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Is Sex The Glue That Hold Marriage Together?

My story: Married for 22 years, sexless for 4 years. My husband, who is much older than me, has medical problems and suffers from ed.
About five months ago, something happened in my life that turn my life upside down, makes me so insecure in my marriage, at times I felt like divorcing my husband!
It was at this time, that I decided to rekindle our sexlife. On hindsight, this was a bad idea because it added more pressure and stress when we were going though a 'rough patch' in our marriage.
I was, still am, going thru the menopause, which made me feel depressed and extremely emotional, our marriage and relationship changed from mundane to volatile.
Trying to fix a sexless marriage when husband has ed is no joke. We have been thru all sorts of emotions : extreme anger, extreme frustation, feeling of rejection, countless tears, husband will not let me touch him, feeling inadeqaute, wanting to just give up. I bought some online aids to fix the problem but they did not work.
About a month ago, I overhaul our diet to include food that promote blood circulation and it did reverse his ed. But if my husband neglects this diet, the ed will return.
Is sex the glue that hold a marriage together? based on my experience, when the marriage becomes sexless, other forms of intimacy also fall on the wayside, no kissing, no holding hands, no signs of affection.
Although sex is important, good communication is equally important.
Me and my husband rarely fight, but when we do, we said so many hurtful and cruel things to one another to the point where both of us want to leave the marital home, and that alone can damage a marriage and love beyond repair.
You lost sight of things that matters most: your love for one another, your marriage, your children when you fight.
Thank god, I realise that before it is too late...
ImtooSexy ImtooSexy 46-50 18 Responses Mar 6, 2011

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I like how you decide to fight instead of just walk away.
Especially as I know from other post that you have your own issues with penetrative sex (vaginal pain).
Your story is highly motivational.

In difference is such a great way to put it not cruel "just didn't think to give you a kiss on way out " like sharing a house with a friend not the reason for living

The true glue in a relationship is communication. People that intend to live together for the long haul must be able to communicate on an emotional level. This is the most difficult for of communication. Many accomplish this kind of intimate communication through humor and keeping each other laughing.<br />
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The toxin that kills most relationships is expectations. We go into a relationship with an idea of what a relationship should be. When the relationship turns out to be different we rarely think to adjust our expectations and conflict results.<br />
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Not living up to someones expectations causes feelings of inadequacy and shame and are usually expressed by being quick to anger or substance abuse. <br />
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Feelings that your spouse doesn't meet your expectations leads to frustration and doubt in the relationship. These feelings also lead to ex<x>pressions of anger or withdrawing from the relationship.<br />
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The only way to adjust expectations is through good communication. We must figure out how to communicate our expectations in a way that will not diminish our partner. We must also be willing to adjust our expectations when our partner cannot meet them. Often our expectations are simply not realistic, these usually lead to serial monogamy as one relationship falls apart after another.<br />
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The slob will never be able to pick up after themselves. They rarely are aware of the things they leave around. Through good communication the neat freak can learn that the slob doesn't see the mess that has been made, and the slob can understand where the source of conflict is coming from. Over time they can meet somewhere in the middle but by understanding each other the expectations can be put into balance sooner.<br />
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Some expectations are actual requirements. I expect and require physical intimacy from my spouse. If this isn't happening for my own sanity I must make something happen. If sex is all that is missing a lover can be taken, preferably someone in a similar situation. By filling in the missing sexual pleasures the rest of the marriage may not seem so bad. The danger is in the lovers falling in love with one another. This can lead to the termination of the original relationship but that was likely anyway.<br />
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I am only speaking ba<x>sed on my life's experience. everyone's lives are different. I could be an ******* too who knows. My ex's probably do.

Does anyone ever care or consider that perhaps some sex on the side is going on? No finger pointing just be for real... Most ok near if not all here werent virgins and had sex before marriage ya knew what happens right?. Some things are simple, and not changed over night good or bad just TRY any move towards a happy life. Being divorced sucks, alone in marriage sucks, live!!!

Plastic people--maybe. I said it before, I'll repeat, a lot of people who seem normal have many unresolved problems. I married one of these, and it is trouble. You can't win. It's pretty hard to know in advance if a person has these problems, they are good at hiding the scars. Best of Luck to you.

Thank you for all the replies. I have been thinking long and hard over this and realised that the glue which keeps my marriage together for the last 22 years is: Love and Respect. Even when our marriage was sexless, we were still respectful towards one another. <br />
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Over the last few months, we have been at each other throats, respect has gone out of the window and I am taken a back at how quickly a marriage can break down when we say the most cruel, hurtful things to our partner.<br />
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I believe, when you truly loves your spouse, you will try your best not to hurt him and put his needs before yours? I realised where I have gone wrong.<br />
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In my opinion, sex is a small but very important part of marriage. its the glue that makes the relationship complete and bring intimacy to a much deeper level. <br />
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I got the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the reason why some marriages here become sexless is because the other halves are, what I called 'plastic people' - incapable of <br />
very deep feelings, perhaps a bit self centred. Am I right?

I think sex is what gets you together. What you do with your relationship once committed or married is entirely up to you. Marriage is not just 'sex', otherwise a lot of prostitutes would be considered married to a lot of johns. Too many get married because the sex is good. The real work starts after the vows. Too many people bring unresolved problems into the marriage and trouble starts. I don't think celibacy is the answer, I think 'know thyself' goes a long way.

And this is why some sexless marriages go on for decades. The ONLY thing missing is the sex not the affection.

To quote the basics of gestalt theory: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If anyone truly believes that sex and sex alone is the glue that holds a marriage together, I suggest THEY are the one with the problem.

I'm in the Moxxie school of thought on this one.<br />
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There are constituent parts of a relationship - just like there is in araldite *.<br />
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By themselves they have little tensile strength, but when you combine them, they react with each other and form a very powerful bond. <br />
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* there may be another name for this product in other parts of the world, but in Australia, it comes in a pack with two plungers each containing a fairly inert goo. You mix them, apply, and once it is set, it is SET.<br />
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I'm not sure that any one of the components is that much more important than another. Different ones will be in ascendancy at different times. You don't spend 24/7 holding hands. You don't spend 24/7 communicating. You don't spend 24/7 ******* either, but if this activity punctuates all the other things at satisfactory intervals it underlines and reconfirms all the other good stuff.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Touching is communication and when a marriage lacks that it lacks one of the earliest and most desired forms of telling someone that you care and want to be there for them. My marriage is cold although most people would not see it that way. Refusers can do good deeds, talk and laugh with others. It look almost normal except to a trained eye. We never touch.

One observation I have is that you guys seem to be too narrow in your definition of "sex". The hand holding, kissing, the other forms of intimacy ARE sex! The ED part is just one way that might be unavailable at times for him to pleasure you and express affection. He has a couple of options left he can use to please you and if he is like most men that is what it is all about. Fixing problems. If you are responsive and appreciative it can be great. I know when I was a young man it was all about the "O" but the older I get the more it is about the reaction I get from my efforts. A good imagination can make up for a lot of ED.

If it is we'd be seeing a huge spike in the divorce rate of the elderly, most of whom are no longer having sex.

We have also been married for 22 years. Our marriage is a disaster. We had a sex life for a whole 18 months. My wife was very pointed and strong in rejecting me way back then. She told me how guys always want sex, how boring I was, and how guys are always ready for sex but women aren't and how "we" always expect sex when we want it. These were inaccurate generalizations. I thought I was normal but I soon came to question that. By introspection I came to accept that I am selfish, inconsiderate etc. I was flawed and no matter what I seemed to try and she made sure that I knew it. What was I to do?<br />
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I decided that I can live without sex, as I always had. She seemed to have a problem with me and sex so I removed these problems from her. It took only a half a year or so and she began asking for sex. Then, according to her, I became even more selfish by not wanting sex. (One can never win sometimes.) The problem was, that after all these ordeals and a return to abstinence, I no longer wanted intimacy. <br />
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20 years later, 51 years old, I think I probably have ed but don't really know for sure. I have no interest in sex whatsoever but I sometimes feel like a castrated dog probably feels like in that I begin to wonder what it would be like, similar to when I was a young man. I don't feel like what I think a man should feel like and that is what gets me curious and also why I began to look up info on this topic. <br />
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Is sex the glue that hold a marriage together? Probably, but we are still married and we had almost no sex life. Do we communicate? No chance. I sleep in a single bed in the cold ba<x>sement, she sleeps in the queen size bed in the master bedroom surrounded by pillows. Do I enjoy being in this situation. Not in my wildest dreams. Does she enjoy this? I doubt it because she is never happy. Would I get married again? Only if I were a glutton for abuse and punishment. <br />
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I am the least qualified to give advice about this but what I would say to my children is stay celibate always. Don't fall into this "sex is a need" mentality because then you will be tempted to do things that you will regret. You will also develop a "I'm missing out" mentality and that makes one very unhappy. Sex is not really a need; it is rather perhaps like candy but not a need as I prove every day. <br />
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"Me and my husband rarely fight, but when we do, we said so many hurtful and cruel things to one another to the point where both of us want to leave the marital home, and that alone can damage a marriage and love beyond repair."<br />
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From my own life experiences, I would suspect that this could be a reason for no sex. Words are crueler than many other forms of pain I have discovered. What guy wants to have sex with someone who can slice him open? Not me, that's for sure.

If all this is true I am so sorry for that treatment/abuse. Ya'll need professional help. Theres alot going on your both cut and both bleeding inside. Intimacy is crucial and sex is a part of that. Wow. Good luck!

I think trust is the glue that holds the marriage together. You have to be able to trust your spouse or partner. Without sex and intimacy , the trust is gone because you don't know what to think abiout the relationship. To stay with somone indefinitely, where no intimacy or afection is shown, and to trust that there is still love between the two of you is impossible. <br />
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Without trust there is no love, there is no relationship, there is nothing.<br />
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Neuilly

Sex is definitely a very strong glue. Its absence does not always mean there is trouble any deeper than medical/hormonal ones. But if it is absent, some other apects of the marriage had better be superlative for the marriage to survive. Just my 2c, I am perhaps as far from a fulfilling marriage as one can get.

You can't get any physically closer to another person than having sex! But that does not necessarily mean that sex is the "glue" . You intuitively were fleshing out the problem when you started talking about communication. <br />
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In my opinion, the glue of a relationship is intimacy on ALL levels: physical, spiritual, mentally and emotionally. Sex is the celebration of that intimate relationship. It deepens the bond that exists between two people, but sex does not make the bond happen. <br />
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On the other end of the spectrum, sexlessness is the warning red flag that there are problems with the intimacy in your relationship. Sex to me is like the indicator or a guage of relationship health. No sex? You have a "sick" relationship, there is no intimacy on any level. <br />
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Once again, this is my opinion ba<x>sed on my experience in a sick relationship.

Awe, sounds familiar.