Did All 10,000+ Of Us Here Really Make A Mistake ?

Your marriage may have been sexless for two months, two years or twenty years, but how can anyone know what is around the corner when they marry a spouse who has seemingly presented the `real' them as a marriage prospect, only to change once the deed is done and signed ? Have we really made a mistake or have we been the victim of an unforseen switch in circumstance ? Marriage calls for faith and trust, and we placed our faith and trust that this person and this person alone would take care of our sexual needs, we understood that there may be a certain amount of give and take, and that it may not be like we were teenagers forever, but instead that there might be a deeper understanding, an exploration of new things to keep the marriage fires burning, and a belief that our spouses actually wanted to make us happy. For this we agreed to forsake all others, and we kept the promise.

Was it wrong of us to place our faith in the person we loved and thought we could talk to about anything ? When you're in your twenties can you possibly see what life will be like in your forties ? No. Many of us are deep into careers by this time, and have families, and sex goes to the bottom of the list. We have many more demands on our time than when we first met, but I have never understood when spouses say they are `too tired' for sexual time. If you're tired you go to bed. If you're in bed together why not help each other to sleep with some sweet gentle love-making ? A little intimacy goes a long way if it's genuinely felt, you don't have to make it an athletic event !It seems they were never too tired to rot their brains watching TV/surfing the net or doing household chores instead of joining you in bed.

I don't believe any of us here could have possibly forseen how the dream of love we shared could gradually (or rapidly, it seems to happen both ways) turn to dust, leaving us wondering what happened, and if we'd misread `monogamy' as `celibacy' on the marriage contract.

I honestly do not regret marrying my STBX, I did it with 100% good faith. I do not think I made a mistake marrying her. I do however think the mistake many of us make is to believe that we are forced to stay in a marriage when the partner has blatantly disregarded the vows they made and decides to shut down intimacy altogether, and always seemingly with NO discussion or explanation. At this point nothing is up for negotiation, you are utterly taken for granted and in my opinion the biggest mistake we can then make is not to consider leaving. It takes a long time to absorb the fact that the person you thought cared for you above all others, is prepared to watch you suffer agonies in front of them and pretend it isn't even happening.

It isn't a mistake to marry them, but it is a mistake to hide from the truth, no matter how long it takes to realise it.
skippyboy skippyboy
46-50, M
22 Responses Aug 24, 2010

This is the first positive spin I have read yet. I saved to favorites to reread when I need to quit moping and find the good in this struggle. <br />
Thank you..

I love this. I could not have said it better. I think this all the time. I dont hate him, in fact I feel pity for him for the life he will have without me if he doesn't shape up. But I didnt see this coming at all.

caandjlevans: Are you in a position to plan an exit from this plainly undeserving husband ? It sounds likehe thinks you're his for keeps. Is there any reason you have to stand for this behaviour ?

This is my story too. My spouse doesn't care at all about what was said in our vows. He has become lazy, emotionally abusive, sexually withdrawn, openly proud of his sexual desires being satified by his attraction to female celebrities to put their naked bodies out on the internet for his viewing pleasure and totally ok with seeing me become more sad and frustrated each day as I know for a fact he hopes this crazymaking cycle he is putting me through will wear me down or drive me crazy enough to end it all so he can play the martyr for having to endured living with such a sad excuse for a wife - or at least that is how he portrays me to everyone and anyone who will listen to his sad, hopeless tale...

MoxxieM : Thank you for you kind comments ! I am delighted to be able to tell you that it finally DID become my reality. I have a new love and have a new lease of life at 47. I left my marriage 3 months ago, although it feels like much longer already. I am here because I did not leave my marriage lightly, and need to process what it what I was going through, mine was a sexless 10 years, and sporadic before that in the preceeing 10..... My new love also suffered a long sexless marriage....you can imagine therefore how determined we are that this never happens again to either of us, and yes I'll admit it, we are like a couple of teenagers...but by God we feel like we deserve it. I know many friends who take sex and intimacy for granted...one thing's for certain, we never will.

Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, beliefs and values. You expressed yourself beautifully without engaging in spouse bashing. You affirm my belief that all human beings crave and need intimacy. That intimacy in our relationships brings about the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical connection that we call love. Skippyboy, you have it right, you know what it is that we all need, I hope it becomes your reality somehow, someway. Best wishes to you.

gs355...YES, Freedom of Speech is a great thing. However, when it's exhibited by someone who clearly doesn't understand the issue it's just plain annoying.

enna I'll split the chocolate bar with ya. CHOCOLATE GOOD!!!!......lol

Notseeking, you make an excellent point about human behaviour being patterned and repeating over and over. It takes a HUGE effort to interrupt that pattern and to change our behaviour - even when we WANT to! take for example the decisions to lose weight, or give up smoking or learn a new language . . . <br />
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For our Refusers, who are usually quite happy NOT having sex, the desire to change is not there. And if for any reason we can convince them they should change (very rarely done!) then it is VERY VERY hard for them to change their behaviour.<br />
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We see examples of this in the stories where someone here has been hopeful that their marriage has changed - and after a few weeks, or months, returns to tell us that their partner's behaviour has again fallen away. . . . <br />
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We can be full of recrimination for those who "fail" in this way, but at least they HAVE tried - something many spouses refuse to do completely. And almost all of us (dare I say - ALL of us?) have tried to change a behaviour in the past and failed to maintain this change over time . . . BTW, please pass me another chocolate bar!!!

gs355 don't you have anything better to do ?

Something else I thought of on this subject. Many times & I have seen these situations in several post, there are cases where the refused knew it was a problem before marriage but married anyway. Why? Because love truley can be blind. When we are in those earlier stages we really have a tendency to overlook the negatives in a future mate. We overlook all the things because we believe that love will overcome all. Love can overcome a lot. But romance really isn't a story book. How many times have people said "well, all that will change when we get married". Truth is it rarely changes & usually gets worse once a spouse has the papers. Yes sometimes it starts after a few years of marriage but occassionly it was there before the papers were ever signed. Interesting how human behavior is a pattern that can repeat over & over.

gs355...What are you even doing on this forum? Clearly you do not have an inkling what sexless marriage even means. It is not about lack of intercourse. It is about denial of lovemaking with your spouse, rejection from your spouse, broken promises and false hope from your spouse, hopelessness caused by your spouse, lack of intimacy with your spouse, insecurities caused by your spouse's lack of desire for you, a feeling of resentment you have because your spouse had taken your love for granted, and it's about compromising yourself in order to satisfy your spouse only to realize that you have compromised yourself into an deep hole with no light, no sense of things getting better, no way out. <br />
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You are a beautiful man gopherbob. Thank you for this.

...and then bang on cue there's good ol' gs355, with the other side of the coin. Clueless, negative, cynical and missing the point completely as usual. Such is the wonder and freedom of the internet.

Gopherbob: You brought me to tears. Your marriage sounds like it was wonderful. You both made the most of it, and whilst you were visited by tragedy, you maintained a special bond until the end. I guess my tears were out of rage at the wastefulness of people who take life for granted instead of trying to make each day somehow special. Our sexless partners half of your age would like us to give up on sex altogether, they take these simple joys for granted and seem prepared to live without them, while there's someone of your years who is still feeling it. My story has a happy ending (I have found someone wonderful who I know will look out for me into old age, God willing, and I her...it's never too late).<br />
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The other reason for my tears: I have heard people belittle the internet as a gimmicky time wasting mass of useless information. On the contrary. In my opinion it has replaced television as the best means of communication, and enables genuine one to one communication, education and enlightenment ...... your post is absolute proof of this. A total stranger with more wisdom than any of us has communicated directly and touched not just me, but I'm sure many others. I thank you sincerely and wish you the best days to come. You are an example to us all.

Dear Gopherbob...It may be your birthday, but we are the ones who just received presents; your gifts of compassion and wisdom. Thank you for sharing with us your story. I'm sorry that you and your wife were separated by illness, but I'm so glad that the two of you shared years and years of true love. The part you said about feeling abandoned by our spouses...that is exactly how I felt, like he had abandoned me as a husband. He stayed with me for decades but it was only a friendship not a real marriage; no sexual intimacy at all. I married and unexpectedly became abandoned through no fault of my own. And the part you said about the difference between alone and loneliness...I felt lonely during my marriage even when my husband was in the same bed with me, however, I sleep in said bed every night and now I'm only alone in it. I've got self love and love for someone else so there is no loneliness going on with me; I'm just physically alone until I move into my new home. And lastly, I'm thrilled to hear that you still get horny at 80 years old! I hope that you meet a nice lady someday soon and that you and she will enjoy each other's companionship and make some good loving while you're at it. <br />
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Happy Birthday, I hope your birthday wish comes true!

I have read a great many of the posts on this subject and can truthfully say that I feel your pain.<br />
My situation is somewhat different in that my wife left me just over three years ago. I knew that sooner or later she would leave me but was not prepared for the exact date and time. <br />
You see she was in a nursing home for seventeen weeks and death came as a bit of a surprise because I thought she might survive for even several years more but that was not to be.<br />
We had fifty five wonderfully rewarding years of sexual relations, not every time was perfect, but who could complain when there was a deep love, loyalty and commitment undergirding the relationship that we had embarked upon such a long time ago.<br />
The fruit of that relationship was three wonderful children each one loved and wanted. One survived, the other two were taken from us by death and are but precious memories now.<br />
You are all quite young by comparison for you see I celebrated my 80th birthday today on the 24th. of Aug. 2010. Some might ask, at my age, why I could say, I feel your pain.<br />
Well you see my libido is no less active than when I was half my present age. I long for all those wonderfully rewarding moments of intimacy and tenderness and passion that so many of you are deprived of but for a different reason. <br />
Your heart may be broken because of the situation you are in and feel frustrated because there seems to little probability of the situation ever getting better. While I have the freedom to pursue a <br />
new relationship, the odds of finding a like-minded, eligible lady near my age are somewhere between slim and none. That's the reality of the situation.<br />
So I say that, though our circumstances may differ greatly, the pain of loneliness is no less felt.<br />
The experience of losing that vital part of our being cuts just as deeply in one case as the other.<br />
Many of you have only had the rewards of a sexually fulfilling relationship for a brief number of years and your hurt comes from realizing that life is passing you by and leaving you unrewarded and un -many things. I am abundantly thankful for the many years of faithful effort put forth by a devoted and loving partner who was there for me when I needed her. Now that is all past and I have come to realize the difference between 'alone' and 'loneliness'.<br />
I don't suppose that this post will bring much consolation to some of you deserving folk, but I just felt compelled to put my feelings out there, because there is that thread that runs through all of us and that is the feeling of being abandoned, in many cases deliberate and premeditated but in mine, it was her time to move on... and so she has. We too must move on, each down our own path.

Thank you all for your most varied and thought provoking responses, it's an honour to be in such company, I have benefitted from your wisdom a lot since I discovered this site. Even when one has moved on like I have, there is still work to be done in trying to make sense of it all and at least find resolution with yourself if not your partner...particularly after a long (25 years in my case) relationship. I find that it is the in the nuances where the truth lurks. <br />
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Notseeking: That story about your room-mate is one for the ages ! <br />
Bazaar: One only HOPES truth and love can last...to wish for anything less would be a pity<br />
Anarchristian: Oh I can do `the suffering we endure' believe me ! Coming to this message board soon, OK ?? :-)<br />
ISelfLove: I am touched by your reaction. I hope you are in a good place too.<br />
FlyingStone: If sex is all you need, fine...I thought sex was all I needed but I found love....and really love is what we all need. Sex with love is truly where it's at, so look beyond the several offers of sex (congratulations ! it's more than I ever had !) and see if there might be someone a bit more special waiting to be yours. I certainly think there comes a time when a spouse cannot have it both ways. If they withold sex for a ridiculous amount of time then they do have the right to end their own sex life I suppose, but they do NOT have the right to end yours.

VERY interesting post. I guess each circumstance is different but at the same time each share a lot of things in common. Some actually are a case of bait & switch. Before I met my bide I had a roomate who dated a girl for a couple of years. They had that same fight. At first the sex was daily then dwindeled over time to maybe once a month. He flat out asked her why it almost stopped when it was so often in the beginning? Her answer, "well at first I needed to get you, now I have you". His answer, BYEEE!!!! LOL.... True story though.<br />
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Sometimes it is a case of low libido, laziness & getting too comfortable. The low libido person gets comfortable in that they do have the papers so they become comfortable that they no longer have to do the things that attracted their spouse in the first place. That goes way beyond sex. We can forget to dress nice & try to look attractive for our spouse. Forget to do little romantic things for our spouse & just get lazy. When our spouse only sees us in the baggy sweats, not shaving, not bathing as much it can be a real turn off for men & women.<br />
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Sometimes it is misplaced priorities. Kids come along & we put all our efforts into raising them. We stop putting ANY effort into each other. After all child rearing is taxing to say the least. BUT in an effort to give our children a good home, if we neglect the husband/wife, that may cause divorce & there goes the stable home we tried to provide them.<br />
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Sometimes somebody marries someone who is so self centered that they don't care about their spouses needs, wants & desires. That is probably the most painful of all the reasons. Those spouses only care that they are happy. If it means that their husband/wife isn't getting what they need then too bad. They are happy with the staus quo so why should they put in any effort? After all their world consist entirely of their wants, needs & desires.<br />
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The list could go on & on. There are cases where unforseen circumstances (illness, physical or psychological dysfunction etc) but one thing most have in common is neglect. One spouse neglects the needs of the other. They are not willing to get help or do anything to address the problem. VERY sad.

Skippyboy...Your story just made me cry. I did not cry out of sadness over my failed marriage, out of any regret for marrying my STBXH, out of any irrational sense of guilt for divorcing him, and not out of a deep sense of betrayal from him. I cried because your story strengthened my exact values and core beliefs regarding my concept and understanding of what a real marriage is supposed to be. Faith and Trust are the only things we have to rely on, and real love, mature intimate love, does indeed have these two most important elements as its foundation. I cried because I was not wrong to strive for, believe, dream, hope and long for real love. It's a beautiful thing to love oneself and to not settle for less when they know how incredible, amazing, wonderful and joyous love can actually be. I cried at the beauty of real love and am so proud of myself for not accepting anything less that what I knew that real love had to offer. Thank you for your story. You seem to be in a very good place with your life right now and I'm glad that you're living on the other side now. >>>hug<<<

SKippy, <br />
This story of yours is gold. I wish I had written it myself. You have encapsulated everything ( save the suffering we endure ) about a sexless marriage.I think it is worth stressing over and over again that most marriage vows are purely pledges of love. ( Sorry, Bazz about your registration. )

I get real jumpy when I see concepts that suggest marriage carries with it some implied 'written in stone' tenets of love and trust being obliged to last forever.<br />
I get even twitchier when these things are trotted out by a 'refuser' to shore up their position, or a 'refused' to justify their position. Anyway, that doesn't advance this story.<br />
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Like you skippyboy, I married my spouse with the best of intent, and brought to the table everything I had at that point. I believe she did too. Point is, that everything we had at that point (mid 20's) was not a real lot. That's no-ones fault. It just was.<br />
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Truth be told I had no clue about what I wanted out of a marriage, apart from some ill defined concept of 'love' (as I understood it at that time). So I could hardly expect her to provide something I couldn't explain.<br />
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None the less, we blasted off into the unknown, and, as circumstances changed (kids, mortgage, ill health etc etc etc etc) we adapted (sometimes well, sometimes badly) we changed. 25 years on and we had changed at different speeds. The marriage had, for all sorts of reasons, run into the ditch, with sexlessness the obvious symptom. Turned out to be the dealbreaker.<br />
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None the less, I am in the same place as you. I don't regret marrying her. And it is a mistake to hide from the truth (of a dysfunctional marriage) no matter how long it takes to realise it.<br />
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Bear in mind I was married in a registry office, there were no religous vows or anything of the type. I guess that might be were I went wrong !!! lol<br />
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Tread your own path.

hah. I was married by the mayor of the town beside us. One of those towns that if u blink, you miss the town while driving thru.
My marriage was the first he performed and he was nervous and wanting to get it right. When he asked what I wanted, I told him a five minute quicky as that was how I got in this mess to begin with.