Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

Is This How She's Felt For The Past Ten Years?

For the first ten years, it was pretty standard fare. I wanted, and she refused. I wanted desperately, I tried everything and anything. I really loved her, and wanted things to work at any cost. I couldn't understand why things weren't happening. How could she not reciprocate? How could her style of love be so different?
A little more than a year ago I started to give up. I started to withdraw from my wife a bit more and focus on myself. About six months ago I stopped any attempts at initiating sex, intimacy or touching. More recently, I was surprised to discover that I no longer found my wife attractive. For the first time since I met her, I couldn't think of her in a sexual way. Yes, technically she was still attractive. All her attributes were the same, physically nothing had changed, but I just couldn't see her as "attractive" anymore.
Now it's easy to go without sex with her because I no longer find her attractive. I broke the habit. Then in a moment of clarity, I realized I was now as detached and uninterested in her sexually as she'd behaved for our whole marriage. Wow. I finally found out why she hasn't been interested in me all these years, I finally know how she feels. This has been a HUGE turning point for me. She really never loved me the way I loved her, the way I needed to be loved. I'm angry that she just didn't tell me that she felt this way. Why did she lie and make excuses all these years? That one I may never figure out, and as is often said here, the "why" does not matter. Experiencing this feeling of relative indifference to her has been enlightening, and will be a key element in moving forward.
Your refuser really doesn't love you. If you can't get your head around it, try thinking of a relative (brother or sister) and the feeling that you have for them is pretty close to what your refuser feels for you. It seems simple and obvious now, but I just wasn't getting it before. So wonder they avoid sex with you at all costs! There's nothing to fix here.
Your sexless marriage isn't a case of them inadequately expressing how they feel about you, it's a case of them expressing exactly how they feel about you.
TheWendigo TheWendigo 36-40, M 277 Responses Jun 29, 2011

Your Response


And that's why it is so difficult to accept and get out...

Add a response...

Wow. Why has this not really been brought up before? It makes total sense. I think this explains a lot.


Thanks for sharing. Great insights!

Wow ! I never thought about in this way before. Thanks .

So true.

SO TRUE: "Your sexless marriage isn't a case of them inadequately expressing how they feel about you, it's a case of them expressing exactly how they feel about you."

She (ex-wife) had lots of hangups and I begged her over the years to get counseling, she wouldn't. I lived this original post for 35 years until I told her we had to fix things. So we did counseling for 9 months, then she filed for divorce. During my marriage I was tempted many times to wander. Now I've found a woman who is likes to make love and express the physical part of a relationship. It's satisfying and I have no desire to wander, she meets my needs and I meet her's. My advice, don't stay in a bad marriage that isn't going to change. You can't make anyone change anything, they have to want it for themselves. I stayed way too long and wasted some good years.

Sorry for your lonely 35 years ... but you seem to have a happy ending!

I am glad you found the truth and moved ahead to find something more satisfying.

"then she filed for divorce". I recently posted an epiphany I've just had - refusers are spineless worms. They don't want to break up, so they make you miserable in hopes that you will. That way, they can hold their head up high to the world, as if they were the aggrieved ones. And they get the pity or whatever.

Looks like the counselor "de-wormed" your wife.

Mine still stated toward the end that he loved me in a way I "Just didn't know". Yes, He loved how I gave to the point I was unraveling as a person. He loved how I obsessed about the relationship at the expence of myself, my sanity, my self respect. He loved that codependent person who was willing to die a little bit everyday. RUN

2 More Responses

Hi, what u say is so true, my common law hubby, doesn't love me either, a peak on my cheek. It's been over one year. We get along fine, in everyday stuff, but min the bedroom we just sleep, maybe cuddle but no sex.
I love him and it hurts me that he can't love me for who I am, I gain weight 170 lbs and he says I am too fat.
I tried to loss weight, I just can't lose more than 5 lbs,

surprise, asexual people exist.

The real surprise is not that they exist, rather that they must be a bunch of first class cvnts the way they go around marrying sexual people under false pretenses. You're welcome to be as asexual as you want in bathroom stalls, behind dumpsters, in the backseats of cars or in the dark corners of movie theatres. Deceitfully bring it into a relationship with someone who is not asexual though, and you should be boiled in your own oil.
That said, most cases of sexless marriage (including my own) do not stem from the asexuality of one of the partners. To posit so smugly that the mere existence of asexuality should stand alone as some acceptable explanation for a sexless marriage is outrageous.

Thank you Thewendigo

Want to hear something funny?

My wife said the size of my **** and the fact that I was so sexual were two of the reasons she married me.

Apparently she gets off on holding them both captive. LOL

This is the same woman who is very set in her ways sexually and really isn't interested in any variation --- other than to announce at large gatherings that we tried something new so that everyone will think we have this great marriage and sex life.

We used to have sex weekly but it was devoid of any passion whatsoever. It always has been incredibly mechanical and always the same thing. Very little moving or noise either.

Reading through the comments, I'm relieved to see that this place is just as full of trolls and idiots as it was 2 years ago when I left. Sincere thanks to all those that posted thought provoking comments here, and my condolences to those who remain clueless, but not silent. Some people will just never get it, and most of the members of this group are/were married to such a person.
I'm happy to report that since I posted this story, I've been able to extricate myself from my sexless marriage. I've posted a brief update here:

I am there.. I made up my mind some time ago that I was done.. I will never ask again.. it was a very liberating decision. I told her at the time, that a man has to know when he is just beat.. and in this I am beat.. I can not fix it and you are right.. now I am sure I know exactly how she has always felt.

Except I can not quite get over the nagging feeling that it is deeper than that with her.. I honestly believe she would be like this regardless of who the guy was.. it is not that she is not interested in sex with me.. she simply is not interested in sex, with anyone.. She has no frame of reference as to how bad it feels because she does not feel it.

Ok, where do I start?<br />
<br />
I guess the single best piece of advice I've been given concerning men and women is the following:<br />
Men want to feel DESIRED, Women want to feel DESIRABLE.<br />
<br />
Sounds like to-may-to/to-mah-to doesn't it? Except that with a little reasoning these work out to be two entirely different things.<br />
<br />
If a man comes home from work every day to be greeted with a smile by their wife and is never denied sex by her without a legitimate reason (like her period, sickness, or an injury); that man is happy because she makes him feel desired.<br />
<br />
It's really that simple, women reading this--denying your husband sex makes him wonder if it's because he isn't good enough to please you or make you happy. Having sex isn't just like scratching an itch to us guys; sure, it feels wonderful, but most of all it reassures us that we please/satisfy you; and >>THAT<< makes us happy. It isn't something optional, we NEED that feeling.<br />
<br />
When a wife makes her husband feel desired, he's on cloud nine. He doesn't care what other people think about him if he has her unconditional love. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the kind of man who has this kind of relationship and decides to be unfaithful to his wife.<br />
<br />
Women, on the other hand, want to feel desirable, which is a completely different ballpark. Unfortunately, it's a challenging one too. Feeling desirable is much more fickle than feeling desired, because humans are by nature very insecure.<br />
<br />
For example: let's say a girl goes to a social gathering and tons of people come up and tell her how pretty/beautiful she is. Then one guy tells her she's ugly. What does she do? Perhaps immediately she scoffs at him, ignores him, or insults him back, but as soon as she's in a bathroom alone, she's desperately checking her makeup and is seriously worked up. Why? Because we as humans are tuned to consider the most negative comments about ourselves to be the most honest. In a positive perspective, they give a sense of direction in having something to fix and improve, but in a negative perspective, they can lead to a downward spiral of worry about how many other negative things are true. This is the case even if the negative comment wasn't even close to the truth. And another thing, if a woman feels ugly, she isn't just unhappy with you, she's unhappy PERIOD.<br />
<br />
As her long time husband, you suffer the fact that she probably expects that you'll tell her she's desirable no matter what out of some romantic obligation, so the problem is--simply being the same and wanting sex with her doesn't set off her "feeling desirable" vibe and arouse her. You may need to get creative.<br />
<br />
First off, don't vaguely flatter her--she won't take it to heart enough to be aroused by it. Instead of simply telling her "You look pretty today", point out SPECIFIC things and say you like them. Even better, make those things you compliment things that change day to day, like "I really like that new dress you're wearing, it really brings out your eyes! :)" or "I love your new haircut, it's really pretty how it fr<x>ames your face." Compliments like that do two things, they are exciting and spontaneous because they deal with things that change, and they make the compliment more about YOUR opinion, showing her she's desirable to you as another person.<br />
<br />
As far as being happy relationship-wise, girls want to feel beautiful, and want to feel that they captured a wonderful man and enraptured their heart with their beauty (I'm speaking for heterosexual women in general here, in case anyone wants to speak against this). And feeling beautiful is something that, a bit unfortunately, needs to be re-enforced externally. It matters what her friends think about her and sometimes even about you. If her friends make her feel ugly (some friends they are), she'll be insecure. In a lot of cases, if they think you're a loser, she'll take your opinion for flattery because you don't have options. Desirable men have options, and desirable men keep desirable women--at least that's the way girls see it. So what can you do? <br />
First of all, tease her and deny her more. If the woman knows for a fact you love her no matter what, she won't feel that you telling her she's pretty is the honest truth--it feels like an obligation. Make her wonder, make her think her desirability actually has something to do which her appreciation for you, and she'll be much more receptive when you do show affection.<br />
<br />
Second, be somebody. You don't need to conquer the world, but show leadership and confidence in work and character to other people--particularly her friends. Give her friends the impression that you're a catch and she'll be convinced you are ;).<br />
<br />
Lastly, be as spontaneous as possible. This kinda goes with the teasing bit. Be creative; try teasing her for a bit to make her wonder, then do something really romantic like giving her a gift or taking her on a surprise date to sweep her of her feet. Just make life more exciting :)<br />
<br />
Also, listen well, but talk less. It's not as romantic if she can always read you like a book.<br />
<br />
Best of luck everyone!

That was great...I think many people would be able to relate...the aweful thing when I met my husband...I had no business being in a relationship..I was just recovering from a traumatic injury...he, too, has had bouts of illness thru out his life...etc...point is we are roommates, I prefer it this way...he was not really my tye and I felt guilty so I stayed and stayed...I am not a bad person...I just did not want to let him down or hurt him...he was there, we were there for each other...I know he is attracted to me, but, I am not physically, intellectual, romantically attractived to him...and now, he is ill in do many ways...he can't see straight, to make a motivated decision...he knows as we discussed that I live in my home and that he gets a studio and we can be friends...just like we have been for the last 8 years...

Completely disagree, men do not want to be desired, men want to be respected and women want to be loved. I've never heard any self respecting man say I can't wait to find the women who loves me she'll do anything for me, unless that man has a vagina. Honestly, your issue was your wife didn't do what you told her to do as a woman should. I've never cared if a woman loved me, just respect me. That simple. Else I'm putting my foot in your a xx!

For me, yes, a thousand times, YES! The reason I have become a nudist and a professional nude figure drawing model is because I crave to be accepted and needed, as I am, as a man. I do not get this from my wife.

At a nude beach, I can be myself and complete strangers will talk with me and treat me like I'm perfectly normal and accept me as is. In nude modeling, they really appreciate that I am there for them and that appreciation is genuine. They tell me that I am a good model, with good poses, and are specific about what they like. They hire me for repeat engagements and pay me to be there for them. They want to see me naked! Not so with my wife.

Things would very likely be different if my wife did show the least bit of desire for me sexually.

That is brilliant and beautifully written advice. Thank you Michael.

1 More Response

Its good to read stories like sad as that is. I have been in a 'sexless' marriage now for as long as I can remember. It didn't start off this way but gradually made it to this point. This is the first time I'm really talking to anybody else about it. I met my wife in college and at that time we started off as friends. She was dating a friend of mine. She was somewhat promiscuous in college while I was not. So it took a while for me to get over that. I eventually did and 6 years later we got married. Fast forward to today. We have 3 wonderful kids and I am a stay at home dad and I work from home as well, while she works about 30-40 hours a week. We have sex about once every 5 weeks and its me who is always initiating. I initiate more than that but am often turned down. I am now at the point where I don't initiate anymore because it hurts too much to constantly be rejected. I have talked to her about this quite a few times and she gets defensive and says how she cant help it....women's think about sex differently than men. Now...I couldnt imagine ever rejecting her. Back in college when we first started being 'friends with benefits' I did rejected her once and she then found another guy she just met and brought him home. I keep thinking about that now even though its so far in the past. God....saying that now makes me wonder why am I with her?! She is very warm and compassionate but not to me when it comes to sex. She makes time for everything except making time for any intimacy. She works, does girl scouts, PTA, goes out with friends, but never is into making time for us. Id do anything to please her but no way am i ever reciprocated. I always feel like I'm the bad guy because I want sex and thinking that maybe once every 5 weeks is normal for married couples....but I know thats not the truth. She says shes still attracted to me and I am better husband and father than anyone else she knows, so then why do I feel so alone? Id love to hear any advice.

Sex is a normal part of intimacy in a relationship. It's not the only thing but it is an indicator of things. The problem is that we add a society have come to accept that part of being married and having kids is a decline in sex. Well I disagree. I have been in a loveless common-law marriage for 6 years. Before I got pregnant the sex was amazing. After I got pregnant he wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot pole. He said "it didn't work" but would never satisfy me or pleasure me in any way. As a former sex addict and hormonal pregnant woman I became increasingly stressed and insecure. He would say pleasure yourself but without being graphic, it's just not the same as someone willingly giving you pleasure. If you have ever tried to tickle yourself you would understand. Over the years we had sex in irregularly long intervals. It was quick and unsatisfying but I didn't complain because I was hungry for attention. It was a humbling experience to be the rejected. I thought my sexuality was power. Now it was gone. 6 years of being predominantly abstinent has cured me of my addiction and had thought me there is more than sex but sex is a beautiful natural fun thing between 2 people in love. Making each other happy should be s pleasure not a burden. If you need to ask for sex and it is always no no no then I suggest therapy or exit. It is not normal and should not be so widely accepted.

I'm sorry for what you've been through, but I don't think it's always a problem to do with emotional distance. Some people just don't have much of a sex drive. I went out with a guy who would only do "it" once a month or so, and it drove me crazy, but when I brought it up, he said, quote "I don't know what you're making a fuss about, sex isn't that important to guys, it's just like blowing your nose or something"- well, after we broke up, amicably, I met his new girlfriend, who, to be honest, is more suited to him than I was, and I think they've had a real connection for the last 4 years. She said he was just the same with her, but she didn't mind because they get on really well. What I'm trying to say is, maybe your wife totally loves you, in her own way. Doesn't help, but there it is

You have a point. I was I suppose a refuser. He cheated. I just never felt the same after that. I tried but I just couldn't. He doesn't really try much anymore. Sad part is I really do love great sex. I won't cheat and won't outsource so I guess I am just stuck with the way things are.

I feel hopeful that one day I'll meet a man, fall head over heels and have true intimacy, great sex, and be very happy. I'm not delusional. I know it's a tall order. Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

Wow I was just grappling with the why and your post really hit home for me..

I am now coming up on 5 1/2 months without sex. I have tried everything, I clean the house for her, take her out for Dinner, spend all kinds of time with the children, yet I am refused sex of any kind. Maybe this explains it, but I have come to the point where I have given up. I only have one life to live and I want to live it with someone who values the sexual intimacy as much as I do. It is a crucial part of a marriage and to attempt to go without something that I value is akin to losing an arm or leg to remain in a marriage. Why do it?

Maybe try arrousing her with less intimate skinship instead of asking directly? Do you kiss often?

i admire your optimism inspite of everything.I think your wife is fortunate to have you.I just hope she can give you what you want.Sex is a form of intimacy and it is also a way to express yourself.I hope that you can rekindle romance back into your marriage.

<p>Wow and huge times two. "It's a case of them expressing exactly how they feel about you."<br />
This story is a real wake-up call for me. I have done exactly what you did: isolating myself from my wife, stopped initiating, doing other things outside the house without her, moving on with my life and not including her, no longer seeing her as someone I am attracted to.<br />
I still crave love from her, though. She uses the word love (sometimes), but not in the context that I do. She just says the words and I don't believe there is anythng behind it. There are no actions to support the words.<br />
The question for me, that I really don't want to even think about, is "Now what?"</P>

if she is not interested in sex then she has too face up too the problem which means either outsource or cannot remain in a poor situation forever

hey there everyone--why is there so much dysfunction in marriages nowadays and why does the sex become so bad.

she may night be interested in sex period.

Fantastic revelation! What will you do now?

You illustrated a good point there. I think often when the intimacy is gone its because the desire is completely gone. When you look at the person they hold no attraction for you at all. I think that's sad but at least you are able to move forward now.

She might be asexual person...who has no those needs at all.

I don't necessarily agree. Perhaps she has intimacy issues/ baggage from the past/ feel insecure/ dissatisfied with other aspects of the marriage. It could be a number of things. I hope you at least tried to communicate honestly with her about your feelings before assume it was because she didn't love you.

Wah I really feel for you bro. It's sad how people can conceal their feelings even when they share a relationship. How is it now? I really really hopes she changes and get tempted to have sex with you. I think you should try talking to her once more. If she still doesn't succumb, you have to learn to live without sex. Or find other alternatives. Don't lose hope bro. :-)

I'm really sorry this has happened to you...I could never to that to my husband. Although I really wonder why he never wants me...or why I've gone to all the trouble to make myself look trim for him.

" I'm angry that she just didn't tell me that she felt this way"
Hmm.. she may not understand it with the clarity that you understand it now. Therefore unable to tell you

I wonder if he has told her how he feels?