected for so long and cant do anything about it.
Thank you for listening


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi, Northernca,

If you saw 1 of the messages written before yours, you will see mine - "really need advice". I totally sympathize with you. I never had children and have been married for 32 yrs. Husband has had pituary tumor but has gotten injections which were s'posed to help. It didn't. He says to just wait - it will happen. Not likely. Won't get help and I have tried. All I can say to you and Firecaptrt is I know how you feel.

Thank you for listening, too.


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RE: A sexless marriage

northernca,

I am so sorry you haven't had many responses to your post; I for one was looking for more ideas. You have inspired me to tell my story.

Like firecaptrt, I feel you have expressed the feelings I have had for many years far better than I could and also like firecaptrt, I am a male. There are however, some major differences between your issues and mine other than gender.

I am married to a very intelligent and attractive woman that is a wonderful Mother; and I adore her. Our relationship started in 1980, just after I had given up "looking", and with a great deal of playfulness, intimacy & passion. She was very pleased to find I was an "every night" sort of guy (her own words) while I was so happy to find my match. Yet, I remember a nagging fear something would come along and spoil it. For six years, nothing did and 1986 found us married and with a baby by years end; but by the end of 1987, we had attended one counseling appointment because of our waning physical relationship. One was all we attended as it turns out and I knew we were done when, during that only meeting, she was asked if her "appetite had changed." However, there were some intimate moments through the end of the 80s into the 90s and in 1993, our second baby was born. Our attempts at his conception was the last time I felt truly "wanted" by her.

In our 26 years, we have gone from "once or twice a night" to "once or maybe twice a year" and then I always must be the aggressor. While I dont think I could keep up with once a night for very long any more, once or twice a week would be great; even once or twice a month would be good! Yes I miss the raw passion we shared and I miss being wanted, but I find what I miss the most is intimacy. Im tired of sharing my life with a roommate. I want my lover back!

I have tried suggesting romantic weekends away (too busy), talking with her (too busy doesnt want to talk changes subject tells me Im complaining), flowers (usually I get thanked), etc. I even wrote her a rather long letter asking her to respond to which she didnt. Im out of ideas. Is there anything Ive missed? Any ideas would be most welcome.

You are not alone by a long ways. There is a post here titled "How Often Do You?" that has been running over three years now, and I am amazed at how out of balance our desires are. In this day of computers and such, you would think we could organize it better!

The best of luck to youplease keep us informed


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RE: A sexless marriage

There is a book out by Dr. Laura Schlesinger (not sure if I spelled her name right) called "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands". I guess that I am addressing the males here. The book really is aimed at women who are rarely intimate with their husbands, and really comes down hard on women for doing this. You may want the hide a copy in your sock drawer, and see if couriousity gets her to pick it up and read it. She will definately hear how destructive this behavior is in a marriage and will "see herself", and that in and of itself may bring about change in your marriage.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Dear Northernca,

There probably aren't a whole lot of posts here because this is not a common problem and is a difficult issue to talk about, especially for women. After all, we can sell it, so it sure is hard to take no for an answer when we want to give it away for free to someone we care about.

This sounds rough and ugly, but it is only meant to push a point; men are more or less accustomed to being rejected or unwanted, but for us it's more devastating. (Please don't flame, guys!)

I speak from experience, as a Paxil widow. My DH has "general anxiety disorder," a brain-wiring problem that makes him worry all the time, to the point of being unable to function (as in go to work, etc.) Paxil is a miracle drug. He's back out there in the workforce, manly as any of them. Trouble is, it has cruel side effects.

First, it made him impotent for about a year. Fortunately, from his point of view, I suppose, he didn't much care, because it stole his sex drive. Eventually, nature reasserted herself, and his sex drive came back. That's where the stuff really got mean. He could get it up, but he couldn't get off.

After a while, he got frustrated by this, and now he doesn't want to play at all.

So, you ask about tips for dealing with a sexless marriage... I have gone through more batteries than I can count, but eventually I came to the conclusion that it's not the same, not by a long shot. I had an affair, too, but that didn't work out, either. It turns out that my lover had qualms about doing it with a married woman.

I may eventually leave my husband for him, but I probably won't. And this is where, perhaps, your situation and mine might be a bit different. If my husband refused to discuss or acknowledge his sexual problems, I would find it very hard to put up with him. The one thing that enables me to carry on despite a lack of physical intimacy is that this problem has led to a much deeper emotional intimacy than we had before it happened. That is what sustains me.

You don't seem to have that, based on what you wrote, at least. If it were me, I would think seriously about leaving him. The kids deserve a mom who feels loved, in every sense of the word. And you aren't getting that.

Good luck, and I admire your courage in raising this difficult subject.


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Thank God someone, somewhere, is talking about this. I share all the feelings I've read above and have been in this situation for too many years. I have been through many similar coping strategies and find the same outcome - if the person will not deal with their problem, in the end you come to the conclusion that they don't care about you. I have a good relationship with my husband and we get along very well in other areas, but this one is like beating my head against a wall. He has every excuse/reason/brush-off in the book and after a while it really wears on you. His flat refusal to consider medication of any kind or even a damn vitamin feels very cruel.

I've read on another post that a few women have found male friends to talk to and even that level of intimacy seems like it would fill some of the void, but I don't have anyone like that. Add in the fact that I'm 46 and showing perimenopausal symptoms (some extra pounds, irregular bleeding) and I don't feel like a prize package to offer up to anyone. I feel like a cliche and am becoming depressed about the situation, though it started years before this. It helps to know I'm not the only one and I thank everyone who posted and shared for making me feel less alone.

Has anyone found anywhere to go for real solutions or just someone to talk to about it?


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I've been in this situation. It stressed me out for a long time, and put a lot of strain on the relationship. Eventually I deciced that I couldn't change his reaction, and there was no sense in trying to figure out or second guess his reasons. You can't force someone to want you or to be intimate with you if they don't want to or can't. You can only decide on your own actions. When I reached this point, I saw 3 choices: leave the relationship, continue in the relationship and be faithful and deal with my own sexual needs, or stay in the relationship and have sex outside of the relationship. I didn't doubt his love, and I had enough sex without love when I was younger to know I prefered love and no sex to sex and no love. I also knew that it was impossible to cheat and not change the relationship; the trust and honesty were too much a part of it. So I decided to stay and take care of my own needs. Of course it's not the same, but life seldom comes with everything we want. Make the best choice out of the options you have, and live with it. If it changes later, fine. But quit beating your head against the wall of trying to make someone else change and make the best choice for your situation. At least you know the situation is then your choice.


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Turtlelady,

I can really relate to how you say you feel at the age of 46, feeling overweight, perimenopausil and all in all not a prize package. Been there, done that, and, I am happy to say, I found a way to a better place.

Fate intervened, of course. Just about the time when I was feeling my lowest, wondering if life was worth living, killing myself one pizza at a time, I got an email from and old flame out of the blue. We flirted on line for months. He had no idea that I had gained weight or gotten older, still seeing me in his mind's eye as the pretty 19-year-old girl he knew years ago.

Suddenly I had a reason to take care of myself. I took myself to the gym and started on the treadmill. I was horribly out of shape and badly overweight. But I could manage a mile at a moderate speed. Soon I was going further and faster, and before long I worked up to three miles, five or six days a week. The weight dropped off like a rock. I have lost 50 pounds so far, in about a year, with no real dieting, although I am more conscious about what I eat.

But the weight loss is the least of it. I just feel so much better! I no longer feel sexless and unwanted. Men notice me again, even though I am 51 years old. (I also found a new hairdresser, bought some new clothes, and whitened my teeth with help from my dentist.)

My marital problems haven't changed, but I have. Now I know that my husband's lack of interest has nothing to do with my attractiveness. Now I feel that I am staying with him by choice, not just because I am too old, fat and ugly to get another guy. It's very empowering.

Good luck to you!


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Thanks, Ellen, for the encouragement, and congratulations to you for finding a way to turn your own feelings around, but I'm a skater, I get lots of exercise. This is pure middle age weight and while I know it's not the core of the problem, it just adds to the low feelings caused by the other issues. I feel quite healthy in spite of and am in good shape (well, maybe "shape" is the wrong word), but you see what I mean.

As for all the other posts, I see some of the same things I feel: this is my spouse, the person I picked to spend my life with, and while I know I am not the cause of the problem, there seems only one happy solution and it's not going to happen. That's the part that's the most difficult to deal with and what leaves you open (I think) to all the other things people are saying.

Kathy - you are lucky to have had a cooperative partner who did see it as a couple's problem. Please finish your book, I'd like to send a copy to someone.


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Ive been away and not checked for a whileit is nice to see more posts on this thread!

I too would vote for love without sex over sex without love, but, having said that, I have found if any piece of the relationship foundation is missing, the entire relationship suffers. For me, intimacy is a very big part of that foundation. We are less in-tune with one another now, and therefore, less likely to partner in all things.

nedraw: I too can "take care of my own needs" but only physically; and cannot replace the closeness one feels when sharing an intimate relationship with another human. For us, all we have is an intimate history, there is no private "inside story" to our relationship anymore. What the world sees is what we are, sometimes not even, but never more than that! You are absolutely correct when you outline the three choices: LeaveStayAffair. I cant think of another!


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RE: A sexless marriage

Alot to consider here....

NorthernCA, you haven't said whether you've discussed your concerns directly with him, and let him know in no uncertain terms how much it bothers you. Is this a manifestation of issues outside the bedroom, or is he simply uninterested in sex? (contrary to popular opinion, some men simply don't like it).

Are you physically intimate with him in non-sexual ways? By that, I mean, do you hold each other close when you sleep, shower together, or cuddle up on the couch? Does he find still you attractive? If he doesn't want to have conventional sex, would he be amenable to, say, manually stimulating you or using a battery-operated device, or even holding you close as you did so yourself?

Does he have erectile dysfunction issues? He may be uncomfortable initiating sex because he's afraid he won't be able to perform.

Was he sexually abused as a child? (note: many men who were have such a deeply instilled sense of guilt and shame that they are reluctant to disclose it even to their wives, and any sexual activity can easily trigger uncomfortable memories of being molested, so much so as to feel like he's reliving it)

Should you take on a lover as Ellen did? I know a married couple who did just that - a colleague who got along great with his wife, thought she was a great mom to their teenage daughter, but she refused to have any sort of sex life with him (or anyone else). So they agreed, in order to save the marriage, that he would occasionally see someone else. She actually thanked her because she didn't want to play that role herself (I heard this from both husband and wife). But I doubt that most couples would be comfortable with that arrangement. It isn't cheating, because it is being done with both spouse's knowledge and approval, and as perhaps the only way to keep the marriage workable. I, personally, would be fine if my wife wanted to do this if for whatever reason I had no interest in having a sexual relationship with her. Nonetheless, if it were *me* taking on an outside sexual partner, I don't think I'd find that setup to be ultimately satisfying. I simply find it more enjoyable to make love with someone I'm in love with than a casual friend. And if my partner was a very close friend, or someone I was in love with, it would be difficult to maintain a relationship with her and with my wife at the same time.

Ellen - how could your old flame *not* know you've gotten older? Did he expect you to still be a 19-year-old after all these years?

I was on Paxil for awhile - it didn't make me impotent, but I also noticed that - how should I put this? - it doubled as a male birth-control pill. A male friend who used it had the same reaction (and did with every other SSRI he used). Personally, I didn't find that side effect "cruel" since I wasn't trying to have a baby - indeed, it was rather convenient most of the time, whether alone or with a partner, to stay dry. Unfortunately, it also tended to give me an upset stomach, and although indicated for PTSD and depression, it didn't seem to help there. I currently use Xanax for an off-label use, and I haven't noticed any sexual side effects (although it makes me a bit drowsy), and many find it quite effective for anxiety.


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Do you need/want help with your situation? Maybe I can help. I am working on a brand new talk show with Greg Behrendt, author of "He's Just Not That Into You" and other relationship advice books. I would love to get your story and see if we could help your relationship. If you are interested, please email me at dfiorito@sonypicturestv.com or dfiorito8@hotmail.com. Thank you.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hey, Lee,

You raise a number of interesting points, some of which I can address.

You wonder how my old flame can think of me as a 19-year-old, a reasonable point, of course, especially if one is thinking logically. Whoever said that the goings on between the sexes was logical? Anyhow, in his defense, a couple of points. First, we live thousands of miles apart and don't see each other often, which means that fantasy rules. Reality fed that fantasy, too. We hadn't seen each other for many years, from about age 20 until 35. Amazingly, those years were kind to me, and I didn't look a day over 21! (It helped that I was just back from the beach and was sun-kissed. Plus, I had a killer new dress and had been on a diet for about ten years!) It also helped that he had recently had lunch with another old flame who had gone gray and gained about 100 pounds. So, in his mind, I was ageless. Apparently, he carried that idea ahead another 15 years, in his head, anyhow.

For me, the important part was that somebody wanted me, if only based on his imagination. It's hard to convey how painful it is to be a woman whose husband just isn't interested.

Paxil affects people differently, apparently. You seem to have been one of the lucky ones, apparently, in that it didn't destroy your sex life and that of your wife.


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I would like to restate a sentence from Ellen's last post, but modify it slightly...it is certainly true for me!

It's hard to convey how painful it is to be a person whose spouse just isn't interested.


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As the original 'poster' of this posting, I am of course very happy that there have been some reponses, feedback, ideas and commentary on the topic of the sexless marriage, in particular when a woman finds herself without intimacy in a marriage. (I do wish others would find this site and posting, because I really do think there are many, many women in this situation but it is not a very popular point of discussion. No matter how progressive and open minded we might like to think our world is, most still live blissfully ignorant of anything other than the stereotypes supported by the media...let's face it...the most common situation we hear about is the one where the guy is horny 24/7 and the woman is uninterested and would rather go shopping...smile)

I wanted to address a few things that others have asked or shared. To lee676, thank you for your thoughtful note. You asked if my husband is simply uninterested in sex. Yes, he is very uninterested. Now, do we know why? No. I realize that it could be for many reasons...I think I have read about them all...but that is the point...I have researched the subject, I have spent years pondering, thinking, wondering, worrying...but the key here is that he is not willing to talk about it, discuss it with me or a professional, visit a doctor, etc...you get the idea. I finally went to a therapist myself because I thought I would go crazy. After a few sessions, she assured me of what I already know...there was nothing really to talk about...I seemed to be very comfortable with myself and my sexuality...she said there was not a lot she could do for us unless we came in as a couple...and he refused.

At this point, it does not matter WHAT it is that keeps him from wanting a sexual relationship with me...more importantly, it is the fact that he is unwilling to do anything about it...that is the part that is so painful...because I know that if the situation were reversed, I would do anything and everything to figure out why I had a low sex drive...be it emotional, physical, psychological, etc...because I care enough about the marriage, about him, about me.

As my original posting explained, it has been years...and years...and I think he wakes every morning thinking...please, I hope she does not bring it up...

And for four years I have not...I have done it all...and nothing has worked...nothing.

And no, I am not really that physically intimate with him...no we do not hold each other before falling asleep, etc...you see, for me...his lack of attention to our intimacy issue has impacted the entire relationship...his ignoring of the issue makes it impossible to feel close to him...if we were always talking about it and working on it that would be different. The years have taken a toll...again, I care about him, we have a lot of common interests...but do I love him...I am really not sure anymore.

Will I take on a lover? I have told him I would if things did not change (not proud of that, but I thought if I said that, it would be THE motivating factor...the thing that would move him to deal with this...)...his only response was anger...at the thought that I would consider cheating on him!

Do I deserve more? Of course. And so does he. But he is not interested in making himself or our marriage a priority.

Ah, this is such a difficult and layered issue. Sure we do not always get what we want in life. But forgive me...sexual intimacy is part of marriage...part of what I think we all sign on for in a marriage...and to be denied that by your partner is devastating and frustrating and hurtful and very damaging. If I were single, I would not feel half of this frustration and anger. But I DO have a partner! Without intimacy!

Please, if there are other women reading these postings that are in a similar situation, or have been in the past, I think all of us would benefit from hearing the details of your situation and your thoughts.


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Leave him, Northernca! You don't have a partner. You have a roommate. He doesn't deserve you!

I know that you are concerned about the kids, and I admire you for that, but I have to say, as the child of parents who stayed together long after the romance was done, you are not doing them any favors, really!

Get out while you can. Find a real man who will love you in all ways. Your kids will be better off!


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This is so humiliating for a women. I know first hand. Although, there were many other larger issues that I had with my husband, this was truly devastating.

I now know that he has issues, and that it wasn't me.
He has this preconcieved notion that anyone other than Barbie herself is not sexy or attractive.

The really funny thing about it is that after awhile I got to feel so unnatractive I actually gave up on taking care of me. I felt as if that part of my life was pretty much over now so who cares. Bring on the ice cream!

Then after gaining weight, about 30 lbs, I realized what I was doing to myself. I felt like putting on weight would guard me from ever feeling attractive and then being rejected. And it would make it so that I wouldn't seek out an affair. Sounds ridiculous but that's how I felt.

Wondering and questioning about the whole issue almost drove me out of my mind. I felt like I was beating my head against a wall. I craved some kind of intimacy, not just sex, but human contact. I realized that he could have cared less if I was unhappy with the situation or not. I know if the situation was reversed I would do something, or at least be open in communicating about it. In some ways I feel that this was just another abuse tactic. Our relationship was never great to begin with, with lots of dysfuntion that he brought to the marriage.

I just want to say, "You are not alone". Yes, it's embarrassing for a women to be in this situstion. It stinks! My friends would tell me that I should have an affair, that I could get anybody I want. But I am just not that way. Having an affair is the last piece of advice I would give.

It comes down to the question of "Do I want to spend the rest of my life this way?" After all your efforts are exhausted that is what it comes down to.

I hope that things go well for you. Take care of yourself!


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well said PERKLARDD and thanks for your post!


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Hi Northernca. I couldn't believe it when I came across your posting. You said so many things that I thought I was the only women who felt that way.

Geez, I have typed, deleted and retyped a posting 3 times. Each time I get started, I end up writing a novel. I have so much to say but I have held it in for so long that it just seems to be pooring out, and making me sad. I don't want to boor you all with a novel so I will sumarize.

Here's the summary: fell in love with him, he started rejecting me, after a year of no sex he for some reason makes beautiful love to me and then proposes, I say yes, and that was last time he made a move on me. I can't believe I went through with the marriage but I was in denial. After 2 years of rejection I stopped caring about taking care of myself. In the end, after years of rejection and no attention from the man I love, a man I knew made a move on me and I didn't stop him. I ended up having an affair for 3 months. I am not the cheating type so I knew that I couldn't stay with my husband.

If you are seriously thinking of having an affair, leave your husband. Before the affair started, I had thought to myself many times that I didn't know if I would be able to reject a man if a man were to ever make a move on me
(that is if this problem were to continue with my husband). And you know, that is exactly what happened.

I spent years trying to research this problem for solutions and sadly, there isn't much info about a man not wanting sex, it is almost all about the woman who doesn't want the sex. One thing I did learn though was, that there is no right or wrong when it comes to sex drives. A sexless couple can work just fine if BOTH people in the relationship want that. The trick is finding compatibility with sex drives. I spent years blaming my husband but really if he is to find a woman who never wants sex, then they will be perfectly fine. However, my ex did finally admit to me that this issue has been an problem in every relationship he has had. I feel so stupid for marrying him.


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NorthernCa,

Could he be gay?

I have a good friend, Laura, who had a live-in guy who at first seemed like a dream come true, except that his sex drive seemed kind of low. Laura stuck with him, probably because she had bad acne scars and not a whole lot of confidence about her ability to attract anyone else.

Long story short, ultimately she left him, after a bruising custody battle about the cats.

Several years later, he came out of the closet. It turned out that he had a job requiring a security clearance, and this was back in the dark ages when they didn't allow gays to have them.

The thing is, what really resonates between what she told me at the time and what you have said is that he didn't want any kind of help. In Laura's boyfriend's case, this clearly was because he knew he was gay and knew that all the counseling or horomones in the world wouldn't change that.


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Wow. I can't even begin to tell you how your post about this hit home. As I read I cried because I know exactly how you feel and it was if I had wrote your post.

Although I am not married I do live with a very kind man with a very low sex drive. I also have tried to do everything in my power to change this. I know exactly how you felt when you thought you could change this and that it was shallow to think that this was even a problem.

Sex to me is a very important part of a relationship. I take good care of myself and try and do everything to make him interested. There has been times when I have went above and beyond to just be ignored and left feeling embarassed.

His lack of sex drive causes fights and arguments. Somehow it seems that the arguments get twisted around and it ends up that it is my fault and the blame gets put on me. Even though I have never had a problem in the past in other relationships, and he will clearly admit that he is not interested in sex.

Everytime there is a argument I hear about how it will change. Unlike most he did go to the Dr. to ask for help. The Dr. did blood work and found out that there is nothing wrong with his testosterone etc. The Dr. did give him a perscription for viagra and said it maybe would help. He can get it up , but the dr thought It may help the libido. The perscription sheet has been sitting on the night table now for 4 months and has never been filled. It hurts so bad to know that he knows there is a problem and does nothing about it to help it out.

I also long for affection. I know what you mean when you say not being able to have sex effects the whole relationship. I like you don't want to cuddle now either.

I'm sorry I could not be more help to you. I can only tell you that you are not alone. It is nice knowing I am not the only female going throught this. I tend to put most of the blame on myself, even though I know it is not me. If ever you need to talk feel free to email me.


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To northernca, and all the others who have posted, you are not alone - and what a relief it is to me to discover that I'm not alone, either. All our stories are different in some ways, so here's mine:
I'm 59, have been married for almost 21 years to someone who seemed to be (and in many ways still is) the man of my dreams. I moved from NYC to the UK to be with him; we have one amazing son, born when I was 40. We had a whirlwind courtship, very exciting, and in the first year our sex life was great. Then our son was born, and things slowed down. I had gynecological problems, then a hysterectomy followed by complications. While this was happening, my husband was having a serious life-change crisis over changing his career, and we both felt that we weren't able to be there for each other in fundamental ways -- he resented me for being ill and not being able to support him; I resented him for being absorbed with his career problems and not being able to support me. All this with a five-year-old boy to look after. Our sex life diminished to practically nothing, and at some point down the line -- I can't even remember when, but probably around 7 or 8 years ago -- just stopped completely. Neither of us was interested. We kept our resentments bottled up for several years, but they came out in small, nasty ways, and every now and then we'd have a big blow-out of an argument. Finally, I insisted we go for counselling, and fortunately my husband was in total agreement. Our presenting issue - which was, and remains, more important for me than for him - was our lack of physical intimacy. But it soon became apparent that there was much more that needed work.

We stayed in counselling for a year, and dealt with a lot of our underlying issues. We emerged with a much greater sense of closeness, renewed love and respect for each other, and an ability to communicate on a level we hadn't been able to before. But no sex.

And that is how it remains. I feel, like so many of the other women who have posted here, hurt and rejected without knowing quite why. He insists that it's not me, it's him, and that we have such a good marriage otherwise (we do -- he's right), sex isn't everything, why am I so distressed about this... etc. etc. And the fact is that after years of neglect, my own sex drive is at an all-time low. I'm really not that interested anymore. But I keep thinking that it's wrong. I SHOULD be interested. So should he, and his inability or unwillingness to confront the issue sometimes feels like his way of punishing me for some unknown wrong.

But... as others have said, there are only a limited number of choices. No way would I even consider an affair. Sex in and of itself is not that important to me that I would risk jeopardising our marriage and hurting my husband. Leaving also feels like absolutely the wrong choice -- we do love each other, we are each other's best friend, and we do support and look after one another now. We have a good life. I can't imagine life without my husband.

So I am staying. I feel sad that what I once felt was an important part of who I was is now languishing, dying of neglect, but in a way it seems like a necessary sacrifice. I was in two long-term relationships before I met my husband, both passionate and sexual, but painful and destructive in other ways. There is no contest as to which I prefer -- love without sex is far better than sex without love.

I just wish I could stop wanting both. Or at least feeling that I need both.

Still, it is a great comfort to know that I am not alone. Thank you so much for letting me share this -- this is the first time I have told anyone other than our marriage counsellor what's going on. I'm so grateful you're there.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I too am in a sexless marriage. My experience is a little different. My husband and I have been married for 3 years. In the beginning my husband was very affectionate and had a normal sex drive, but he had some physical problems which prevented us from having sex. I think this caused him emotional problems and he started to have alot of anxiety about sex. It has now been a year since we have tried. He panics if I even try to kiss him. It is hard not to feel completely rejected, as I feel like we are roomates. I still want to try to make our marriage work but I am feeling very bitter and angry about the situation. I am also afraid to have children with him until we can fix our relationship. We are scheduled to start some marriage counselling, so hopefully that will help.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I am married to the sweetest husband- best father in the world but he has NO sex drive. I have wondered if he is gay too. His brother is. I go around and around in emotions about this situation. What to do???? I came to the conclusion that I do love him but I feel a anger creeping inside of me. We have kids and they adore him. Everyone adores him for his kindness. I always make the first moves but if I don't....no sex for months. I have brought this up to him and he says it is his fault but makes no effort. I don't think there is a answer to this problem.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Okay, here is a different angle on things that might help. I am one of those men that all your posts have been describing. Many of you have been married much longer than I, but nevertheless, the issue still remains. Prior to being married, I had more sex drive than I do now. I think a lot of it was the old cliche about the chasing is more fun than the catch. Once we were married our sex was good for a while, then it has slowly diminished. I have been married six years. Most recently I came to the realization that I wasn't focused on her as much as I should be. Since my wife doesn't like to "plan" sex into our schedules, I have to "spontaniously" make it a point to spend that special time with her. I have come to the realization also that if I don't focus on her more, then she may not be around "til dealth do us part" as we so whole heartedly proclaimed in our vows. I don't want to imagine my life without her, and I think that's an important part of turning things around. Ladies I will offer you all that I can think of that might improve your individual scenarios from my Male perspective. I know that there are several things that got my attention or steered me in the right direction when I was neglecting our relationship. Lets call them A,B&C.
A- This was when some other man was paying a lot of special attention to my wife. It made me jealous, but also made me see differently than just the same old wife. I felt like I should pay a little extra attention to her so that she realizes why are together and all that we have as a couple. Examples might be an old school guy friend, someone at work, or someone you've done buisness with.
B- Take off for a while to just get away or go visit a friend or family member. Go yourself or take the kids. I know I have always appreciated my wife LOTS more when she comes back from a week away. Some of these are short term changes of heart, but they might just open up a window of opportunity that could lead to longterm happiness(I hope). Now on to
C- Church. Yah I said it, however contraversial it may be. I am by no means a die hard holy roller, but I do believe in this: God's plan for marriage is a great one. If the two of you or the whole family were to go on a somewhat consistant basis, good things will happen. It's magical I promise. When the both of you open your minds and just let in all in, things will all fall into place. The bible has answers to marriage problems and on sexual issues as well. If you have attempt these options and have no results I am sorry, but I just hope with all my heart that I might have helped just a little. Don't know em till you try em.


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RE: A sexless marriage..error

Error at the end. Don't knock "C" until you've tried it...with an open mind and heart.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Im glad to see a post on this subject also. I have been married for 19 years with one child. My husband has never had a high sex drive, but over the last 8-10 years it went from once a week to once every 6 months to now once in two years. As I describe our situation, we are in a "RUT" with no chance of getting out. I truly love my husband, but I also need more than companionship, I need to compassion that goes along with a "HEALTHY" relationship. No matter what anyone says, you need a healthy sex life to make marriage work. We continually have discussions regarding this and he keeps telling me that he takes me for granited but has yet to make any effort to change.

At what point to you say I can't do this any more. I am 38 years old and refuse to live the rest of my life as one person calles it "Roommate". I tell my husband that I feel like I am living with my brother rather than my husband and he just laughes it off. We don't even sleep in the same bed, I sleep on the couch.

I understand that no one wants to admit that a marriage is over, especially me. But at what point do you say enough is enough. My son just turned 13, and I keep thinking when he is out of school...

We just had a major discussion recently about this subject and if I had a job, chances are I would have left. I am extremly ""NUMB"" right now to any compassion from my husband because I feel that it is something he feels he has to do, not something he want to do.. not to say he wants to anyway.

I truly wish all of you luck, I try to stay upbeat but find it very difficult.

mommof1;>)


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I've done all I know to do.

Marriage 16 years, Marriage her with two kids, had two of our own, taken in a 16 year old from her side of the family. I changed her two kids with different names to mine within our first year of marriage. I've work at the same company 16 years.
About a month ago she tells me she needs her space and wants to separate. There have never been on either side any drugs or drinking, no physical abuse, no cheating nor cursing. We had problems hear and there. We've both have always been in involved in church and in different ministries.
I've made every effort to reason with her. She just needs away from me. Three kids involved 16, 12 and 10 yrs. She don't know I know this but she put down a $950 deposit on another rent house with move in date the 15th of this month and opened a new bank account ( She got/borrowed $1500 from somewhere/body). We had discussed who the kids go with. After arguing for days I told her all the kids could go with her. Everything I suggest is an NO. It's always "Now" you want to do something. My whole life has been my family. This hurts SO BAD. I move out for five day to get a better handle of the situation. Now that I'm back she treats me so cold and evil. There's been no sexual active since this started about a month ago. We sometime talk (friendly) sleep in the same bed (with back turned to each other). I've asked if we could cuddle, she say OK but don't expect anything else. (We oddly cuddle). I've ask for us to go out, she tired, her hair need doing. Always a No to anything I ask. Sunday (yesterday) my son and I go to our church, she and the girls goes to another church. I called her because she had started dinner, their on their way home, then after about an hour and 1/2 I call's her back, their at one of her girlfriends house, helping her with a project. She informed me they'll be their within the hour and finish dinner. She gets home finish dinner, brings me a plate and tells me she sees me later. I stop her and ask her where she going. She tells me that she's going the gym with another one of her girlfriend to workout. I was getting mad by this time. I tell her all weekend I've been asking almost begging her for us to do something together, we is one of her complaints, an argument start again. Again she says "Now" I want to do something. Here are some other details. I get paid once a month $2,400. I pay $1300 rent (over high my check), $300 Truck note, $300 On-line loan, etc. When she get paid she don't pay all the bills she can because she spends on other things not important, so with the little I have left, I trying to pay what she didn't pay. So one of my complaints is I always broke. Leaving early getting home late (park and ride). In one of or argument I said she was just a gold digger, I been burden down ever since we've been marriage, never any money to do anything. She was paying the SUV note that she was driving. They call me to let me know it was three month behind. I finally had them to pick it up. Now it on my credit as repossession. All I do is work, home, church, in the past 15 years I never been out of Houston, no get-away, anything. I borrowed $1500 from my mom a year ago; I only paid her $500 back. Last details the 1st of last month when we got paid (Me 1st, Her 1st and 15th) I use my pay, her pay and my sons insurance and car payment to me and I paid all put four bill, that she would pay on the 15th. She gets paid on the14th $900 PLUS $250 for and event at the job. She give me $100 plus $100 for my IRS bill. She pays auto insurance $140, food?, etc. She don't pay the cable bill $80, gas bill $80, water bill $80 (granted these are all 2 months behind). The banks give me a friendly call and tell me my account is -$400 (over drawn, $150 for 3 bounce checks) and wanted to know when I would be putting money in the bank because those check would be returning to the bank again. From looking through stuff when I came back home after my cool off period. I found where she paid $200 Captain Moms, $15 Son football yard sign, gave him $100 for football fun past weekend. Daughter $60 for her weekend at friend house. But couldn't pay the bills.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I understand where you are comming from. My husband was in the army active duty the first 8 years of our now 10 year marriage. I can't say we NEVER have sex at all. The problem is it is a very very rare occasion, like only and ONLY if he wants to. We've done it twice in over a month. He does have a problem with ingenial hernias, but isn't even affectionate with me unless he wants to have sex that night. Not to mention that he has PTSD from going to Iraq in 2003. It's rather difficult being happily married to someone that does not want you in that way and the other areas that are suffering. I quit comming on to him because I got sick of being rejected and all the hurt that goes along with it. I am at my wits end. I still love him, but the light is growing dimmer and dimmer. I have been communicating this problem for the past 6 years and it hasn't changed yet. I can only do so much, without recieving it in return. I have been faithful all this time and now feel like I'm here. I sometimes feel like he is with me strictly because of obligation even though he tells me otherwise. AS far as self gratification, that only goes so far. If I was in it strictly for the end result that would be a problem, but it has been proven that sexual intimacy is important in marriage because it tends to be the glue that bonds us with our spouses.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Interesting thread. The stereotypical version is the man with the less-responsive-than-desired wife. Interesting to read what things are like on the "other" side. Appreciate these contributions.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hello,
northernca,
thumbs up to you for your message, I didn't know how to say it either. But my sex life with my husband is in the pit. We have been married 5 years, together 10 years. We started off having sex 3 times a day. But we were only 22 years of age then also. Just 3 years ago we were having sex 3 times a week.
But now maybe once a month. Please help I don't want to cheat on my husband and I don't feel like I have to go buy any sex toys to replace him neither. But I have talked to him he says that I am just nagging. Guys give me some advice, if you are a man and you don't have any health problems, or conditions that will cause your sex drive to be decreased and you are only having sex with your wife once a month or it has decrease and your wife complains tell me why you are that way. My husband is healthy, no conditions, but he just won't have sex with me.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I think I'm the only one with the worst story. I have been married for 8 years and we only had sex ONCE (that was with medication). I feel betrayed because he lied to me about this and do nothing about this. I didn't know he has problem with sex until I cleaned up his cabinet and found lots of paper from the doctor after a year of marriage. He even panic when I started to touch him or kiss him. The peak is when we reached our 5th marriage.
I went back home to my country by myself. I missed him so bad until I get back home to the US again. I really want to touch him and all but that didn't happen. I was so pissed and frustrated. I tried to talk to him about this matter and he went ballistic. I talked to him nicely but he just gone mad. I cryed and angry for the whole year and maybe until now. I would avoid him to go to bed together at the same time. We are still sleep in the same bed and room. I really dont want him to touch me anymore so I don't have to feel the desire to touch him back.
I feel like he is my roomate and brother more than a huband. The one I dont understand is why he doesn't do anything. Does he care about me? Does he want to live this way? Im 31 years old and he is 47 years old. Physically, he doesn't look like 47 instead of 37 with fit body and all but all that to waste.

Im thinking about leaving him but I couldn't. I just doesn't have the heart to leave him. I always thinking who's going to take care of him when I left. I know I can take care of myself alone but him? I just don't have the heart to leave him. Sometimes I wish I can be so cold hearted and just thinking about myself.
Nobody know this matter. I just keep it for myself. I can't stand it anymore. I took a very dangerous job to forget all my problem as an officer. I figure, I better help somebody else better than I commit crime. I don't want to cheat on him or betray him that way. I don't know how long I can stay this way. I feel happy when I do my job. In my job, I can forget about the sadness in my life. It's sad how I can help people but noone can help me.

I just really need to talk with someone.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hello there Ladygodiva

You sound very lonely, to me.

Perhaps if you spoke to your husband, about how you feel, not so much about the absence of sex. Maybe he doesn't realize what affect this is having on you. Try to speak calmly and pick a good time to talk, like after a nice meal.

I am glad you posted, I am sure others will give you some better advice.

All the best to you.

Popi


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RE: A sexless marriage

Popi,

Thank you for your response. I confront and fight with people everyday in the street. When I come home, I want a different situation, an opposite situation from my work. 8 years of marriage, we have been fight only 3 times. All fights were about the same thing: our sexless marriage problem. I've been tried to talk to him about this but he just being silent as a dead person.

It's just frustrated. Maybe it's my destiny to live my life this way and I should accept it. The only thing that make me sane is my job. I have never complain about my life to anyone before until I found this forum accidentally on google.


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RE: A sexless marriage

How about you start a new thread with your posting, I am sure you will get more responses, if you do that. People may not find it here.

It is not your destiny to just put up with a marriage like that. A happy marriage is about good communication, and this isnt happening for you.

Read some books, there are always better ways to talk to people, to talk about what is bothering you, in a way that will not invoke an argument.


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RE: A sexless marriage

You know what is nice about this topic? That there are so many of you who value your marriage commitment even though your spouse isn't living up to their end of the bargain. That is so precious to me! I would think that would be a lot more rare.

I decided to go ahead and post on here about my own problem so some of you might have read about it in the other topic. I also have a marriage to a husband who decided all of a sudden that he wasn't interested in sex. I really don't understand. It's not like we were not getting along. I can't tie it to any specific health problem. It was just out of the blue.

And I kind of let myself go after that, too. I also felt like "who cares"!? And that it might be easier to avoid getting myself into trouble if I didn't look very good. Besides, if you can't have sex you really don't want to deny yourself ice cream also, right?

After my husband said he wasn't interested anymore I started out just hoping and wishing - trying to be appealing and all that. Then I got really upset and angry. I had a hard time not to be mean and let it show that I was so frustrated. And gradually I've started to feel like it's just over. It's sad, you know? I don't even think I am sexual any more. I really didn't want my sexual life to be over so soon. But I won't cheat and it might be a long time til I am free by any other means (assuming that I don't go first!!) and by then, well, I don't think I'm going to get another chance. I hate that. I really do.

It's not that I'm so super sexy. That's a laugh. But to me it is about being so very, very close - no room for any pretending. And that is the part I miss. There just isn't really anybody who is close now. And he decided that's how he wanted it. Either he didn't see it that way (what was I thinking?) or he didn't think it mattered that much. That really hurts.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi. I'm new to this forum, and happy that I found it when I googled for help. I'm another woman trapped (LOL) in a sexless marriage.

I'm originally from India, and mine is an arranged marriage. I joined my husband in the US after marriage. Since the very start he wasn't interested in sex. He was very busy, very tired, very sleepy all the time. Weekends were supposed to be spent 'resting'. I tried to bring up the topic of sex but all he had to say was "That's not the most important thing in a relationship!" and soon I realised that I was the only one who was bringing up the topic ... and that it never led to a discussion, it was always that stupid line he threw at me.

It's not as if we didn't have intimate moments together - but those are like 3 or 4 times in the first 2 years of the marriage. And when he did decide to do it, he finished it off real fast , rolled over n went off to sleep - not bothered about how I was feeling. There were times when he'd be aroused but prefer to watch TV. Eventually I felt so insulted that I was the one begging for sex, that I was trying to talk to someone who obviously not bothered with my feelings ... that I just stopped asking him for his time, his attention, his love.

Maybe once in two months he'll try to get near me and I brush him off. I can't bear the thought of letting him do it when he wants to, yet not paying attention to my needs.

Our marriage is just over 5 yrs old, and we've not been intimate for over 3 yrs now. It's like a part of me is dead, wanting nothing to do with that beautiful aspect of life. We don't have kids and I know I don't love my husband but .. I think it's the commitment part that I'm honouring ... though I have no idea until when I'll be able to continue.

It's come to the point that he's ready to undergo counselling but I'm not interested; I don't think anything can bring back the first few years of married life, neither can the years of neglect and thoughtlessness be erased from my mind.

Thank you for letting me get this out; I've been carrying this inside for far too long, without an outlet. I did tell this to my parents and they now say they'd support me in whatever decision I took. But I don't want to go back to India and live with my parents - they pushed me into this marriage, and yes, once I realised there was no getting out, I threw myself into making it work ... with these results.

I know what it feels like and I thought I was weak bcoz I just can't come to a decision ... but somewhere it's like I wouldn't want to hurt my husband, would he be able to take care of himself if I went away? Maybe we turned into best friends once the sexual aspect was deleted from the relationship LOL

Thanks...
Cynthia


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RE: A sexless marriage

I'm a guy married to a lady I love very deeply. And I know she loves me. We've been married for 2 1/2 years and had actual sex twice, 2 1/2 years ago.

Before our marriage, she used to be very sexually active, and so did I, but not with each other. The guy she dated before we got married hurt her bad emotionally, and she says she's been afraid to feel passion ever since.

She was quite the hottie when we got married, but she soon ballooned up, gaining 45 pounds in about six months -- fast enough that it actually scared me for her. Her weight gain eventually stopped and she's stabilized. Even though she's heavier, I still find her incredibly cute.

She also has a history of abuse from her father, where she was forced to engage in sex as a kid, involuntarily.

We have an interesting Catch-22. She's upset because we don't have sex and has told me she's willing to have it with me. But she always says it in the same way that you'd say "I'm willing to have a root canal", and makes it very clear that it's something she'd only do because she's supposed to.

She's also made it very clear that she'd be willing to have sex, but she's said she's unwilling to attempt to muster even the slightest enthusiasm. If we do have sex, she's going to make darn sure she doesn't let herself feel anything -- or let me feel like she's enjoying it in any way.

She's also made it clear that she thinks I'm cute, but has no sexual attraction for me. I, too, am overweight, am not particularly well endowed (in fact, I'm particularly not well endowed).

We have a wonderful relationship otherwise. We talk all the time. We cuddle. We hug (although, now that I think about it, not for the last month or so). Even though we have a problem with sex, there's no doubt in either of our minds that we intend to be with each other forever.

For the first year, we slept in the same bed. Now she insists on sleeping in the guest room.

Tonight, we watched a comic, who talked about event sex, sex you have on your anniversary, Valentine's Day, and your birthday. He said, "Your birthday even merits a blowjob." At this, my wife turned to me with a smile and said, "I'd give you a blowjob on your birthday".

That's almost a year away. I thanked her for the offer, but told her I'd pass. She wasn't willing to consider sex on previous birthdays or anniversarys. She's also not happy if I get her flowers or attempt to do anything romantic. She refuses to go out on romantic dinners or to let us dress up for any sort of outing. She says she doesn't like to feel romantic anymore, because it brings up bad feelings.

So, as you can see, we have a problem. We're both interested in sex. We both check out the hotties online from time to time. We're just not really interested in sex with each other.

Well, correction. I'm interested in sex with her, but not if she's not going to enjoy it. I'm very concerned about being able to protect her and being the one person she can feel safe with. I feel that having sex, even if grudgingly accepted by her, will hurt her and make her feel less safe.

Now, if she mentions sex, I start to feel ill. It seems the only way we can make something happen is if she has to force herself to do it, and I have to be the one she's unhappy with. Somehow, I feel like I'm being set up to be the badguy.

I've tried the simple approach, suggesting we just try something. She's expressed limited interest, but then whenever I bring it up again, she says she can't handle it. I suggested we get some books, and she concurred. But when they came in, she refused to look at them or talk about them, saying they upset her.

She also says she doesn't feel sexy because she's overweight. But she also refused to do anything to allow herself to be sexy -- and everytime we talk about a diet for us both, it works out well until she absolutely refuses to eat healthy food. Pizza seems the cure-all for her.

I absolutely intend to stay with her. She's the best thing I've ever found in my life. But clearly the sex thing is making her as unhappy as it's making me, and I can't see anyway to break out of this trap we've set for ourselves.

I honestly don't know what the hell to do.


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RE: A sexless marriage

This is so helpful to hear some stories... as you all know, this is a very isolating condition. I'm part of an active community discussing how to improve marriages lacking intimacy, which I'll link. Good luck to all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sexless Marriage Help


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why to stay in sexless marriages?

I have read these posts and really feel for people.

But there is something I simply could not understand: why do people stay in this type of relationship?

I understand a year a couple of years trying to make things work but I can't comprehend why to stay their whole life in misery. Or i understand if your partner physically is unable to have sex but then he/she offers intimacy and physical affection or whatever else can substitue for sex. there is more to sexual relationship than intercourse.

But the case seems to be lack of intimacy and affection not actual sex per se.

This is 21 st century, divorce is legal, why are you still married? I understand if people have no intimacy but are happy without it and just go on with their lives, but people sound extremelly unhappy and lonely and yet they DO NOT LEAVE! It puzzles me. ...Why?


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RE: A sexless marriage

Cynthia - I found your story very touching - it must be hard to be here in this situation, with your family back in India. It seems to me that you must be very angry at your husband, he has hurt you deeply with his rejections, and that is why going to counseling with him now that he is willing is unappealing. But I would like to strongly suggest that you at least try counseling with him. Aren't you a little curious about what is really going on inside this man to whom you've been married for 5 years? For whatever reason, he has not really been willing to open up to you all this time. Many people find it terrifying to be truly intimate with another person. Participating in counseling might give you a chance to safely vent the anger you feel and then find out what is going on inside your husband. And he could perhaps get to a new place where he can actually experience intimacy and the joy that comes from it - and for you to do so with a man with whom you have already invested 5 years of your life. If you go and it becomes clear to you that the marriage is simply not going to work, you can leave and start a new life knowing you have given it a chance. Good luck to you whatever you decide. You deserve happiness.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Lael - A divorce doesn't have to be expensive -- legal fees in mine were only $500 or so. The key to keeping them low is to reach your own agreement rather than letting the lawyers fight over it in court. If you decide to do this, inventory your assets and liabilities (financial and physical), decide what you want in terms of child custody and visitation (or wait until your child is grown), mentally split everything roughly in half (so it's fair), then find yourself a lawyer who prefers to mediate rather than litigate.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Why does someone stay in a sexless marriage? Trapped...21st century
you say? It costs 5-10K to even consider the start of a divorce
proceeding and it can take years, especially over what has been acquired over the years of marriage. I gave up so much to be married and be
a mother (that I will never regret, as I love my child). I have risked my own happiness for the sake of a roof over
my child's head. I have been in a sexless marriage for 20
years...figured it out that we have been intimate only 100 times. I
am so lucky to have the 1 child who is now a teen and is almost out
of high school. The hostility is biting in a household that lacks
affection...it over rides everything. It is not a topic that really
is discussed that a man shows no interest in sex, or finds every
excuse to avoid it or any form of affection. Gets real old fast. He
does however, get jealous when another man shows me any form of
attention (weird...*you are my wife*). He is not my safe place to fall,
or in his arms, he is not there emotionally or physically. I have
discussed this so many times with him, therapists, doctors and even clergy... I kept thinking at one time it was all my fault...that
maybe I was just pushy about sex. But, it isn't me...it is him. He
gets so angry over the topic and whatever his hangup is (doesn't even
want to hear or see anything remotely involved with sex on TV or
movies). He has become someone I do not even like anymore, he is
alway complaining/fault finding about something/someone to the point of
nausea...and I know something is really wrong with his outlook about
sex & marriage (which was not at all noticeable when I dated/married him).
I have honored my marriage vows to the hilt, but I am miserable. All
I wanted was joy and love in my life...and I am no longer in love
with my so called husband...we're platonic, roommates per say. I feel
like we never bonded, everything is not a *we or ours* we are so separated in all things. There is just
so much rejection a person can take...but as I stated earlier, with
all the sacrifices made I am stuck. Women, you know what I am talking
about,it is not easy to start over, even at
my age. I work, but squirreling close to 10K is not an easy
task to hire
a lawyer to handle a divorce. I know now, it should have ended
years ago with 2 separations and then a reconciliation due to the fact I didn't have a choice financially. So, with many of his promises to be a *husband*
later...it has never changed. I cannot see myself staying like this
forever...I did not marry to be celibate, or alone crying evenings
sleeping on a sofa because I am angry and hurt, or driving in my car
because I cannot sleep next to him, because of tension. I keep hearing why it is never a *good time* to, excuses! He is no longer attractive in that sense to me anymore...I've just had to shut-off... But, I do
have a child and his needs have always come first, now I know it's my
time. Glad to know there are more women like myself in this horrible
dilemma. It isn't fair to live like this...when you are suppose to be
happily married, and do couple things, share and enjoy each other's
company. It's void.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I know exactly what you are talking about. Maybe some women wouldn't stay, but I know how hard it is if kids are involved. It is a fine line. Do you stay and leave when the kids are older and have them think their whole life was a lie, do you leave when they are small and upset their little lives in so many ways, or do you stay and sacrifice? The problem is possibly growing old and bitter which I do NOT want to do. I don't know what the answer is. I think men (or women) who are like this are missing a "sensitivity bone" or something. How could someone be so cruel...because that is what it is .......a form of cruelty (in my opinion). I have posted messages on the forum of husband not interested in sex. No you are not alone ---sad to say. I would like to start a forum about empowerment in relation to this topic, but I can't think of a good subject to type as the header. I want it to be about things like .........today I lost I got on the scales and lost 5 lbs........today I did this with my kids and it was wonderful and fun........you know ...things that make you feel good about yourself....independent of your spouse. I think these forums are great and it is good to get objective view points from people who do not know you at all. Great sounding boards. I just think we could use a forum to say things good about ourselves in relation to ...........hey my husband my not care about me in so many ways but today it didn't matter because..........what do you think? Any ideas??
By the way, I really don't think I am in love with my husband anymore either and it is really his fault in sooo many ways. I am trying to separate myself emotionally and not let his insensitive ways define who I am or how I feel.


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RE: A sexless marriage

My BF was married for 28 years, last 15 years of marriage were sexless, loveless and etc. Now, when they are finally divorced, they both are bitter and resentful that they spent best years of their lives in a marriage with no sex, no romance, no love. They both are angry that they did not divorce earlier.

When I first met him and we started just hugging or kissing, he would burst into tears every time because he was almsot never touched or hugged by another adult for that many years! He had almost no sex for 10 years and absolutelly no sex for last 5 years of marriage.

When we becamse intimate he was unable to do much at all because he only took care of himself for years and years. You know if you only do it yourself for that long, you have trouble doing it with another person. Now things are realtivelly OK, but I can see what sexless and loveless marriage does to your soul and your body. It leaves scars. I understand divorce is tough, i am divorced myself but it is unfair and unreasonable to stay in marriage like this.


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Hi everyone
How very Brave of everyone to come out and post on this difficult subject. I am new here and found this message board when doing a search on sexless marriages. I am a veteran of such a marriage. It has gone so long that I cannot distinguish myself from the damages/changes that occurred as a result. I do not know what I would have been like otherwise as I have never known anything different these past thirty plus years of on and off sex and sex that just doesn't work. It has been a long and painful process. Recently, I have entered menopause. I have never been overweight and have always mangaged to keep up with my appearance. So, I know that not looking my best has not been the cause. The hardest part for me, now, is knowing that my youth is nearly gone and I have never had a passionate loving experience with a person of the opposite sex with whom I could experience the things that young girls expect to receive from a loving partner who desires them. The of lack such a memory is probably the most painful part at this time. I have grown children in their twenties. Leaving or going outside of the marriage would be so out of character for me. One of the tools I have learned to use to help me to accept the situation is "detachment". Similar to what alanon teaches. I have been reflecting on this lately and I think the better way of explaining it is repression. Now that I am older I realize now why I never felt that I was worth anything to anyone. It has deeply damaged my self esteem. I also wonder why I chose to stay in such a marriage or even made the choice to marry someone I knew was like this from the beginning thinking it would someday change. Believing that it was all outside circumstances that were causing DH to behave the way he did. Perhaps, it also has something to do with my upbringing that allowed for me to make the choices that I did. I think that we the partners in such marriages/relationships might need same counseling in that regard as well. This is a very painful experience for a person to have to go through. It is so horrible. It is not just the lack of sex. Without that, intimacy also suffers. Children growing up see parents who do not hug. If you are not having sex why would you care how you treat each other? How can you have a normal husband/wife relationship if you do not care about sex which is absolutely essential to a normal marriage. (Unless is ceases because of injury or ill health which is out of your control). All of us who suffer through this, need compassion and understanding. We are truly a neglected and unwanted bunch of broken hearted people. My prayers go out to all of you. We are the most forgotten of all hurt people as this is a subject which is rarely addressed. I am ashamed of the situation and there is no place to get help as our partners usually don't even care about it. They are happy the way they are and only want us to leave them alone so they can keep up the appearance of normalcy. Many of our partners are decent good people in all other regards. If you broach the subject with family or friends who cannot even fathom what it is you feel odd. Most women are in the opposite situation. You feel as if there is something wrong with you that caused it. After all, they are not doing anything wrong. We are the complaining nags. When someone in this situation goes outside of the marriage they are labeled a cheater. They are then made to feel that they betrayed their marital oath. Yet, every day that our spouses reject us and make no effort to change, they are cheating on us. If you do not do something to defend against it and remain in such a marriage, you can bet that bitterness will creep into your life. I feel that such a relationship will damage your self esteem and taint every other part of your life if you let it. Let me just end by saying that it takes a very brave person to live through this and a very strong person to maintain integrity in the face of such odds. We all deserve a medal! Thank you for all of your honest and insightful posts. I hope this wasn't too long to read.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Tenderchichi's words are so true!

Well you know what, I spoke to my husband a couple of days back, and asked him how come he never tries to initiate a discussion. He said since there've been no fights, he thought things were fine. (I could've killed him then, I was so angry when he said that). He also said he discussed this stuff with our very close friend (A). I asked what he told A, and he said "I told him Cynthia isn't happy with my performance" I started ROFLMAO ... I mean, there wasn't any performance to begin with!!!

Well A told me to try to work it out, that divorce isn't as easy as it seems etc .... but that was before I knew what A had been told by the husband. Anyway I just didn't say anything to A.

I'm very angry about this - well I guess I just married a spineless sicko who won't admit to his friends/wife that he was wrong (or rather, wants to put the blame on me!), that he took his wife for granted, and now that he sees it crumbling, he discusses it with a best friend.

I told him that once I get a proper job, I'll move out, and then he can decide what to do about the divorce. Well I know that if he doesn't decide, I will. It's too much, having to suffer thru all of this for a long time, and to find that he wants others to believe that I'm the one at fault! Honestly, what performance? LOL again ... I'm not trying to be flippant about the circumstances here, but really, I can't help laughing at what he told A.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I can not express how wonderful it is to find this forum.

My husband has little to no sex drive. In the last three years we have had sex less than 10 times and for him it's over within a minute of beginning intercourse. I always end up in tears and feeling like an unpaid unsatisfied prostitute.

I have tried it all, sexy underwear ~ got told to put a robe on it just wasn't working for him, tried coloring my hair, wearing make up, and loosing weight only to be accused of having an affair. I have tried to initiate sex only to be turned down, and I have even bought sex toys and lotions nothing nadda zilch no response at all.

However ~ when he decides HE want's sex after months and months as not so much as a goodnight kiss, he thinks one kiss and I should be ready to jump all over him and be greatful that he could get it up. I just can't get past the months and months of rejection and no intimacy with a kiss.

I know that in the last two years I have let myself go. I figured that food was the one thing that NEVER rejected me, so 70 pounds later here I am. I guess I thought if I looked bad he would know that I'm not having an affair.

The pain of rejection at times is more than I can hold in. From my point of view I have two options divorce or spend the rest of my life with a room mate that doesn't do his share of the housework.


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RE: A sexless marriage

snacklady--

First of all I like the saying "spending the rest of my life with a room mate that doesn't do his share of the housework". Funny! I am going to use that saying.

Secondly, under no circumstances do you give in to that man when HE wants sex. What about all the times he turns you down. Next time he wants it simply say "Honey, I would love to, but I am just way too tired. Love you". Roll over and go to sleep. Might make him think a little bit. Men do like it when they have to work a little harder to get the women. It is enticing to them. However, these guys are a different breed. It might make him think a little bit. Too bad it has to be this way. They should be considerate of our needs, but..... Just don't give in no matter what!! Not until the third situation when he asks......you know a few months down the road. You are way too good for that business....being so available to him. He should be ashamed of himself. They think their "winkies" are sooo great. Well guess what ---they aren't .......okay sure they are nice sometimes, but the world isn't going to stop turning if they don't grace us with their "schlong"!!! Hang in there........put down the snacks ...for yourself because you are worth it!!


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RE: A sexless marriage

with a room mate that doesn't do his share of the housework -- I like that one! I found some stuff that husband brought home ... Seven Hidden Reasons Employees Leave ... I went thru it, and it applies very well to the situation we are in! The reasons cited are:

-The job or workplace was not as expected
-The mismatch between job and person
-Too little coaching and feedback
-Too few growth and advancement opportunities
-Feeling devalued and unrecognized
-Stress from overwork and work-life imbalance
-Loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders

When husband asked me why I wanted to make the final decision now after all this time, I told him to go read the Seven Reasons LOL and I said those aren't even 'hidden' reaons, they're so very obvious.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Love the seven reason!
It amazes me that there are so many women out there with this problem.
What is wrong with these guys? The post about the "chase" is so very true. Once they catch us, then some just stop trying, no more putting effort into a relationship. Marriage is work, mutual work, if it is only one trying to imporve it, that doesn't work. It has to be both.
I don't want to waste anymore time or years in a marriage that does not involve support, companionship, sex, love, and compassion. No one should have to, some men feel that they can get away with this type of behavior because those of us who are homemakers have no independant income to care for our own needs. That can certainly change, with degrees on line, in less than two years, financial aid, start building a road to a more positive and rewarding life.
I'm 51, back in school, even though I have quite a bit of education, I'm too old to do what I use to do, and have some physical handicaps. I started on another degree, and am half way through with a GPA of 3.83! What an ego boost that was. I graduate next September.

If I can do this anyone can, (what a cliche) yet it's true. Become your own woman again, empower yourself, don't abuse yourself, once you start feeling great about who you are, I will bet you, the Hubby will see the change.
May wake him up. If not, you at least have a future with some promise of happiness. Life is way too short to spend it wondering what could have been. Determine what your needs and desires are, tell your husband, if he is unwilling to at least make an attempt, then he isn't worth your efforts.
Sex is a very important part of a marriage. It expresses love, intimacy, desire, need, want, we all need to feel these things, we are human, and not meant to be alone, there is nothing worse than living with someone, loving them and being rejected. That absolutely sucks!
I gained weight after menopause, but even with the excess pounds, I am still a beautiful and valuable woman. I have so much to offer, and so much to give, and I can make any man feel proud to be with me!
I am not a teenager, I am a mature and capable lady, living without a man in my life is ok. Someday maybe I will find someone who sees me for who I am, rather than "what I can do for you" which is my scenario.

I ran into my high school sweetheart this summer, he is still "hot", hard to say "no" to that! Yet, I don't want a replacement, I refuse to jump into the fire, I refuse to accept anything less than what I really desire. I've accepted less all my life! I just won't do it anymore.

Decide what you need, and go for it. Don't let anything stop you. Worrying about his ability (or hers) to care for themselves is futile. Afterall, did they care about your well-being through years of neglect? This is not getting even, or being nasty, it's taking care of you.

Did you know the suicide rate amoung women are at the highest in their 50's? Gee, I wonder why? I'm not surpirsed, we raise our families, mature, hit menopause, and without the love and support of our lifes parteners, we feel all used up, empty.
It doesn't have to be this way, it is a new chapter in our lives, the kids are grown, or almost, now it's "our time" to start experiencing what life has to offer for us!

Don't waste another minute of your precious years unhappy, their are rewards to self-sufficiency and so much more out there for us, especially in this day and age.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Emily2006---

You go girl! You sound VERY upbeat and great. Keep us posted.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Emily-
You have given a lot of good examples for women to follow who share in this situation. I am very happy for you. How wonderful that you were able to accomplish so much.

I would venture to guess that many women in this situation are also suffering with depression. They might need a little push and recognition of a need for some medical assistance if depression is also involved. It doesn't hurt to have a support system also like a mom or good friend who can help out, at least in the beginning, if there is a need. Going to college and studying takes time and money.

I haven't gained weight through the menopause process which just started. I look good for my age. I still get a look now and then from the guys. So, I feel pretty good about that but what does it have to do with the DH? It wouldn't matter if I was fat, skinny, beautiful, tall or short! This is the way he is. Probably would be the same way with anyone after a couple of weeks! There are no easy answers. I think, though, it is on target to try to look your best for you and to feel good about yourself. If a women lets it get her down she can become like a depressing dark clowd that drives everyone away. Being happy and liking yourself attracts people. We need to be around people cause staying alone only worsens how a person feels.

I have thought about going off to college just for the fun of it. I spent many years working but haven't been out there for quite some time. I am lucky in that I can pretty much do whatever I want. I don't lack for entertainment.

I thought I had gotten over the facts as regards my marriage. Lately, though, it has a lot more to do with thinking back on it and realizing that I can't change it or the future (as regards romance). I don't see the point in leaving. I never went outside the marriage in the romance area and don't see the point in that either. Some women might consider it but I couldn't. I never did. Sex is just one aspect of it. Without Love, there is no point in it and it seems like a very stupid thing to do. Many of us have families to consider. Affairs break up families and the parties involved usually don't wind up with each other when the smoke clears. Many of us, in this situation, are between a rock and a hard place. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I thought I finally accepted the situation. I can deal with it but I don't think I'll ever totally accept it.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Following up with this thought:

Men and women alike who share in this kind of a marriage might be thinking:

"We are TRAPPED!"


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RE: A sexless marriage

I was simply astonished at how many other women faced my similar dilemma, and I did find some measure of comfort in knowing that I wasnt alone.
I laughed, I cried and I even screamed while reading all of your messages and I thank you all for your insight, your words of wisdom and your strength.

I have been married going on 13 years now and this issue has been a source of discomfort for the better part of my marriage. My husband is a good man in many other ways, but the lack of intimacy between us is literally tearing my heart apart. I tell myself (or rather convince myself that he is right) marriage isnt only about sex. I should be grateful for the many other talents he possesses (the grass isnt always greener on the other side right?). I cannot deny that I am so lonely for human contact that there are times I can barely stand it.
I did not grow up in the most loving of environments and I literally crave the attention of intimacy with my partner (for the longest time I really thought that something was wrong with me). We have tried counseling (couples and solo), he is currently taking an antidepressant and has actually seen Drs (all at my urging) in which I am grateful that the attempt has been made. I have discussed the issue of our sexless marriage with my husband ad-nauseam and its usually the threat of divorce that is enough to get his libido moving and the promises he makes to me of change, but that too only last for a short period, than it is back to the standard responses of being to tired, have a headache or just not in the mood. I too have altered my appearance over the years in the hopes of sparking our love life with little success.
I am generally the aggressor (for sex/intimacy) in the relationship to the point I often felt like a prostitute or a pathetic loser begging for the measly crumbs of intimacy he would throw at me, but I also knew that if I didnt act on the times he rarely agreed to have sex (which I felt was when his needs were too overwhelming for him to ignore) it would be more months of neglect. I want to feel like a woman who is wanted, needed and loved by her husband and to not feel ashamed for having these feelings. It would be an easy thing for me to have an affair and I truly believe I wouldnt have an ounce of remorse due to the mental cruelty I believe my husband is inflicting on me, but I know that will only add to our problems and not solve anything. I believe their are other underlining issues, but I am too tired of being the only one to always "fix" the problems that little energy is left to care.
I am 40 years old, and watching life pass me by is a bitter pill to swallow, but I am not without my resources. I am attending college to further my education and giving myself more options then when I first started. I also hope that one day I will find the strength and courage needed to make the tough decisions I have neglected for so long.
I thank you all again for listening this has been extremely therapeutic for me.
Take care and God Bless.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi smiley,

No, you are not alone. I was wondering if you have children? That makes it a lot more complicated. Even when they are grown. I gradually stopped "arguing" about it. About 15 years ago (a little younger than you) I realized that it was not worth it. At first, I became very angry at myself, then worked to accept it. Afterwards, I came to realize that the only person responsible for my feelings and reactions was me. I had people in my family (not immediate family) who have addiction problems and went to Alanon. Learned that I can't control anybody but myself. They say that there is a rock bottom for everyone and I have not reached it yet as regards the lack of intimacy. I do not think that we are the cause of, the blame for our partner's lack of desire nor can we control it. Only ourselves.

I do not know what I would have done in response to my situation if I had not had children. Perhaps a lack of insight or understanding of what it was prevented me from leaving. However, I went on to have children. I thought that I could change it and that it had something to do with circumstances, reactions to stress, etc....I doesn't!

I think we all love/loved our partners and wanted our marriages to work. We did our best. We still hold on and some still have hope. When hope goes out the door it is the final blow. Some will leave, some will "cheat" (not a fair word) and some will leave and divorce. There is a time and season for everything under the sun. When that time comes, you may decide to stay and accept it. That is a big sacrifice. You may need help with it. There will be good days and bad days. The realization will set in when you are older just what you have given up. Something has to replace that emptiness in your Heart or it will break.

Without kids involved a person has a lot more options and Freedom to make them. Forty is still young. Living with someone who rejects you, when marriage comes along with the expectation of intimacy, is a lot worse then being alone and not intimate. Someone may come along if you are single. You are older and wiser and a lot less likely to make the same mistakes.

Good Luck to You!


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RE: A sexless marriage

OMG! Thank you all for sharing your stories. I have been feeling so alone recently, and finding other women who are experiencing what I am is so helpful. I could truly just take excerpts from other's stories and piece them together to be mine, it's crazy!
I am 29 years old, married just over 5 years and been with DH for about 8. We have two adorable sons, 3 and 15 months, and we have not had sex since we conceived our youngest almost 2 years ago. 6 months into our dating, I found out that my DH had some physical/emotional problems with maintaining erection. We did not have sex until a year after we began dating and that was with a great amount of effort from me. Essentially, my husband suffered from painfully low self-esteem and self-doubt. I also made the mistake of feeling like I would be a horrible, shallow person if I let this be the reason I didn't want to be with this wonderful man. So I decided that if I could love him enough, he would someday believe he was lovable and could let go of his reservations at least with his wife! So I proceeded to do all the pursuing sexually and on top of that would have to do all the work to maintain his erection so that we could physically have sex. The end result of that was no pleasure for me. Because of his inability to have sex, he also has pushed me away emotionally and we are not intimate on any other level either. No hand holding or snuggling or physical affection besides the obligatory peck out the door. And he protects himself emotionally with sarcasm and passive anger. In the beginning I was up for the challenge, but 8 years later with nothing changed, I have quit trying. I have two very young children to look after and have put all of my energy into trying to make him feel better with nothing in return and I'm tired!
For the past couple of years with no sex, I think I was in denial or something thinking I could live this way. However, about 8 months ago I was at a party with a close friend who was talking about how when she first met her husband they had the greatest sex and that she used to tell people that his penis was made from a mold of her vagina, and I got SO jealous. That night opened my eyes to exactly how unhappy I was. I love my husband, and we still are the best of friends, but I don't feel in love with him anymore. I'm afraid if we divorce we'll traumatize the children who love their father dearly and that I'll lose my best friend. But (no offense to you lovely mature ladies)I am still young and am looking at my future and wondering if I wait it out will I miss my chance at enjoying a really satisfying sex life and not one that's just physically satisfying, but emotionally so. I truly could live without the "penetration" of sex, but I need intimacy and an emotional and physical connection with my partner. Without it I feel SO alone! Does anyone have any thoughts for me?


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RE: A sexless marriage

Mommybear

Its really awful when you arrive at the realization that you are missing out on something in life, it weighs heavily on your heart, doesn't it ?

Is your DH emotionally connected to the children ?

Does he know how unhappy you are ?

Have you talked about this with him?

Perhaps, you could do some investigation into how YOU can encourage him to change, show him how this is affecting his family, not just you, but the whole family.

If the children do not see their parents showing affection to each other, then that is what they will learn. You don't want your children to grow up with this sort of model, do you?

Take one step at a time, find a good book on this topic and read it. Talk to a counsellor.

You don't sound like someone who wants to throw in the towel and walk away from your marriage, without giving it your best shot.

Good luck to you, I hope you find some happiness.

P


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This seems to be a common problem, I see. Wow. I'm suffering from it too.

My husband and I have been married for 7 years, together 9 years and have two children, a 6 yr. old and an 18 month old. For the last two years, my husband's been suffering from a lot of work-related anxiety (he's a police officer). Well, when he gets stressed, the sex drive goes out the window. Add to that the fact that we're on different schedules (he gets home way after I've gone to sleep for the night) and having an active sex life gets difficult. It was common for us to go a month or so (sometimes longer) in between sexual encounters but I figured it was just par for the course what with the kids, the schedules, etc. Add to that the fact that I had high risk pregnancies where sex was prohibited for the entire 9 months. When we did have sex we both enjoyed it and had fun.

Well, for the last 4 months or so I noticed a distinct decline. I finally confronted him about it a few weeks ago and he admitted to depression and attributed that as the cause of his low sex drive. I asked him if he wanted to still be married, he said yes. I asked "actively married?" he said yes. He said he loves me and that it's not me. He's since put in for a transfer to a different precinct which went into affect yesterday. He says he's feeling apprehensive about the whole work transfer thing.

I am standing by him but it is very hard not to feel scared and rejected and unsure and anxious, etc. etc. We have a GREAT relationship otherwise. I truly feel connected with him and I believe he does with me. But this is causing some feelings of resentment in me.

I've asked him to see a doctor about the depression but he's hesitant to. He wants to see what happens with the job shift and if that helps him. But honestly, the sex has been on a decline for a long time. I wonder if it's me. I take care of myself, have lost the weight from the babies and, not to toot my own horn, but I'm considered a very attractive woman. I'm loving toward him and am a nice person. I'm not a slouch in the bedroom either, so what gives?

How many other women out there think depression plays a role in their husband's low sex drive? I know with my husband when anything's bothering him he loses all interest in sex.

We love each other and are each other's best friend. In all other regards, I'm thrilled to pieces with him and feel a lot of love from him toward me.

I'm so confused right now. This is really playing on all those insecurities I thought I had a handle on.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Thanks tenderchichi for the uplifting comments.
Yes I do have a son, he is 19 and has been on his own for the past two years. He is the greatest thing since slice bread. My husband now is not his father as this would be my second marriage (crazy.... I know). My son would be extremely supportive in whatever decision that I made. I have been going to counselors for years and God Bless them as it is probably the only reason I've maintained my sanity for this long.
I agree with you popi on the advice you've given mommybear with regard to the children. Don't think for one second that all your shielding for the childrens sake is working, they will feel the emotional struggle that goes on in your home. My advice is to see a counselor, whether or not your spouse decides to go, YOU will need that emotional outlet with someone that has no stake in your relationship and can be completely objective.
I wish you good luck!!!!!!!!
This is the best I've felt in a long time, just being able to communicate with someone who knows exactly how I feel..... You all are appreciated :>)


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Thank you for your supportive replies. My husband is very aware of how I feel. I haven't told him it's bad enough that I would leave because I feel like that would sound like an ultimatum and I don't like those and I don't know that I could follow through on it anyways. My husband is also very aware of the problem and has been in individual therapy for about 4 months and has been under the care of a Psychiatrist and on meds for about a year. We have also just begun seeing a couples counselor and have our 3rd appointment this evening. The problem is, it seems like he's taking the steps he thinks I want him to take to make things better without actually making the changes. He still feels horribly about himself and makes self degrading comments about himself around the children all the time, which I hate. I was so hopeful with him taking these steps, but now I wonder if anything will ever change, or if he's comfortable being miserable and that's where he's going to stay. He has told me that he's frustrated and wants to have sex too, but he's just not taking any steps so I don't even know if I believe him. AARRGGHH!
I just want to say again that I am SO thankful I found this site. It's just comforting to know that I have other women to talk to who understand. Popi- you summed it up exactly. I feel like I'm depriving myself of something I need and deserve in order to try to support someone else's needs. Other people have it, why can't I? Andrearn-ABSOLUTELY depression will affect sex drive. The really frustrating thing is that most anti-depressants will also decrease sex drive as a side effect. The only one that doesn't and is actually supposed to up sex drive is Wellbutrin. Maybe if your husband knows that all he has to do is talk to is general practitioner and tell him he thinks he's depressed and he's researched drug possibilities and it sounds like the best one for him is Wellbutrin. Most likely the doc will prescribe that one. At least that's how it initially worked for my DH. (unfortunately my DH had some crazy hallucinatory side effects due to him most likely being bipolar and not just depressed, so that one didn't work for him) Tenderchichi- your last post made me cry, and really think. I just don't know what to do. You sound so wise, can you write a book or something ;-) Smiley67-more than anyone I have identified with your story. You have echoed my feelings exactly. If I were you ten years ago, what would you advise me to do? So anyways, thank you all, and you're all in my thoughts and prayers.


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RE: A sexless marriage

mommybear- (If only it were that simple)
I would love nothing more than to tell you to get out... and get out now !!!!!(lollololol) but I cannot, as I cannot presume to know all the circumstances of your relationship. Furthermore we all have a different level of patience and tolerance for the partners we have chosen. You will know when you have reached the end of the line for yourself. For me if I had more confidence in myself at that time (ten years ago) I would be GONE... Life is too short to let it be wasted. I know that I have a lot to offer someone. The sad part about being rejected emotionally is that it effects every other part of your being and until you are able to restore that confidence ON YOUR OWN decisions to move forward will not come that easy (it's your self doubt that paralyzes you).
I have seen what other great talents my husband has and between contentment and complacency I am still here. I hoped I have helped even a little bit :>)


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RE: A sexless marriage

It is so helpful to hear of even more people with the same problems. This is a subject matter that you never really hear about. It is always the women that don't want the sex and men can't get enough. Well we all know that is not always the case. I have posted some messages on the "husband not interested in sex". In my situation, my husband changed the minute he knew I was pregnant and nothing has ever been the same since. Prior to the pregancy I would say that I was the one who initiated it more often, but 9 times out of 10 he was very willing. We used to have a very active sex life. (My user name was chosen because I used to be sexy to him). Now I would say on average that we have sex 4-5 times a year. To me that is pretty close to being sexless!! Now I will not initiate things--I refuse. I started that about a couple of months ago. He has a couple of times seemed more interested and I have turned him down thinking that the chase might be appealing. However, over the last 3 weeks I would say I have been experiencing rage toward him for various other reasons and this just adds to it all. That (rage) seems to be subsiding to a large degree ...but I know it is probably just laying dormant for a while. Have I wondered about depression with him. YES! Actually, even when sex was good I would have him classified as having depression. He also suffers some ED. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I have thought about my different options.....and really none seem to be real appropriate. It is just nice to see that we are not alone!! I am only 39 and it gets sort of depressing if I think about it all too much. By the way, he does know my thoughts on all of this.


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RE: A sexless marriage

What a surprise for me to see these comments, especially from so many women in sexless marriages. My wife and I have celebrated our 30th year wedding anniversary. I could not have been blessed with a more caring and loving wife and mother for my daughters. However, about eight years ago, our sex life came to an end. She has not sleep in our bedroom in that time and there has been NO sex as well. At first I suspected someone else. After several lengthy surveillances by hired private eyes, that has proven not to be the case. Months of marriage counseling did nothing but put additional strain on our marriage. I love my wife as much today as the day I married her and will not divorce her and upset our children all because of lack of sex. I have committed to living with this condition, and pray that someday her sexual desires may reappear.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I am in a very sad, sexless marriage. He stopped making advances and showing interest just before we married 10 years ago. This is where hindsite being 20/20 plays a part...If only I would have known what the future would (not) hold for me. I have never had any problems getting men to show interest in me, I think I'm pretty cute, and I'm a good catch! My husband is a hottie as well. He is not having an affair and he acknowledges this issue. He has tried counseling, depression meds, and urology testing. All is well, it's in his mind. He claims to want to and always makes it sound like we were "just gonna do it" I used to be the agressor but I gave up. It's no fun to be the only one feeling amarous. If anything sexy or romantic happens, it's me who does it. I am extreemly bitter about this and I get mad very often. Our son is off to college and I suppose I could leave but I really do love my husband. He is a wonderful man in all ways, except that he is not physical with me, so in essence, I live with a really great, good looking, friend. I had an affair that I came clean about and it really didnt seem to phase him. He said it did...could have fooled me. I'm considering another because I need a man. Someone to have sex with. Plain and simple. I feel like hell and I need advice but from the looks of things in this forum, I'm kind of in a "going nowhere" situation. At this point, I do not see much of a future with my husband as I do not want to openly disrespect our marriage again. Hell, I don't really know what I want. sob sob sob. Any words of wisdom?


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RE: A sexless marriage

I share your pain...if they really do not share your love and affection it is a hell that cannot be explained. Something most people cannot fathom. I have now learned to make a life for myself, and do things outside of the marriage. We function as a distant unit (if that makes any sense)...dinner, chores, pets, grocery shopping...but really nothing social. I'm lucky if he'll go out for a ice cream cone. There is no emotional connection anymore, it is almost like we do not know each other anymore (we've been married for close to 20 years) sounds crazy, but it is the truth. I have wanted sex, desired it...but for some reason now, having been rejected so much by him sexually for so long I cannot even see how or when I was ever interested in him that way anymore. I guess I resigned myself to the fact that it is over and it ended really before it ever began. All I have ever heard was *soon, we will have sex soon*..1x in the last 5 years! I have thrown out all the KY and other things as all the dates have expired and they weren't even opened!I am now fine tuning myself(emotionally and physically)it feels better. So...caligali....if you can stand to stay in the situation which sounds similar to mine, take care of you and your needs. Do what is totally best for you...:)


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RE: A sexless marriage

It seems to me this is such a common problem in marriage.
MY husband and I have not had a sexual relationship in many many years... I thought because of his ED, and other problems etc.

Then I found out he was looking to have a sexual relationships with other women on the internet... He found her, what a nut job... He had a whole profile going on...
Looking to meet independent and secure woman into the gentle touch... in a Adult web site.

Well he met with a turmoil of misery... I through him out...She told me all sorts of destorted stories of their sexual encounters... did I believe her at first I thought maybe this could be. Then I realized this guy is 60 years old, she was older then him....

How stupid I was, it was her revenge on him. Do I know why this happened, No probably never will... He lied to the very end... Told me it was a computer thing that is all. EZpass told the truth. Than admitted he needed someone to talk to.

Which is bull because he had me... He wanted someone to listen to the things I have been listening and listening too for too many years... I love him in spite of this... Don't know why, my insecurities probably...

We are together for about a year now, we will be married for 25 years soon.

He still has no sexual interest in me. I don't blame myself anymore he has the problem... He is lucky I am still married to him. The things this man has put me through all these years. I still desire him and I am still a desireable woman...

No solutions for any one, yes therapy, only helps a handful... medication only helps a handful...

My conclusion to all of this crap is the wrong people diffently get hooked up together...


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RE: A sexless marriage

Sorry for what everyone is going through.... lots of stories of those of us in the same position out there.... here's a new idea to think about... My husband and I have had sex once in three years, and not for the past two years. Lots of issues in our marriage, I feel, stemming from a lack of intimacy. In one of our counselling sessions it sort of came to light that he has a Madonna/Whore complex. That is, since I became a mom, he no longer views me as someone to have sex with. Says it would be dirty, wrong, etc.... but his libido is normal and other women interest him. He is not currently having an affair, though I believe he had an EA about a year ago. He has not made any effort to work on this issue and he is medicated for manic depression. I posted this topic on another thread, so I'll ask here, as well... anyone else ever heard of or dealt with the Madonna/Whore Complex situation? Sick.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I posted on this on another thread.

In my travels, I have run across women who have complained about this. I don't think that the label "Whore/Madonna" may have been used. It seems that the title fits, though.

These women are very sexually normal and happy to interact but their DH's like to cheat whenever it is available.

They treat their wives like princesses. They have nice kids and nice extended families. They don't leave their DH's and fight about it. The DH's love their wives and are committed to them and their families. They just like to have a variety of partners because it is available to them.

They just don't see anything wrong with it.

Maybe men and women are not wired the same way but then I wonder, "What about the women that they cheat with? What's in it for them?"


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi, Can anyone help me with this one...

I met the man of my dreams when I was just 20 yrs old - we fell madly in love but he was already married and so we did the right thing and finished our relationship. Our relationship was mainly platonic - he said that sex wasnt important.

20 years later, we met up again - WOW! Fantastic - and amazingly both divorced. Both ecstatic, brilliant sex, totally in love, we got together - that was 7 years ago.

After just a few months a problem arose - i realised it was me making all the moves and sex was becoming less and less. I asked him why he didnt want sex and he said he had a minor problem.

He asked me to marry him - he promised me he would sort the problem if i agreed. The problem was fixed by a circumcision and we got married. Still no sex

Now just to set the scene here, I am used to 2/3 times a day sex and my previous guys (2 x long term relationships) have both said i am 'hot' stuff in the bedroom and i know would have me back any day. I love stockings, sussies, basques etc and I am lucky enough to still have the figure I had 25 years ago - so I have no self-esteem problems, and i know i am a pretty sexy lady...

BUT, no sex with my dream husband who i love with a passion and i know absolutely that he feels the same way!

I go away for a few days - i come back and find sex pics on my computer. He says it not him.

I can count on one hand the times we have had sex in the last 3 years. I tell him I really need sex -he says he 'will try!! Still zero sex.

He goes away for couple of days and i find lots more of these pics - this time on his computer. I tackle him - saying how can he be doing this when he knows I am desperate for sex? He apologises.

I dress up to kill - I might as well be wearing a flanalette nightdress. He is just not interested. He says he fancies me - he clearly doesnt.

I know he absolutely loves me, he hugs me and cuddles me all the time, tells me he loves me constantly - I know he has got a good sex drive - but just not with me.

He Never touches me in a sexual way. I love him but i am now nearly 50 (only look early 40'x though so not too much of a dog yet )and have spent the last 7 years almost celibate. I really dont want to be unfaithful or divorce him - what on earth can be wrong with him?

Please, please help - Does anyone have any idea why he is so disinterested in me and prefers to 'go it alone' with his pics?


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RE: A sexless marriage

If someone wanted me to have sex 2 or 3 times a day, that would turn me off in a hurry, as a matter of fact I would run for my life. LOL


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RE: A sexless marriage

Even though this thread was created awhile ago, I still wanted to say how relieved I was to find out that I am not alone and that the feelings I was experiencing is normal for a woman in my situation.
I've been married to my husband for 8 years. Both of us are rather young (I am late 20's and he is mid 30's). We never had a really good sex life. We met each other, got pregnant (on our first encounter) and married each other rather quickly (5 1/2 months from the day we met until we got married).
I was already pregnant when I realized the full extent of his lack of sexual desire. It seems rather funny but, true.
At first his excuse was the pregnancy. He just didn't feel comfortable doing it. I was fine with that and I didn't push him. After I had our daughter, we decided rather quickly that we wanted another child. So, another pregnancy and the same excuse for avoiding sex.
After our second daughter was born then his excuses started being that he was too tired, too stressed, too sick, etc. I've tried everything under the sun to get him to be intimate with me. First I nagged and complained. Then I realized that probably did more damage than good. Then I said NOTHING at all about sex. I never mentioned it. That did nothing as well. Then on the rare occasions when we did have sex I complimented him until I turned blue in the face. That did nothing. I have had concerned talks with him encouraging him to see a doctor and seek help. That did nothing. I explained to him how much it hurt me emotionally. That did nothing. Etc. etc.
We have sex if I am lucky...approximately once every 2 or 3 months. It is not unheard of to go 4-6 months without it though. He swears up and down that it has nothing to do with me. It is all him. He is just too tired. That is his excuse.
I don't buy it. If he is too tired to have sex then fine. But, you can't be too tired to hug me, kiss me, cuddle me, so on and so forth.
The strange thing is that we have a great relationship when it comes to talking about everything else besides sex. When I bring up the topic then he is like "Oh God, here we go again!" He makes me feel like I am a nagging nympho.
Honestly, I could care less about the actual sexual intercourse. I can give my ownself an orgasm. I only care about the love and passion that should come with such an act. You can please yourself but, only to a certain degree. You long for another person's touch, to look into their eyes, for them to hold you close...
I don't even know what I am supposed to do anymore. I feel selfish if I were to decide to leave him over something as trivial as sex, besides I do love him. I would never have an affair as the guilt would wreck me. At the same time, I feel so horrible when I think I will have to put up with a cold sexless marriage for the REST OF MY LIFE.
There is no reasoning with him. I bring up the subject and he gets defensive. I try coming on to him and he ignores me and pretends to be asleep. It is like a knife going through my heart every time he does that. If I even try to hug him or cuddle him then he immediately tenses up and gets nervous . I think he is worried that I will expect a hug to turn into wild hot sex.
The occasional times that we do get intimate then he initiates it because he decides that HE wants to have sex. And I just let him even if I am not in the mood because I know that the next time he decides he wants to do it again will be in a LONG LONG time.
The actual sex is cold and passionless. No kisses, no warm embraces, no exploring each other's bodies.
He does about 2 minutes of foreplay but, I think more out of obligation then enjoyment. The rest is over within 4 or 5 minutes.
I am scared. I'm scared that one day I won't be able to live like this anymore. I'm scared that even if a miracle did occur and he changed that it would be too late. The hurt and the damage is already done and it goes deep.
If he all of a sudden became more romantic and full of passion then it would be awkward and I would be wondering the whole time if he was doing it because he truly wants to do it or if it was just for my sake. It is like a no-win situation.
I know that I am glad that I got to get that out.
I keep thinking that I didn't get married to spend nights on my side of the bed cold and alone.
Thanks for letting me vent.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Jonesy - yes ha! chance would be a fine thing though - what i said/meant is that 'i used to' have sex 2/3 times a day with my previous husband/partner. I havent frightened him to death honest! I dont bother even mentioning the subject these days let alone make any advances.

..and lorelei - yep, that sounds just like my man too. Like you, i just love him to bits and feel very guilty even writing this - he would be mortified if he read it! You lose the closeness of the relationship without any sex and it is just so sad - we used to 'make love' - not have 'a bonk' like my previous relationships and that makes it even worse. How can he just not want sex?

I know exactly how you feel -and like you, I dont want an affair either - I just want my husband to 'want me'.

To just throw something else into this little lot - after 20 years of marriage, i found out to my horror that my previous husband was (and apparently always had been) a transvestite. I had absolutely no idea that he had been dressing up in my clothes for 20 years! Unbelievable that I didnt know - frightening too - That's why we divorced. How can you live with someone who you think you know and who is clearly somebody totally different. Scarey stuff!!

This lack of interest in sex worries me so much too - it makes me wonder if my lovely new husband has some sort of secret too.

Oh well, it's just sad - but you're def not on your own L - i feel just like you. I wish I knew the answer for us both!


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RE: A sexless marriage

i am 29 years old. all my fun parts are intact. im not barbie but i wouldnt get kicked out of anyones bed. i just started dating mine a couple of years ago. we had a bit of sex at the beginning. i always knew that he had some erectile problems but he would get viagra and told me that he had no trouble going down on me and would continue to keep me satisfied through the relationship.

that would turn out to be a lie. we've had maybe 3 sexual encounters in the last 8 months and i was always the aggressor and i always left with no satisfaction if you know what i mean. i did everything. most of the time when i try to come onto him, he gets annoyed. sometimes he'll let me manually stimulate him after i insist. he never tries to satisfy me and i openly excuse myself to go masturbate in the other room.

he tells me he has zero libido. i got it. until i opened up the cable bills a couple of months ago and found that hed been spending 100 dollars a month on lesbian pay per view movies. this just about killed me. im sure you can imagine all the thoughts i had. he explained that hes been trying to elicit any type of sexual feeling in himself to improve our sex life together. he said they didnt really work and instead he was left with a wet noodle and scabs.

im trying to believe it but honestly.. i think its bull. hes never followed up on the dr.s visit. he got one sample pack of viagra and hes never gotten a refill. he has no interest in satisfying me sexually and its getting SOOOOO hard to not consider having an affair as im hit on pretty often by people i would normally be interested in pursuing.

i love my man to death though. i could never go through with an affair. i just feel completely hopeless. i never imagined that my sex life would be over by the age of 28. isnt it supposed to be just beginning? i too have started to care less about myself. i dont shave regularly and no longer try to look good for him. i only fix myself up when im going out with friends. i sleep on the couch pretty regularly. i cant remember the last time we french kissed.

i have a pretty large chest and even though im not tiny, its still large for my frame. he mentioned the other day how we'll have to get different insurance so ill get that reduction surgery i talk about so much. i asked him why and he said that when we do finally get our sex life into shape, my boobs will still be in shape as well because having the reduction will come along with a lift so ill get a few more years out of them. so it sounds like hes at least thinking about having sex with me one day????

i agree with lorelai. even if he does come around, im afraid that by the time he does, it will just feel false and awkward for me. i just dont know that i could take him seriously anymore as im already starting to consider him more of a friend/relative than a lover.

im depressed. ive started taking paxil for my depression and hoped that it would quiet my sex drive as well since i read that was a common side effect. no such luck. while the pills have helped with the depression, i still think of sex all of the time. almost every night i dream about it. this is torture.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I, too, have just discovered this forum and am relieved that there are others of you out there who are experiencing my day to day woes. I am 33 and continuely rejected by my husband of nearly 3 years (we have been together 5 years previously).

It was never as bad as it is now and I knew when he said "No" to sex on our wedding night that I had made a mistake in marrying him. We have had sex 5 times in almost 3 years. The last time was in the early summer of 2006 - we had friends who had been trying to get pregnant for 2+ years (with no luck) and thought we might have the same issues. My husband agreed we should begin trying (he was 39 at the time) and don't you know we got pregnant our very first time. I had secretly hoped getting pregnant would take a few months - at least that way I would have an excuse for why he should be willing to be intimate with me.

Our son is a true blessing and I am grateful for him. But I have become a sad, angry person thanks in part to my husband. I am no longer the person I used to be - gentle and loving. My only expressions of love are now devoted to my child since my husband has taken away so much of my being with his constant apathy to intimacy.

Sex is a key element of our being and I am being robbed of that very essence in my existence. If I bring the subject up, he becomes very defensive and complains that I am being selfish for wanting sex. Relationships can be built on either a romantic notion of love or a companionship notion of love. Usually romance lasts many years before the idea of growing old with someone as a companion comes to light in a relationship - he is fine with me as a friend only - and gets angry at the idea of me wanting more than that. We seem to be at different stages and desires about what type of love is feasable in our relationship.

Sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind - why on earth would I stay with a selfish person who makes me feel guilty about asking for one of the finest pleasures in life? He is a fine father, but why do we stay, ladies? And where do I draw the strength to follow my head and get out while I still have so much life ahead of me - life seems too short to be lonely and sad.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Been following this thread for six months, now. Incredibly interesting. Had no idea the problem was as common as I'm getting the impression it is. Also surprised to learn that pretty much everyone dealing with it is apparently opting to stay married -- even in those cases where there appears to have been deception involved.

I think dealing with differing levels of desire/frequency is common enough. However these descriptions are so far beyond that "normal/expected" amount that I find the levels of tolerance I'm reading about astounding.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I'm so glad I found this link. My situation is this: I am in my 30's and he is in his 20's, we have been married for 2 years and he has not wanted to have sex with me for a year. When we do have sex it's over in 5-10 minutes. I am not unattrative, neither is he. He just has no desire to be with me physically. He does however, like to cuddle but as some have stated, it's hard to cuddle with someone you're angry with. I have reached my limit. I am too young to be in this situation- he is too too. I want to leave him but many (mom, marriage counselor etc) are trying to talk me out of it. What I've found in past likks is that some wished they hadn't wasted their precious youth. Should I get out now or try waiting it out? Ps. He wasn't hugely passionate in the beginning either but definately more sexually driven.


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RE: A sexless marriage

So thankful to have found this thread. I've wanted to talk about this to someone but don't want personal probs to become gossip among friends or friends' spouses. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one in this situation. Going on 14 years with a very good man, good father and good husband. The fact that he doesn't seem to need/want/desire to connect with me in physical intimacy leaves me feeling hurt and rejected. We have sex maybe twice a year. We've never had a great sex life, perhaps more often though in the beginning years of marriage. He's also very physically exhausted and stressed a lot from work. He's realized it's caused toil on our marriage and is making a lot of effort to pay special attention to me... in every way except sex. I'm grateful in seeing him make such efforts but I'm still in my late 30s and feel that regular, meaningful and fulfilling sex is something that's just not going to happen in my lifetime. I do love him and can't imagine my life separate from my children. I wouldn't even know what to tell others or my kids if we were to go our separate ways. I also would not betray his trust by going elsewhere while we are married but I feel so trapped and frustrated. Someone else mentioned seeing our life go by in this trapped state is a bitter pill to swallow. We've talked about this several times (I'm the initiator of course) and he says not to lose hope, things will get better, but I'm not getting any younger. Frustrated and hurt.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I wish more men would respond to these postings. I really do, but I realize talking openly about problems is more of a woman thing. What makes a man just plain not want to have sex anymore? I just don't get it. I could sort of see if us women became very unattractive by gaining tons of weight, but this isn't the case in most of these postings. It is perplexing .............


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RE: A sexless marriage

Minie

You say your DH says "not to lose hope, things will get better", How does he think this will happen, if he doesn't think of ways to solving the problem ?

If you have posted on this thread, about your problem, you might get more input, if you start a new thread.

P


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi
I think he means "not to lose hope, things will get better" because we're working on our marriage in other ways like communication, showing our affection more, etc.... and the sex will eventually happen too. The lack of sex did cause anger and resentment on my part and so our relationship was in shut down mode. That's how he deals with anger. We were ignoring each other for a long time. We've worked on everything and it's been good, but when he shows no interest in me and the opportunity is there, the heartbreak starts all over.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Can't say mine is a sexless marriage. Sex only happens IF he wants it to happen and then it is without any touching or kissing just pretty much in out done. When I bring the subject up that we don't kiss each other anymore or that it just seems rushed and uneventful when we have sex he just says that it is my fault because of my mouth. I ruin it for him he just isn't interested in those things. Funny though he will look at porn websites until his eye balls fall out and any other nudy pics. anywhere but when it comes to his wife, sex is well, a weapon basically. Anyone out there have this going on. If you are a good girl then maybe you will get what you deserve and even then, I will get turned away at times. Crazy.


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RE: A sexless marriage

This is more common with Men then is noted. That is because the women feel uncomforted talking about it. Feeling they are inadequate. I also am dealing with this with my husband. But there is another forum it is under, called Husband not interested in sex. Please check that out too. Being rejected is one of the most hurtful things a person can go though when it comes to a marriage and one of them is not interested in sex. They don't realize what it does to the other person over time..


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RE: A sexless marriage

wantofeelthelove -

Nodding, yes, wanto. We are like a bunch of freaks. Our culture doesn't entertain the notion of men turning down sex unless, of course, there is something wrong with the women (us!)

That is why we stay quiet and internalize it. No fairytale romance for us. We were smacked good and hard across the face. We are unwanted.

So, we have to learn to sing a "new song". Unfortunately, we are married and have to sing it alone.


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RE: A sexless marriage

What do you think the underlying reason is that the man is obviously interested in "sex" and the beauty of a naked woman, but not wanting to have sex with his wife that he says he finds attractive? Could it be he is punishing me and using sex as sort of a weapon against what he calls me running my mouth and ruining it? Even when things are going well for a few weeks at a time the sex is anything but exciting. No kissing, he acts like my lips have poison on them. I practically forced him to kiss me the night of our wedding anniversary and it just felt all wrong and well, forced on his part. Any ideas HOW to get your husband interested in "you" again or is it just after time and too many issues inbetween the excitment for them just fades? Is it just about men and their conquests? If so that would be very sad.


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RE: A sexless marriage

If there was a miracle to administer to my husband after 20 years, I would do it. It seems there are plenty of us Wives who have Husbands who go hiding in their caves then to be sexual or romantic. They make excuses why they aren't honoring their Wedding Vows in the Bedroom. We aren't ugly hags! We are working Women, Mothers, Lovers (if they noticed) and their Wives! It is getting really old, I am pushing on 1x closing in on 6 years...now I have lost that *lovin' feelin'* for the man, cause I ain't getting any and haven't in years! I'm suppose to *hop to it* when the mood may hit and be prepared with a smile??? He wonders why I'm no longer *sweet and friendly*, when he thinks he may get around to making an attempt (maybe when the cow jumps over the moon)and all I hear are excuses as to why it isn't the right time, day, moment, month, season, reason to make whooppiiee! UGH! All I know is, it's about HIM! Miracle, where are you?


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi searching4 and lael00 -
There are probably lots of reasons why the DH's don't want to.

If they were like that from the start and young, then it is probably psychological in nature. Even if their reasons were to go away, they are stuck in it. Issues like pride might come into play. Also, if enough time goes by it moves into the arena of "If you don't use it you lose it".

Others may have changed because they are angry at their mates, lives, jobs, family...who knows and use it as punishment. Or, they might be thinking, "If I'm not happy then I'm not going to make you happy".

Then there are those that have a physical problem and it really isn't their fault. However, they would need to see a doctor and try to resolve the medical issue or get viagra if they are healthy enough. Again, Pride comes into play.

As time goes by, the wives can start to get nasty with them on a personal level and hurt their darling little feelings. Now, that issue gets thrown in with all the rest. Lots and lots of damage is done to the relationship as time goes on.

Women don't want to go begging for sex. It is humiliating and we have been programed to think we should be sought after. Hm, pride? You bet!

Let not forget the guys who feel that their wives are cheating them out of an exciting life. Monogamy can get boring for some men and they punish their wives. As if to say, "because of you, I can't be with others" and, therefore, "your not getting any from me".......

You will rarely run across men with refusing spouses posting on message boards. If they are not getting any, they will go out and look for it.

Needless to say, we are all in a very nasty situation!


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RE: A sexless marriage

I feel for everyone as I'm in the same situation. It's been a year and a half now. Same old story for the last 25 years. I'm tired. I've reached menopause now and have been going through the grief process of what could have been but never was. Why do we stay? For the kids? Are we all dependent and our husbands co-dependent? Have you all read the book by Patrick Carnes on Sexual Anorexia? It's good. It's basically about control but also many men have been sexually abused. The few times we've made love, I thought there was a connection but I recently found out he did it to "get the monkey off his back." You might as well stick a knife in my heart.


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RE: A sexless marriage

gardener972 -

Daaaarling, please.....don't think that!

He owns it not you.

Your feelings and emotions are hurt from the rejection.

If you were not in a relationship with anyone and living on your own, there would be no confusion in your mind about who you are.

It hurts more to be a couple and lonely then to be single and alone.

There is no way to escape it because you have to face the rejector every day.

If you read some of my other posts on the subject where I mention Alanon, it might be helpful.

Reason: You cannot control it, you are not to blame for it and you cannot change him.

When you realize the truth of it, then you are free!

He can't hurt you anymore.


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RE: A sexless marriage

It's a kind of living hell. What are we to do? We're married, and our spouse has cut us off, we are sexually neglected and sexually reject with no place to turn. Hardly, anyone to talk to about this problem too. Society's dirty little secret... and the sexual partner is left just having to do without.
23 years married to a sexually withholding wife, the last three years totally without sex.

Someone said sibling like... that about sums it up.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I would love to hear from those of you who may have gone to therapy (either alone or with your spouse) to discuss your issues and what the results were. A friend of mine knows of my marital problems and recommended seeing a therapist (not a sex therapist, but someone who might be able to better view our situation from an objective standpoint).

Before I am willing to spend big bucks, I would love to know if therapy worked for you - either enabling you to cope in your sexless marriage, detach, find pleasure in outside arenas, or move on with your life without your spouse. Please help!


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RE: A sexless marriage

hi lonelyandsad -

I had other issues in my life and wound up at Alanon. I realized from their teachings that I was powerless over other people. It was my epiphany. I had spent my entire life thinking that good things happen to good people and bad things happend to bad people. That is not necessarily true.

It is a process to go thru and one that may not suit everyone. I realized that it is a choice to be happy or sad. If we can't change another person then let go of it. You can stay or go. It depends upon you and the situation (obviously, you can't let go of a situation if it is dangerous and the person in question is violent, etc. ) But, you can stop being an enabler.

Your refusing spouse owns his or her problem. It belongs to them. You only own your reaction to it. You can't change him or her only yourself.

Of course, their is a grieving process and anger. The anger eventually is directed at the self for the prior mistakes. You may be married to this person but they are autonomous. In a way, they can't help how they are. Obviously, it is not a happy situation and they know it and can't or won't change themselves. When you realize that you can't fix them (or anyone else for that matter) only yourself a gift of peace comes over you. The belief that you had control or that you can control was always an illusion and never true. Not for you or anyone else. Everyone will face that truth one day in a way personal to them.

I have heard that therapy with this issue works for some people if they agree to go together and work with a therapist. I didn't have that option as my DH doesn't think there is a problem. He wanted me to go so the therapist could change me.

I am also interested in the results other people had with therapy.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi tenderchichi-

I have been reading your postings and find you to be very intelligent and knowledgeable - I appreciate your response to my inquiry. I agree - I cannot change him, only myself - but I guess I didn't believe it until I read your comment. It's funny - I work in ministry and pastoral care and I tend to believe that good things happen to good people, and bad to bad...but this marriage makes me question a lot of things.

My husband is the most tender man and a good father to our young son - he puts up a good front to the rest of the world in terms of presenting a happy homelife, though even he realizes I am unhappy (but does not care enough to change his ways). You mentioned Alanon - I should probably wind up in Over Eaters Anonymous - I have found that over the last 3 years I have used food as a way to fill the intimacy void - which has only lowered my self-esteem and confidence.

The first step in regaining my life is getting control of myself - knowing controlling him is not part of the equation.

In terms of therapy, my husband IS willing to go, but part of me is unsure as to whether or not I really want to invest the money and time to fix something which seems very broken. We keep our finances separate and I would be the one shelling out the money (since it is MY idea and he will go only because it is ME who thinks we need help). That is why I wish to hear opinions on the pros and cons of experience in therapy.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi lonelyandsad -

I think that you would need to decide what you want to accomplish in therapy alone since your DH is not very responsive to it.

The therapist can help you to clear away all the extraneous information. Then you would decide what you want for yourself and then work towards the goal.

If you find out what you want can't be given then you decide to stay or go from the relationship. The problem arises when there is conflict with making that decision.

If leaving will cause you more pain then staying then you have to find a way to live in the situation and still have some level of joy in your life.

For me, it was detachment (from intimacy). As each day passed it became less and less painful but will always be an issue. (after all, it is as if my arm got chopped off)
It is also dangerous to detach. If you no longer rely on your partner for sex, then you are vulnerable. When I read the pain in many of the posts, I remember how very strong the hurt feelings were to me at one time. Even though these people are essentially in sexless marriages, the bond has not yet been broken by them inside. When that happens you live your life together with no expectation of intimacy. It definitely changes you.

However, I am steadfastly committed to remain faithful in the marriage. A lot of people would be tempted to stray under those circumstances and rightly so. It would make perfect sense to some, to leave once the detachment process is complete. Why? Because in essence, all of the magic has gone out. At this point, it is not an option for me and I wouldn't consider it. Others might and deservedly so.

Would anyone consider my situation a success story for me? I don't know. But, I am at peace with it at the present time. I don't know what the future will bring or whether I will change.

I hope my thoughts have been helpful.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I have done the *Therapy Route*, plus the *Clergy Route* and here I still am...NOTHING. I felt like I was spinning my wheels. My *H* would duck and cover when we were getting into real serious issues, and there I was *Left* with still no answers! He doesn't want to go alone...or possibly find out really. Good luck!


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RE: A sexless marriage

I finally made the call to set up an appointment with a therapist - husband has agreed to go (so far). I feel great that I have made a step in the process of healing -at least myself, and hopefully my marriage.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Good to hear the news lonelyandsad. Glad that DH is making this effort. It will be an adventure of sorts for the two of you. It definitely can't hurt even if he drops out.

I've wondered how my DH would answer the therapist when asked "why"?

What would the refuser answer when pinned down? They would have to come clean for once. They would have to think good and hard cause they know a therapist would see through the excuses (if they weren't medical/physical)! I have lived thru that....all the silly excuses. Such as, "I'm too hot or cold, I'm tired, I just ate, it is too late or early in the day...etc.". And, the absolute refusal to see a therapist. When we were younger, I could not fathom it at all. Now that we are older, I think it is actually "real" (physical/aging) plus, it is proven that not using it contributes to losing it.

I hope it works out for you. Best of Luck.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I just went searching for somewhere to share my feelings and get some feedback from others when I found this site.

I was married for 25 years. My late husband had been somewhat abusive, so I was in no hurry to commit myself to a man again. I dated and was actually somewhat enjoying being single, although I did get lonely. The men I met were either ego maniacs who thought they deserved a super model, or they were unattractive, out-of-shape, boring and/or had no personality. Then I met (Ill call him Larry). We hit it off from the start, and were together almost every day from the time we started going out. When our relationship became sexual, it was nice but there seemed to be something a little off . Sometimes Larry seemed as though he was only going thru the motions. His love-making came across mechanical. Larry had been recently divorced and had not been with another woman in 23 years, so I thought it was just awkward for him getting use to someone new. He was kind and attentive to me in every other way, so I tried not to focus on what I thought might just be my imagination. Our sex life at that time was very active, however, with us making love 4 or 5 times a week.

We discovered that we both loved historic architecture and had always had a dream to restore an old house. We ended up buying a 15 room, 100-year old house together in an urban area. We were both in our early fifties at the time, but both in good physical condition. We started working on the house doing most of the work ourselves. The house had been neglected for many years and had served as a rooming house for seven unrelated tenants. Restoring it was hard work, but we loved doing it. As we saw the house coming alive again it was inspirational and fulfilling. The problem was that Larry became physically distant almost as soon as we moved into the house. He lost his job at that time, which was very upsetting to him, so he attributed his lack of sexual interest to the stress of losing his job. We still had sex, though infrequently, so I thought things would eventually get back to where they had been after his job situation was resolved.

Larry was so good to me in so many ways. He would do absolutely anything for me (with one exception) and I had never had a gentle, loving man in my life such as he was. My father was also abusive and unaffectionate, so being with someone I did not fear meant SO much to me. After being in our house for two years, we got married. The sexual decline continued until there was no sex at all. We have been married four years and been together for a total of seven years. I have told Larry how unhappy I am with the way things are, and all he does is say he is sorry. He has had erectile dysfunction, and I begged him to see a doctor. He finally did, and I was very encouraged he was willing to do that. The trouble was, he didnt want to take the medication that the doctor prescribed. He complained it gave him a head rush, and he didnt like the way it made him feel. He also said he was afraid it might be dangerous because it is a new drug and maybe they dont know what it does to the body. I wrestled with myself and decided to accept a sexless marriage because there was so much other good in our relationship, but now it has gotten to the place where he doesnt even want to kiss me or hold me. I have always been a very affectionate person, and this is just about more than I can stand. He is an attractive man, and feeling so rejected by someone I love, and sleeping next to him every night knowing he doesnt want me just breaks my heart. I have feared that perhaps he is gay and just married me as a cover. People of our generation dont accept homosexuality like they do in the younger generation, so men especially, will do a lot to hide it. There have been some signs that could be indicators of homosexuality, but its hard to tell if I am just paranoid. I have a daughter who was duped by a gay man, so I am fearful of this. I tried counseling by myself, and the counselor was worthless. He only wanted my money. I am becoming more and more depressed. I just dont know at my age (Im 58 now) if I could survive the trauma of a divorce. I honestly think it might kill me.

Thanks to all who have shared their feelings and stories. I appreciate any feedback.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi,businesslady -

I got a real feel as to what is going on in your life after reading through your post.

First, let my say how sorry I am that you are going thru this. What struck me is how positive and hopeful you were after leaving an unhappy marriage and hopeful and upbeat your were as you embarked upon a "new" life with your DH. It was apparently great from its beginnings and then turned rapidly downward. I am so sad for that result in your life.

From what I can see, you have now been left high and dry with a partner who is not particulary willing to make necessary changes to improve the quality of your relationship and return it back to its prior states. (which isn't very long ago)

From what you state, it seems as though he was able to (perform) sexually in the early years and then a loss of employment seems to be the precipitating factor for the loss of intimacy. You also mention being in your late 50's when impotency often crops up in men.

It is difficult for me to get a fix on what is going on with DH, other than what you state. I am considering from the history you give, that although he was able to and did perform in that area frequently in the beginning, you noticed that he was not all that into it. Wondering, if he was just doing it because you wanted to but had no drive to perform on his own. In other words, he never had much drive in that area of your relationship. Thinking, well, I like to cook but would rather not do it everyday. I do it all the time because my family wants to eat.

I think that DH is having some stress due to the loss of his job which is causing him to feel negative and probably some other emotions which are dragging him down and maybe making it difficult for him to want to participate in sex.

Is there anything you can do to motivate him into wanting to do more to help him get over this bump in life?

All the best to you.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi tenderchichi:

Thanks for taking the time to write.

I do think it is true that Larrys sex drive was never very robust. He went to college and from what he tells me, he never dated at all the whole time he was in college. I asked him why and he said he was too busy. He went to college on an athletic scholarship, so between the studying and sports he claims there wasnt time. I always found that hard to believe. Every red blooded American guy I know FINDS the time for girls, no matter what else is going on. He met a woman after he got out of college, and he thought they were going to marry, but he said he had to move to a neighboring state for a new job. He said after he moved, they didnt try hard enough to keep their relationship going. I think he really cared for her a lot. They lived in the east, but his father decided after retirement to move to California. He told "Larry" that he wanted him to come too. Larry said he didnt want to move that far away from his lady. His father became angry and said if Larry didnt go with the family to California, he would be cut out of the will. Larry said "Do what you think you have to do." His parents went to California without him, and he stayed in the east to be with his woman friend. After that relationship ended, he met another woman at the place where he worked, and they ended up marrying. They had two children and were married 23 years. They ran into financial problems after he had a job loss when he discovered, unbeknownst to him, she had run up $30,000 on their charge cards. (She was a stay-at-home mom.) He refused to file bankruptcy and instead told her she would have to get a job. According to him, she was very angry over this. She did get a job, but as soon as they paid off their credit cards, she filed for divorce.

He told me at one time during his marriage, he and his wife went six years without sex. (This was after she had to go to work.) He said "During that whole time, I was never unfaithful." I told him I didnt know if that was something he should brag about. I should have realized when he told me that, that something was woefully wrong. What kind of man stays in a marriage (without cheating) for six years without sex?

To answer your question, Larry did get another job. He doesnt like it very much, but it is relatively secure and the salary, although not great, is adequate. Hes afraid to leave the job because of his age. He had a hard time finding something, and he also has a very high work ethic. Hes in the restaurant business. My late husband was also in the restaurant business. I dont know how I ended up married to another restaurant man. I watched as it killed my first husband. It is damned hard work. I would tell any young person I know not go into this field. It can seem fun when you are young, but once you get into your forties on, its hell. On your feet for 10 hours a day, working nearly every holiday, running your butt off, dealing with kids (employees) who are disrespectful and dont care about the job.

I guess I still havent answered your question. I dont know if theres anything I can do. I have tried being upbeat. I assured him over and over that his ability to earn money was not the most important thing to me. I always told him, "I didnt marry you for your money. I married you for your cute butt." He is very much a "MAN" when it comes to money though. He always wants to provide for me, even though we kept our finances pretty separate after we married and split most of the bills. It seems to mean a lot to him to be a provider. I have always tried to keep myself attractive although I have gained weight the last two years. You dont say whether you are male or female, but for a woman, especially after menopause, staying thin is VERY difficult. It almost requires starving your self. After he cut off the sex, I was bitter and thought, why should I starve myself to stay thin? I have kept my hair long (I know most men like long hair) and it is blond. I always dress up every day when I go to work. Im not a pants kind of gal. I have always worn dresses and skirts. I had a face lift when I was 47 so I look much younger than I am. I could work harder to be attractive on the weekends, but it just doesnt seem to make any difference. The sex problems started BEFORE I gained weight.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi -

Before I comment on your post, businesslady, with the history as you gave it, I would like to point out that I am just a regular person and my opinions are only just opinion. I can relate to you what I think but I don't know you or your DH.

From what you have written, it seems to me that DH has had relationship problems before. He had to deal with a rigid parent (dad). There appears to have been a tug of war going on there. His Dad wasn't willing to let go of the control he had over him. That relationship was conditional. His father was, in essence, telling him to give in or else. Not a good way to interact in terms of family dynamics.

There were also some issues with DH's prior marriage. He claims to have gone with no sex for a number of years. He also claims to have had financial difficulties in that marriage (similar to your present situation). I don't think the loss of sexual intimacy in the prior marriage was due to the wife. I think that it was him and once it got started it stayed that way.

Now, he is doing the same thing in your marriage. Everything was really great for a while. It was "picture perfect". Then, suddenly, there is a tear in the picture. I feel that this guy believes in living in a fantasy. As soon as any kind of a problem arises, he gives up and crawls into a shell. When things start to get a little rough he bails out. You guys were going along nice and smooth. You had high regard for him and now it has all changed in his mind because the two of you are starting to bicker and he can't live up to your expectations (sex). In the past, you were satisifed and now the chain of approval has broken.

Now, you see him in a different light. He figures that there is no point in trying to fix it. It is ruined (in his mind). I think he is ashamed. He seems to me to be like a child who soiled his pants after his parents thought he was potty trained. The child felt like such a grown up and now everyone knows that he really isn't one.

I don't think that it has anything to do with your weight or appearance. I think that he doesn't care now because he feels diminished and that it is pointless to fix because now you look down on him for his mistakes and shortcomings. He seems immature to me.

In many respects, he seems like a very nice person. He also seems to desire to behave responsibly. It may be that he feels that he does all the "right" things and they don't work out despite his hard work and effort (I also get hung up on that when things go wrong for me). It might be that he tries so hard, it doesn't work out and then he throws in the towel (unfortunately everything gets tossed along with it). The dominoe effect.

Please don't take my thoughts as the final word. It is just my impression of him.

I may be totally wrong.

Hoping things improve in your life.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Tenderchichi:

I appreciate your feedback. It is always good to hear anothers opinion. The fact that you dont know us is actually beneficial because it gives you perspective without bias.

Now I have some thoughts for you.

You say an affair would be "so out of character for me." It was that way with me too, but I changed.

When I was married to my late husband, I did have an affair two years before he died. I had suffered with depression for years. He was always ready for sex, that was not the problem with him. He was just mean. I know the depression was because of the marital problems because I am normally a pretty optimistic and spirited person.

I had gotten to the point of almost being suicidal. Then one day I remembered something I had heard in church. (I know its ironic) What I heard was, "If you keep doing what youve always done, you will keep getting what youve always had." I thought to myself that the only way to break the cycle of depression was to do the exact opposite of what I had always done. What I had always done was work hard to be a good wife and mother. I went to church three times a week and tried to serve God and be a Christian.

I quit going to church. It gave me a chance to think about my spirituality because I had gotten to the place where I was not sure what I believed anymore. I asked myself one day, "When was the last time you felt good?" I remembered it had been a couple of weeks before when one of the guys at the place where I worked had been flirting with me. I thought, well there are certainly enough good looking men around here I could flirt every day for the next ten years. I immediately went downstairs into the Misses Department during my lunch hour (I worked in a large department store) and started trying on the prettiest, most feminine outfits I could find. I put about $500 worth of new spring clothes in layaway. I bought them just a bit snug to motivate me to lose 10 pounds.

I started flirting, just for fun, then I made a conscious decision to seduce one of the men. It took a while to decide which man I was going to go after, but once I did, boy did my depression evaporate! He was receptive and made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. Even knowing that people at work were gossiping about us made me feel more alive. I ended up having an affair that lasted four years. This man was there for me when my husband died. I dont know how I would have gotten through it all without him. He was married too, and could not get up the courage to leave his wife, so I finally ended it. It was horribly painful because I loved him more than I had ever loved anyone. I cant, however, say that I regret it. As painful as it was when it ended, it gave me a sort of confidence that I had never had. He really treated me everyday as if I were a goddess. The sex was the best I had ever had. In fact, I dont think I really knew what sex was all about before I got involved with him. Had it not been for our affair, I would have been a widow with very low self esteem and only the memories of a man who constantly put me down and made me feel worthless. I would have begun my new single life believing that no one would ever want me. Instead, I felt like a hot commodity with a lot to offer.

It may seem like its not a good idea to tell someone to have an affair, and Im sure a lot of people would disagree with me, but I dont think I would be the person I am today had it not been for that affair.

Hearing you say that you dont have a single memory of a passionate love makes me very sad for you. Dont think that its too late. Look around. Is there a man you see that you think you might like? He could be anywhere. I would say, GO FOR IT!

Another thing, once I started on the path to seduce the man I chose, I had a definite sense of empowerment. Like a spider weaving a web and anticipating my catch. It was quite titillating.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi -

Oh my! I can certainly understand, businesslady, how, under the circumstances, that a person may wind up being propelled into the arms of another. It is a situation that no one would want to be in and it causes much pain.

Newton's Third Law - Reciprocal Action: "To every action there is an equal, but opposite, reaction".

By the time I figured it out, I had children. Life was ok otherwise. Even though I struggled with the issue, I had no interest in anyone and couldn't even conjure up the desire to think in that direction. I just learned to live that way. It took a while to extinguish the desire to change it. It was a journey.

I feel for anyone who has to live within the context of that kind of relationship. I understand completely the need to find someone to share the human need for intimacy.
It just ain't for me, though.

It sure does sound like you had an exciting time!

As I read your story, I was able to appreciate the fun you were having and trying to imagine myself in the same situation.

Believe, it would never happen!


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RE: A sexless marriage

I don't know.. I would think some medicine or seeing a therapist would a better option for suicidal thoughts. I still just can't seem to condone seducing a married man just because it would make me feel better. I agree there could be times that ANYONE, and I mean anyone may 'consider' having an affair, but I still think free will comes into play, and many will not go down that road no matter how bad their life is. Even though your life may have been exciting and the relationship somewhat medicinal for you, just think of the unhappiness you could have/did cause another woman/family. You didn't just snuggle up to some single guy at a bar, you seduced a married man, and sorry but that says a lot about your personal character. We usually have more than one option when life presents us with big problems and I highly doubt having an affair with a married guy when you're married is ever the right answer. The guilt alone would eat me up; have you no shame?


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RE: A sexless marriage

Carla -

As many people who wouldn't do it are as many who do.

I have never considered it as an option. I do think that if someone starts to feel tempted to, they should step back and think hard before making the leap. Although, I don't like divorce, I think sometimes it is better to consider that before going into an affair. There are moral, religious and economic reasons.

Most of the time the damage done as a result is not repairable and the marriage ends. Often times it is a cry for "help" and a way out for the person without have to go through the mental exercise and stress of doing it in the more conventional manner.

I don't think the average, happily married person goes ahead with it unless they are miserable in the relationship to begin with and I wouldn't judge. I know how painful life can be.

Also, I would consider it an insult for a married man to try to engage me in that activity. I would feel that the person had no respect for me and wanted a safe person (married) to fool around with so he could be certain that we both had something to lose.

As much as I do not believe in it for myself, I feel compassion for people who are suffering in dysfunctional marriages. It is an awful situation to be in.


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RE: A sexless marriage

tenderchichi,

Your point being??? Not sure why your post is directed to me. Obviously, I feel the same way you do about not cheating myself, although I don't codone businessladies' behavior and would never reply to a post about someone having an affair with a married man with: "I was able to appreciate the fun you were having and trying to imagine myself in the same situation." What is this world coming to? Or, did I just read something wrong?

Of course I feel for people in bad marriages, but that doesn't give them the right to do whatever they please. It's not an all out pass and excuse to not have to be accountable for our actions. You may not JUDGE cheating and seducing a married man as wrong, but sorry, I do, even if you are in a really bad marriage. Obviously, people do it.. and everyone is capable of bieng fallible, but there's a difference in doing it and knowing it's wrong and doing it and bragging about it like there's nothing at all wrong with it. Most people would be ashamed of seducing a married man in a moment of their own weakness, they wouldn't/shouldn't look back on it as something good. That's the big difference.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi carla -

I agree. I, personally, would not do it.

My comment to businesslady was not taking into account that her partner was married. I was acknowledging the need for fun, joy, intimacy and sex! I understand the pain she was experiencing and was glad that she found a little happiness for herself. I didn't mean to condone it just acknowledge her pain.

I am in a relatively sexless marriage. I have chosen to remain faithful. I do not seek it outside the marriage and don't expect it inside either. However, I am aware that it is missing in my life.

Even if an affair does not break up a marriage it is harmful to the people doing it and their families.

As much as I feel that it is wrong, I don't want to judge anyone.

I'm sorry if I offended anyone.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Tenderchichi and Carla:

I was not trying to justify what I did nor did I think I had a "right to do whatever I pleased." It was something I had to do at the time. I could have gotten a divorce, but then my husband would have been all alone when he was diagnosed with heart disease, and he would have died alone. As it was, I was able to be there for him and give him comfort. As for the therapy and medicine for depression, I tried them both for years with varying problems. Suffice it to say they didn't work for me. Your comment that I should have tried therapy or medicine sounds like you thought I just did this on a whim. It was a last resort. I had tried everything BUT divorce.

I have to say one thing about your comment about my character. Character is a funny thing. I was faithful to my husband for 23 years. I forgave him calling me names in front of our children, belittling me and using our children to hurt me, knocking me down on a public sidewalk outside (also in front of our children) and many, many other things I consider every bit as damaging as infidelity. I never berated my husband to our children but taught our daughters to love and respect him. I took them to church, served other people in the community and ministered in a prison outreach, had a summer bible school for the kids in our neighborhood out of my home, took care of a parent with Alzheimers, in short, did everything I knew to do that I thought was right and of good character. I lived this way for over 20 years. One day, I had finally had enough. I knew if I didn't do something soon, I would end up wrapping my car around a telephone poll. So, how long does one have to be a good person before they can be judged as having a good character? If I had died before I had the affair, everyone would have thought I was a model wife and a "good" person, but because I chose to do something radical rather than kill myself, I have a bad character? I have learned that everyone has something in his or her heart that makes them less than perfect. Infidelity is easy to point a finger at because it's "out there" for everyone to look at and judge. But we all have something. Some sins are just more easily concealed. Tenderchichi doesn't have to go after a married man. But if her husband doesn't care enough about her to give her the affection to which she is entitled, how can he fault her for going somewhere else? Fidelity is not the only responsibility in marriage. Love is just as much a part of the vows as fidelity. If one person in the marriage is withholding their love, then they have already broken their vows. I heard someone say once, when we come to the end of our life, it will be the things we didn't do that we will regret the most.


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RE: A sexless marriage

"It was something I had to do at the time".

No one ever has to have an affair with a married man. Sorry, but you had options other than divorce. The fact that you don't see that is what makes me questions your judgment. You could be Mother Theresa otherwise, but the fact remains that you think you had a right and HAD to have an affair with a married man (in order to not leave your husband or kill yourself). I'm just not buying it. If you were that suicidal you should have left your husband or gotten better medical help. You did have other options, people do live through marriages like yours without affairs. It was the choice for you at the time that gave you the happiness you think you deserved; it's as simple as that. Did you think of the other family at all? Deserved or not, it doesn't make it a right choice IMHO.

ps: In my book, marriage is a covenant NOT a contract. That means you still have to hold up the end of your vows even if your partner doesn't. Not always easy but just because one partner fails isn't an excuse for the other partner to do the same.

And you say,
"it will be the things we didn't do that we will regret the most"
Again, if you are attributing this type of quote to your having an affair with a married man, I just don't think you really get what you did.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Carla35:

Why exactly are you even in this forum? You seem to be quick in judging the behavior of others, yet if you are in a less than desirable marriage with your spouse, you have neglected to share that information. And we are here for support and advice - not for someone to point a finger at us for past decisions.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hon,

I've been here for years and you, only a month, so get off your own high hypocritical horse and quite pointing your fingers at me. There is nothing on these forums that say we have to support what every poster has to say.

I offer advice when I think it is needed if I have something to share... Which I have done more times than you could count. And, if I see something that seems wrong or off, I say so... sorry, you don't like it.

And, let me get this straight, you're one of those people that think only people that agree with them should be posting? 'Free speech only as long as you're saying something I agree with'.... I don't think so. No one died and put you in charge. I can say what I want. You can disagree with my opinion all you want, but don't imply I shouldn't be here or shouldn't have the right to express my opinion (for whatever lame reason). That is just wrong on so many levels and the biggest type of bullying there is.

If you think this forum is all about everyone holding hands and agreeing with everyone, you are wrong. Why don't you find the Nurse Christine post and read it or some of the other posts? Kum ba yah!


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi -
Searcing for an answer, I found a scripture that I go back to when I start to judge or feel judged. I often fail but know that there is the better way.
The Way of Love
13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, [1] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; [2] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1Corinthians 13)


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RE: A sexless marriage

We cannot judge things accurately when we don't have all the information - however, it is what makes us decent human beings to discern right from wrong - when we no longer identify things as unacceptable, we become a chaotic society.

I agree with Carla in that we always have choices. To describe being perfect for 20 years is inaccurate. Perfection would have been to have dealt with abusive behavior appropriately - with boundaries and limits. To 'act' as if, is not perfect behavior. It is fuel for a ticking time bomb to explode 20 years later into doing something that will affect generations to come.

That's not judgment, that's fact. Judgment would be to say,
you're evil or you're going to hell. Rather, to say affairs are unacceptable because of the long term ramifications on children and individuals is simply a fact.


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RE: A sexless marriage

"...we are here for support and advice - not for someone to point a finger at us for past decisions."

You're here for your reasons and I'm here for mine. You say what you want and I'll say what I want.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Sad and lonely:

I am so sorry you are sad and lonely. I appreciate your attempt at defending me. I have seen Carla types all over the Internet. They are commonly referred to as trolls. This is the name given them because they arent looking for help and they never have anything constructive to offer. They troll around to different message boards and chat rooms eavesdropping on others conversations. Then, when they see someone who has exposed themselves or says something they disagree with, they jump on that person with both feet. All they really want to do is quarrel. They dont even care what the argument is about so long as they come out looking right. Their main objective is simply to parade their moral superiority. They are generally very hostile and insulting. They do this to try and illicit a reaction. I think trolls probably have very low self esteem. They cant feel good about themselves unless they can find someone worse off than they are so they can say, "Well, at least Im not as bad as THAT person."

I have found the best way to deal with trolls is to simply ignore them. Eventually they go away.

I wanted to say to Chi Chi that I went back and read all of your previous posts. I didnt have time to do that up until now, but you really have some good insights. Its obvious you have been dealing with this issue for a long time. You certainly seem to have your head on straight. You said one thing that really hit me like a hammer. You said that sometimes we take out our anger on our spouse, but we are really mad at ourselves. I probably knew this on an unconscious level, but seeing it in print made me realize that was what I was doing. I kept asking myself "How did you get yourself into this mess?" I remembered a therapist once saying that depression can be a tool that we use to punish ourselves. I am hoping that if I can work on forgiving myself for falling for and marrying a man who is physically distant that maybe my depression will start to lift.

I also wanted to ask you all, where do you get your joy? Women have such a tendency to get most or all of our joy from our husbands and our intimate connection with our husbands. When that connection is not there, we have to find joy in other ways. Do you have friends that you get together with, have hobbies or close relationships with your children? I was just wondering about this. Thanks for sharing.

My office is closing at noon tomorrow (Yeh!!) so I probably wont make it back here until Friday. I have a lot of work to do getting ready for the holiday. I want you to know I will be thinking about all of you, and I hope you all have a blessed and happy THANKSGIVING!


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RE: A sexless marriage

OK, now we're on to name calling? And, what, you've only been here a few days....

You did say something intelligent, though:

"I have found the best way to deal with trolls is to simply ignore them. Eventually they go away".

Is that a hint I should try to ignore you ;-)... Now come on... you're so fun to "bother with the truth". I can't help myself... I HAVE to tell people things they don't want to hear (sort of like you 'HAVE' to have affairs) because I'm so insecure and love to live vicariously through people with marriage problems. Or, maybe I've indepthly studied interpersonal relationships in college and like to help people learn from their mistakes to be able to better their futures, or maybe even, I am working on a Masters in Family Counseling and like to try to help or just like to read the stuff that's out there. Who knows???

Just because people don't take the nice or even a religious approach all the time doesn't mean their intention isn't in the right place. Sometimes I find people here have to be hit in the head with a brick to be able to see things clearly. Maybe not your favorite approach, but sometimes the truth does hurt, and more importantly, sometimes the truth really does NEED to hurt.

Take out your frustrations on me and call me all the names you want. If I have even made you think about not cheating with another married man ever again, I've succeeded in doing what I've intended. I truly wish you luck with your marriage problems and I hope you personally have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and will keep you and your marriage in my prayers.

Oh, and if you're looking for ways to find joy...best bet, volunteer in an activity or give time to help an organization, say for example, collect food and gifts for the less fortunate or help out at a food kitchen. Don't focus on trying to make yourself happy... focus on trying to make someone else/others happy... that's usually more fulfilling and where the REAL joy should come.


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RE: A sexless marriage

In my own experience, joy could not come from sleeping with a married man.

Self esteem is directly related to living consistently within one's value system.

Doing something hurtful in order to deal with one's own anger is damaging to the self worth, and cannot result in joy. Fun, perhaps, but it is short lived.

If I were unhappy in my marriage, I would probably do everything in my power to get happy in my marriage. I'd also find healthy ways to add to my joy in life. I know I would because i've been there and done that, with much agony, tears, depression meds, and have come out on the other side. It required looking HARD at myself, and no longer accepting anything but the best for myself and my marriage.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Even when I'm really, really, really short of money and really, really, really frustrated that I can't have what I "deserve" because of the shortfall, I still don't go out and take it from someone else.

Some people do that with sex. I doubt there's anyone here who hasn't been used that way at least once...and/or been the user. I suppose it works for the best in some cases but I've never known any of them.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Maybe it might have worked for business lady, but i wonder how well it worked for the married man, his wife, and their children?

And DID it work for business lady? Where is she now? That's a hypethetical question. this is twice (three) times now she's mixed up with an emotionally unavailable man. I don't see that as so great.

Sorry Business, you've become a topic more than a person - that's what happens here, but we're all trying to relate stories to general life, and here is a philosophical question, we're all quite interested in for whatever reason.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi -

businesslady: "You said that sometimes we take out our anger on our spouse, but we are really mad at ourselves."

I don't take my anger out on DH. Strange as it is, DH is more angry at me. Maybe because I do not pursue anymore.

Often times the refused becomes the refuser. Not necessarily on purpose. Why would you keep beating a dead horse? It becomes normal for you and you adjust. Imagine if you went to live some place where it was unusually cold. You would miss the change of seasons. You would bundle up to keep warm. After a while you would adjust to it. You could leave but you put down roots and had a family, job, etc. Those are some of the practical reasons. In the situation at hand, however, there are additional variables. Those being, moral, ethical, religious etc. If those reasons did not exist, then (we) could take mini vacations to tropical islands (affairs) to tide us over the frigid weather. But, our situation is complex and other people's lives (as well as our own) can be torn apart.

businesslady "we are really made at ourselves"

That seems true enough. We went into a situation without "emotional intelligence". That is a skill that often times is learned from our family of origin. A script for our life. Or, a roll of the dice. We made important life decisions without the maturity, wisdom, experience to know better and got "set up" for failure. There isn't really a reason or need to seek blame at this point. What good does it do? During the process of coming to terms with it, yes, we might go on a journey seeking answers. At first, we try to figure out what caused the spouse to be that way. (does it matter whether it is drinking, violence, sexual anorexia or any other thing?) You finally realize that you can't figure anybody else out nor can you fix somebody else only yourself.

During this process you might experience small little glimpses of understanding. There are moments where you realize that there really isn't any controlable reason for it. What is good about it is that you come to realize that there will never be a place of permanent comfort that you can sit in. Just when you think that you have gotten a handle on life and 'believe' that you have reached homeostasis something or someone comes along to throw a monkey wrench into the illusion of comfort and safety.

I think that the biggest problem with relating to this issue is the deeply personal and complex nature of it. When people address posts about money, affairs, drinking, domestic violence, etc. there isn't the element of the profound personal rejection that goes along with this. It is obvious that the drinker or beater owns the problem. A women who is beaten and violently abused or denied the economic resources to raise her children and sustain life will immediately be told to get out of the situation. People in those situations are in danger and need help. When intervention occurs there is an obvious positive result. Our "scars" are invisible. There is no blood or gaping wounds or starving children. That is why we are left to feel not just alienated from our spouses but other people. We are like the lepers of old who are sent off to live on an island. Who could understand us better but other lepers? And, lepers tend each others' wounds.

We are also in danger of depression and anxiety as well as ill health. Sometimes physical danger as some may argue and fight to the point where violence can occur. It can get very destructive. No one can intervene unless you do it yourself.

That is where, I think, Faith comes into play. Faith is, to me, the Belief in a Future. It is possible that the situation can be overcome even if the spouse never changes. You have to decide what it is you want from Life and if he or she comes along with it. If they don't then letting go of them and the resources that go along with them. If the loss is only about fear of tangible goods then you will have no joy only disappointment and frustration. You will lose all hope. Fear is the absence of Hope.

Perhaps, Forgiveness might be at the core of moving on. Often times when a person forgives, they do so conditionally. Expecting something in return. "I will forgive you if you do_____(fill in the blank). It would be really nice if that would happen and from time to time it does. Forgiveness means that before the person who hurt you does anything to address your pain, you forgive without any expectation. That disconnects you from what they did/are doing to hurt you. Sometimes they don't think they did anything are shocked at the revelation and can't understand that there should be any issue at all. No one has to stay in a situation that continuously causes them pain. If you can't get above it then you will be a player in the game of anger and hostility. The damage done is obvious as the bitterness comes to taint the surroundings. A decision needs to be made or you wind up staying in this hell of your own making. There is no way out. If an individual is having a problem with deciding whether to stay or go and the reasons are spiritual in nature then you need to explore your relationship with G_d. He never gives us more than we can bear and when things are rough He opens a door. He makes a way. Maybe we look for permission to do what we know would be the right thing for our life. I think a person needs to reach down deep inside to get it. Whether you decide to stay where you are or go must come from within you. Whatever anyone decides is a deeply personal decisions and they are the ones that need to do the work necessary in order to find the strength and peace necessary to live out their life as fully and abundantly as they were meant to.

Jerimiah 1-5
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you
before you were born I set you apart"


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RE: A sexless marriage

I totally feel like I'm in a marriage by myself. I've communicated my need for intimacy over and over again. We have been married for almost four years and things are just getting worst. I have a 7mth old baby and I'm contemplating leaving next year if things do not improve. This lack of intimacy has been shattering my self-esteem and I just refuse to go on like this. I am in counseling to deal with me and issues involving all types of abuse that took place in my childhood... I plan to continue counseling , but I know that this relationship will not improve. I find myself fantasizing about being on my own and I'm just convinced that I will be better off. I wish all of you the best and hopefully unlike me you want to work it out...


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RE: A sexless marriage

Well, here is a post from the other side. I am 30 yrs old and I've been with my wife for around 3 yrs now but we've only been married for 1 year. We have probably had sex only 10 times in the last 12 months and I must admit it is basically due to my refusal to have it. Most of the time the problem is that I really just am not in the mood. When i am in the mood, for whatever reason, i would rather masturbate and gratify myself this way - and I do. I know this is completely selfish of me but the truth of it is, I have lost almost all desire to be physically intimate with my wife. I don't really know why. The crazy thing is that my wife is very beautiful and sexy and has a wonderful body. I am attracted to her from the standpoint that I acknowledge her as being beautiful and truly am honored and proud to be with her and I know that many people see her as very beautiful and many guys would love to be with her. However, even though I think she's beautiful, that doesn't equate to me wanting to be physical and wanting to have sex with her at least not anymore. When we first met, this was obviously one of the main reasons we were together - because we were very attracted to each other. But this sexual attraction has unfortunately diminished. I am confused as to why I am feeling this way or why this has happened. For whatever reason, now, when I "get in the mood" and gratify myself, I tend to think about my past and previous sexual escapades with other females that I had before meeting my wife. When we met we were all over each other and the first couple years, sex was great and passionate and we had it several times a week. But it has declined significantly and now we rarely have sex. I know she is completely fed up with my coldness and although she doesn't want to bring it up a lot, when she does, it usually turns into a fight. It's important to note that one reason I may shy away from having sex is that I have always suffered from Premature Ejaculation. Having to have sex and not being able to last long is very humiliating and sometimes it feels better to avoid a situation like that then failing to satisfy your partner. It's also important to note that my wife is one of those women who has never had an orgasm (or so she claims). She had a few partners/boyfriends before me and she says she wasn't able to have orgasms with them either. She says it's always been a problem for her and has told me that we she has been close many times. She claims that if I last longer and if we try harder then she might be able to orgasm. She claims that she can not orgasm because it is just "too much for her to handle" physically and it overwhelms her she gets to the brink but just cant get there. I don't really know how to explain that but that's what she says. I know it bothers her a lot. It has me confused thoroughly since I was able to bring previous girlfriends to orgasm in the past. However, the fact is, we have tried many times, especially early in our relationship, and there have been many times when I have been able to last long (30min to 1 hour or more) but she still wasn't able to achieve an orgasm. I've even taken Viagra a few times which basically allowed me to have sex all night but she still couldn't have orgasms then either. We have tried toys and all sorts of lubricants, etc and those were fun but like everything else, it failed to get her to climax and they eventually lose their appeal. Needless to say, those toys are now collecting dust. So my reasons for not wanting to have sex are related to both with my frequent inability to last long coupled with her lack of ability to reach orgasm - not a good mix. She claims that sex is still good even though she doesn't orgasm but it just seems like a waste of time on both our parts to go through the whole charade. I wonder what the point is. I know people will say sex is about expressing your love for that person, etc, etc, but to me, if I cant last, and if she cant get off, whats the point. Why bother? I havent given up completely but now it's getting to the point where I recently had sex with her and I could not get myself into it at all and I had a hard time maintaining an erection simply because I wasn't into it. I realize that the longer we go without having sex the worse off it is but I don't know how to get myself to wanting my wife physically again. I know she tries hard to get me into the mood and she even buys nice lingerie and stuff and when I turn her down I feel really bad. But the fact is, lingerie doesnt do anything for me. Ive read a lot of women on here saying that they get all dressed up and made up and stuff to get their man in the mood but what women dont understand is that that kind of stuff really does nothing for a man - at least not for me and most other guys. If he isnt in the mood in general, dressing up in sexy lingerie wont do anything. As rude as this sounds, unless you are a different woman in lingerie, its not going to do anything. This brings up another point: I had been with many other women in the past so sexual variety is what really kept me going. I think now that Im relegating myself to one woman, its taking its toll and Im getting bored with the monogamous relationship. Please note, I have NO plans to cheat on my wife. But I really think that Im getting bored sexually in addition to the aforementioned problems. The thrill of the hunt is no longer there so theres somewhat of a void there. I do love my wife so much and she loves me too but this part of our relationship is really in trouble and eventually its going to create major problems. Im not sure what to dothanks for letting me vent. Any comments are appreciated.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Maybe if she tried a long Blonde wig with that new lingerie it'd get you going - LOL

I really think you are taking to heart and blaming yourelf for your wife not being able to climax. Let me tell you; she's got a problem and it's not you. She should be able to climax even without you. Has she talked to a medical professional herself? Granted, maybe she is very content with the way she is, but it's bringing you down... no pun intended. It sounds like you have tried to solve or correct your problem, but it hasn't helped her at all. You're doing all you can. I'd tell her it really bothers you that she doesn't climax and that's it's not just her problem, but yours too since it's probably affecting your sex drive towards her. At least that's what I would think is happening. I'm not sure I would be attracted to a man I knew I could never really please. Ask her to talk to someone.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Carla35 - the fact is, she already has long blond hair...so the wig wouldn't help! thx tho! ;)


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RE: A sexless marriage

About the lingerie thing.....

Can be very enticing. Can be a wonderfully enhancing gift to the partner.....if everything else is OK. However, it can also be an unspoken announcement. Like..."OK, big boy, I'm doing my part here so you're really going to perform tonight, aren't you?" Then if things don't go according to expectations, it becomes another chip in the blame-game. Fun and enticement can be turned into a bad-news sexual set-up without any words being spoken. Scenarios assume mutual assent. If, as in nick2007's case as he described it, so many things are wrong to begin with it can be just one more complication in and already bad mix.

Condensing...I view it as an enhancement to something that already works. I don't see it as a solution or even part of one.

Solutions or help for what nick2007 described? Don't have.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Nick2007- Do you have kids? My husband has the ability to acknowledge that I am attractive but has no interest in having sex with me anymore. That developed after we had kids. Prior to having kids, we had a "normal" sexual relationship. I'm curious as to whether something changed in your relationship such as having kids....


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RE: A sexless marriage

I never post to this forum, but Nick's post compels me to do so. Nick, please get yourself and your wife to a sex counselor or marriage counselor that works with sexual issues. I'm sure that a competent therapist can solve your problems or at least help a great deal. Some women never orgasm, but that is rare. Given your decription of the situation, your reaction is perfectly understandable to me. Don't let it continue. Also, do some reading; there are many sex advise books out there. You and your wife may have some misconceptions about what's going on and what is needed. Good luck.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Thanks everyone for your comments.

The problem with lingerie and those types of things is that I already see my wife naked everyday and we even shower together sometimes so having her dress up in lingerie doesn't do anything for me for some reason. (There even used to be fun sex in the shower but the desire for that is completely gone as well. I know she still wants to though...)

According to her she has never reached orgasm even when masturbating. In fact, she doesn't really masturbate anymore because she says she can't ever reach climax. So I know she doesn't practice it (maybe she should). But I guess I should practice methods of lasting longer as well. But I guess I have to address the issue of even wanting to have sex again to begin with and being intimate in the first place. I'm having major problems getting aroused by her and even wanting to kiss and make out and this really scares me! I know she's never seen a doctor regarding her issue of not reaching climax and neither have I with my PME.

sohurt - We don't have kids yet so that really has nothing to do with my lack of desire sexually to her. I too see my wife as a gorgeous woman and am proud to be out in public with her as she gets a lot of stares and is always being hit on by random guys during the day. However, looking to the future, I really hope I don't experience the problems you are going through but I see them as very possible for me too once my wife has kids. Guess I should be more positive...

We have in fact actually recently starting seeing a marriage counselor and the sex issue will definitely be coming up soon - we just haven't gotten their yet. We've got some other issues that are being addresses. And the counselor so far has definitely helped us with those so far. So I'm sure all this will come out and be discussed. Because none of these details I've described above have been talked about yet. We are both fully aware of them but don't really talk about them much.

Definitely need help!


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RE: A sexless marriage

I'm just throwing this out there... but, do you think you could subconsciously think your wife is too good (physically) for you? It sounds like she's model material and we know nothing of you. If you are say, just average, (and have PME problems on top of that), you may be very insecure with her looking so good. I know a couple this has happened to. The husband's 'insecuritites' made him not sleep with her. It was like he wanted to make her feel undesired to be more on level with him because he was jealous of her beauty. Does that make sense... Could that subconsciously be going on with you?

And, do either one of you take medicines? I know it's been discussed here on many threads but various medicines can affect sexual desires and climaxing. I think steve probably hit the nail on the head though... your wife may not know what is needed for her to climax... a book may help (or, heck, even a good bottle of wine!).

I have a feeling your counselor will be able to help. Good luck and keep us updated because I know a lot of people on these threads would be interested to know what happens and if you ever figured out what the problem was and how to resolve it.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Yearning for His Touch

My head laying softly on the pillow..
I stare over in the darkness..
Yearning for the man I married to want me
Tears fill my eyes as another night gos by with our his touch or reach..
What is wrong here..
A sex that seemed once so great
My thoughts go wild : he has no desire for me anymore
I hurts so bad inside.
Him touching me only to get it over now.
As my thoughts so believe

Husband not interested..
Is there another woman
Or does he enjoy pleasing himself only..
Or sex is not of interest to him anymore
Other things go though my head..
My thoughts so many..
As I hurt inside..

If only I looked better..
Was skinnier
Looked younger..
Dressed better..
Will this help
Or could it be the way I act..
Am I a turn off
I just dont know ..
My thought go on..

What is really going on..
Do I go on like this..
DO I just keep letting it go..
Can Imy thoughts so wild

When you choose to marry someone, sex is a very big part of a marriage. If you do not share the same feeling about sex with your spouse or significant other ..It gets hard, especially when you are unable to talk about it, or wont. Someone is going to get hurt. Get help if you really love each other and want your marriage to work..


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RE: A sexless marriage

Carla35 - thx for the suggestion but that is absolutely NOT the case. I am very secure with how i look. I know I am quite attractive and always have been considered so. That's def not it.

Neither one of us is on medication either.

I truly need to dig deep to find out why i just don't want to be physically intimate anymore with my wife or why she just isn't doing it for me anymore. I don't know why I have to think of other women to get turned on since this was never a problem to begin with...


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RE: A sexless marriage

Here's another idea that probably isn't it, but how about... are you afraid of getting her pregnant and/or having a child with her?

Here's some info from Wikipedia... Maybe you can find some ideas there:

Here is a link that might be useful: ISD


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RE: A sexless marriage

carla35 - I'm not afraid of getting her pregnant or having a child either.

However, ISD sounds interesting but the problem with that is that I'm not disintersted in sex. Rather I'm disintersetd in sex with HER. I think about sex with other women (past girlfriends) but can't seem to gather the sexual energy to focus on my wife anymore like i used to. Things were so great at first and now it's fading fast.

Now I'm even more weary of having sex with her dreading the possibility of not being able to maintain an erection from not being turned on at all. Which in turn would cause her great emotional pain I'm sure and I definitely don't want to hurt her.

Some people here may read this thinking that I just dont' love my wife and that we're not meant to be together or that we're not communicating or not close enough or whatever. The fact is, I LOVE my wife, I love being married to her and she's my best friend, I tell her everything (except of course going into details about my recent sexual apathy towards her). I wish I didnt' think about sex with other women. I really wish I would be able to come home every night and just want to ravage my wife but I just don't feel like doing that ever. It's so weird. I think having many sexual partners in the past spoiled me in a way and now I'm just getting bored with having to be with one woman. The thing is the first couple years were great with my one girlfriend but the first year of marriage has only made my sexual desire diminish. I never thought I would get "bored" so soon in life! I always thought that maybe older couples after 25-50 years of marriage would eventually lose interest or get bored with their partners but never thought it would happen to me at the age of 30 and after only 1 yr of marriage...


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RE: A sexless marriage

But, Nick according to the link..

"ISD may also be either situational to the partner (where he/she has interest in other persons, but not toward the partner)"... that's why I thought of you. I would look into ISD further. And, can't recall if you are, but if you're using porn, stop for the time being. It's probably only hurting matters. I think there's something going on other than just normal marriage boredom. I'm sure you can get more to the the root of it with a good therapist. I agree with you though, don't mention your total lack of desire for your wife to her; doesn't seem like a good move.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Nick -

Do you know what limerence is or have you ever experienced it? Definition taken from Wikipedia:

"Limerence, as posited by psychologist Dorothy Tennov, is an attempt at a scientific study into the nature of romantic love. The meaning of the word, which was coined by Tennov in 1977, is an involuntary cognitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intense romantic desire for another person, the limerent object."

Some people fall in love and live out their lives happily attached with no need for being in this state. Others have experienced it and need to feel this way in order to fall in love and marry. It can sustain for a very long time. Are you feeling this for someone else even if unrequited?

Sometimes people wind up in relationships where their partner is limerent but they are not. They think that everything will work out because they ride in the wake of their partner's passion. Eventually that may not be enough to sustain the excitement of being with someone who is madly in love with you when your feelings don't match up with theirs.

If you didn't feel the same way as DH from the start then you lied to yourself and her.

I recognize that you do not want to hurt your DH's feelings and don't want to tell her the truth about your feelings. I think eventually this situation is going to "blow up".

Even if you can conjure up the urge for sex, and produce the goods, you are faking it. By your own admission you state that you do not want to.

I would give this situation a little time so you can, at least, make an attempt to try to feel something "real" for your DH.

If not, you should come clean with her. I know for sure that I wouldn't want to engage in sex with someone who did not want me. DH should be given the right to decide, too.

I think it is only fair.
The following is a link to article on limerence on Wikipedia.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence


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RE: A sexless marriage

tenderchichi,

I recall reading about limerence on this board before. I had never heard of it before then. I don't know if you have studied it, but I have a question for you. Last time I read about it, it reminded me of a sort of soul mate type of undying love, but this time I'm getting a different impression... In part of your link it says...

"New Relationship Energy (NRE) thrives on open communication and known mutuality of feelings and is mostly seen as a positive bonding experience, while limerence can dissipate once reciprocity is established, and is characterized by uncertainty and anxiety. New Relationship Energy also carries implications of active contrast with relationships in different stages, while limerence does not."

That, along with some other references make me think that limerence may not really be a deep love situation, but rather an emotional problem related to an anxiety or an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that some people have.... Thus, that may even account for suicide tendencies amoung these type of relationships. Now that I think of it, I have friend that seems to love like this and is somewhat of a stalker-- she's bipolar and has some OCD tendencies.

I'm just wondering what your take on limerence is... Is it a wonderful thing many are missing out on...or, is it probably part of an obsessive-type mental disorder? It seems like it could be great to love and be loved like this...but at the same time, it just seems sort of scary.

Sorry to hi-jack the thread with this question...


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RE: A sexless marriage

Carla -

Limerence does seem kind of "crazy. Have you ever experienced it? From what I read, many people keep it hidden and the object of their desire remains unaware. It can last for many years and the person experiencing it does not stalk or do any other undesirable or risky things. They may suffer but they do so in silence. Limerence is not under the control of the person stricken with it and there is no way to stop it. It can sustain within the context of a vacuum. For some, the duration may be shorter than others who may suffer with it for years, even a lifetime without the desired object knowing it or returning the feelings.

There is a risk that a limerent person might stalk or harm the desired love interest if unrequited. However, doing so would probably indicate that there are other underlying problems such as obsessive or borderline or narcissistic personality disorder. Also addiction issues as well as bi-polar might be present as well. I don't know if these dangerous types are limerent or some other thing.

I don't know what research has been done on it but the person who coined the name has written a book based on her research. (as indicated in the article)

I think that it can exist independent of the undesirable traits mentioned above. I believe that it is common to all peoples everywhere. It has been written about and is in literature all over the world, in particular, Shakespeare. (Romeo & Juliet) Thousands of songs where the feelings of not being able to get the person out of their mind or not being able to sleep or eat, ......etc. are the subject matter of the broken hearted songs. LOL! However, it truly is not funny because people suffer intensely over the feelings of pain and loss when they seek to fulfill their need to be romantically involved with a person.

People who never experienced problems with obsession have been stricken. At times a person can reach middle age without ever having experienced it and are struck with it out of the blue.

Other times, a person thrives on the feelings which surround it and need to feel it in order to start a relationship. They are not satisfied with a romantic partner unless they are experiencing it. When it wanes, they move on. In a sense they are "limerence junkies".

Whatever the underlying biological basis for this state/disorder is is unknown but for sure many people do experience it.


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RE: A sexless marriage

P.S -

Carla,

you postulate that it, (limerence), may not be a deep love experience. That is true in that when the limerent goal is reached it may begin to fade and the limerence ends. It may end if the limerent object shows very undersirable traits which the limerent person did not know about.

Otherwise, the desired limerent object may be obtained and the feelings sustain long enough for bonding to occur and a relationship then develops into true or lasting love.

Consider that people may enter into couplehood and neither one is limerent for the other (in the sense described in the article). However, they are attracted to each other physically and in other respects. They, too, must bond, share experiences and life together while that kind of pairing matures into love.

I don't think the aftermath of the pairing is any different other than that the limerent types are on fire for the person desired.


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RE: A sexless marriage

But, and I guess, this is what I don't understand... limerence itself seems like a fantasy infatuation obsession thing... with no real basis for true love. Not to say true love can't evolve...it can always evolve. But, really, though, what Romeo and Juliet experienced was probably not real love (at least the way I know it).. they barely knew each other. It was more of an obsession. And, the forbidden fruit, so to say, is a powerful thing too...

I have experience heavy crushes (with fantasy thoughts and even hints of obsessions) and those good pangs of beginning love where you feel you can do anything, don't eat, don't sleep, etc.... but I see and know them as such (crushes and chemical reactions) so I am not sure how limerence would differ from any other heavy crush or new relationship feeling...

I guess the length of the crush, the hard to attain concept, the obsession quanity, and the fact that you generally keep it to yourself may be different. Maybe I experienced degrees of it, but I can't help but think I would have to tell my 'crush' within a normal time period... and then, if not reciprocated, my feelings would fade and I would move on.

Have you experienced it? Anyone else here?

And, am I the only one that had never heard of this term before? For some reason, it just seems very interesting to me and I'm surprised I had never heard it before since it does seem to describe the type of relationship in many 'love' stories (Romeo and Juliet, etc).


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RE: A sexless marriage

You know what...I went ahead and started a new thread on this subject - Limerence-- If anyone else is interested in the subject, please post over there. Sorry for hi-jacking this thread.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Ok - limerance...not sure i have anythign else to contribute about that...but here's an update on my side:

Woke up this morning "in the mood" and made a move on my wife. I started out with a back massage which she enjoyed but when i made my move, she giggled and she said she had to go to the bathroom and that was the end of that. She came back to bed but that was it. I'm not really hurt in anyway that she wasn't receptive since, geez, it's usually the other way around. Plus I really think she just wasn't in the right frame of mind. Hopefully I'll be in he mood again. The point is, I was able to get that feeling of wanting her...not just wanting the act of sex but to actually want to be intimate and to feel each other as sexual beings.

If men are having a hard time getting in the mood and just not into getting sexual with their wives, I think they shoudl just stop masturbating for a while. Women should hope their husbands could at least try to stop so that their desire comes back. I think the more we refrain from masturbating, the more we will desire our partners. Not that I've figured it all out or anything but I have tried stopping from doing it at all the last few days and I'm thinking this morning's results were due to that. There's still a lot of work on my end but this morning was promising.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Our pastor just completed a sermon series where he said that God had created women to want Romance and Intimacy, and created man to want sex and tranquility! Well, I got to tell you, I want it all! But my wife of 47 years will not even talk about it! The lack of sex (which was always the missionary position only...never, heaven forbid, "forbidden touching and kissing of other body parts!) with us came just after our first son was born (46 years ago!) Since then there were times when I would spend a lot of time with foreplay and finally we would engage...but there continued to be more and more distance from her. My frustration at one time caused me to tell her that I could do my job better and be in a better frame of mind if we could at least cuddle and have sex at least once a week...she said to not press my luck!

It's been a year since we had any contact; we are just like brother and sister; I think I'm losing my mind! I still love her, and will not abandon her...she seems to still need me to be there......But, now because of her lack of desire for me, I no longer have any desire for her! I thought I had a erectile dysfunction problem, but lo and behold its not been a problem as I finally have brought myself to look at other women as possible mates!!!!
So, this next week, I am beginning my search to find a lady who is in the same boat as me....and begin a love relationship, if possible.... I know the statistics may say this is an impossible dream....but, as a self made businessman, I have tackled big odds before. Does anyone have any suggestions for me???


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RE: A sexless marriage

Twainmark-- Wow, that's an interesting proposition! From a purely practical standpoint... sure, I don't doubt you could find a sex buddy. Not that difficult, probably. What is difficult is how you are going to open your marriage out. If you do so without your wife's consent, you are exposing her to emotional devastation as well as the possibility of sexually transmitted disease (at least one of which shows up on routine gyno tests). I suggest you give her a shot at addressing the problem before you start an affair.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Thank you for putting my feelings into words. I am so surprised that I am not alone. I feel so odd, embarrased and lonely. He will not even touch (holding hands) without my initiating it. After 20 years of marriage, we finally went to counselling and while other issues have improved, he is not able to open up about this. We have four adopted children and have projected a married life that isn't "real". For now, I am staying in it but it is getting harder. I find myself actually jealous of friends who having intimate marriages. I'll keep watching this post for the support of others. It really does help to know I'm not alone.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Boy it took a load off my mind reading other people's posts on this topic. It's a hard one to talk about with any of the 'normal' people you would talk to about things in your life. I realize the original poster is a woman discussing issues with her husband and I'm glad she isn't upset that men are 'hijacking' her post and discussing their own sexless marriages.

I met my wife about 8 years ago and started dating just over 7 years ago. We got married in 2004. In my case my wife and I are the exact same age nearly 40 and just had twin boys a year ago; our only children as she had a tubal ligation during the C-section delivery. Our sex life was phenomenal during our first few years and I thought I had met someone with a 'matching sex drive' both for frequency and 'adventurism', although it hadn't been all that great even the last six months before we got married, but it was 'survivable' because while the frequency wasn't much and kept declining to the point of once every few months after we got married, the sex itself was awesome and not just 'orgasmic'. It also seemed that when we started trying to get her pregnant that maybe things were turning around. Not only were we having sex more frequently, but it seemed that we were laughing together more and definitely spending more time together outside the bedroom also.

Unfortunately, the last time we had sex or physical intimacy beyond a brief 'closed mouth' kiss and a hug was the day she told me she was pregnant. Nothing since... over a year and a half now. I'm nearly at wit's end as my libido is and always has been very active, and while masturbation can 'take the edge off' it isn't really satisfying and becomes less so after becoming the only sexual stimulation you get. An affair isn't an option as I made a vow and that is more important to me than I can say in words, and would simply add guilt and self-loathing to my misery of not having sex with my wife. I asked her if maybe there was something physical she could ask her doctor about... she didn't talk to me for days. I've suggested counseling a few times and her attitude is that it would be basically worthless, but that if I wanted to go alone I was welcome to...great...thanks. The few times I've tried to 'come on to her' she has treated me like some creepy cousin at a family reunion, and when I try to kiss her and maybe rub her shoulder or back a bit in bed she literally flinches. That got me to the point of changing my bedtime to be well after hers just to avoid the temptation to touch her. We still sleep nude in the same bed so that seemed most prudent...but sad and frustrating. I've tried suggesting 'date nights' which she'll agree to but once it's 'date night' she's always 'too tired' and just wants to sit and watch TV; which I'm very picky about... not controlling the remote doesn't bother me as I would just as soon read as watch almost any TV, but there is stuff I just won't watch and my wife knows it, but she won't do anything else like go to a movie, or even just sit outside and watch the sunset. I know she's not cheating for too many reasons to count, but trust me... here is just one reason... she ain't the type to have sex with unshaven legs, and I don't mean 'stubble'... and she has gone weeks at a time without shaving since the pregnancy started. She really is a great person, a wonderful mother, good with animals and treats almost everyone she meets with respect and kindness... except me.

I'm terrified that if our marriage melts to the point I'm miserable all the time I will be forced to get a divorce which in our country means I lose my boys. I'm not sure I can take that honestly. I never thought I would love something or someone so fiercely but I just can't imagine not seeing and playing with my boys every day. So what do I do? It's horrible that the only reason I'm not seriously contemplating divorce is that in our culture and legal system simply due to the fact that I have a penis I would never be given daily custody of my children unless she was simply incapable of caring for them... ala Brittany Spears... and thank God my children do have a mother who absolutely can and does care for them. So I reiterate 'what's a guy to do?' Any suggestions would be very welcome!
Peace


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RE: A sexless marriage

dsjersey,

I would try going to counseling by yourself. Please know that I am not suggesting this is your problem to solve at all. It's just that counseling can often open up our minds to other ways to look at things and even give us other avenues that have not been explored.

Your story sounds sad and I don't know what is going on with her. I'm guessing maybe some sort of postpartum depression or maybe she is just over tired having to take care of two babies all the time. If either is the case, you may have some hope that she will return to you. I would give it some time; try some counseling for yourself.

Oh, and, as a side note, help out with the housework and babies as much as you possibly can. I know men think they are helping out, but if you're able and willing to go to a movie for date night and she's too tired, you're not helping out enough. Help out enough so that you are the one that is more tired. The sex drive of most mothers (especially those with two babies) has got to be very, very low. I have no doubt she is probably exhausted.

Good luck. And, by the way I think this thread is at it's 150 limit. Just start a new one with the same title "A Sexlesss Marriage - Part 2" if you want to continue.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Dear dsjersey and forum,

Your experience mirrors mine. My wife and I have been together for 25 years, and married for almost 17 years. We have a long back story which would be impossible to recount here, but suffice it to say that we were inseparable for many years until we had children. Since then, we have not been able to find a good and equitable balance between home and work. Feelings of unfairness and lack of respect have come to dominate our relationship. I love my wife more than anything, respect her intellect and compassion, and consider her my best friend. For the past several years, however, our intimacy has dwindled to almost nothing. We haven't had sex for five months, and only 3 times over the past year. More than that, the casual intimacies we once knew -- holding hands, giving hugs, even a kiss goodbye -- are gone. We are in counseling, but she will not address the lack of intimacy in our lives other than to say that she is "not ready" for that after the fights we have had. For his part, our counselor never raises the issue. He seems to think it is premature before we resolve our emotional issues. When I bring it up, he expresses sympathy ("that must be tough for you") but then suggests that I talk with my own therapist about the intensity of my feelings and frustrations. He won't press my wife to open up even the tiniest crack to discuss that part of our life.

My wife's lack of interest is having a huge impact on my self-esteem. She won't even touch me, and she flinches and rolls over whenever I try to caress her back or even squeeze her hand. I feel ugly, deeply unloved and unappreciated. My wife's emotional distance is having an impact on our oldest daughter, who is entering her teens and is beginning to display a similar lack of respect for me.

I am at wit's end. If one spouse is simply unwilling to talk about intimacy, how can you possibly make any progress? How do you begin a conversation when one person simply cannot commit to it?

In case you are wondering, it is not as if I don't help around the house. In fact, except for laundry, I do more than my share of cooking, cleaning, repairing, yard work, running errands, grocery shopping, and ferrying the kids around. My next door neighbors have commented on my energy in doing things in and round the house. I also intiate, asking my wife out to go for walks, go shopping, go to coffee, go out for dinner, see a movie, etc., but she rebuffs most of my efforts. Apparently my timing is terrible, though she seems to be able to make time to go out with her friends on a regular basis.

Help, I need insights and/or suggestions.
Thanks.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Huh, 151! That's why I started the new thread!

MNLonely, I'm sorry to hear about your painful situation. I'm a little puzzled why the therapist is blowing you off regarding your wife's rebuffs.

I totally get why you would feel unattractive and unloved, as our spouses are like a mirror and if the reflection isn't an affectionate one, it warps everything. Personally when I am feeling underappreciated I like to go to the gym, which works off frustration and also brings you in (strictly superficial!) contact with attractive people of the opposite sex who remind you that you still Got It, more or less. Have you tried raising your feelings of being unattractive and unloved in counseling? What does your wife say?

Preteen daughters can have issues with speaking respectfully, I think that may be as much her age as conflict in your marriage. I do think it is *very* importantly to require respectful address. Teenage children are allowed to have opinions, kowtowing not desired, but a certain baseline level of courtesy should be a non-negotiable item.

My last thought (I'm full of them today!) is to try to change the dance a little. Personally, I find this hard, but it does seem to be effective. Rather than being available and pursuing your wife, what would happen if you just withdrew and did your own thing? Not in a mean way, but work on doing things that help keep your tank filled rather than hoping that she will do it. Go to guy-movies your wife would hate anyway, garden, tinker, pancakes with friends, gym-- whatever you like doing. You could start playing World of Warcraft and your wife would have to plead for your attention (A joke! Really! Don't do it!)

Best of luck to you.


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RE: A sexless marriage

demeron,

Thanks. I have started to do my "own things," something my wife encourages, but they do not fill the void. Hopefully the arrival of warmer weather will enable me to develop a broader network of friends based on the outdoor activities I enjoy (biking, running, hiking). Yet my efforts to fill my time and/or "cultivate my own soul," so to speak, still feel empty.

Perhaps I am just insecure, but knowing my wife is interested in and loves me is incredibly important to me. Without that confidence, I find it hard to focus on other pursuits. It makes me neurotic and angers and exhausts me, as I expend a lot of time and mental energy wondering if she loves me and if she isn't just using me. I can't imagine just turning off my affection for her like a spigot in the way she has. I don't understand how I can go from being a confidant and lover to the "other" so quickly, or how the sense of trust and belonging can evaporate so quickly.

Your advice on my teen daughter is appreciated. I've read that dads tend to take their teenage daughters' mood swings personally, something I keep telling myself to avoid. Still, I can't help but notice that I have become the "bad guy" in her eyes since my wife turned a cold shoulder to me, and I don't know what to do about it. Maybe the best course is to do nothing, or at lease try to step back and gain some perspective before responding to her (my daughter).

Thanks for listening.


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RE: A sexless marriage

Hi everybody,

I am a MWM with similar problems .. ever since my wife got pregnant, which was 7 years ago, the sex life went right through the window and never came back. We are both 42yo. but there is a huge difference in our attitude toward self and others. I am always full of energy, active, in great physical and mental shape, while she is constantly tired, passive, she is letting herself go .. at this point in my life I am fed up. I have come to conclusion that there is nothing wrong with me and my desires. We have had many talks on that topic with no results, she will always find some ridiculous excuse to reject me. I am now openly seeking an intimate friend, a woman who is in a similar situation. I have slowly been dying inside, but enough is enough. My wife has been informed of my plans, but she continues to ignore me.

I am curious if there is a forum for people like us where we could get to know each other and possibly meet in real life?

I am in central New Jersey, and would love to talk, meet with someone rel. close. How far we'll go really depends on us.

Thanks for listening, polymerase@fastmail.fm


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RE: A sexless marriage

My husband has had E/D for about 25 years and has other medical issues for which he takes meds. 25 years is a long time without sex. He totally enjoys being without sex or any intimacy at all. I use to nag him and cry out of frustration but in my heart I knew that wouldn't work. I finally decided to take my life in my hands and create a group of friends whom I enjoy being with. This group consists of married couples, unmarried men and women. I some how let myself get involved with another women and the sex was great and also other men, three somes and more. I'm really enjoying the sexual freedom. I think my husband knows whats going on but he doesn't say anything about it.
Maybe I sound like a slut but I'm a very sexual person and all this sex has made me feel like a real person again. I'm still legally married to my husband but have alot of sex on the side.


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RE: A sexless marriage

I have been spending many hours on the computer trying to get information and come to grips with finally accepting that my partner has no desire to make love with me. He is affectionate but does not become aroused by me or have any interest in creating an intimate bond and developing that aspect of our relationship. He is entirely happy with the situation and states that I am the one with the problem because he is happy.
For more than two years there have been constant excuses for why there is no interest.
I am 51, but I am very active physically, teach Yoga, try to live Yogically, have waist length dark hair and weigh 110 lbs. It is not a case of me letting myself go.
The constant lack of interest makes me scrutinize and obsess over every physical flaw I have, wondering if that is what makes me so undesirable to him.
It is absolutely heart-breaking and I now realize that no matter what I do, it will never change as I am the one with the problem.
I guess first what I have to do is accept that fact. It is what it is and neither hope, effort, prayer, makeup, clothing, no clothing, hair up, hair down, shaved legs, hairy legs, will make any difference to the situation.
The killer is that he is really good looking, everything I love in a man and lots of women want him constantly. He gets upset because he thinks I am jealous. Maybe if he actually had desire for me, I wouldn't be jealous, but again, I am the one with the problem.
sigh. Good luck to you all, men and women who are trying to navigate the waters in the same boat.


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