Fox In The Hen House

I'm a little reluctant to write this, but I'm going for it anyway. I feel a bit like I've para-dropped behind enemy lines, and I'm about to be detected. Why? Because I represent the group that chose not to be faithful to a sexless marriage. I think what you are doing (remaining faithful) is the honorable and honest thing to do. An affair is never the correct way to deal with a problem like this.

The way I see it, there's a dividing line in this group. On one side you have two people, truly in love, but unable to consummate it due to serious health problems. My heart goes out to these people, and I pray that they are able to use every opportunity to express intimacy even if they can't physically. For the most part, you'll know that you're in this group if this topic is open to discussion with your partner, and you maintain a significant intimate connection with them. Most of this group is conspicuous by their very absence from Experience Project and the like. Why? Because if there's an intimate, healthy connection with your spouse, you aren't likely on the internet identifying with your choice to be faithful in a sexless marriage.
I'm not in here to ruffle feathers, at least not for the sake of so doing. I don't question the intent of most of you, but I do have concern for those who are staying in a sexless marriage for the wrong reasons, or are in denial about how detrimental a sexless marriage can be to your own health and well being. I'll posit that most of you are here because you seek support of some form or another, or an outlet for emotions that you can't share with your spouse. This could be a red flag indicating that there is more wrong than just a lack of sex.
Some of you are staying out of guilt or obligation, and confusing these feelings as love. These things require serious self examination, and you may not like what you find, but it will come out sooner or later. I wish I'd realized, or more accurately, accepted sooner what I was really feeling. If you find yourself rationalizing things, you need to stop and have a deeper look. "Sex isn't really that important", "I just have an unusually high sex drive", "we still love each other, that's all that matters" etc. are all signs that you might be less content than you realize. If you ever get a knot in your stomach when you see people having sex on TV (you know what I mean there I hope, not talking about ****), thinking about sex with your spouse or thinking about sex with someone else, it's not OK. I don't mean it's not OK to feel that, I mean it's not OK to be in a situation that causes you to feel that way.
Finally, I'll throw in a controversial idea that seemed a little outrageous to me when I first contemplated it. Some of you are vowing to stay faithful because of vows taken before friends, family, and god. I promised this, or I promised that. Consider this; perhaps withholding love, affection and intimacy is a contravention of the vows of marriage? I'm not using this as a justification for an affair (it isn't), and if that's the argument you choose to want to see here, the point is lost. I am suggesting though, that although it's a slightly unorthodox view, if the person who promised to love you stops loving you in certain ways, it's a defensible argument that the vows have already been broken. Should you choose to accept that argument, you're no looking at a situation where your spouse has broken the vows of marriage, and things take on a very different slant, do they not?
I reiterate, I am NOT here to push buttons or otherwise try and inflame anyone. I'm not here to question your motives. I'm only sharing some thoughts that I wish I'd realized a long time ago, when I was committed to a marriage that had been broken for years. If you are truly happy, stay. If there is a rumbling of discontent, I can promise you it will not go away, and ignoring it will only be to your detriment. Good luck,
TheWendigo TheWendigo
36-40, M
11 Responses Jun 13, 2011

THANK YOU for your thoughts, it is greatly noted.

Wow! I totally respect this. I myself have many of the same thoughts, and respect your courage to express this - and while knowing how unpopular your views may be. I recently responded to a SM story by suggesting that the writer values the positives in her marriage, and makes all efforts to help her situation (in order to heal, or end her marriage - and the main point being that she and her husband will be in the healthiest emotional state to move on if the marriage ultimately fails). Several members responded with insults and immature name calling.
Anyways, I truly appreciate your sincerely sharing your wisdom you have learned from your past. Isn't this what this site is for - to share EXPERIENCES, gain insight, and different views?
I've said it before and I'll again say , "If only I knew then what I know now": )

OMG, you have hit the nail squarely on its head. I totally agree with you. Barring a physical problem, marriage and sex go together. Humans were made to have sex and enjoy it. It brings happiness and health, as long as sex is seen as something to do with someone to provide mutual enjoyment.

What a great, honest, heart-felt post, TW. One of the best I've read on the subject. Bravo for your willingness to share.

Like you (well, I'd like to think so anyway), I thought this through, tried to talk it through, saw this situation in my life from every imaginable angle. Asked my husband questions, tried to be non-confrontational, tried to open him up to at least talk and help me understand. I finally did, understand, that is. He simply had no more drive or desire for sex at age 55 or so, and I was 51 and my hormones and me were on fire.

It was at that time that I started thinking about the compromises we could make for one another on this point. When I started sharing those, talking, asking... I was met with a wall of both religious-based views (I felt as if he wasn't thinking for himself) and a stalwart "No". No sex for me, of any kind, was going to be okay. Not with a woman, where he could be pretty darn certain that I was not going to get emotionally involved. Certainly not with a man. Self-pleasure was also wrong, for him as he was taught, and therefore for me. But more than wrong, he thought it was unnecessary and his face showed disgust whenever he 'caught' me. So he would not even share that type of intimacy with me.

I did posit that he had broken our vows. He agreed he had but that didn't mean I could, of course.

The key for me, what broke the camel's back in the end, was that he was not willing to compromise in any way. I asserted that, and he could not deny it. Interestingly, none of our conversations were in the form of arguments - he doesn't argue and I think as a whole I'm grateful for that. But trying to get him to talk --- WORSE than pulling teeth!

So I did what I had to do, for me. I made sure that I was at peace with my decision long before I went crossed that line. I made sure it was no longer a line, for me. And you know what, I'm a much happier person all around. He can see that, but has no idea why I am. He doesn't care, as long as I am, because he loves me. That is what he wants for me, happiness. And I'm happy with him, and I do love him, despite what others may say based on my choice of actions.

There isn't a thing in this world that is black and white. Perhaps not 50 shades of grey, LOL. I'm not defending myself to anyone nor am I attacking anyone for their choices. I have learned that judgement is for, well, not for the birds, but certainly not for human beings -- none of us can cast the first stone. We all have to live with ourselves. I am and can. And I really like being a happier person in my home life. And yes, I really like being sexual again. Had I known I would be a more content person at home and in life in general, I might have made this decision a couple years ago....because I was so unhappy and distraught and that was no good for those around me either.

Obviously this is just my experience and it doesn't work this way for everyone. And it could have been disastrous for me, I know. Could still be.


I totally agree with you. Has your husband checked his testosterone levels? My husband didn't want to admit there was a problem at first. Then I admitted I didn't love him anymore and had a "friend" that I was intimate with. When pushed like that he made the effort and saw the doctor. First test came back okay. I pushed some more, second test showed decreased T levels. Now he is on testosterone cream. Sex is way better now. But there's still sex with my friend.

Yes, we had the T levels tested. They are fine. And I didn't know to have them tested a second time, but after this long... I'm just not sure if I'm interested. I had to shut down a part of me, you know? IDK IDK.

In the Bible it reads that a spouse is not to with hold themselves (sex) from one another, expect for fasting and prayer. But after that time come together quickly. Any hesitation to do so will result in sin.<br />
(Sex out side of your marriage). Staying in a sexless marriage and to be faithful is ba<x>sed upon each individual's own choice. Everyone needs an avenue to vent. There is not one thing which happens in anyone persons life in which they do not seek an audience to hear their view. You make some valid points, I agree with you. I choose to ignore all the signs that said he would not change but get worse.

Good comments. I think it's an important point that you bring up about what's said in the Bible. Many people are quick to point out that sex outside the marriage is considered sin, but few people know that withholding yourself from your spouse is also. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I wish you the best in your own situation. TW

Well said and well thought out. It is a tough situation no matter how you look at it. People should not be in pain and this type of relationship can hurt in many ways.

This is so well said!<br />
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I am very new to these online communities.<br />
Which is probably a bad sign for my marriage.<br />
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I think I stay , not so much to keep a promise, but more because of such a long shared history. How do you give up on that?

Welcome aboard, sorry you have to be here. I encourage you to read lots on here. The "I Live In A Sexless Marriage" group especially. How do you give up on a long history? Rather than answer that directly, I'll simply suggest that as you go through this process, and it is a process, you may change your perception of what giving up means, as well as shifting your views on some other key factors. I'd strongly encourage you to post your story on ILIASM and take any feedback to heart. Much of it will be difficult to digest, but you owe it to yourself and your spouse to seek out the truth.

I've wanted to comment on this board for a long time. I was faithful to my husband for over 20 years even though most of them were sexless. I've taken a different path and am happier. Even though I'm not religious (actually an atheist), I believed that a vow is a vow. However, I vowed to be monogamous, not celibate.

You might need to ask whom are you being celibate for? Whom is being made happy by your celibacy? Whom does it matter to? Whom is your celibacy hurting?

Excellent post.

I have nothing to add to your post, nor the concise comments expressed. Just want to go on record as echoing that this is the most well-reasoned argument I've seen on this subject. Your experience in a sexless marriage, and subsequent infidelity, speak volumes to me - you've been there. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

Great post, you must be a very self-aware person and i hope you are happy and hanging out with good people like yourself!

It seems like self awareness is a never ending process. Being in contact with other people on the journey is an incredible experience. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Excellent post. Well said.