Faithful By Choice, Sexless Not By Choice.

My wife was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer many years ago. She was successfully treated, and has been given the all clear by the doctors. However, she needed a complete hysterectomy. This allowed her to survive, but it put an end to what was left of our sex life. She has no sexual desires left, as a result of the procedure, and has no intentions of restarting a sex life. As a result, I have endured years of what is a completely sexless marriage - some would refer to it as "celibate marriage". Coping with it has not been easy - but my sufferings were minor, compared to what my wife had to endure with her cancer.

I understand now that this experience, like all bad things that have transpired in my life, is a trial of faith. I love my wife, and will be loyal and faithful to her for the rest of my life. I cannot and will not leave her, despite the lack of a sex life. Marriage is more than sex - it is a bond of love, both to your spouse, and to God.

Any time that I begin feeling sorry for myself, or angry, or disillusioned, I consider this fact. If my wife had not survived, then I would have faced raising two children entirely on my own. Both of my parents are deceased, and my only sibling has vanished from my life. This would have been an untenable situation, and quite frankly, my children really needed their mother more than their father. I am blessed with two wonderful children, and they would not have turned out as well as they have, if my wife were not here.

My marriage vows are sacrosanct and indissoluble. I will remain faithful to her, no matter what. I made a vow to God, and I will honor it, to the death. And if my wife pre-deceases me, I will find a way to move on with my life - but with an entirely clear conscience.

I would appreciate the feedback of other folks, who have had similar experiences or circumstances. Thank you.

timothywgray timothywgray
41-45, M
16 Responses Sep 22, 2008

You are such a wonderful person. I admire and have nothing but respect for you. May God bless your efforts and reward you and your family immensely.

I'm in very similar sitution. My wife diagnostic with breast cancer just right after our son born, we were young just started our life, we were alone facing life and death and uncertainty. Thanks God she survived it, but our sex life was put in the back burner without regret, her health and life took priority and I could not imagine life without her, or raising my son all alone. We lived in fears that it may happen again and it did happend 12 years after, we had sexless marriage, my wife did not want and I was understandlty rejected, I love my wife and I accepted our fate, when I started to have trouble with errection, it become impossible to have sex, she does not really want nd I need help...... Then practically we stop trying and our sex life died for good. Now I'm in my mid 50' still love my wife, have not had an affair but came close to one. It is so difficult and sad, but I have no regret. I love my wife and that it is.

WOW!. Mate, your post stuns me, plain and simple. You are in a difficult place, yet your faith and resoluteness just shimmer and resonate with commitment and dedication. You are a good guy, and your wife is a lucky woman to have you.

I'm in what would be considered a sex starved marriage, very close to a sexless marriage, and there isn't much hope that things will change for me any time soon (like for ever). My wife has almost no physical libido, and I am naturally a very high libido. When I ask for sex, the almost universally consistent response is no. She doesn't smear it in my face,...she just politely rejects me. It stings. Physically she is capable of sex,...but emotionally and perhaps hormonally, she isn't. It is not a priority to her, never has been, and is something she would rather just live without.

Anyway, that is about me. The reason I write it is because your example of devotion is inspiring to me. I also made vows to God as part of my marriage, and I have done a very poor job of keeping those vows. I want to repair them, make good with God, and move forward, even if that means never having sex again. There are some people out there (yourself included) that can do that. I comment you for your integrity.

You sound like a wonderful man who truly loves his wife and values his family. They are fortunate to have you!<br />
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That being said, I wonder if your wife has looked into hormone treatments (as mentioned by another poster). I have no experience with this personally but I have read that having a hysterectomy does not have to end your sex life.<br />
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I hope she appreciates what you are going through and I hope that you will continue to have a strong relationship even if the intimacy doesn't return to your marriage. It isn't always easy. Good luck to you.

I cant contribute with experiences that are personal. I just wanted to say, How refreshing it is to see another MAN not be a total piece of sh*t! Welcome to the Gene Pool.

If you are both seeking God together and are on the same level with that, i could see that as actually creating an intimacy spiritually that could possibly transcend what a sexual relationship mimics in physicality.<br />
Have you ever been in conversations with God, intense prayer sessions, where you felt you were not even on this earth for a moment? <br />
I don't know exactly why I'm mentioning this, but it's a thought. <br />
Prayer is a moment in time when we really pursue and concentrate on our relationship with God and spend a time of being "one" with Him. If the two of you did that together...I'm thinking something amazing could happen??

It sounds as though she had her ovaries removed, as i have had. The ovaries make 3 hormones that regulate sex drive and dozens of other things.<br />
Testosterone (found in women in smaller quantity than men). This hormone is required for sexual fantasy and probably some physcial aspects.<br />
Estrogen is required for lubrication and maintaining vagina in good health but not fantasy<br />
Progesterone helps you feel calm, less worried and probably necessary for good sex that way.<br />
I take bio-identical hormones (made in a laboratory from wild yams but chemically identical to what is in your body naturally). Synthetic hormones do the job but have adverse effects (eg cancer) probably because the body sees them as alien.<br />
At first I did not have hormone replacement and had very low sex drive. Now on the bio-identical hormones I have good healthy libido.<br />
You need a presc<x>ription for bio-identical hormones. Many doctors don't know about them because drug companies do not promote them (they cannot be patented because they are the same as found in nature). You have to research to find both a doctor who knows what they are (Australian Menopause Centre is very very good) they do phone appointments, and you need to find a compounding chemist who makes them. They do cost quite a bit but for a return to health (not just sex drive but the numerous ways they strengthen your body and mind eg alleviate fuzzy thinking) they are worth getting a part time job for. I think they are about $40 per week. You get a month or 2 supply at a time.<br />
For the energy, calmness, positive outlook, stronger ligaments, joints, muscles, better mental function I would go without a lot of things before I'd give them up. <br />
It can take a long time to adjust the dose though. I've been on them about 2 years and am still fine- tuning the dose. You need to do some of the work yourself. Observing your symptoms etc. Keeping a journal is good as you quickly forget how bad you used to be. (My hip ligaments did not have the tightness to lift my leg up steps front on. I had to turn sideways and tilt my whole body. It took a long time but now I'm limber). The journal helps me see what a lower dose did and then what a higher dose did and then finding the happy medium. Theres a lot of info on the net too.

You are a very strong person. It's good to know that there are people in the world like you who are willing to stay faithful and next to someone through it all.

You are a wonderful and blessed husband and father "God is Good" all the time , you are one out of a million that will think the way you think and i am so proud of you to have the love and strenght to carry on yuor daily life knowingly that you have a beautiful family you will be showered with love and great things will come your way and yu are a strong beliverr og God and that is so wonderful ...say to your wife i love you and until death do us part . God is good all the time , all the time God is God

Okay, you need to move on and get talking with your wife. Communicate and it won't be easy. I had a similar experience and although it was not the same there was sex after the surgeries and year long chemo. Life can suck but it can be great at the same time. Look at you wife as who she is ... she's really the same person. Remember God loves People (plural) and we must do the same.

Hi,I am a nurse. and cancer survivor. I have only my vagina left as far as sex organs. I have sexual desire for my spouse.Thell sex will be the same as for any women after menopause possibly only a lubricant is needed. you are right on about fidelity. You and your wife lneed counseling. She is able to be active sexually but her head is messed up and that is the most important sex organ. Look for a respectable therapist thru a pastor. No need for you both to not recover from cancer trauma. Be happy to embrace life fully again. She had her body fixed now she needs to fix the psyche,they cannot be separated.

Wow! Someone isn't afraid to make a stand on morality. Bravo on that...<br />
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Perhaps if you discussed your position with your wife it might prove mutually beneficial. As a woman I know that a lot of our pleasure has to do with the tenderness a man exhibits. A gentle touch on the shoulder, or a caress on the cheek can do a lot. Maybe your wife can still find pleasure in you through these means?

Hi Timothywgray! i read one of your responses to a post (you said you considered p*rnography as adultery) and thought to myself: wow, this is such a DIFFERENT view, especially for a man (sorry if i sound sexist!). there are so few people with common sense left in this world today and it is refreshing to hear someone "say it like it is". in a world gone mad with self gratification your post stood out. i then read your story and was truly inspired. your story illustrates a lot of what marriage should be (despite the difficulties) and it reminded me of how important the marriage bond really is. it is so easy to forget that. so thank you for reminding us....

Hi Tim, <br />
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Your message is very inspirational. It also made me realize what my parents were going through. My mom had an hysterectomy and a mastectomy. I did not know that it affected their relationship so much.<br />
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My dad had two affairs one when before I was born and the other after the operations. Both relationships were devastating to my mother, my dad had a child from both of these relationships. Their relationship was stormy but I never realized that it was probably platonic stemming from my mother's medical problems and of course resentment and anger. <br />
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My dad died 20 years ago and despite all of their issues they were both grateful for each other. Proving that marriage can truly be a sacred <br />
bond between two people. <br />
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Thanks for sharing and becoming one of my fans.<br />
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Hi Tim,<br />
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Thanks for your post. Your story is very inspiring and is a true testimony to what marriage truly means. You have shown so many admirable qualities. <br />
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I feel for you in your situation, my mom had an hysterectomy and know in reading your post, I realize why my dad had an affair. I did not know that it was so devastating to your sex life. I know that my parents really enjoyed sex in the early years of their marriage, so I guess after her hysterectomy and unfortunately her mastectomy, their sex life became non existent. My mom forgave my dad and they had a platonic relationship until his death 20 years ago. <br />
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Even though my dad had an affair, my mom forgave him and speaks more highly of him now than when he was alive. So I guess there was a lot more to their relationship than I realized.<br />
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Thanks I will write back.<br />

I respect you so much for all you have written. Your wife is a very lucky woman and you seem to be a very understanding and patient man, and you should be proud of yourself. I hope she knows that you sometimes suffer, as our sexual desires can often become obsessions when we are deprived for a long time, however your love for her overrides that. Maybe in time, when she comes to terms with the fact that her womb is gone, she may begin to realise how much of a rock you are, and she may fulfill your sexual desires, because she loves you, and knows how loving and devoted to her you are. When you feel the strain remember that she has lost a part of her femininity and may bfeel undesireable and a little worthless, as one of her main purposes was to have children. even if you had had the full amount of children that you intended, there is always that little feeling of want. You are an amazing amn, and I hope that other men reading your story, realise how lucky they are, and would if in the same situation, be as loyal, strong and dependant as you are.