No Sex Or Little Sex...which Is Worse?

Ok crew..Im new here so excuse any noob mistakes.  I have been living in a sexless marriage for over 11 years now and I have finally reached a point where it is just not bearable alone.  Lucky for me I found this outlet and I am hoping somehow misery loves company.  Based on the posts I have read so far at least I know you all will understand.

My wife was sexually abused by several kids in her neighborhood when she was 5.  Im not 100% sure of the details but from what I have been told in pieces I think it was a few older (early teens) boys and even an older girl.  My wife refers to it as rape but I havent heard her speak of any physical abuse.  It sounds like it was more peer presure or threatening to tell etc. but again Im not sure. 

So for the first 10 years of my marriage I was kept in the dark.  We experienced cycles of no sex, me getting upset and confronting her about it, things changing for a short time (1 time a week or so for a month or two) and then like clock work would go back to the 1 time every 2 - 6 months.  Her excuse most of the time was she was ill, had a headache or was too tired...you know the standard diversion tactics.  It went on like this except for when she wanted to have kids.  Every night was an expectation at that point.  Unfortunately I guess I was just a little too potent because the trying phase never really lasted very long.  As soon as she found out she was pregnant, zippy!  Of course with mornng sickness and other pregnancy excuses how could I confront her?  The longest she managed to hold me off to date has been 11months and 25 days.  Not much compared to many of you I have read posts from I suppose but to me it is horible and life draining. 

So eventually like many of you I began to slowly pull away.  The years of rejection had taken their toll and I just had no feelings for intamacy with her on an emotional level anymore.  I was content to be alone, it was how I felt anyway.  A little over a year ago however I began to notice things.  I bought here a computer for Christmas that previous year and she had developed a habit of constantly being online.  It started with kid game sites (webkinds) but eventually she found facebook and the games on there and was addicted.  If I only had a count of how many hours she spends online (she is a stay at home mom).  One day I remember laying down on the couch next to her watching TV while she played on the computer as always.  I noticed out of the corner of my eye a chat pop-up and caught a quick look at a message, "can you talk?"  No hello or initial greeting.  She then seemed to close it out as quickly as she could, almost slightly paniced but at the time I didnt think much of it.  As time wore on that event stuck in my mind.  Eventually it lead me to hack into her facebook and email accounts (I am a computer network engineer by profession).  What I found broke me.  She was having an affair.  I found emails between her and an old boyfriend from her past.  I later found out this had started 6 months prior.  It hadnt yet resulted in a physical affair but in one of the emails I found she had sent to him she was telling him over and over she really wanted to meet with him.  There were apparently MANY phone calls during the day while I was working when she was watching my 4 children that went on as well and I ofter wonder what they may have heard but would NEVER ask them. 

I dont want to dwell on the emotional affair but I do want to mention that she continued to communicate with the other guy after the initial confrontation I had with her and 2 more times after that.  One of the times she convinced me to allow her to go away for a few days to a hotel to think and decide what she wanted out of our marriage.  I even asked her to leave her computer at home since facebook seemed to be such a bad idea for her.  She convinced me she wanted it to be able to research things online.  Again, hello..I work on computers for a living and of course I found out she emailed the guy again while she was away from me...this time I called right away when she did it...it was not pretty!  Even with that I told her to come home and work with me to save our marriage. 

So I forgot to mention she told me about the sexual abuse after the first time I caught her in the affair.  While she told me she had planned on telling me before that it seemed awfully convienent.  She told me this was the root cause of her lack of desire for sex and ultimately our marriage issues.  I told her then that while I can see how this could cause her distast for sex with me it by no means justifies or excuses her adultry (in my eyes but maybe not the law).  I eventually demanded she see a therapist and get help which she did via the local rape crisis center.  Unfortunately the center has a rule that only allows the therapist to see someone for 6 months.  After 4 months of therapy I got my first ever BJ from her...wow!  3 weeks later she made love to me again.  She told me she needed to be in control of our sex life because of the rape and what it did to her for a while and I agreed but warned her that as long as she really understood that I needed her to love me physically to feel complete in our marriage I was completely ok with that.  Some time later she tells me one day she is going to stop seeing the therapist...I was not happy at all and told her so.  She said she just didnt think any progress was being made and she thought things were now good.  I told her...are you kidding?  Im still not allowed to actually initiate sex with you and you and only you say when and if we make love?  This is ok for you?  Not me!!

I convinced her to go back to the therapist and we began to have a decent sex life, once every 1 - 1.5 weeks.  I would love 2 a week but it was ok with me.  Then...the 6 month period ended...and next thing I new my calendar is showing 1 month with nothing.

So now she basically has the view of "I was raped and I cant have a normal sex life and you need to learn to deal with that" and I have the mind set of "I didnt rape you and you didnt tell me you couldnt have a sex life in marriage (this was not an issue when dating) so you need to get over being a victim and stop using it to hide behind".  Maybe Im a jerk and typical man but Im sorry, I just could not see hurting her by rejecting or witholding something from my wife who I love because of something that happened to me when I was five.  Even if I did have issues I would get help until I could have a healthy relationship with my spouse.  To her sex is not an obligation and feeling like it is makes her resent it more.  

Meanwhile I have read all these books on how to help a spouse who was raped as a child and they all say basically I need to be a dish rag and allow her to grow on her own..but she doesnt want to really change, doesnt see a need, and I dont have any patience after the infidelity to love her enough to be patient any more!  

So now I am at the point where I am seriously considering moving out of the bedrooom and into a seperate room in the basement.  My wife still kisses me (pecks) now and then and seems to be going on like nothing is wrong and inside I am dying.  I just cant sleep beside this woman constantly hoping tonight may be the night only to be either let down or worse rejected when I finally get enough courage to try to initiate.  I feel it would be easier if I just let go of that part of our mariage but I know in order to do that I also need to change the relationship to more of a friendship/parenting partnership and stop all couple like intimacy.  To me this idea sounds like it could work?  I wonder what I get so frustrated and I think it may be due to the constant hope with constant let downs.  If I could just remove the expectation that it could happen or should happen I should say perhaps it would be better?  I would still respect her as a parent partner but would be free to make plans on my own, do things on my own without the need to get permission or approval on any level other than shared responsibilities for the kids.  Would this be better or am I just fooling myself?  

Can anyone share if they have tried this?    I used to be such a happy person...and now...I am full of resentment and rage and I hate who I have become and cant find a way to change within myself. 
demisis demisis
36-40, M
7 Responses Jul 20, 2010

I've known people it has worked for. There's a thing called collaborative divorce you should look into...

the sexual abuse never came up until after you confronted her about two things- the sexless marriage and the affair. And then you get your first BJ after a littel bit of therapy....dude, time to wake up. She is cheating on you regularly, and you have accepted it, so she can continue to have her cake and eat it too.<br />
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Lawyer up, and get ready for pain. Do the best you can for the kids. Good luck, and know that you deserve better, and so do the kids. What a selfish b**ch.

Quietman72 - Thanks for the insights. I am already at the point where sexual innuendos bring up nothing but feelings of anger. Sounds like both paths are identical with respect to destiny but one at leasts places some control into my own hands. I think that really helps make up my mind. <br />
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Godad - thanks for the candid response. Believe me there my pair were well in place during the events. I tried to keep an open mind based on the news she decided to share with me concerning her abuse. I immediately read many online articles on what to do and not to do as a her husband and I wanted to understand her point of view. Apparently this old flame came into her life shortly after the abuse and in her eyes he was some sort of protector as he kept her away from the other element thus preventing the abuse. <br />
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Her comfort with Cyber vs real relationships is completely understandable but not excusable. In cyberspace you dont have to be real and dont have to perform. She gets all of the attention with none of the commitment. I suppose in her mind it is safe. <br />
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I wanted to add that the what makes me most angry about the abuse and learning about it is that during our initial dating she definitely had no issues with physical intimacy. The messed up part about the whole thing is the closer she got to me the less sex she felt she had to give. So to me it is obvious sex is a tool for her to get what she wants and use when it suits her (kids, appease me for a while etc). <br />
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This sucks! But at least changing the marriage into more of a partnership has the potential of stopping the rejection. <br />
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Thanks all

She should have been upfront with you about her past sexual abuse/rape before you married her. That in itself is just wrong. I think moving out of the bedroom could either put MORE distance between you, or it could give her a wake up call about how far you're willing to go. I would do it, if I were you.. just to make a statement. I would try it for six months and see what happens. It could transform things for the better, or it might give you more power over your own situation and lead to a final decision that you could be better off alone.

I couldn't do it, but we are all different. I think doing something even if it doesn't work is better than doing nothing. The idea of trying and feel like you are moving forward will make you feel better.<br />
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There are no simple answers here.<br />
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I wish you luck.

My very first story on here "Recognise Reality" might give you a slant on how to re-define a relationship into a workable partnership.<br />
It worked for me for quite a while. It wasn't sustainable as it turned out finally, but it DID work for a long enough period to be useful.<br />
Good Luck

I'll cut to the chase. <br />
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No sex: <br />
Pros: Frees you of the frustration of anticipation. Allows you to ********** without worry that you might be "on call" for that evening. Let's you act as you damn well please because you are no longer trying to make things "perfect" in the hopes that you might get lucky that night if you play your cards just right.<br />
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Cons: You can actually feel that sexual part of you die and it sucks horribly. You feel like a freak sometimes for living a sexless life while married. Makes you resent sexual innuendo from friends, media, etc. Eventually, you will stop being emotionally connected to your spouse. <br />
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Infrequent sex: <br />
Pros: Let's the pressure off from time to time. Momentarily reconnects you to your spouse. Keeps your eye from wandering. Gives you hope;<br />
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Cons: Rejection, rejection, rejection. You will always wonder if it's pity sex or real. Makes you play their game again. Puts you in a position of weakness in the relationship. Enables their excuses. <br />
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Essentially, both paths will lead you to resent your spouse. The damage is done either way and eventually, no matter how loving and caring we are, we feel the need to protect ourselves from our abusive spouses. Remember, this is sexual abuse that is being done to you by your wife. She is inflicting mental pain on you, intentionally. I read your post carefully and don't know what to say about her rape situation except that I do understand the seed of doubt that lives in your mind. Why now? Why not before? What triggered the trauma to emerge now? I don't know. What I do know is that by saying that she's not interested in fixing the problem, she's passing on the pain to you. Forced sex and enforced no-sex are different for sure, but both are forced and both hurt good people.

Wow....I didn' completely understand your comments before but now....they really hit home. You are 100% on the money with your input. Thanks for sharing....THIS SUCKS!