I Am The Refuser - But I Don't Want To Be

After reading a lot of the stories here, I can guess that many people are frustrated with the refusers in their marriage. I am here because I am seeking advice and don't know who to talk to. I don't want to involve my family and we have tried therapy.

To start from the beginning, we have been married for 9+ years. We were both virgins when we married but had intimate experiences with other people. So, I know that I can experience physical pleasure. I was worried but thought it would be fine, that we would figure it out together. At the beginning, I was enthusiastic about sex even though it was consistently bad. I tried redirecting him, doing different things. But, nothing ever seemed to make it better. On the other hand, I asked and he was happy. After a while, bad became the norm and I slowly started to lose interest in having sex at all. Every time, I was more and more frustrated. I tried to not criticize and state things in a positive way. But, somehow, even though he tried to cooperate, it never worked.

I started to worry that he is not the most well-endowed man - could that be it?

We went to therapy but the therapist kept saying that we should work on the relationship and the sex would come. Well, we did. And, even when we are at our best, the sex just isn't there.

Sex became this ritual - try, disappointment, then silent crying as I fell to sleep. I finally broke down and said to him, "Look, I know you can't be everything to me. But, this is the ONE thing I can't get outside of marriage. Please, we have to fix this." He agreed to go and see a doctor. It took him six months to book an appt and another couple of months of waiting to see the doc. This pissed me off even more - didn't he care at all? If the situation was reversed, I would have been on the phone within hours. When he finally saw the doc, he was diagnosed with premature ***********. (If we get a minute out of him, we are lucky.) Although not ideal, I hoped that we could still find a way for both us to have pleasure.

But, after nine years, he still can't touch me in a way I find pleasing (and, yes, I have given direction - he seems to forget between each time). His suggestion is always some pill, lotion or toy - nothing I am really interested in. He is very interested in sex and, eventhough I feel like sex often, I don't bother anymore. I feel like it's just going to be another disappointment and why bang my head up against the same wall? Finally, the other day, I found myself thinking that I don't want to try again - ever.

Outside of that, we have a good marriage - one child and another on the way. He is a kind and sensitive guy. He tries his best to be a good husband and I reciprocate. But, I am starting to feel my frustration seep into everything, his frustration as well. I don't want to spend the rest of my life never having experienced physical pleasure. But, I am at a complete loss on where to start fixing this. I feel like we have tried everything. Add to that two working adults and kids and it feels like complete overwhelm... well, I am sure you can all relate.

Having an affair is out of the question given my moral and religious beliefs. Also, I want my marriage to work. What do I do?
lonelybella85 lonelybella85
4 Responses Nov 29, 2012

I suppose it is possible, especially if he was a virgin to begin with, that his inexperience has made him a not very good lover. If an affair is out of the question, (bearing in mind that biologically sex has done its job) you will simply have to a) live without fulfilment in that part of your life or b) use a toy and fantasy

Do you **********? You do know what works for you, correct? You hint at it but you don't come out and say it. If you don't know then you can't expect someone else to figure it out.

Let's assume you can give yourself an ****** by ************...

I agree with the therapist. If your relationship were in top shape he would care about doing whatever it took to please you. You say your relationship is great but then say he doesn't listen when you try to give him suggestions, won't read a simple book that explains it, etc. That doesn't sound like a relationship that's in great shape. Of course he has to be willing to do that. If he's not willing then you are stuck. You can either leave him or suffer.

I will say that having another child when there's such a major issue in your relationship was not the best decision.

@weirdcolor - thanks for the response. To answer your questions:

1. He doesn't neglect foreplay but he doesn't touch me right, even with direction. He just either doesn't listen or forgets what I said or is just generally... I don't know any other word than incompetent. He is also very quick - meaning little to no time during intercourse.

2. Yes, he does. We have talked about it several times - seen doctors, therapists, etc. And he knows that part of my reluctance is because it's just not that great. I try to not be too harsh since I don't want it to turn into such a big elephant in the room that it kills things even more. I have given him reading material, offered to read it with him but he just says, "I don't read long books." One (shorter) book that we read claimed that - women are responsible for their own ******. And he just clung to that - as if it was my fault that it wasn't working. I think part of my frustration is that I don't feel like he is willing to do enough to fix things. If I wanted to ********** all the time, I really don't need him, do I? He says he's willing. He will do something here and there. But, I feel like he would be perfectly fine with mediocre sex for the rest of our lives. After all, he gets off. So, what does it matter?

I don't know if that has clarified or further convoluted things.

"He just either doesn't listen or forgets what I said..." doesn't sound even remotely sensitive.

Also "I don't read long books."
Hey, your wife has a problem, she even offers you a solution, so take some time to read that book!

But I think he also needs some encouragement. I know, men are luckier in that it's easier for us to have an ******, while women need that everything is perfect.... or almost perfect.
Men need precise instructions. I know, it's not romantic, but if you spend more effort in telling him what to do and what not to do during foreplay... if you spend more effort in reading the long book and choosing for him which chapter to read... then maybe he will understand.
And if he complains about lack of sex, tell him that you don't like it if he does this and this, but that you would like it much more if he did that and that.

If you don't want to spend more effort for that, the real questions are: do you really love him? and does he really turn you on?

First of all welcome to EP and thank you for sharing your story. It's good to hear something from 'the other side' once in a while. It opens new perspectives, new points of view.

Your case should be easy, compared to most of us :)
I agree that having an affair is out of the question, without even needing to put religion into the equation.

Ok, so what to do?
Well, I have a couple of questions for you? First question is: what do you mean by 'try, disappointment'? Is he just too quick? Does he neglect foreplay? This is a 18+ group - hopefully - so you can maybe be more detailed.
The second question is: does your husband know that you feel this as a big problem?