I'm So Sad and Lonely In My Marriage...

I am a woman in a sexless marriage. I have been with my husband for 19 years. After our third child was born, 11 years ago, our problems started. Sex started to drop off. We went to counselling. Things improved for a short time.. but then went right back to being a problem. I realized he was suffering from depression and tried to get him help. I told him he deserved to be happy.. that didn't do it. So, I made it about me.. that I wasn't happy.. and we again went to counselling. He went on meds. The meds didn't help with the lack of sex, and so that continued. More counselling, and things improved again for a while.. only to revert back to sadly, what became the norm. Then major health problems for him, and on top of that hit with a nasty and rare disease Peyronies Disease. This is so awful that if you really want to know the details.. google it. Anyway, suffice it to say, his penis is bent and "doesn't work".. or so he tells me. The thing is, we don't know that. Because ever since he got that diagnosis.. 2years and 2 months ago.. we have not had any intimacy, never mind sex! I'm too young to give up sex. I let it go for a while and have tried to talk with him about it. His Doctor referred him to a sexual dysfunction clinic.. and he has not followed up. No appt. as yet. His response is that "it's a good thing i don't have much of a sex drive".. but what about me?! At this point I still love him, but I don't think I'm 'in love' with him, if that makes sense. I share a bed with him every night.. we don't touch, don't kiss, don't hug. At this point I am not willing to leave the marriage but... I have been to counselling. My boss even asked me to take a stress leave because she thought I was having a melt-down. I think that leave helped to avoid a total collapse. I am the strong one in this family  unit. I keep everything together. I DO for everyone and haven't time to fall apart. My husband and I don't fight, don't raise our voices. I don't think the kids realize this is a dysfunctional relationship. But as a friend recently said to me.. is this the kind of relationship you want to model for your children, that this is 'normal' and what they should strive for? No it definitely is not. Especially for my daughter. I have thought about leaving. I don't feel, financially, that I can. I am very worried about the impact on the kids. ANY ADVICE? COMMENTS?

feelinstuck feelinstuck
2 Responses Mar 13, 2009

It is so hard to comment...advise you. My knee-jerk response is to tell you to end the marriage but that is selfish. One thing I have learned and am struggling to accept is that as a mother I need to be selfless. Totally and completely selfless for my kids sake. I don't know what the future holds but I think that staying in your marriage speaks volumes more than we think. I have 3 younger children and even though my marriage is not ideal I think that my children would be devasted to suddenly not have mom and dad in the same house. <br />
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This is definitely something you have to think about and answer for yourself. You know what is best for you and your family. Blessings to you!

I really understand so much of what you are going through. My husband is a chronic patient with long term and severe complications from his chioce to not control his diabetes. He usually averages 3 or more hospitalizations in a year. I am the one who takes care of the doctor appointments, the medical records, the household schedule, and everything else. <br />
A friend asked me a very similar question recently. "It this the marriage you want your children to have?" That was so hard to answer. Right now we live together, share a bed, and function as room mates. I strongly desire a sexual relationship, but that will never happen while I am in this marriage. He has been functionally impotent for the past 13 years. I'm not sure if leaving is the right choice, but I'm considering that very option. <br />
I know it will be hard, he has almost destroyed us finacially. I will have to return to work full time, and that will have a terrible impact on my children.<br />
You have my prayers with you as you struggle with these questions and tough decisions.<br />
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Blessings to you and yours