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Refusing Sex = Emotional Abuse

Withholding sex in a "loving" relationship is Emotional Abuse. Denying one's partner the bond which cultivates closeness and intimacy with them is Emotional Abuse. Whether their refusal is due to mental illness, passive/aggressive anger or control issues or an underlying reason that even they are not aware of, the act of not even trying to right this wrong is Emotional Abuse. Sex is the glue which holds a relationship/marriage together. It is supposed to be the one thing which separates a couple from just being friends or just being roommates. Denying one's partner sex and sexual intimacy is abuse because it makes their partner feel unwanted, undesired, unworthy, unattractive, unhappy and unfulfilled. It is NOT FAIR. It is NOT WHAT YOU HAD SIGNED UP FOR. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE. If the refuser doesn't try to deal with their reason for inflicting this devastating blow to their partner's psyche, self-esteem and sense of self-worth, then it is just plain CRUEL and SELFISH. It may make their partner question their self-worth, it may cause depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, lessen their ability to think rationally, create a sense of hopelessness and cause them constant worry. It is crippling. It is emotionally painful.  It indeed hurts.  It drains one's energy, makes them feel like they're fighting a losing battle, and makes them question their own sanity. Again, it is NOT ACCEPTABLE. There has to be a reason; the refused did not cause this.  Even if they did, they cannot begin to right the situation if the refuser refuses to even discuss the matter. The refuser withholds sex and that is not fair and is wrong, very wrong. If they have a problem, whether it be a mental or physical issue or personal reason, they should own up to it and try to get it out and into the open. Not discussing the problem only makes it fester and causes additional problems. I realize and appreciate that every relationship is different and has its own dynamics, but one thing which is very real is that denying one's self and their loved one the pleasure, passion, joy and emotional fulfillment of sexual intimacy is indeed a form of Emotional Abuse and it is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Good luck to anyone who is in a sexless relationship/marriage.  From my experience, I believe that one can give and give and try to make it work out but it's a no-win situation since there is only one partner who is trying.  Eventually one realizes that there is nothing left to give and nothing left to compromise; they have given all that they are capable of and have already compromised themselves too much.  If one realizes this and sees the situation for what it truly is, they will feel it in their gut, they will know that enough is enough and they will hopefully get the heck out and move on with THEIR LIFE while they still have love for their self.  Sexless Marriage truly sucks.  The emotional abuse truly hurts. Thankfully there are lots of folks on this forum, like me, who have made it to the other side and are living happy and healthy sex lives filled with joy, tenderness and respect.  We've been where you are.  We understand your pain and frustration.  You are not alone.  Good luck to anyone who has experienced or is currently living in this situation.  I hope that things will get better, but if they don't, I hope you will find the courage and inner strength to take care of your self.  Life is way too short to settle for less. 
ISELFLOVE ISELFLOVE 41-45, F 144 Responses Jul 22, 2010

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Thank you so much for writing this! So well put and is exactly how I feel! How it feels! I have suffered this for years now. I don't want to bash on women but times sure have changed and now us men are at the mercy of our women to decide our very happiness, self worth, self esteem, mood and balance, ect! I guess all I can say to that is I wish women knew/cared that by denying us regular loving mutually satisfying sex is the end result is "You get what you pay for" so hope they don't wonder why their man is floundering at work and home, fighting depression and moody as hell out of rejection and anger. he is being held back from being all he can be and I don't think women realize this and the whole picture. then wonder why he is distant, not happy and the man she first met(when their sex was out of this world) or the man she wants him to be! men are programmed to have and need sex. it's not our fault! in today's society it's become the brunt of many a woman joke or complaint. it just drives me crazy that they don't say yes more often when it's a win/win proposition. I make damn sure my woman is satisfied every time! that in turn makes me so happy and further turns me on and then we have great sex. WOMEN LISTEN UP! YOUR HURTING YOURSELVES JUST AS MUCH BY SAYING NO. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR IN A RELATIONSHIP!

Ok so I'm a gay man and I have been with my partner for almost 3 years now and in the three years ive penetrated him 4 times, because it pains him too much.
I don't know what to do beaches I love him but I'm only young (20) and he is my first proper boyfriend and I feel like I've been cheated out of the fun a relationship carries, I know this is wrong but I have though of going with other men to fufil the urge to have sex.
If someone could give me advice that would be great I feel so lost

20 years ago I accepted that my wife suffered from physiological problems that often made intercourse uncomfortable, even painful. Whenever she was in pain I would gently and sensitively end our lovemaking, never once making her feel embarrassed, unloved or unwanted.Twelve years ago after a total hysterectomy we thought things would get better. Instead she lost her libido and I again accepted that our sex life would be curtailed. I remained loyal and understanding throughout, never pressuring her, never demanding sex.Ten years ago she admitted to withholding sex, using it as a weapon, angered that I returned to college to finish my degree. At some point she promised sex when I returned to working full-time. The job came, the sex didn't. Not only did sex become a memory, nearly all physical intimacy came to an end. I found myself asking for things as simple as a kiss or a hug. Excuses came and went...her back hurt, she's tired. The other day she told me that sex made her back hurt, forgetting the other excuses she proffered over the years. I'm not an unattractive man, overweight yes but not obese. Even in my teens and inexperienced, I was an attentive, sensitive and generous lover, qualities that carried over to adulthood. I've remained faithful and loyal to my wife despite the near-total lack of intimacy and total absence of sex in our marriage. Notice that I made a distinction between intimacy and sex. You can experience one without the other. Alas, my wife, for reasons I may never know fails to recognize the psychological damage she's inflicted on a sensitive, loving caring man. She doesn't have a lover and I'm not wealthy so I'm left to wonder what her motives are. Our friends think she's wonderful, and indeed she can be. But when it comes to sex and intimacy she is in denial, exposing a cold, soulless side no one but me sees.

Amen. Now if only 90% of the women out there that withold sex in their marriages thought this way there would be far less divorces.


You put your finger on the wound and started healing it with this article. I have been married to my wife for 20 years and we have 3 children 19, 16, and 13 year old. Since day one of our marriage my wife was not too hot about sex. She then started to find all sorts of excuses to avoid intimacy. The next phase she was using sex as a way to get me do what she wants. When her menopause came and her long periods stopped, I thought, at least now she can't use periods as an excuse to deprive me from sex for 2 weeks in a month, but her lidibo went right down and sex has become occasional and less and less frequent and when it happened, it was like her waiting for me to finish a chore so that she can get on with watching her favourite TV programs. Now for 3 months there was no intimacy between us whatsoever. Not even a hug or a kiss and whenever I comeback from work I find her angry and putting up a grumpy face. I pride myself for never being violent to her or anyone of my children, I work very hard to keep the family afloat, even her girl friends tell her how much I am dependable and always helpful, I take her on holidays, we go as a family on days out, we eat out, I look after my children. I tried to speak to her many times about how I feel , but she says sex is not important, she even calls sex "that thing" as if it was a sware word or something tabou or dirty. I am a man of very high sex drive and these 3 months have been like hell to me. I feel I am in a worse situation than a single man in his 50s. A single man can go out to look for women with no remorse, but as married man, if I do that I will be called a cheat, a slapper, and so on. To be frank I almost went that route and I even kissed another women, but stopped it at the kiss as I felt guilty.
If I divorce, my wife will ruin me by taking the house I worked for all my life when she was not working and watching all tv programs.
My wife even told me to marry another women as I am a muslim and my religion allows it, but I didn't want to do that because I love my children and I can't support 2 households financially.
please help me with your advise as I am lost and I don't know what to do.
I read here that some women are living this situation with their husband, for me it is the other way round.
This situation meant that the only option I have is to maturbate at the age of 50. I am ashamed to say it, but what other option do I have?

Don't feel embarrassed as you have no choice. I emphasize with your situation since, like you, I love my wife. Stay strong.

Maybe someone can help me some. I have been married for almost 5 years to a recovering alcoholic. I went thru so much emotionally in the first several years due to his drinking, emotional abuse was abundant. He finally stopped a little over a year ago but now all of the underlying issues are coming up. He will scream at me, threaten divorce, and blame everything on me..... the kicker? Afterwards he wants sex. And if I'm not into it or don't want it, the circle starts all over again. He has told me that not wanting sex is emotionally abusive to him and that I'm wrong for it. I have been researching for days but nothing covers my problem. I feel as if my life is falling apart and the only thing he is worried about is making sure he gets his. I really hope someone has some further insight.

That's awful : (

Both are wrong. As the author said, with holding and refusing is an abusive behaviour. It's about control and punishment for what he has done wrong. He is wrong as well, screaming name calling, etc is abusive behaviour as well.

I'm not withholding tho, I just can't honestly give him the emotional response that he wants. I have fully explained myself to him, and unless I have a migrane or am physically ill, make myself available.

It is wrong (emotionally abusive) to withhold sex in a loving relationship for a long periods of time with no reason. It is also wrong (emotionally abusive) to expect sex after a fight or negative confrontation, without proper reconciliation (by reconciliation I mean a sincere and compassionate apology, attempt to provide comfort or compensation for the caused hurt. "Sorry, lets have sex" is not a proper reconciliation). You're being very loving and selfless but he needs to reciprocate. Read this article, hopefully it will help you both:
Also, alcoholism is not the problem, it is only the symptom of a bigger problem stemming from the past (usually childhood). He needs to find out why was he drinking and deal with the problem, because he might direct his anger at you (lethal for the marriage).

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Been going on over 2 years I think it's away for my spouse to control manipulate then poor me syndrome

I had 18 years of no sex yes it hurt and he abused me in other ways. Sex is not everything you have a choice stay or go. I used to ask why then saw it gave him satisfaction if I moaned. I just never spoke of it. That he hated, now he is old I have left, i got the normal no one will want you. That's why Ive found the most sexual and intimate relationship now.

i just read this to my partner and he got so mad that he kicked the phone out of my hand! i know he is sexual, because i have a friend who knew him well, and, apparenly, he'll have sex with anyone, but me! it truly was one of the most painful situations ive ever encountered , and ive been thru every kind of abuse there is! sadly, he made me become ugly...its like, i manifested his will upon me, because im not ugly! in fact, my pain problem in the past was men using me for sex because im sexy. well, not anymore, but i learned alot about myself thru this...i learned that i deserve to be respected, no matter what anyone says or thinks, or tells me. and the next time i date, and a boundary is crossed, there is no need to voice my concern and hope he changes, but cut ties, and cut them without any explanation being made. people know how to treat someone they respect and value, so if they mess up, they dont care, and whether it be because they dont care about themselves, or just you... its not your problem, but theirs, and if you make t your problem, it will be!

Ouch! Best of luck going forward and I hope you find a partner you deserve.
Having the phone kicked out of your hand in anger is a major red flag to me.

I just read your post regarding a sexless marriage. I am living in one now. This is my second marriage and we have been married for almost ten years. My first marriage lasted for nearly twenty two years but ended due to my ex-husbands addiction to sex and ***********. The man I am married to now started losing his sex drive shortly after were married and had been going down hill ever since. when I finally brought it up to him he just said he was losing his sex drive. He says he is afraid that it is probably due to lack of testosterone and that is embarrassing to him and he is afraid of the medication they use to treat it. I finally convicted him to go for a physical and they tested his blood. it has taken me up to today for him to go back to get the results. It's September's 4th. I have told him on several occasions that I didn't blame him if he didn't want to take the meds. I just need to know if I am the problem. I have been feeling do rejected and hurt by all this and I have started not to trust him anymore. I love him with all my heart but it is starting to break. Anyone have any suggestions? Please help!

Great to know its others going through the same problems. It's been a year no intimacy sex kissing nothing. Lonely and I'm in a 12 year marriage not getting better I love them but I love myself more and this sexless marriage is driving me insane... I'm sexually frustrated

Spot on...

Thanks for sharing. It is abuse and took me years to realize that.

it makes me cry, I'm in this situation right now and I cant get out because I do not have the strength I need

This is ****** up in so many ways.

This post helped me so much. Explained my feelings exactly. Thanks for sharing...I don't feel alone.

Thank you so much for your enlightenment on this subject. I have been I have been in this type of relationship for 6 years & its time for me to move on with my life

I was in a sexless relationship too... I decided that the only solution was to exit the marriage. It was the right choice for me. Pls take a look at my profile, and then consider adding me to your circle. Thx.

I forced my husband to be sexless for a very long time. He was not given many options in his life either. Last Year he became very tired of the situation and decided one evening it was going to be his way, I was supposed to do a favor for his father and go with someone to a political funding dinner, but before I was pick up my husband said said he was owed 31 years.. He did not give me a choice, I am not refusing him any more but I am finding out what his father meant all those years ago. My husband has become extremely violent in the protection of his rights, If I refuse or try to go out with others he insists on being at my side, I say its none of your business he says. IT IS HIS BUISNESS IF I AM UNDER HIS ROOF. If he is backed off by force he shows up and does not give anyone a chance to defend themselves. He tears into them, that is what happened Saturday, His father wanted him and several of his friends to have a private conversation with me about how to get my husband to be coopertative on Labor day, They threatened him with a pair of unloaded pistols to let me go with them, He showed up where we were talking and without warning waded into everyone with his cane swinging. These were the eight and ninth men he hurt bad in the last 14 years, he always has proof that others start the dustup. But it is getting intolerable for everyone to tell him something in his home is none of his business and he makes it his business, any one with the slightest manners if they are told even in their own home that they are not welcome usually would step out, but not my husband. If I say no to sex as a punishment now he takes me and pushes me out the door. It would not matter if I was without a stich on, He says, I don't have a say in it any longer. he says I don't have a right to ask him to leave his house any more, He tells his own father to get out of his life. and enforces his will by being physical.
I am majorly confused. The police wont do anything because my husband is now recording everything except the bathrooms and the bedroom. He has no trust that anyone might be trying to help him. How violent can a man become in the protection of his rights, Can he allow himself to be so callous he cares nothing that others might need some thing that might require him to just go away for several hours that he just makes life hell.
My mother and his mother are both standing behind my husband. We did keep him from his rights for three decades, But is that an excuse after so many years to destroy what is expected of him now.

I guess my wife did not notice I was still signed in. What she says above is true I don't trust any one is doing things for my own self worth. I don't care that somebody just went through a nasty divorce, Its not my need to be nice to them by letting my wife go and console him. If he wants sympathy he can wright on here. Usually a man that has been married three or four times is a man I consider to be without morals. In a way I think I might be lucky that the state wont allow a divorce. I have a wider decision making latitude now. Yeah I know that I am leaving jerks bleeding and broken. Making people of influence and power angry that I hold them to the same standard I was held to. But the application of pain is a real function for a rebel. If you make them hurt enough they either go completely of their gimbal and start banging on the wall. Or they learn, they wont be an influence any longer.
I received pain at their hands for so long that might be all I know about now. I don't care what is expected of me, I expect that there are some very witless people now. My bi polar wife is about to go back to a mental ward. She keeps trying to go off her meds, my father thinks he is going to make me feel bad because he is having chest pains. I say just go to ER. My mother is actually laughing, she says I am showing these AHs that their little theory of if you hold someone down they will become slobbering idiots, So plyable that they would do anything to please, Well I am SO FREAKING SORRY, It did not happen You weren't able to teach me, Guess I have a rock hard head.
I just wonder how far people will go to please others?

It's quite hard to follow the story.. So your wife interrupted all sexual contact for a very long period of time. And your response is violence towards her and everyone that surrounds you.

Why are you still together? neither of you has to stay in a marriage that doesn't fulfill you - it's obvious that there aren't many feelings left between the two of you. You can always start over.. and it can be wonderful again, you can meet someone that will love you the way you've always wanted to be loved.

No matter how damaged the relationship is, it's always extremely difficult to let go,I never could explain why.. The moment people reach the point when they've had enough and should just move on, it seems they become suddenly frozen in the situation for far too long.

Remember you don't own anyone, you can't make rules for others - if you're stubborn and still decide to, jokes' still on you - some will obey, but they will lose all respect for you.. Suddenly you're just sad, lonely and surrounded by people that don't like you. And because mothers / church or whatever, you'll feel like you can't break the cycle.

The only responsibility you have is to yourself - you weren't born on this planet to please your wife/husband or your mother in law. How ******* ironic would that be? "Here, there's an opportunity for you to experience the miracle of life, but make sure you obey whatever delusional rules society /church/ mother imposes on you, so you can end up a sad sad man that was given the chance to be happy and make his own choices but didn't, cause momma know better.."

You need to make sure you're happy, otherwise you've wasted all this time for nothing. if you don't like where you are at this point in your life, start again. let go and start again, it's that simple.

But always be a decent person, don't do harm and don't decline other people of their own happiness.

PS1: the wife said something about you not doing "what is expected of you". nothing is expected from either of you.. who taught you that? I will no do something that makes me unhappy because other people "expect" me to.. You really need to sit down with the wife and discuss things - if neither of you is happy, part ways and that's it. If you decide it's worth saving the relationship, it has to be mutual. Otherwise no matter what you do it won't work.

Even if you have kids, that's not a reason to spend your life together feeling sad, like you've missed all the wonderful things this world has promised but has never delivered for you. Everything is an experience and kids learn from experiences. If you know how to manage the breakup the kids will be fine.

Why would you stay in an unhappy marriage because you can't get a divorce? How is that a problem? You need to realize there are actual people in this world that ARE happy. They're happy, they're in love and they're not letting other people tell them how they should live their lives or what is "expected of them".

We all learn how to make compromises in life, but never compromise your entire life.

PS2: I reread your wife's comment - you really can't force someone to love you, no matter how hard you try. What's even worse is that you're probably making all these efforts to make sure she'd not "distracted" but most likely you stopped loving her a long time ago.

Also, maybe momma bears should mind their own business :)

Try to take the good out of what I wrote and try to make some changes so can be happy as a person. Both of you.

With respect,


My wife did not interrupt a sex life she stopped it for decades. It was for the stupid ideas my father spouted, and yes I am required by the state to stay in the marriage, A guardianship was issued a week after I got out of the Navy, I was not asked I was told because she is a sever bi polar I had to take it. I have tried for a divorce twice and the petition was denied, mostly because I could not raise the money for her permanent care. I cant raise the money for my appeal. so I am stuck in this marriage.
Most of the denial was about keeping control of what I did at work, If I used the rights my seniority would have allowed I was always interfering in some ones life, causing a friend of my fathers or their kid to be doing something I earned my way out of. If I wanted to take a holiday or weekend off, my father and wife thought I needed to consider what everyone around me had plans for, I was not allowed to consider anything for myself. After the only six days off I had in 31 years it happened in July 2001, when I threw up and collapsed at my supervisors feet, then had a hole drilled to the center of my head I knew the amount of consideration others were willing to give me, my wife let my father and three coworkers in to yank me out of bed. My father said his absence is causing havoc at work. he can recover standing up as well as being lazy. I was supposed to be off 60 days. but that afternoon I was standing working, that was the only six days off I saw in 31 years. I saw a chance a month later when the job bid for the new plant went up. I had 23 years seniority at this time, I was sick of second shift I was sick of working 12 hours a day on the dirtiest job in the plant in 125 degree heats. So being the jerk I am I thought Carpe Dium seize the day. Put my 23 years on the bid, the other bidder was the son of a county commissioner, He had eight years, my father spent the next week yelling at me how a political figure like his friend needed family to have certain shifts so they could appear in public together, that was not changing my mind I did not work for the county, my wife promised to normalize our marriage if I stayed put. I told her she had been making the same promise for 16 years, it was not going to happen again. Then they decided strong arm tactics were in order, My father told my wife I was only going to get a little roughed up, Just to humble me, I was a big man I could take it, just make sure I was locked out of the house. I arrived home four men got out of a van and told me I was taking my name off the bid, I asked which of them was the wife to who and they jumped me. They had forgot I held a 3rd dan black belt and was trained in two services. In under a minute four men had to be sent to a trauma center in critical condition, My father showed and was crying why couldn't you have just done what they wanted, I was tired of do what was wanted, after that I was forced to work weekends and holidays with a shot gun in my back. The commissioner told the sheriffs department to stay out of it or lose funding.
That is the reason why I put my foot down. I will never allow myself to be pushed or forced into anything again, everyone else can take a flying leap into the void, My wife can leave anytime she feels, I just was not going to allow myself to be used as her piggy bank any more with out something in return, IF she wants she can take what she bought into the marriage 20000 her bags, put her feet on the street and pick a direction. It would free me. That is spousle abandonment as long as she maintains no contact for six months.
As far as my family is concerned I now live far west, I don't care if my father says another word to me. He did his best to ruin my life, make me a slave. To his friends and their brats.
So one way or another in my house my word stands as law from here on. My wife is crying about this but that's the way it is, if I have to be trapped then I will be like Lucifer. My world my law.

I had better explain there have been five more men hurt. An old BF of my wifes that I caught her in an affair with, He decided that a little humiliation was in order. I was just going to see where things were going when he swept my cane with his foot and started laughing with the comment how pathetic, He was in the hospital for a fractured scull, while I was placed I a stress center for anger management. Two weeks later, I was released. The center notified my father I had been taken home by insurance supplied taxi. I found my wife getting ready to go to a political funding dinner with a friend of my father. I told her she owed 31 years of a marriage and she was not going that night. She took of for the door and I grabbed the dress, I said I paid for it: It was staying leaving her standing in garter belt stockings and heels. She begged to meet after the event any where I wanted, and we would talk things through. I said after you negotiate so long then the talk is done, its time for action and the talk was done a decade ago or more. I did force sex right there, The man that was going to pick her up was hammering on the door yelling they were going to be late. I answered the door and told him she was not coming, he decided to punch me and try and force his way past. He landed face first in front of my father as he pulled in with my mother. my wife was in the bedroom crying and my mother went to talk to her, my father helped his friend to the ER. That's the night my mother was filled in about what happened over the last 31 years, Then memorial day, my father tried to get me to leave before the cookout at my house started, He setup the same friend for after dinner drinks with my wife, this was not agreed by her, but I took his reservation from him my father became angry at my pushing my way into traditions formed over 31 years. He slapped me and earned his reward of a backhand across my kitchen. I escorted my own wife. The fourth was tense but my mother sister and brother put their feet down, Then I finally got all the things I needed to do to sell the house and move west.
My father tried the old tactic of using fire arms to back me off, One of the things I installed for the new owners was a wireless security cam system I was recording to the hard drive, when my father pulled up with two friends want it take my wife for a chat without me in tow. They pointed two pistols at e and just about drug her away. I loaded the vid on a thumb drive and was on my way to the township office to file charges, When I spotted my fathers car at a dinner. I could not help myself, grabbed my cane and went in. I saw the two men sitting side ways to the walk way. I did not give then a chance to pull their weapons. and left them bleeding into their breakfast. My mother, sister and her husband as well as my wife the wives of my fathers friends and my father were there. My mother had been told the reason I did not come was I was not there.
I was cuffed and told the watch officer the reason why I had done what I did was in my pocket with the file name. He put it on his tablet and watched it and released me. This labor day is going to be spent with my sister in law, her husband, my wife's mother my wife, and twenty new friends. They are a hardworking group, they are coming mainly to meet the dudes from back east and welcome us.
Instead of suits and ties there will be boots cowboy hats and jeans, The air here is clear and besides my sister in laws new home there is not another in sight. I have several cousins coming to. I do feel this is the new start. My wife feels that its Siberia. I did get an email from my mother. She says if it was not for my fathers coronary she wanted to come back home to. She says he will never interfere again, but asks if she comes would she be welcome. My answer was yes, even my father would be welcome if he did not try to manipulate.
And I just noticed I never explained the cane and the reason for it, Four years ago I had MRSA in my spine, it caused a slip into the cord crushing it. below my upper legs I have only pins and needles. I took three years to get to this point of walking, The cane is one I made for myself out of red oak. it weighs 13 pounds and is toped with a peuter dragon handle and is about four feet tall. That's what I used on my wife's old boyfriend and the two that held pistols on me.

Oh, by the way I hate the phrase there is always tomorrow. I have had 2 times when the next minute was not even sure, the first was a hole from over my right eye to the center of my head to remove a tumor, causing hydrocephalus, I should not have been alive to be put on the table the pressure in my scull was so high. The next time was when MRSA developed in my spine, I still bear some burns where they had to shock my heart to startup on the table twice. I have come off the pain killers, My back is always spasaming, My legs get errant signals causing them to jerk. But I am still to sit in the corner and shut up, Let my wife be the community girlfriend. Well I refuse on all counts and it people don't like it they can shut their trap or end up with my fist in their teeth in my home.
So as you can tell for me today is the tomorrow that I will wait for. To H with the wish of others.

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my heart is shattered. I have been with my husband for almost 6 years and he has continuously refused me. my soul is crushing under the weight and I feel like my mind is out of control. I feel so ****** up because he has been a great provider and father and friend. Yea we are like best friends, living together, playing house and I am dying inside. since the da we married he has been withholding sex from me. Making me beg for it and telling me I make him feel used. When I was very pregnant my mom sent something kinda sexy for valentines and I wore it and he laughed and told me my vagina looked like a deflated football. when we were first married and I couldn't understand why we were noyt having all this sex I was so hungry for I tried dressing up and being ready for him when he got home from work. He told me I just made him feel used and like he HAD to have sex with me. I think I am going crazy. I told him 50% of why I got married was because I wanted to have a sexual relationship that was deemed good in the eyes of God and family and he told me I was crazy that I can have sex 50% of the time, but that is not what I said. I told him I thought 3 times a week and he scoffed. He will not read any articles I have sent him and we went to individual and couples therapy for 6 months. I am now 30 with two kids and the only answer I get out of him is "i don't know" or "im working on it".

Sorry to unload to a bunch of strangers but I don't know who knows what it is like. and this is not the woman refusing the man crap that I always read about. **** I WISH my husband would follow me around with a hard on. All I get is a flaccid **** ni my mouth and a look of pity from my husband.

"best friends, living together, playing house and I am dying inside". I know exactly how you feel and it's hellish. I know I can't be much help, your efforts with therapy are proof positive that you have tried to improve the situation but it appears that your husband is unwilling to change.
My own relationship feels utterly broken by my partners ambivalence toward sex. We've been together three years and it started off with frequent, great sex. After a year the intimacy became more sporadic but in the last 18months we've had sex twice and not at all in the last 12months. Whatever attempts I make to initiate intimacy are rejected, worse, even the simple pleasures of kissing is spurned as an "obvious attempt to start things".
What I guess I'm trying to say is that whether your partner is male or female, constant rejection and a refusal to initiate change is poisonous to any relationship. If your feelings really mattered your husband would do more.
Anything done out of pity is no consolation - the rare occasions are worse because they're so forced and begrudged.
I hope your situation improves, with or without your husband. You've a long life ahead of you and it shouldn't be spent sublimating your needs

I guess there really is no happy answer, cure all to this. My husband fundamentally doesn't not want or view sex like I do. I just wish he could stop dragging me along with him and be honest with himself and with me. IF he is gay, please tell me so I can make an educated decision about our marriage. If he is asexual and that is that, TELL me so I can make an educated decision about the future. I am open and willing to find a way to work through this if only I was getting the same efforts from him. but I tried everything. Asking, begging, demanding, refusing. I even refused just because I wanted him to feel the same rejection I felt and when I told him that he said i was being cruel. THe man has orgasmed inside me one time our entire relationship! arrrgh!!! punch punch punch!

Naomi: Your husband's behavior is your answer. Obviously, the sexless marriage is working for him, and he has no reason to tell you why he doesn't want to have sex with you. He knows that if he tells you he's gay, asexual, married you for your money or a green card, you'd leave him.

You can either ignore his behavior and keep waiting forever to get the kind of marriage that you desire and deserve but he'll never give you or you can have the guts to divorce and therefore set yourself free to find the kind of love you want and desire. Right now, by staying you're collaborating with your refuser in creating a miserable life for yourself. Keep staying with him and as time goes by you'll be more and more trapped and will have given up more and more things that you had wanted -- things like, for instance, having children.

i already gave him my 20's. Now im 30 and don't want to sacrife those years as well.

But that's exactly what you're choosing to do -- sacrifice your life for a man who is happily living in a sexless marriage. Individual therapy could help you view your life accurately and get the confidence and guts to take the steps under your control to give yourself the kind of life you want. You can't control your husband, but you can control your own actions.

You don't have to sacrifice like that, no one should. I am considered a bad person because after 31 years I stopped accepting the statues quo after I found she had an affair, I hammered the man she was with and ended up in a stress center for anger management. When I came home I could not believe she was planning to go out with another man, I know I arrived home a full day before expected, and I lost my temper, but that day I determined I paid for 31 years of her life, and receiving nothing in return, I collected the first installment. Been collecting since. The guy she was going with went to the ER, and the last year I have not allowed any interference, there have been attempts made, All of the interferers including my own father have been hurt, In fact its almost two months latter and he still has a bruised face. I know you are a woman, have you asked if there is a medical problem, if he is hypertensive the meds can cause a problem, if he has a pinched nerve in his back that can do it two.
Please sit down with him and ask if there is a problem, You might have to draw it out because some are embarrassed to even entertain the idea of a problem there, If its something in his mind have him seek help! Its worth it in the end.
I wish there had been someone in my early marriage that had listened, and others that did not interfere. There could be an outside influence to.

Hi Naomi,

You're currently in a platonic relationship that's doing more damage than good. 5 years from now you'll be in the same relationship, hating your life if nothing changes. I am sure you tried everything you can by now.
If you remain in this relationship you're facing years of frustration. If someone were to ask you to make a choice: "Leave him" or "Stay with him" you'd probably say that you love him very much and you can live without the sex just to spend your life with him. You'd say this even if you probably contemplated the idea of leaving him 1000 times in the past years..
it seems to me that you're putting his own happiness before yours. He doesn't seem to be interested in doing the same.

Give yourself 6 months - 1 year with him. Have a talk and tell him you need a change. Then if nothing changes after 1 year, go find happiness somewhere else :)

Think about this - at some point you'll start being attracted to other people, and then it will be too late to keep your focus on your husband and on improving your relationship, because you'll start caring less and less without actually wanting to.

So give it a try together and then if it doesn't work, you won't regret not having tried at all. Hopefully he won't either

All the best!


I'm not sure you can fix things once a partner stops wanting sex. If real love was manmade we would have no divorce rate. Don't get lost in asking him why he no longer wants you, chances are he won't tell the truth for a million different reasons. Cut to the chase. It doesn't really matter why if you think about it. What it comes down to is that you can't hide your feelings they show in everything you do. If your not doing something its because you can't or don't want to.

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Thank you! This truly helped me.. I have been with someone for only short 9 months and first guy I have lived with since my divorce 6 years ago and it has been hell.. We were full of passion at first but he has shown his true colors for at least 5 months. Yes we have had sec but ONLY when he wants it not when I do but that is not our only issue!! Thanks

You so right about that

Thank you for the clear description of everything that has been happening to me. I knew it, of course, but sometimes it helps to have someone else describe what you are going through. I, in common with some others, find myself currently trapped by finance and circumstance, but I do not intend for that be the whole picture for ever. My circumstance ( caring for a beloved elderly) will not last forever. My financial situation ( I currently live in another country far from home, where English is not the main language, & far from cities where my career experience is useful. I am at the end of my tether trying to reason with the man in my life, who finds every reason and excuse to keep us apart, to blame me & my personality for our estrangement, and who responds to my statements about how this is hurting me by telling me I have to be nicer to him. What is remarkable is that he still claims to love me - it seems that he is actually *unable* to understand what he is doing in trying to control me by refusing physical closeness - not just sex: if I displease him in any small way he responds by telling me I am sleeping alone. Frankly, I am ok with that now - I seem to have crossed a line, past caring . I am no longer buying into the 'all my fault' thing, and his words have less power to hurt me. I hope that he recognises what he is doing one day - but I doubt it: his self-vindication is powerful. This brings me to the important point: I left him before because of this and similar treatment. I went back to my own country for 18 months. I returned because I love him and truly value him as a person - he is a good person in many ways - and because I honestly believed he loved me. In his own way, I guess he thinks he does. I believe he is driven by a sense of fear and being less-powerful than me in some way - even though I am financially dependent on him now, having moved to be with him. SO - to anyone who has left their partner over this treatment, and is thinking of going back - think twice, think three times. The pattern of behaviour that allows for this is not easily eradicated. It will probably resurface as it did here, for me.

I was happy to find this post too, just to have the confirmation that i'm not going crazy over this, which my wife would have me believe, that i am exaggerating and blowing this out of proportion. The part that really hit me in your response is that he says you have to be nicer to him. They use it as a bargaining tool! But there never is the reward or payback that they would love for us to believe it just around the corner, if we are just that little bit nicer, bit friendlier to their friends, bit more outgoing, bit more etc etc! I do everything I can to look and feel sexy to my wife but its a useless attempt because she does not notice the cologne i'm wearing that she thought was nice once, or the shirt she used to like. Its the small things that connect us together in marriage, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten together in the first place but now everything is just overlooked.

Once sex in a marriage is thought of as a bargaining tool that is the first blackmail, He or she will say I promise that if you do as I or my friends wants then our real marriage can begin, then leave an open end in the promise.
It is extortion, fraud, and cohersion in a marriage. It came to a point with me that I stole my wife's journal and read them, I had promised not to years ago, but after so many of the things I was promised did not come to pass I thought why do I have to maintain this promise. It might give me insight as to why she was being this way, Copies of her journals, are now in the hands of a U.S. attorney, and the DA, She said to the U.S. attorney how can he steal something this private and turn them over to you without a warrant, He said they were in his house and after he uncovered evidence of a crime he bought it to our attention, My father and mother as well as myself were in the conference room with my wife when my father asked what crime was comited except him telling my friends, myself, his union, he was going to take the rights he thought he deserved, He has to understand it is up to others to allow what rights he has, The U.S. Attorney I think could not believe what my father said, he asked what do you mean what rights me, myself and my friends allow the rights your son has? my father said there are people in a community that come in as an outsider, he needs to understand he does not have the same rights, The attorney said that's the crime that was commited, you and others conspired along with your sons wife to deny your sons civil rights.
My father just about dropped through the floor, the attorney said this is a situation where you used a woman that was on heavy mind controlling drugs, like seroquell, xanix, lithium, cogentan, and meloril, to get her cooperation in having your son stay in a place, he could have had a better life, My father said he's a big boy he could take more than most, No body expected somebody his size to ever be anything but a strong back, he was not supposed to be able to build computers, repair complex items, he was an outsider. He would not stay in the place he was assigned, The only thing any one could do to get his cooperation was get his wife to withhold sex unless he did what was expected.

I have been married 7 years to this man and I have back pain and he won't ask for sex or come on to me he says it's not in his nature, but he will look at **** 24/7 and I get nothing he mentally abusses me bewittes me and blames me for his seeking out other woman. I stay home 24/7 he leaves me no car and I don't know anyone who has a car and I have no phone. I am his prisoner. I have been drugged in the past I refuse to eat or drink.

Dear Kamama69,

Please, please, please, please- Get help immediately. You are in a severely abusive relationship beyond the help of anyone on this website. Please, I beg you, please go to your closest shelter for domestic abuse. I don't know where you live or I would try to help you find out who to call. Often, in many cities, you can call 211 to find social services. There is NOTHING normal about what you are experiencing. The next step for your husband will be to start beating you, and then, eventually, he will kill you. Please leave immediately- well obviously, wait until he is not home and you are not expecting him for hours, hopefully he has a job and you cold leave while he is at work. All big cities, and many counties in rural areas, have a shelter for women who are being abused by their husbands or boyfriends. It sounds like you are very isolated and may be living out in the country. Usually, in these situations, someone will come pick you up if you just call for help. If that is not possible, then please, just walk. I don't care if you are ten miles out in the country, walk. What you are describing is a prison and is VERY alarming. i am so scared for you.

I used to be married to an abusive man and I left him and changed my life. But even the abuse I suffered does not sound nearly as bad as what you are suffering. It is NOT OK for anyone to deprive you of transportation, to isolate you, make you feel bad about yourself, LET ALONE to DRUG fact, it is a criminal act, punishable by prison, for anyone to drug you.

You are gong to die of starvation or dehydration if you don't eat or drink.

Please write back and tell me you are still alive at least. Please tell me what town or city you are in or near, so I can help you find the help you need. Please, be very careful and try not to provoke the psychopath you are married to. He is not rational and will not respond the way a normal, rational, healthy adult would respond....I am not religious, but I will pray for you to be OK.

Hello, First off I want to say this is very en lighting. I have read many of your struggles and it helps me see that I am not crazy for feeling like I feel. Ladies that are struggling all that I can say is I wish I had a woman who would approach me about making love instead of it being me. You see my wife recently told me she did not want sex anymore with me until she healed from the dysfunction our marriage has caused her. She thinks I am a sex addict. Do I like Sex? absolute, it is how I connect on a deeper level. I do not look at ****, I do not cheat, I have taken financial care of her and her two children and adopted one of them for 13 years and she has never worked. I always have fear to pursue her because she has told me not to. She thinks I fill up on sex and she can not be my vessel to relive stress or fill up so she cuts me off totaly. New years eve I wanted to make love to her so bad so I ask, she got angry said I disrespected her and she wanted out of this marriage. of course now that I gave her the option and said fine now she tells me I do not care about her and called me trash and many other names she also has told me she hates me many times. She says I am the reason our marriage is bad and if it wasn't for me she could be happier. She always disrespected me in front of the kids and has treated mine like crap for years. All I want is to be respected and loved and maybe have my ego stroked sometimes instead of being torn down. I am not sying I have been perfect but I am saying I am dieing in side. I feel unloved and unwanted. I feel like she blames me for everything. I feel like I need to end my life so many times just so the pain will go away. I use to be strong and now I am week. Is it to much to ask to be honored and respected are there women out there who are like that? I put her on a pedestal so high and put her before my own kids. Am I asking to much am I being selfish? Please help me what do I do.

Vinny, Our society has become so callous anything you do will now be considered the most disrespecting thing you could ever do. on one side the law, you are not the master in your own home, the other side is the religious, they want you to be the forgiver. If you have the opportunity get out of this situation you should, Its better to rent a wife, I know my own situation has become so dark this might be bad advice but think on it.

Women withholding sex is equal to a men withholding emotional support. Whoever started first should do their part. Because, I always show my emotional support until she withhold sex and then I completely ignore her. She then gets angry just like how I get angry when she withhold sex. Men are in a ball park of 65% physical to 35% emotional - and vice versa for women.

I read this and it's exactly how I feel. I love my girlfriend so deeply but she refuses to be intimate in any way. Even a kiss is only a peck. It's driving me mad I feel like she doesn't care and I am beginning to get angry and I'm a very passive person. It's out of my control because I try to treat her right compliment her and show her I care. I'm a good looking guy and could find someone else easily but all I want is her. What do I do??? Someone must be able to help. If I try to talk about it she gets angry and abusive I feel I've tried everything.

Ask her why and tell her how you feel like you can better or enjoy to express your emotions and care for her physically. Try to get her to understand where you're coming from.
If she is a "good girl" and is not yet ready to be physical, that is a different story. But definitely have a sober and thought provoking conversation with her. And I say sober because you don't want to take her out to dinner, have a few drinks, and then talk to her....she might get all emotional and feel like you're attacking her. The less you use the word "you" in your conversation, the less she'll feel like you're just trying to make her feel like a terrible girlfriend. When you do use the word "you" - only say positive things. Tell her how you feel and you would like to be more physical; talking in terms of "I feel like a physical connection is really important", "I really like it when you do ___. It makes me feel attractive/special/significant to you."
Good luck with your talk!!

If things don't improve after a month or so, you need to move on. They don't get better after marriage.

ive been with my boyfriend for 8 yrs now ever since I had a kid with him he refused sex and became abusive he never ever wants sex and he has no sexual problems I use to get it once a year if I harassed him everyday and finally hed do it for like 6 minutes ..then it went to every other yr once now not at all he will say tomorrow we will then tomorrow comes and he will say tomorrow get the point he gives me the run around we are just roomates at this point and I never gained weight or anything other guys cant relate it really makes me insane he will go on **** though it hurts im rejected everyday its not that hard u know

I registered here because of this spot on description. Thank you so much

All you poor abused souls, wow, I didn't even know this was so bad and I was part of this huge group of people who have attached themselves to these sick life suckers!!! I would say my current husband is a ladykiller. He swooped in and totally took over my life, and I let him,,, When we met he really swept me off my feet. He is British, educated, charming, a huge flirt, loves women, especially older ones!!!! Mommy issues. I was fresh out of a 10 year boring, normal relationship and he was a English, drummer/ self published author/poet, that formally lived in my faviorite places in the world london and San Francisco for 10 years then moved to Laguna beach where he came to live with friends and stop drinking. He was sleeping on the couch of a 60 year old womans couch, he said they never had anything going on, i found letters later on proving that they did. he formally lived with a girlfriend who was 15 years his senior, and she kicked him out. He is a former addict of everything you can possibly chug, snort, smoke, shoot up, and screw. He at this point is clean except for smoking weed, and I had no idea how much he was smoking, it was a lot! But I didn't know this until I got pregnant 4 months into our relationship!!!!
It never was crazy throw you on the bed, have to have you now kinda sex that you have at the start of a relationship, especially with a musician, poet. All the signs were there I was just so blind and I thought things would change for some reason.
So after I find out I'm pregnant he unloads everything on me but slowly and nonchalantly, I use to have sex with Asian massage parlor girls, I wrote my first book in the corner of a tranny bar, my sister messed with me when I was little, I need to marry you so I can get my greencard so I can work to support you guys, ill watch the baby and you work, i found tones of **** on the internet and texting, i got spyware after a while. and on and on, all while I'm knocked up with his baby inside of me and its way to late to terminate the pregnancy. So much stupid stress and such a screwed up person, but I am a very giving and loving fool who was so tricked!
I had our beautiful baby girl and I just thought I was a habit, he didn't touch me while I was pregnant now we have to ease our way back into things. He was creeped out there was a baby in me a didnt think it was right to have sex with a pregnant woman.
In the last 3 months we've had sex 2 times. He says its my weight but I way the same as when we first started going out,,, I should have just moved to another state to get away from him,, but its so scary to be alone and pregnant. Luckily I think I've developed a backbone thanks to my beautiful daughter. I don't want her to expect to be treated this way when she grows up,
So my done button has been pushed, I know I am an amazing,beautiful person who deserves healthy love and he will never be able to give that to me, BUT, I depend on him to watch our daughter while I work to support our family, she is 16 months old. As unhealthy as it is I really feel right now if I just found a "friend with benefits" it would ease the pain and kinda empower me, kinda like a eff you to all the turn downs. But this is going to be a process and a half to get readjusted and get my ducks in a row and I have needs!!!! II feel like I need to go to a shelter for abused women and just get away from him for good.