How Did I End Up Here?

I feel like my story has all these bizarre twists of fate, and although an intelligent woman, choices have happened that have now added up to 12 years in a relationship that has been sexless for 11.  When I first met my husband, one of the questions he asked me was about whether I liked sex.  He eventually told me stories of living with his ex and how she refused sex, pretty much all the time.  He told me about her using it as a leverage with him..."I'll give you sex for...."  In all those early conversations, as our relationship grew, he was so happy to learn that I was a willing partner.  However, after a few months, he also became unnerved by a woman being willing.  It was the change from "where were you when I was looking for this" to "OMG what do I do now that I have this..."   Our early relationship had many red flags, and has been the rockiest I've ever experienced....on again, off again...during the first 6 months.  The sex could be fantastic at times back then, although on occassion he would make an excuse: "I have to be at work early, I can't do this tonight."  I just let that be, and we's sleep pleasantly together. 

Crazy as it may seem, I can remember the date and place when our last sex happened 11 years ago, and the sex was really not that memorable.  What upsets me is that very thing:  If I'd known it was going to be the very last time, it would have been far more special.   I have fonder memories from other past lovers, previous to this relationship. [ I've been married twice before, have kids from those marraiges (now grown)  and I have many more fond sexual memories from both, as our lives were filled with intimacy and good sex.]  Since we were not married, were living together, and the sex had disappeared, and my job contract was coming to an end, I looked for work in different places - some places he liked, some he didn't - and took the attitude that if he moved with me, so be it, but I wasn't going to count on it.  I continued to be my fairly independent self, and made it clear that he had to make his own choices.  I was actually quite surprised when he followed me.  I am really amazed that he did, since he'd seemed to make some conscious decision to no longer have sex with me.  At the time, he made some vague reference to "things your friend told me about you" were the reason, after he'd had lunch with one of my woman friends.  To this day, I have no idea what this could be, nor does my woman friend.  She could only recollect that he said something about preferring to have sex with himself.  (As I write this, I'm starting to wonder if he got so used to having sex with himself in his 15-year previous marriage that nothing else was very satisfying....who knows).  

Anyway, I moved, he moved too, and continued to live with me.  We were a tenuous couple.  He had issues over an old girl friend, previous to me, that had been his sexual sizzling fling - the love of his life, who dumped him for another guy. I figured he had to work thru that, so  I took the relationship one-day-at-a-time, never really thinking it would end up being longterm. I tried to talk about what it was that had him no longer wanting to have sex with me, what happened during that lunch in 1999?  What is the problem.  He would only say: "If I tell you, it will hurt you, and I don't want to hurt you, so I'm not going to tell you."  I tried other ways to get his interest, I tried other ways to get him to talk...nothing would work.  The fragment of info that I think was a factor is that he had decided to date me even though I was "outside of his preferred body type".  He preferred short, tiny women, thin with small breasts.  He has told me he thought that a chubby woman would be more friendly, easier to know, etc.  (My conclusion - that continues - is that I've always been the wrong body type.) We continued to live together, and as life goes, those days added up into years.  He also ended up on depression meds, so then he said he didn't want sex cuz the meds killed his libido....  Five years into the relationship, including a year or so of him having his own place part of the time, another crossroad - I was changing jobs and locations again.  This time it was a given he was moving with me.  Still no sex.  Even though I had several guy friends, I actually remained faithful to him, since we were a "couple".

The difficult thing that happened, however, is that he had a stroke right before we were to move.  The good news is that he recovered.  The tough thing is that I was faced with decisions to make in regards to his life, and us, while he was incapacitated.  His family rallied around me and helped me get us moved, and I was able to start my new job. Due to health insurance needs and our longterm relationship, we got married.  I thought maybe that would somehow free his conscious if there was some hangup about did not.  On the night of our marriage, he told me I would just have to remember those times previously when we'd had sex.    There were a few years of stroke recovery - and him having even less interest in sex (he wasn't even looking at ****).  Once recovered, his willingness to cuddle returned, but sexual activity is still missing.  Any attempt to talk about most anything about our relationship is avoided.  When I read the other stories about other men that were unwilling to talk or work on this, and other passive/aggressive behaviors - I could see my husband's behavior is identical.  In fact, its been that way all along since the sex stopped.  A relatively new development, however, is jealousy.  A couple years ago I made a good friend with a woman, and we are like sisters to each other.  I have other friends, too, that he is insecure about, but he really doesn't like me having a close woman friend.   Part of this is baggage from his previous marriage.  He is also a man who will quickly come up with some vague reason to dispise or dislike my other friends. I was examining my life a bit.  Not surprisingly, I've gained a lot of weight across the years since the denial of sex excuse was a vague reason.  During the first few years where I tried to initiate sex, he rejected my advances.  What is so weird is he seems to use the same behavior (with the exception of using sex as power) as his stories of his ex.  All the rejected shrugs and so forth have made it so that I don't even try to touch him any more.  I can't even remember how to touch.  I can't even remember how to kiss.  This is heartbreaking to me as I once was a really good lover.  I know that his crap has been part of why I've lost my motivation about my looks and weight.   He, also, on occassion will make sarcastic remarks about my being fat - and I do admit that I really have become obese.  (I'm not proud of that fact).  He, tho, is heavy also. 

In my reflections, I discovered that my sex life with my current husband - who I've been with for 12 years - was actually equal to about 10-months total.  I was trying to look at why he is rarely in my dreams, and certainly never in my erotic dreams.  It was really and "oh Duh" moment this morning.  And...with that, its like....HOW did I end up HERE?  I'm no spring chicken these days!!!  I've also had my angry times about this, and not tactful in talking to him about it.  I pretty much just accepted that it ain't gonna happen.

Our relationship is like roommates, except we do sleep in the same bed.  We continue to have a rocky kind of relationship, although now I also know that depression, and diabetes were greatly contributing to mood swings that create distress between us.

I guess I'm looking for answers, support, and such.  Having had 2 previous marriages end, I've been reluctant to leave.... 
zeeladyhasneeds zeeladyhasneeds 56-60, F 9 Responses Jul 23, 2010

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I fell madly inlove with my now ex some 25 years ago. We had 3 beautiful children. He did not propose until after the birth of our youngest child due to tax purposes. I was completely blinded by his selfishness since day one, because he was the love of my life. Eventually, he left me because we were getting evicted from our apt. He didn't have the money to move us elsehwere, so he took care of himself and found a place to live. I was forced to move back in with my folks. It took 4 long years to get over him, which I finally did. I became engaged to another man, whom I wasn't as attracted to as my first. He had a drinking problem but finally sobered up on a bet from a stranger. It has lasted even through the deaths of his father and brother. He moved me and the children to Central Florida. My ex lived only an hour away in Orlando. One day my daughter found a video witch her biological father was in. She asked if she and her brothers could touch base with him. I looked him up and the arrangements were made. We began to meet at a half way point, so that he could spend the weekends with them. He was consistant towards his weekend commitments with the kids. I could feel the love that I once felt for him creeping back in. I ended up breaking up my engagement to a man that was very good to me and my children, so that my children would have a chance at getting to know their natural father.

So I moved myself and the kids to Orlando. The first day in our new apt. there was a knock on the door. It was my ex asking to borrow $30 because one of his roommates didn't have the full amount of his share for rent. I was besides myself with the question being asked of me, and I refused to give it. He apologized.

Eventually the owner of the house that my ex and 4 other guys shared was being sold. My ex did not have the means to afford a place on his own and asked if he could move in with the kids and me. I agreed. Things didn't work for us in Orlando because he then lost his job, so we moved to Tampa. A new start. There we shared a home for 6 long years. In those six years I basically supported him. He lost his job again, but this time it was do to a fall, so he couldn't work, but he was given an opportunity to go to school, which would have been paid for through Workmens Comp. He did not take advantage of this opportunity because the study time would interefere with his tv time. I rensented him everytime that I went to work and saw him lying on the couch watching tv. He could never afford to take me out to dinner, buy me or the children gifts during holidays or birthdays, and that didn't seem to bother him whatsoever.

I moved out after 6 more long years and found a quaint little cottage home that i could afford near the coast. My ex continued to be there when ever I needed emotional support, but that was the extent of his ability to provide. He ended up moving into the same community which I moved and lived 3 blocks from me. He would come to the house daily to feed my birds, take care of my car and support me emotionally when I would suffer depression.

Then the time came that I lost my job due to the recession, so once again he moved in. We live as roommates. We are not romantic, we split all bills 50/50. Although to this day he still does not contribute anything more than his share of the bills. No birthdays, no Christmases, no dinners or movies. I pay for all of the extra stuff, even though his salary is bigger than my unemployment. He knows that I have a very minute nest egg, and expects me to utilize that for anything outside of bills. We do not sleep together. He sleeps on the couch and has slept there each time that we moved back in together. He has never bothered him to do so. He makes no attempt at making a romantic pass at me. When I try to speak about US, he shows more interest in commercials on tv than any relationship issue which needs addressing.

He is perfectly content with the things the way that they are because I am in a sense supporting him. He is 75lbs overweight. His one daily contribution is that he cooks and straightens the house. We know when dinner is ready every time we hear the slirp of him removing his false teeth, and he is only 50! He walks around the house half dressed because he owns 2 shorth and 3 t-shirts to his name. period. He use to look like a cross between Jesus Christ and Clint Eastwood. Damn good looking! He still has the cockiness that he carries those attributes, but they are only in his mind.

I have never been physically unfaithful to him, but I want out! He constantly reminds me that at our age starting over is next to impossible. We get a long fine as long as I keep quiet about what I want out of our relationship or lack of. The minute I try to express his lack of real motivation to better himself as a father and as a husband he pouts like a baby! I'm tired of trying. I don't care anymore. I just want to find gainful employment so that I have the financial means to kick him out. Although he will never have the funds to do so. I refuse to spend any more of my nest egg in helping him do so. When the time comes that I do become financially able once again, he will probably become homeless. I am tired of this roommate situation. At first I took him back because I was extrememly lonely. I had gone on a few dates behad through but because they were also disappointments, I figured my ex was better than being alone. I am a lone even with him in the house. He is addicted to the idiot box. As long as he has that nothing else matters, not even me!

Thank you for all your various thoughts and comments on my story I posted yesterday. Its been wonderful reading what each of you has written. I will clarify that this past December was when we found out that my husband has Type II Diabetes, in addition to his mood disorder. It devistated him when he found out, but he is in that range where diet and medication work. Stabilizing the blood sugar has significantly improved his moods. As I wrote in my narrative, the sex refusals began before the medical stuff hit, except for his on-going life struggle with mood/depression. To describe a glimpse of his life - he watches TV, fixes stuff, works on stuff in his garage, watches TV, naps, reads, does yardwork, and pays tons of attention to the dogs. He spends very little time on the computer these days (only a few years ago he was either on the computer and/or watching TV), and complains about my computer use. He also has had a job now for about a year (he hadn't worked since his stroke, except doing odd jobs for folks). I don't watch much TV with him because he has a "menu" of shows he watches, many of which I don't really like.

The self-reflection yesterday that brought me to this support group is the beginning step I'm taking to work on myself and heal myself. Where that takes me will be the next phase of my life journey. What I've read here has given me food for thought about viewing my husband as a roommate, and shifting my reactions to a more detached perspective.

I have summers off, and its during these times that I regroup. My primary hobby is gardening, which I do in a big way. This summer I've been going on more fishing outings with a long-time guy friend who has been my fishing partner for nearly 10-years. Tooo much rain, tho, has impacted that enjoyable activity. In a few weeks, I return to work, and my work requires a lot of travel. I took the job because being away from home is not a big deal to me (obviously). So, again, thank you. Its amazing how this is giving me more strength.

I'm sorry for commenting again, as if I am an authority or something, but I really want to tell you that you and Juswannanoyo said that it has been so long that you had kissed, been touched, etc., that you can't remember how to do it...

Let me tell you something...I went through 18 years of next to no kissing, cuddling, touching, hand-holding, foreplay and sex...and guess what? It came right back to me and I'm now with a wonderful, loving man who's love for me enables me to be the sexual woman I am and also quite the sexual woman I never knew I was capable of being. Love and Sex and Intimacy go hand in hand and if you have all three of these, well, let's just say that you'll be an extremely happy and satisfied woman.

And even *IF* a medical or emotional issue happens which results in lack of desire or inability to have actual sex, there is still love and intimacy to get by on if it is a healthy, loving relationship. In this csase the lack of desire or inability to have sex is not a case of "withholding" as long as there is honest communication and the consistent expressions of intimacy in a loving way.

sounds like this guy wants you to pick up the tab for earlier relationship issues. this has nothing to di with you. i say work on you and move on. this is really sad and you are not to blame.

Dear zeeladyhasneeds...I am not a therapist but I believe that I am correct in suggesting that you leave this marriage immediately and I would like to tell you my reasons:

It does not matter what size you are. Love comes in all sizes. A change in body shape in a healthy, loving marriage should not cause sexual issues. If someone gains or loses weight, they might want to get healthier for their own well-being, and their spouse might want them to get healthier for their own good because they care about them, but it certainly shouldn't be an issue that causes sexless marriage. A spouse supposedly loves you for who you are and not how you look. That is superficial and shallow.

It seems like (and I'm sorry if I'm wrong) he's been using you from the very start of the relationship. You said that you were surprised that he followed you every time you moved because of your job. No wonder he followed you...he depended on you.

He had a stroke and thankfully survived. You married him in order to help him with his health insurance and probably finances (did he even work before?). While it was generous and thoughtful of you to do this for him, it sounds (again, I'm sorry if I'm wrong) like the marriage was not based on love; it was based on an immediate solution to a problem. The intention of a real marriage was sincere but it was not based on any plans to marry before the stroke.

He clearly has emotional baggage from his past relationships with women. He has not dealt with those feelings, has not learned from them, and does not seem to have the capacity to get past them and get on with his life with you. You deserve way more than this. You deserve a man who will put you first. He should either invest the time he needs to learn and heal from his past relationships or be able to leave his previous emotional baggage behind. This is easier said than done, but one thing that is clear is that YOU are the woman who should be in most of his thoughts and not the women from his past; it is wrong, disrespectful, irresponsible, immature and quite frankly, pathetic.

Again, I am not a therapist, but I think I am correct in telling you something else: Although the two of you share one bed, it is not in any way a real marital bed. Also, with all due respect, I believe that you and your husband are in fact roommates. Probably best friends who have become roommates. It seems that although it started out as love, it never really grew into a healthy, loving, mature, responsible, happy, sexually-intimate love that I believe a marriage is based on.

Just one more thing, I can imagine how distraught you are, and having been through (and after surviving) a sexless marriage and being a diabetic myself, I can tell you that it is a medical fact that stress and anxiety cause additional physical effects on one with diabetes. Please take extra good care of yourself by taking your medication and by trying to eat foods that will maintain an acceptable blood sugar level. You owe this to yourself. This and so much more. >>>hug<<<

Yep, we women are so much more likely to hang around these sexless guys than if it was the other way around (or so it seems to me) Just stay for kids sake and then suddenly the years fly buy, people get ill and then you are (or at least FEEL) old and unattractive.

I don't remember how to kiss, how to hold, how to do anything, and I too have gained weight, it actually helped with the desire that was overwhelming, the 40lbs I gained seems to have dropped that libido right down.

But yesterday I decided to take control, I am gonna stay at least until I get my weight down, meanwhile I am going to put money back and get my body back, and if he doesn't get help, then I am gonna help myself because no matter what I am not willing to be sexless the rest of my life, I would have become a nun if that is what I wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Ma*********n is a huge problem. Even if he got used to that in the previous marriage, it is the reason you are not having sex. Sex is not just about o****m, like it is in ma*********n. It is about intimacy and feeling desired, needed, and close to your parting. Pleasuring oneself in lieu of sex with your husband/wife etc is extremely selfish. That is why my husband and I have had a rough time with having a marriage filled with consistent sex. He would pleasure himself and then have no desire to have sex with me later. It has been a long road, but he has stopped his frequency. I didn't ask him to quit cold turkey, but advised it may be a good idea to kick start us in the right direction. His therapist suggested the same. When he doesn't **********, we have a good sex life. When he slips into his old I am posting! Best wishes.

We all wonder how we ended up here. There are no easy answers or quick fixes. Unfortunately for us, we have gone through years of heartache before we ask this question. Good luck to you. I hope you find happiness and sex!

OMG!! Get out! Wouldn't you rather work on yourself and be happy and alone then be with someone who is so miseable and makes you miserable? He has never communicated with you on the real reason why. Be strong and stand on your own, you deserve it, when is it going to be your turn for happiness?

I am here for most of the same reason. My husband has ED, that is fine but he does nothing to correct it. We do live like roommates, we do not sleep in the same room, we do not watch tv, and most of the time we do not eat together. That my friend is a roommate!! So today he says " I love you" I couldn't say it back. I don't play games and at this point I have no feelings for him other than love of a friend. Not love for a husband. So it all came out in the open, I told him how I felt and in the past 2 yrs I brought the issue to his attention several times and he chose to do nothing about it. So of course, I am going to become distant. It is a natural thing when there is no intamacy, touching , kissing....Nothing!! So only time will tell how this pans out. I am glad to say I have no kids other than 4 legs and fur, but they are my main concern.

Follow your heart, and have courage!! You are not alone!!