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How To Leave A Sexless Marriage Or Partnership.....part 1

This is just my advice given from the perspective of how my situation unfolded....so take it as such. This advice is for long term sexless marriages, not those experiencing the normal bouts of sexlessness due to normal life factors such as birth of a child or death or short term crisis.

First, and foremost, be honest with yourself. Denial and minimizing are long held strategies to cope with a sexless marriage. But, if you are at the stage where you are seriously considering ending a long term sexless relationship, then these strategies have obviously failed and it is time to look at the relationship under the full light of day. It often takes a crisis event to push us into this stage...and forces us to look at the harsh reality of our situation. .It took finding out my husband was having online sex with women in chat rooms for a year and a half (and lying about it and telling me I was crazy and paranoid when I confronted him) to finally push me into moving into this process, kicking and screaming. I was beyond hurt, betrayed, and my rationale that my husband just wasn't that sexual a person blew apart. He obviously was a sexual person, he just couldn't/wouldn't be sexual with me. Which brings us to to the next step....

Stop blaming yourself for your partners inability to experience sexual intimacy with you. I will say this again. Stop blaming yourself for your partners inability to experience sexual intimacy with you. My partner was a master at deflecting his inability for sexual intimacy with me as my fault...my responsibility. I gained weight. I wasn't his image ideal. I wasn't 'present' enough emotionally or intellectually for him (talk about reverse psychology, he wasn't present at all with me!) Losing weight, attending personal therapy, and addressing issues that he blamed for the lack of sex produced absolutely no change. Nothing. There was always something else, always some other factor to blame on me for not addressing, some elusive critieria I hadn't met. This type of deflection isn't only crazy making and completely irresponsible, it is downright abusive. It is a control mechansm for the refuser to force you to own their inability for intimacy as your issue. They manipulate and degrade you for their own ego protection. And, you will begin to truly believe it is you. It was only after six months of couple's therapy and losing most of the weight I gained that I finally began to truly believe that this wasn't my fault. Don't expect yourself to instantly believe otherwise after years of being brainwashed by a refuser partner, it may take awhile to feel true. But, it is...and knowing it intellectually will eventually help you know it into your bones.

Allow yourself the time you need to explore and process your decision. While we all would like to picture our badass self kicking mr/miss sorry *** sexless loser to the curb in a epic Made for TV movie moment of empowerment, the truth is that you are more likely to sob on the floor in the bathroom and wander aimlessly around in a inside out bathrobe before this moment actually arrives. Chances are your self-esteem is probably pretty low after being consistently rejected and blamed for years. You most likely have all kinds of very rationale fears about finances or kids or simply being alone. And, you may have aspects of your relationship that you truly value outside of the bedroom. My husband, despite his many flaws, is one of the most hilarious and unique individuals I have ever known. In reality, we should have never been romantic partners, but we are great as just friends. There is real sorrow and loss in losing that type of friendship. It was the core reason that I stayed and hoped. It is painful to understand that my desire for physical intimacy will never manifest with this man. The bad aspects of the relationship don't change this truth. You have to allow yourself the time and space to fully process what the relationship truly is and what it means to you. Are you willing to give up the good aspects of the relationship due to the bad ones? This is the stage where people usually find themselves entering personal/couple's therapy to help figure out the answers. Writing out a list of the pros and cons can be very helpful in looking at the situation. Keep your options open. You can always try to work with a willing partner to make things better and if it doesn't work, you will have moved into a deeper understanding of the truth of your relationship.

Here ends part one.....

Part two will be coming soon!
rosedl rosedl 41-45, F 11 Responses Feb 6, 2011

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I'm looking forward to part two. I left my sexless situation, but still seem to try to blame myself. I know in my heart that I wasn't the problem deep down, but I can't seem to get my mind to think that. Thanks for the post.

WOW! i will read this again..looking forward to part two

Thank you for caring enough to help others with your experiences. I'm looking forward to part two.

It sure is a miserable situation. It has taken almost 2 years to recover from the mental abuse my husband subjected me too. He used sex as a tool to hurt me i'm sure. It was about control. Happy now! Phew!

heheee cant wait for part 2. I just love hearing these stories from the ladies. Not because they are hurting ( i find that bit sad) but because its the opposite sex mirroring what ive felt with my own ex. :)<br />
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Thanks for sharing rose

Thanks guys! I hope it is helpful to someone, this stuff is hell to experience and it feels so isolative. This group I think is a lifesaver for many people, I know it was me.

Very accurate picture of the process. Most excellent work, Rose. I look forward to reading the rest!<br />
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Princess BravaRosa

Brava, Rose!!!! Absolutely required ILIASM reading. Joins "All That Glitters" in the canon of classics. I see it as advanced curriculum, though...

What we have here ought be compulsory reading for newbies, and current ILIASM people.<br />
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Written by one of the classiest people you will likely run into.<br />
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Looking forward to #2 rosey.

Well said Rose.

You said "This type of deflection isn't only crazy making and completely irresponsible, it is downright abusive. It is a control mechansm for the refuser to force you to own their inability for intimacy as your issue. They manipulate and degrade you for their own ego protection. And, you will begin to truly believe it is you."<br />
Amen! It took me years to accept the idea that this was abuse - but it was.