Outsourcing Your NeedsSo you live in a sexless marriage. There is no sex (or very little sex) and your relationship lacks intimacy and emotional connection. As a "sex person" you miss this badly and have tried, without success, to address the issue in your marriage.
You love your spouse, who is basically a good person. You share children, a home, past history - and really do NOT want to leave your marriage. Ideally, you'd like your spouse to return to the good old days when s/he loved sex as much as you do. Or, in the case of those whose spouses have never been sexually expressive, for them to discover their sexuality and revel in expressing it with you . . . But the chances of this happening are slim to nil.
You are facing the "classic choices" of ILIASM:
1) stay in your marriage as it is and just put up with things as they are
2) leave your marriage
3) stay in your marriage - and outsource your needs!
This story addresses point 3.
If you choose this option, it involves a third party (or even more if you are very adventurous!). And herein lies the first problem. Just "deciding to have an affair" or "deciding to take an FWB (friend with benefits)" may be easy to do, BUT it may not be so easy to find a suitable candidate. But, for the purpose of this exercise, let us assume you have a suitable candidate "available". . .
Before considering how this decision will impact on you and your marriage, let's look at the impact on the chosen person. Does s/he want exactly what you want - a "no strings attached" relationship? If so, can you be sure s/he won't change his/her mind after a period of time? (Sex has a way of bringing people together in emotional ways!) How will you cope if your FWB decides s/he wants a more permanent relationship? Or what will you do if your FWB decides to confront your spouse with this relationship the two of you have?
Now it is your turn. First, you will probably have to overcome your conditioning that says "affairs are wrong". Whilst you may believe an external sexual relationship is feasible for you, you may nevertheless suffer guilt once you have instigated the affair or FWB relationship. Then, you will need to consider carefully the "how, when, where" of your affair. Unlike a current poster, I cannot imagine a situation where you invite your new partner openly to your home and insist your spouse agree to you bonking each other silly in the spare room!! (And this may be very judgemental of me, but IMO, if your FWB agreed to such a thing, s/he could hardly be considered a "quality person"!!)
But those of us who live in sexless marriages are a resourceful bunch, so I'm assuming you have dealt with both the guilt and the practicalities, and are ready to go!! What can you expect. . . ??
On the plus side, you can expect to have some WONDERFUL outcomes! You will feel renewed as a person. Your confidence in your sexuality will be restored and refreshed. You will have all the purely physical joys of great sex once again. It can be (and probably will be) an euphoric experience!
It is great to feel admired, desired, wanted and sexy again. It helps put your worst fears about yourself to bed. (Pun intended!) It is amazing to know someone else wants you as much as (or more than) your spouse does NOT want you!
A perfect solution!! But wait - sadly it may not turn out to be "perfect". When you return to your sexless marriage, you may well experience even more acutely that which is missing in this primary relationship of your's. What was barely tolerable before now becomes increasingly INtolerable. When you decided to outsource your needs, you probably thought something like this:
"Well, I don't want to leave my spouse, and all that is really missing in the marriage is sex, so if I can get this need met elsewhere, I should be able to continue with the marriage."
But having great sex tends to highlight that which is missing from your marriage OTHER than sex. Previously, the "no sex" isssue loomed so large that it tended to mask any other problems in the marriage. But now you ARE having sex, you can see that it was not and is not the "only problem". Chief of the other possible problems is likely to be an absence (or at least a serious reduction) in "intimacy". This is why many ILIASMers refer to their spouses as "room mates" - because they really are no more than good friends and room mates - NOT spouses in the real sense.
And now you can see the genuine possibility that you COULD have the sort of relationship you really want. Even if you entered into your affair or FWB relationship with a determination to keep it NSA, chances are it won't stay that way for long. One or both of you may well start to develop emotional feelings for the other. Sex has a lovely way of developing loving intimacy between two people - and if you are not getting this need met with your spouse, you may very well find it impossible to stay emotionally detached from your new partner.
Even if your FWB is not interested in a long term relationship with you, the genie is still out of the bottle! You now KNOW there is a good chance you WILL find someone who will meet your needs AND be someone whom you can love and cherish, and who will love and cherish you . . . .
Your spouse may detect that you are "different" - hard not to be when you are having amazing sex after a LONG drought! Even if your spouse does not have any idea of your affair, your increased self confidence and happiness may strike them as "new and different", thus provoking suspicion or fear. This is usually about you leaving the marriage - and in most sexless marriages, the Refuser spouse is very happy with the status quo - so s/he does not want you to leave! Even in unhappy marriages, some spouses choose to "keep" their spouses, because they see a divorce as losing face, or losing control of the spouse.
So now you are facing a new problem. Either your spouse is treating you with suspicion and anger - not very pleasant. Or s/he is doing his/her utmost to "win you back". This latter can be even more difficult than dealing with the angry suspicious spouse. At least in that scenario you can say that your marriage truly IS over. When your spouse is busily doing all things possible to please you, a sense of obligation (and possibly increased guilt) can trap you even further.
I have no intention of addressing this ssue from a moral or ethical viewpoint. Each person is guided by their own beliefs regarding these decisions. Yet these can add yet another la
In conclusion, I am writing this from MY point of view. I went down this track - and this is what happened to me. Some people can deal with compartmentalising their sex life and their emotional life and their day-today life very successfully. And I truly wish them well. Others are like me, and find that outsourcing their needs adds another la
As you consider how to proceed with your sexless marriage, please take this story as a "cautionary tale". If you decide to go this route, know that you may be making your life even more difficult. As for me, option 2 was my final choice - and it has worked out well for me. But each person must decide for him/herself how to proceed. As my beloved Baz says "Tread your own path"!!
Addendum 21st Feb 2013:
The wise Footballbat asked me if I could have moved forward in my own life withOUT having this experience - and that has made me really think about this proposition. The truth is, I don't know because I DID have the experience. But I suspect I might NOT have moved forward - or it might have taken me a LOT longer to do so - without this experience.
Having sex with my FWB assured me that I was desirable, sane, normal in my desires and that my life was NOT condemned to sexlessness! Altho I personally found the FWB route was not a satisfactory long term solution, I have no doubt it DID propel me into taking further action to resolve my sexless marriage issues.
Would I recommend it for others? That is the $60 million question!! I think perhaps it would be wisest to say that, for those leaning towards this "solution", go into it with the prior knowledge I did not have - that is, the information from this story. (Other ILIASMers have said they had similar outcomes.) IF you feel confident to undertake this, then go for it. But be aware that whilst it might be a catalyst for change (a GOOD thing IMO!!) it may not work as a solution for you. Or it may in fact be only a short term solution. Bear in mind though that any solution only has to work until it stops working - however long that might be! (Thanks for another gem, my Bazzar!)