My Husband Is Asexual. Now What?

I've been married 7.5 years to a great guy. We have a 4-year-old daughter, two dogs, and a nice suburban life. Our relationship seemed pretty normal, but as I've gotten older, my sex drive has ramped up, and it was becoming apparent to me that our sex frequency wasn't what I'd like it to be. For our whole marriage, we would go months between encounters. Lately it's been longer, and he would only get interested when I got drunk and initiated things.

Six months ago, we had a huge fight during which he thought I was breaking things off when all I was really asking for was more intimacy. I told him I wanted that boyfriend feeling back between us. I wanted to stop living like roommates or siblings. There was no "us" anymore. We went into counseling, and the therapist gave us ideas about how to be more emotionally intimate, but not physically intimate. He was more aware of spending time with me, being 'there' when he was home, etc. After 5 or so sessions, we quit going because things had pretty much gone back to parallel play.

This weekend I joked with him after watching Sister Wives that what our relationship needed was another husband. That would take the pressure or expectation off of him to be physical with me, but we could continue this great relationship we have otherwise. On the following day during a road trip (where most of our 'big' discussions seem to happen), he said that in his 20's a friend was talking to him and said, "You don't chase women, but you're not gay either. Maybe you're just asexual." We both just kind of laughed thinking it was a funny idea. I told him that I couldn't continue living with him like this, so we had to 'do something.'

The only other time I'd heard the word 'asexual' was in science class. When I typed it into Wiki yesterday, I thought I'd get an article about amoebas. I was SHOCKED by what I read and relieved that it wasn't me and that there was nothing 'wrong' with him. I don't know why I had never heard of this condition before. I showed it to him last night, and he said it described him exactly. The thing is, I'm not asexual. I have a very health sex drive, and now what do I do?

We've decided to let all this absorb for awhile. He's having a rough time at work, so I didn't want to put this on the front burner. I've gone this long, I can wait a few more months. I don't want to divorce him, and I know it's not something you can 'fix.' But I'm not okay living with forced celibacy for the rest of my life. I'm 35, that's way too young to give up sex! The idea of him having sex with me just to make me happy makes me sick. But can I really shift my paradigm enough to go out and find a lover?

I found AVEN and have been reading there, and I know whatever we come up with is going to be personal to us. I just wish there were more stories for a frame of reference, a list of options, something. My instinct is to talk this out with my friends, but it feels so deeply personal, like I would be exposing him somehow. I did tell one friend, and she was very supportive of both of us, but she said basically that it was up to us to decide what to do.

We are parallel platonic partners. We're excellent friends, great parents, and good providers. But we're not lovers, and I don't want to be 65 and look back on a life without physical intimacy like some kind of stand-by-your-man martyr.
PghHilary PghHilary
31-35, F
2 Responses Feb 23, 2012

Yeah finally after 13 years my husband has admitted he is asexual. I always thought it was me. I am disappointed he kept this secret from me. We had many fights over the years about intimacy and he always made me think I was crazy or he was just tired. I am wondering if you left your husband. I am at a crossroads. Unfortunately we have two girls and if I divorce it's the pain for them that bothers me. :(

I have had a very similar marriage but withough children. You have my sympathy for sure. Here's a bit of my story.<br />
My husband is wonderful in almost every way but in the bedroom. He's affectionate and willing to pleasure me - but nothing that involves his being aroused. I have given up asking and withdrawn more times than I can count. I must be crazy to keep trying!<br />
We have had many, many dark moments, but I really love him. <br />
I am one of those people who can love more than one man at a time. I have fallen in love twice in the past 10 years - once with a long-distance friend (never seen during the period of the 'romance') and once with another old friend, himself in a sexless marriage (coincidentally). <br />
I have had no sex for years, only twice in a decade. I have suffered very much!<br />
My husband gave me permission to find a lover, but my recent emotional affair is the closest I've come to finding one. If my friend's wife had given him the same permission to 'go elsewhere' we probably would have made each other very happy...:(<br />
So what's the solution for you? I'd say stay together for the child - she is your priority. But if you have the chance to have a 'helper husband' - great idea and it's unlikely but not impossible! - be sure to tell him this, and hope he's not possessive. If he wants to live with you, he'll have to wait until your child is old enough to deal with a divorce with minimal trauma.<br />
I think there's a way for your husband to stay in the picture, your child not to be traumatized and you to be sexually fulfilled - but there are many improbabilities. That never stopped people who accomplished other really difficult tasks and you have youth on your side! You have time to figure this out, for one thing.<br />
I am in menopause, so few men (beside these two wonderful men who love me but cannot sleep with me!) would want me. Let's face it, being a young woman is an asset with most men! <br />
Good luck!!!