How It Is For Me...

Here goes... be gentle please... a newbie here...
I am hoping it might almost be cathartic to post 'my story' on this forum so here I am. I have been married for 24 years and I have been forced into celibacy for 19 of those 24 years. In case you are wondering.... the first 5 years we were physical... the last 19 years have not been.
Where do I start as to why... hmmm... not easy. I am a very sexual, tactile, affectionate person and always have been. I never ever imagined in all my wildest dreams that I would be in this situation. After children and trouble conceiving...my husband shut down. He has been shut down every since. I hate it. For 5 years after the enforced celibacy I tried everything known to man (or woman!)... I don't want to bore you all because you all know what I mean I am sure. I begged, pleaded, cajoled, cried, kept quiet, shouted... you name it, I have done it. For the sake of my sanity, I gave up. I think I possibly had a bit of a breakdown at one point, but I taught myself techniques to control and stop myself thinking of my situation. I became the best mother, best wife, best hostess, best party planner... you name it, I excelled. All of this was to take my mind off the fact my husband didn't and doesn't fancy me. But sexual desire doesn't go away, does it? 15 years later I tried again... (it was the elephant in the room and the unspoken subject for that long....)... we went to couples counselling and to be honest, it made things worse because it was my last chance to try and it didn't work. So I took action, but maybe it is better to stop now but to say... I am still married, and yes, it is still celibate. Thanks for reading. (p.s. my husband is not a bad man)
Hope54 Hope54
51-55, F
29 Responses Jul 18, 2010

hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

Thanks for the welcome. I just joined this site when I did a google search on sexless marriage.<br />
I have been married two whole months and NEVER had sex with my husband. I had sex with him as my boyfriend but we decided to hold off until after we were married and there has not been one single move made on me. <br />
<br />
I know he gets turned on I fell his woodies when we hug or when I sit on his lap. But no sex is what I get.

HI HOPE,IM GLAD YOU FOUND SOMETHING OUTSIDE YOUR MARRIAGE THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AND FEEL YOUR STILL WORTH SOMETHING AND STILL A SEXUAL BEING.I HAVE BEEN MARRIED 50YEARS AND WE WERE IN AN OPEN MARRIAGE FOR MOST OF THAT TIME SHE WAS MORE INTO THE LADIES WE HAD THREE DIFFERENT LADIES LIVE WITH US AND IT WAS GREAT WE WERE BOTH VERY HAPPY A FEW YEARS AGO SHE GOT THE RELIGION AND EVERYTHING STOPPED I HAD A LADY I WAS GOING WITH AT THE TIME IT WAS JUST SEX I HAD TO STOP WE MOVED OUT OF TOWN AWAY FROM ALL OUR SWINGING FRIENDS.HAVING SEX TOGETHER IS NOT VERY OFTEN AND WHEN WE DO I FANTASIZE ABOUT WHAT WE DI BEFORE.I WOULD RUN NOW IF YOU HAVE A WAY OUT DONT STAY AND WAKE UP EVERYDAY AND WONDER WHY DONT I DIE I HAVE KNOW ONE I WISH I COULD FIND SOMEONE LIKE YOU TO JUST HAVE A PURE SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH WITH KNOW STRINGS.

Interesting comments... thank you. To Chas - yes of course, we all have a role to play. There are two people at fault maybe, not one. BUT (and it is a big BUT.. thats why its in capitals!) I was always the one to talk of trying to fix our problem. I tried and tried and tried.... I suggested ways of getting help outside, I tried everything and if YOU are the only person bringing the subject up when you know your spouse actually does not want to talk about it, the whole thing gets very demoralising. It eats away at your self esteem. When I gave up the first time, I taught myself how to not think of the subject... when I did, I was close to a panic attack. <br />
Then years down the line... I again tried to talk and get help. After doing this again and realising nothing was going to solve this, you do eventually give up. <br />
I don't actually think my husband would have desire for anyone so it isn't just me. But I never knew this when we married... it was a very good facade and I imagined he would always want to make love to me.

I totaly get you

Hi hope54<br />
<br />
Personally, I had to look behind every bush, under every stone to find the answer to the sexlessness in my marriage.<br />
<br />
I never found that answer.<br />
<br />
The marriage had to stand or fall under its' own momentum.<br />
<br />
It fell.<br />
<br />
Then, I could move on.<br />
<br />
In my case the beginnings of a new relationship were emerging as the marriage (of over 30 years) went belly up. But the marriage was over.<br />
<br />
That made it 'easier'.<br />
<br />
Don't think I could have successfully conducted an affair whilst still in the marriage.<br />
<br />
For those who can do so I say go for it. It is not my place, or anyone elses, to judge. Your solution is your solution. All it has to do is to work for you.

This is a SERIOUS comment. I am not trying to flippant or place blame where it shouldn't be, but what is YOUR role in this. Where does YOUR fault lie?<br />
Since you are a couple then each of you has a part to play and neither one of you is blameless.<br />
Check this site out http://stopbadmarriage.com/free.php. I don't endorse the sight or say that you should pay for the service, but if you check out the "free stuff" then there is some very valuable information for you.<br />
My wife just left me after 15 years without warning. We had a mostly sexless marriage for a long time. During therapy I discovered that my lack of desire for her was actually pent up resentment over her passive aggressive way of handling conflict. The truth is...I was too pissed off at her to sleep with her. I had no desire for her whatsoever. I couldn't get an erection with her, even with viagra. <br />
Now that we're separated...guess what? Erection City Baby!!!! No more pent up frustration...open honest communication by BOTH partners is the KEY!

Unfortunately, welcome to EP and this group. There are so many of us. Each with a different story, but similar in many ways. There is lots of advice and much good will. I hope that EP proves to be as good an outlet for you as it has been for me. I have just started an affair, and it's wonderful, but also makes me question the nature of my marriage - rather like you. I wish you the best. <br />
<br />
ww

I'm in a similar place to Hope54. Married 20+ years and with little physical passion,.... not even for the first 5 years. We also had trouble concieving and have no children even with medical help. I get stuck into work, have a fun hobby and do stuff around the garden which keeps me busy. My wife is not a bad person, has a good job but is very dominating in many ways. When we do seriously argue (which is rare now) she says she can't live with out me,... so what do you do. We get along and do have some similar thoughts about life. But one thing I have done is to have had a discreet affair with a very understanding woman. I should feel bad,... but needed to do something, ie: experiance real physical passion.<br />
I hope you can expeiance that once again to,... and you have taken some action by the sounds of it. Good luck.

It is so damm hard to live this way in a sexless relationship, wanting something you will probably never get with again that partner. And yet it is equally damm hard to end the relationship when you have been taught otherwise and have so many other things in common, especially chilldren. Sometimes I feel as though life would be a lot easier to be in a relationship with someone who has the same problem in their marriage; to be involved with him or her passionatly and sexually yet still be involved with the marriage to the other person. I quess this is called an "affaire". I truely understand how these affairs can start though; one feels so helpless, angy, and frustrated in the sexless relationship that they seek another person to feel the way they used to feel with the original partner. I know I have felt this way many times in my 30 yr marriage. I have not done anything with anybody but it gets harder and harder to live this way as I get older....

Good Heartfelt Post! Believe it when it's said; there is security in numbers. Hope everyone will share with you.

Katia... yes, everyone has such a different situation in their own marriage. How have I justified my affair? I dunno. I am not sure that I have. It is inherently wrong but I can't not do it. I endured 16 years of not being touched, carressed, held or kissed before I did. Is that a justification? It is in my mind now but it took a long time to get to that point. The affair isn't a new thing for me... it has been a few years and I have come to terms with it. <br />
Also, my husband knows I HAD an affair (but I haven't told him I am having one at the moment). As a last ditch attempt to rescue our marriage and the lack of sex... I told him a year or so ago.. He said 'I kind of knew'. I said 'Why?' He said 'Because you seemed happier'. He did not ask how long the affair lasted (it could have been a one night stand or a full blown affair. It actually lasted 2.5 years), he did not want to know anything. It was a painful conversation with long silences. From that I presume he accepts it maybe... I don't know.

Hope I completely agree with you. This is not the situation we'd predict let alone choose for ourselves in the first place. Like the question I answered minutes ago I have to say when your partner selfishly neglects your needs and put you into a situation where you don't deserve then he better knows that there will be someone who'd love to compensate for him. This is what our partners have chosen for us.<br />
<br />
I'm thinking of an affair because I feel a void in my life and my therapist says that's an indicator of mental balance and health. People who deny their human needs are not healthy.<br />
<br />
I'm still in a marriage and for some circumstances I have to stay in it for a while before I leave it but I still haven't come to terms with myself about the affair. I always think the man who would have an affair with a married woman doesn't have enough respect for her and moreover I'm dubious weather I can maintain the relationship without hurting his feelings while I don't plan anything longterm.

hvac... I am not quite sure of the meaning of post. Are you suggesting other support groups or are you condemning affairs? I would be interested to know. For me the journey was long and heartbreaking. I spent over ten years thinking I might never make love with anyone again. Ten years is a helluva time to lie awake and wonder this. <br />
Chai and Tinkerbell... I know you understand and I know we understand each other. This is not the course of action I would have chosen for myself... when I took my marriage vows and the bit 'with this body I thee worship'... I believed that.

I am a female who is also in a nearly sexless marriage. The sex happens once every six months (if I'm lucky.) Also, he is emotionally ill. He lost his last job a year ago, and I am supporting him. I don't think he'll ever work again.<br />
<br />
To top it off, I have a music teacher who I am getting a crush on. This is not surprising, I guess, considering my current love life with my husband.<br />
<br />
I don't know what to do anymore. I want to have someone to love who is more functional than my husband.

Hope, welcome. You're among friends and understood here. <br />
I was married for 27 years, last 12 of those sexless; I did the affair, I did the separation.<br />
Stick around and read here; it'll help.

Thank you Richard. Of course it isn't often quite so simple because I hate deceit and I do feel guilt. Why I should feel guilt when I have been deprived of a physical relationship for so long, I do not know. But I do. It took me 15 years to take 'that' step and it changed me totally.

Hope,<br />
<br />
I am so glad that you have been able to introduce a lover into your life. You owe it to yourself to be able to savour the joy of a proper, fulfilling sexual relationship. Because of the beneficial effects this will have had on you your husband will also be feeling the results of you being in a better and happier fr<x>ame of mind. Providing you are able to accommodate both men in your life then you have at least moved some way to having alleviated the problem. I only wish that we could all be more open regarding our sexual needs without having sexual jealousy entering the fray. <br />
<br />
Richard.

Dear Hope, thanks for sharing your story. I'm also deprived of this basic human need for almost 3 years. I don't think my husband is an evil but sure our spouses are the most selfish creatures in this world for putting us into a situation no human kind deserves.

Skippy... I know a lot of what you say is right... it is just a bit more complicated than that. But I do thank you for your thoughts on it. His wellbeing is his responsibility but... for various reasons he finds it quite difficult to cope.. and without me, well... I can't quite imagine. Sorry to be a bit obtuse about that and thank you.

I don't want to be too brutally frank, but I think you should give long and careful consideration to staying long term because he "needs" you. I have first hand experience of a person close to me who stayed because her husband needed her. When she FINALLY left him she got no understanding, acknowledgement or anything else for all the compassion and patience and help she tried to give him...NONE. He is a grown adult not a child. I do not KNOW your situation, but I would try and examine closely how much he actually needs you and whether his well being is actually your responsibility or his own. I would say the latter.

Isn't it lovely to know you're not alone, crazy, worthless, weird, etc, etc? Your story really is the same as mine, including the near breakdown from the frustration of the whole thing. I did education, and fitness and god knows what to make myself a good enough person and all that - mind you, that's good things that I have forever. But it's such a relief to give up isn't it? I too have found something outside the relationship, and am worrying about the future - but it's so much better than where I was before. Welcome to the group and an awful lot of people who really do understand xx

And Thoughtitwasme... thank you too! Yes, it is obviously like minded people... only those who have been in the situation truly understand. Some who don't endure this pretend to understand I think... but unless you have experienced it in all its awfulness (is there such a word as awfulness?!) you don't know what it is like.

Thank you Callie, Skippy and ManinFull for your kind comments. Yes... I have done something about it too... affair-wise. Who would have ever thought it of me? (certainly not me all those years ago.. I am an inherently honest person you see....) I have been close to thinking of leaving my husband at times because of his lack of affection, his complete lack of emotion and the celibacy issue... but he NEEDS me. This is far more complicated than it sounds... So, anyway, I have found a sense of fulfilment outside my marriage but I worry about the future.

Welcome, Hope. I am relatively new here as well. We all feel your pain and can sympathize with you. This group really has its advantages- it does help to "vent" to others who TRULY understand the enormity of the situation.

Welcome Hope...I have only been here a few months so pretty much a newbie as well, but you are in the right place. I can completely sympathize with your journey as there are simularities to my own. I also did something about it......I know that the rest of the world would think me a **** or bad person for having an affair but only because they have not walked in my shoes. I have come to realize that I have to do what is right for me and I can't MAKE my husband "fancy" me...so I do the best I can and don't feel guilty about it....welcome and I hope that you , like me, find strength in this support group

Welcome ! I'm a relative newbie myself,and came to this after moving on to a new relationship, but after years of torture and frustration and feeling that I must surely be the only person in the world in this situation. Since my divorce is in it's early stages I still take great comfort to understand what it is that I have been through, the people here have a wonderful insight on the hugely ignored subject of spousal refusal I have not seen anywhere else. This body of experiences is invaluable in understanding what you are going through, so thanks for having the courage to post your tale, and please DO NOT GIVE UP ! The road was long for me, and I lost hope many times, but I met someone wonderful and life is rosy again. It can happen if you let it!

Thanks for the welcome! Phew! <br />
I don't think there is any working out to be done.... I am way past that quite possibly. I do hold huge bitter resentment about all of this... it's now what I signed up for when I took my marriage vows... but there's not a lot I can do about it all now. I just accept and make the best of my life, I s'pose.

Welcome to the community! We don't bite, hell most of us don't even kiss anymore! Thank you for sharing your story with us, for me it is always important to see this issue from a woman's perspective.<br />
<br />
I empathize with the party-planning, becoming the best-mom and working to excel in all other areas to make up for the deficiency, but it is just that... replacement. I hope that things work out for you but after 19 years the picture looks pretty bleak.<br />
<br />
Rarely are our spouses "bad people" but they sure as hell aren't very good in the passion department.