I Gave A Real Ultimatum Today In Couple's Therapy

My husband needs professional help outside of our couple's therapy. He has long standing OCD & anxiety disorders that manifested in severe addictions in the past (though he is clean now). Untreated, it is no surprise that his capability for intimacy is basically non-existent.

He has been promising to follow through with this help for months, but he has yet to do it. I told him flat out today that if he didn't seek immediate help (individual counseling, medication treatment) for his problems, I was leaving and I completely mean it. Make appointments this week and go to them. No excuses. I have never threatened to leave, it is not something I take lightly, but I am really done. Even if he gets the help, it is no gurantee that I will ultimately stay in this relationship, but there is no chance of healing anything with him in this state.

Something shifted this past week, and it is that I am no longer vested in staying in this relationship at all costs. The process of addressing my co-dependency has changed the way I look at him and this relationship. I will not stay in a sexless relationship. I will not stay with someone who does not have the capacity for intimacy. I will not waste my time persuing a man that rejects me and seeks out petty arguments to keep a feeling of control.

So done with it.

This feeling is very new for me, but it is very strong and very clear. I am going to be true to myself. Listen to my heart.

I may not be able to stay, even if he seeks out help. I am very unclear on my true feelings towards him right now. I am going to go to therapy by myself, and try to sort it out. I don't want to make decisions in a reactionary place about what to do next. A lot of damage has been done, and my first priority is now to myself and making a happier life. It is possible that he pushed it so far that I can't come back to him. I don't know right now.

So, there it is...
rosedl rosedl
41-45, F
7 Responses Jul 21, 2010

One more thing, the poor guy is sufferring psychological problems.<br />
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That is more likely the reason he is unable to perform. Sometimes these things have a spiritual root, sometimes I'm not so sure, it could be fear induced.<br />
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I would think that the unfortunate part of your relationship is that your need for sex is greater than your husbands health to supply it at this time.<br />
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The only way I can possibly see a solution is if his health is fully restored, that may take a miracle from God.<br />
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God Bless and Help you guys.

I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Proud because you understand that you deserve the right to take care of yourself, proud because you are honest with your feelings regarding your genuine feelings about even wanting him anymore, and proud of you for going to a therapist for your self! That is huge! Seriously, that never even occured to me; to seek a therapist for my self. I wondered many times if there was a support group out there, one where I could go to and find others in my situation, but I had thought there was no way that there were others like me. Not that I'm special or unique, but the only self-help books I could find were about 'How to Spice Up Your Marriage' and that was not what I was seeking; I knew darn well how to spice up my sex life...so no, I figured there would not be a support group for The Refused Partner in a Sexless Marriage. <br />
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You took a huge step by saying that you're going to get therapy for yourself. You are in inspiration! I do wish you and your husband good luck and hope that you both find the happiness that you both deserve...whether with or without each other.

I can identify with you over the anxiety and addictions. My wife has been sober for 2 years. It's funny, but the sexless-ness in our marriage started about the time she became sober. She has worries about our son, worries about pregnancy, worries about pain during intercourse...worries...So it never happens.<br />
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Glad you have found new power! Take it slow and easy, but keep moving towards YOUR happiness!

You have a great deal of insight into your situation, and that tells me that you will do the right thing for your self-preservation when the time is right. I think it is highly significant that you have recognised that it isn't enough anymore for your spouse to try and participate, but that you have seriously questionned whether you even still want it from him.<br />
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This was something I considered deeply towards the end of the relationship with my STBX, and I concluded that if she could go without desiring me for that long (ten years and more) then she didn't really want me......DESPITE what she said to the contrary

I am figuring you would either be involved in a 12 step program, or at least be familiar with same.<br />
So you know you can't change someone else. But you can change yourself, and other person(s) are welcome to join you on the journey.<br />
Your tactic of only responding to what he DOES - as oppossed to what he SAYS, is sound - and wise.<br />
Good luck on your journey. Whether he will come with you on it is a yet unknown. <br />
You can do no more than invite him, but you need to go on your journey - alone if need be.<br />
And you CAN. Little steps.<br />
Good luck.

"I don't want to make decisions in a reactionary place about what to do next. A lot of damage has been done, and my first priority is now to myself and making a happier life."<br />
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This is one of the most brilliant things I have heard in this forum and there are a lot of bright lights in our (sadly, not so) little group. <br />
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I too am making myself a priority, get in shape physically (check), get in shape financially (debt gone, now saving) and get busy gettin' busy with somebody (planned, oh happy day when I can finally say check)<br />
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Good on you for the big gains in therapy!

Rose, it is very understandable that you may have nothing left to give this man. After the battles of years in sexless marriages, it takes much more than a half hearted effort by our spouses to resurrect the love and intimacy we once had for them.<br />
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If it takes an ultimatum to get them to act, it suggests they are STILL only acting to protect themselves - in this case, protect themselves from losing THEIR spouses. . . . (i.e. not taking actions to improve the relationship for BOTH of you).<br />
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I strongly recommend you make no promises to your husband - and simply say that it remains to be seen how you will eventually decide to proceed. Don't be surprised if this lack of certainty is enough to give your husband the excuse he needs to do nothing. He may well feel that if he cannot get a GUARANTEE from you that you will stay, it will not be worth his while to work on his issues. Should this be the case, you will have your answer. . . . sadly.<br />
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Also, be aware that promising someone you will give them time to work on their issues is in fact a strong DISincentive to work on their problems . . . They can make partial efforts for years, simply to keep you hanging on, waiting for things to change significantly for the better.<br />
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Stick with your resolve and know ll of us here are supporting you. {{{Hugs}}}