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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.
TW
TheWendigo TheWendigo 36-40, M 279 Responses Jun 29, 2011

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yeah , good post and right on!<br />
in my case, i just wonder did she feel this way before or after the kids. It took me abut 3 yrs of being rejectedto figureout how she felt, then another two yrs to accept it.

TheWindingo: I may have had a few good years at the beginning, so long ago now that I'm not even sure what I mean by that but I don't remember being hysterical in the first few years of marriage because of the lack of sex so I think it was probably good for a while. I seem to be about 30 years older than you. Married in 1970, two kids born in the mid 70's. When more and more and more of my attempts for intimacy were rejected - touching was met with a stiffening of her body and a "no, go to sleep", I attributed it to the fact that the boys were growing up a little and their bedroom was a little too close. I believed that for a few years until one day when the boys were 10 and 8. It was a Saturday in the summer. The 10 year old had been invited to a sleep-over at a friends house that night. I remember that day so clearly. I was thinking, "now we only have to get rid of the 8 year old." In the early afternoon, he came to tell us that he had been invited to stay over at a friend's house, too. I was so excited. That was the best news I had ever heard. I was sure that this was the moment that my wife and I were both looking for.<br />
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I can still see the scene and it still hurts. My wife turned to our younger son and she said, "No, you can't go. The notice was too short. We need to know in advance." <br />
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What? We needed more notice before we could put the kid's pajamas and toothbrush in a bag and drop him off somewhere? That was when I realized that she and I didn't want the same thing. She knew that I would think that we would have a night of love and sex and cuddling and she wanted to prevent that. <br />
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I spent several more years trying for intimacy. We had sex an average of 12 times per year from 1985 through 1993, then it dropped to 6 times per year (with 300 or more rejections each year) from 1994 through 2002. Of course, by this time, I knew it didn't matter where the boys were but the latter period included their college years and grad school and moving away. <br />
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Aside from frequency (or lack thereof), over the years she removed parts of our sexual ex<x>pression from the approved activities list. Without being too graphic, something tasted bitter once so she was never going to do that again. Then she blamed me for giving her a yeast infection - I looked it up in medical literature and couldn't find any evidence to support that contention - but I wasn't going to allowed to ever do that again. I guess I once had a fingernail that scratched her so there was another prohibited activity. Then, she complained that when I touched a part of her body (that I enjoyed immensely) she felt a tickle instead of a more pleasurable sensation so I was no longer allowed to touch that area. So, with 300+ attempts each year I was allowed to have intercourse with her 6 times, as long as I didn't touch or lick anything. <br />
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All of this is to say that it took a very long time to get to the point that you're at. I finally decided that it wasn't worth the effort and I started seeing her exactly as you say, I no longer found her attractive (although I can see that she still really is) and I completely stopped thinking of her in a sexual way. <br />
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For full disclosure, at the end of 2001, I was beginning to develop an emotional bond with a woman at work. I think that helped me realize that I no longer had any emotional bond at home. My moment of clarity (as you put it) might never have come without finding what I found with someone else. At first, she and I didn't think our relationship would become sexual but, eventually it did. In March, 2012, it'll be 10 years since that first time that we went off together to be alone. And I have nothing more than a roommate at home. <br />
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I'm not sure why I wrote this but since I have written this, I'll post it. I was touched by what you wrote, saw some similarities in there - maybe not a lot but it seemed significant and started me thinking and that thinking brought me to this point. <br />
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Maybe this isn't the path that you're on. Seeing where i ended up, maybe you can avoid it or embrace it, as you wish. I wish you well. <br />
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And, to mrken2215, I'm afraid that "lunch" is not what they don't want to rush. I've never inquired about a special bathrobe before a real lunch date. I think you knew that. Good luck to you as well.

Myfaultofcourse,<br />
Thank you for taking the time to share your story, I read it through with great interest. I could feel the pain as I was reading it, and you have my deepest sympathies for what you've been through. I can't overstate how helpful it is to hear from people who have gone before me on this path, and see how it turned out for them. I know this isn't a game that you can beat the odds on, and if I can learn from your experience, I will do so gladly. People like you sharing your experiences is what makes this place so valuable to others in similar situations. I see much of myself in your story. Thanks again,<br />
TW

TW, <br />
My story almost didn't make it here. I logged in and wrote about half of that and stopped to do some other things. I came back to finish and clicked "post." I didn't notice that I was no longer logged in - there must be a period of inactivity that triggers an automatic logout. I was back to a blank "add your comment" box and I could see that my entry hadn't been posted. After a few moments of disappointment, I hit the browser's back button a few times and I got back to a screen that still contained what I wrote. It let me log in and post it. I'm glad that it got here. I didn't think I'd be writing that a second time.<br />
<br />
I wish all good things for you. <br />
<br />
Myfaultofcourse.

I've had the same thing happen a few times, but not always fortunate enough to get it back! I'm glad it came through, would have been a shame if it had been lost. Thanks, and I wish you well also. TW

A big thank you to everyone posting...<br />
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yep me too in sexless marriage, and it's my fault. I am angry with him over a few things. I have told him, and I've told him that affects the way I feel about him sexually. For 8 years, nothing changes.<br />
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To be fair, we have been under an abnormal amount of stress with a once thriving 5 million dollar company going bankrupt - and all the time and energy we sunk into saving it. Now, still under pressure from the receiver, and repayment on the loan that was secured by our home.<br />
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We used to have mind blowing sex before all that. I do love him, and the way he is picking up the slack right now as I am basically burned out. I was the one running the company and running myself into the ground. <br />
<br />
In short we are in a physical, emotional and financial recovery of our life, and divorce would only increase the complexity of an already difficult situation. I hope when all this over, that our love life will return, but if I'm honest, it won't just come back by itself. Something has to happen, we have to do something. And from my side, I really want my issues addressed because for me it is the signal that he doesn't care about us...<br />
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I am not a woman that plays games or has unrealistic expectations. To most people that know us, I carry 60-70% of the family responsiblity until just a few months ago when I basically collapsed.<br />
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Anyone else gone through this and have wisdom to share?<br />
<br />
h

This sounds like me exactly. I was always chasing, planning, scheming, imitating, and seducing. Nothing, we blame the "blood pressure" meds, but the truth be told it's that he doesn't want me, because he is able to perform for virtual encounters and flirt and respond to other women. I am nothing more than a paycheck that helps raise his kids and my son. I decided in 3 years when my child is out of high school I am out of here. What a relief to finally be free of the obligation. Though I am still having other conflicts when it pertains to him. Thank you for seeing what I couldn't for so long.

Wow... I'm so glad I found this site. I can't believe there are so many people like me. Married my husband, after getting pregnant. Not in love, but scared and embarrassed and no real options. I felt anyway at that time. Marriage has been all one sided... back in the early days, sex was really all we had. In the last 10 yrs or so, it's been nearly nonexistent. In the last 2.5 not at all. I am not the least bit interested in him, for so many reasons. I wish I could get up the nerve to talk to him about it... or move out... at least leave the bedroom. I know I'm not completely innocent, I have not even tried to do anything either. I can't fake it anymore. Miserable.. just tired 50... and I don't want to spend the rest of my life like this. We're nice to each other... cordial... friends but not even close friends. Since there's no communication either!!

She is lucky wife but she do not know, a woman who has a husband still sees her as sexual wish and want to make intimate love with her and she doesn't show interest. i wish if i were your wife ,,,, you will get all the affection you needed from me, am in a completely different life ,,,, my man to be like to give me warm hug and **** me ,,,,, but he can not afford to do that.

"A little more than a year ago I started to give up. I engaged in some inappropriate relationships, 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."<br />
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This is what I did and it was great. The 'inappropriate realtionship' went on for over 5 years on a purely sad and Platonic level. Now 'the other woman' is gone! Where do I go from here? I don't want to lose my kids who are the best little boys and girl imaginable. My life is become like a ship without a rudder.

You know what, the only right and moral thing for people like us is to get together and help each other out of this misery. We should try and understand each other because we are cheated out of the love and intimacy that we so thoroughly desired and deserved. I just want to love a woman. This is not about sex or *******. It is about accepting AND being accepted, loving AND being loved. I can live without sex but I can't live without loving and being loved.

Amen Brother.

Welll, come on man. Isn't that why you're here? I want all that too but the reason I left her is I couldn't live without love AND I couldn't live without sex. What a waste of a life.

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. Unlike some of you, I don't feel much anger or animosity. Some, but not much. In many ways things are good between us, our life together and our family are great. Most of the time I just accept things pretty well. But it gets to me sometimes, like about now. <br />
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We're at about 1x/ month now & in our mid 40's. Not as bad as some, but not good. As with many of you, the frequency is only part of it. There's plenty of other things. I once paid attention and realized that- apart from goodbye pecks in the morning- she didn't initiate a kiss with me for about 1 1/2 years. What's weird is that in the last year when we are together, at times she's generally more responsive & into it than she had been in the past. On the other hand, if I don't push the issue, it doesn't happen and although she's not really mean about it, she makes it clear that it's only happenning because she feels obligated, and yeah I guess its been a while, Ok, etc.<br />
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The kids are getting a little older and lately she's been going to bed before them. This is probably the way it'll be for quite a while, which likely means once a month will soon become something else. <br />
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So I'm on the edge of going from not good to non existant. I can see and feel it happenning. I suppose I should bring up the subject and talk about it. We talked about it a couple of times several years ago. After the talk, she'll be somewhat more receptive (out of guilt and obligation) and that'll last for a month or so, but then its back to (ab)normal.. <br />
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It sucks. Nothing I can really do about it. Then again, there is much real sufferring in the world and here I am being a little crybaby over this, which can't really be described as sufferring.<br />
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And around and around it goes in my head. .I wish I could just stop thinking about it. I'm not going to break up the family over this, and its not going to change. Why can't I just accept it?

You can't accept it because it's not acceptable. This is almost always the straw that breaks the back. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of stories documenting how the tapering off of sex has lead to ruin. Your sex drive is biological, and it can't be ignored forever. She's got you in a space where even you marginalize these needs. It is absolutely suffering, and if you don't believe me now, you will in a few years. It's like holding your breath; it takes no attention at first, but soon it moves to the forefront of your mind and finally you must let it out. Be careful about what happens when finally you exhale.

You're not being a crybaby and you can't accept it because nobody should have to except it. I was in your shoes once. But it's only going to get worse. You will go from not feeling much anger &amp; animosity to more &amp; more frequent periods of feeling that, along with bitterness, resentment, and wondering what is wrong with you. It's not you, it's her. A classic refuser. You will get miserable and start to really really dislike it and your quality of life will gradually get worse due to the increasing stress you will be under. You will come home from work and feel a shot of anxiety through your body, just knowing you'll be stuck in that house of gloom for the night. So unless this is how you want your life to be, do what I did (without any real "Exit strategy", and just leave. I've been gone a year now and I am a new man. I see my kids 50% of the time, and it's great. At least now I am in a proper stress free state of mind that I am fun to be around them, and I think they enjoy me a lot more. If I had stayed, I guarantee I would be a future heart attack or nervous breakdown victim. And how good of a father would I be in one of those positions? Sometimes you have to put yourself first. Good luck!

I, as many of you have stated, relate completely with the story. I have been married for 17 years and the relationship has turned into one of convenience and basically servitude on my end with no reciprocation and definitely no intimacy from my wife. I am frustrated and hurt by constant rejection. While my sex drive is through the roof, I do not expect that my wives be, just simply desire the intimacy that I expect from a marriage. Sex once a week is fine with me, hell even every other week, but as it currently sits, I have not had sex for nearly two months at this point and the very mention of it makes my wife angry. I am not perfect and have, through the course of trying to figure out why she does not desire me, have questioned her fidelity. Rationally, I feel I was wrong to do so and it really made my road a rocky one as she took that ball and ran with it, now using it as an excuse to not be intimate. I have two children and I love them more than anything in the world. I know how devastated they would be if my wife and I no longer were married. I am trying my best to be the man I should be for this family but my patience is nearing a breaking point. I would love to save my marriage, but if it is over would love to just hear that. However, I don't think that even if it were my wife would ever say it was. She is finishing college, about to embark on a new career, know that I love her and knows that I will provide for my family all the while doing nice things for her and carrying our family emotionally and financially. I find your take on situations like mine may be very true, but I don't really want to feel like it is over and we have to go our separate ways. I am just lost as to a solution that results in me both being happy and still married. I love my wife, that really is the ****** part of all of this. If I didn't this would be easy. I feel like, meeting the right person that could fulfill my desire for sex would be dangerous, maybe helpful, but would require me to go against many of the ideals I have about how a married man should behave, but I have needs, want her to fulfill them and she won't. Another question would be does that warrant me cheating simply to get those needs met? Would that make me a horrible person for doing so?

Is she not cheating you out of the promise she made "to have and to hold...." I wouldn't even consider it cheating as afterall, sex is a basic need. I cheated towards the end of mine and didn't feel 1% guilty. And I believe it was because the marriage was over, and had been for years. So how could I be cheating on something that doesn't exist? Idk, maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way.

I can see that rationalization. Funny how these deep rooted concepts about morality and being faithful tug at you when your in difficult situation that may be much easier if you could just forget about them. I still equate being a good man with being honest and faithful. But in retrospect in may be her who has been dishonest and unfaithful. I am not the same person I was before and my response to my relationship is the reason. I will work on changing my views and not so quickly I feel I am out of control. Thank you for your response. It helps to hear others point of view.

You know, trash is good way explain how I feel at times. Never thought I would end up in this position! Thanks for the comment.

Roryshonn,<br />
Don't assume that you know how your children would react to a split. There is plenty of evidence to support the possibility that it would have little or no negative impact. Don't project your rationalizations on their reality. <br />
I think you should very carefully consider the feelings you have toward your wife. You say you love her, but that's reflexive, especially for someone who identifies so strongly with the role of father and husband, a family man. ***** away what you think you know, and then what do you feel? Where do guilt and obligation fit into those feelings? How do you truly love someone in a way that is not reciprocated? Unrequited love is not really love at all.

I may sincerly never get married, alright so i have one question wth happened? I just dont understand prior to marriage there must have been sex, lust and "love" right? So when did it go away and why? Because i have a very sexually active relationship with a girl i have been in and out of like for four years or so and we split and then got back in our whatever we have and she has mentioned marriage and i have often considered it. Me and her work night shifts often she works six nights a week, i only work three so we dont see each other for more than hours a day and most of that is sleeping unless we have a day together than its a sex fest, but if she becomes my bride statistically speaking i may never hit that again and that would force me to cheat and i dont want to be that guy! But im a gemini and so is she so lust is only a part of our nature and if we want it we get it end of story.

I may sincerly never get married, alright so i have one question wth happened? I just dont understand prior to marriage there must have been sex, lust and "love" right? So when did it go away and why? Because i have a very sexually active relationship with a girl i have been in and out of like for four years or so and we split and then got back in our whatever we have and she has mentioned marriage and i have often considered it. Me and her work night shifts often she works six nights a week, i only work three so we dont see each other for more than hours a day and most of that is sleeping unless we have a day together than its a sex fest, but if she becomes my bride statistically speaking i may never hit that again and that would force me to cheat and i dont want to be that guy! But im a gemini and so is she so lust is only a part of our nature and if we want it we get it end of story.

I'm in a 3 year long relationship with a woman I love very much. We're both in our early 20's and both live at home with our folks. We stay over at each others houses on a regular basis and are very much in love. The problem is that, unless I initiate things, they don't happen. Very often, they don't happen anyway. We try to pretend its because the walls are thin and we don't want to wake anyone. But ever since I started working as a teacher after university, I haven't been in as good a shape as I could be - I've stopped running, from sheer exhaustion during the week, and marking at weekends, and have gained some weight. I'm starting to think that she just isn't into me any more. Like someone said before, she hasn't initiated even kiss with me in over a year, and the last time we had sex was once, 3 months ago, whilst we were on holiday. I know that some people just aren't overly affectionate, but I feel that at our ages, things should be more than just lukewarm, at best. I love her so much- we've talked of marriage, moving in together once we have found a place, but even that has taken a back seat of late. I just have no idea what to do any more. I feel so close to giving up. On the other hand, I feel that things will go back to the way they were before if only we could get our own place. I don't want to go from a loving relationship to a platonic one of convenience. And I honestly mean no disrespect to anyone in that position.

DO NOT MARRY HER!!! I strongly recommend you rewrite this as a story of your own. You will probably be sad to hear it, but the unanimous position of ANYONE who has been through a sexless marriage is "do NOT ignore the red flags"!!!

Give up. She does not love you and both of you know it. You kids are too young to get married anyway. If you are going to play house, at the very least, you should own a house. Who the hell are you kidding??

My ex didn't initiate ever!. Not it the 3 years before we got married, nor the 19 after we got married. So dude, it ain't going to get any better. Run!

Heyyoitsjo,<br />
Enna is 100% right on this (she usually is). DO NOT MARRY HER. What you describe is a classic 'red flag' that the rest of us missed. Whenever it becomes an issue of having an excuse, any excuse, not to have sex, then there may be trouble brewing. When someone wants something, they will create an excuse to do it. <br />
When "lets have sex, we can be really quiet and it's better than nothing" becomes "let's not have sex, someone might hear us. We'll do it later.", you need to have a very honest conversation with your partner. It sounds petty, and perhaps it's nothing, but take it from hundreds of us when we say you had better pay serious attention to sorting it out one way or the other. Lots of folks would benefit reading your story, please post it up as an experience in the group.<br />
TW

Thanks for the feedback guys (and gals)! I will most likely post this seperately in the next few days, thanks for the advice :)<br />
I'm going to be honest with you though; I never wanted to be that guy who ends a relationship because he isn't getting any. I was a late bloomer, and have had girls finish with me for that reason in the past. I tell you: it hurts, and it's unpleasant. Even if she never told a soul why we split, I'd still forever know myself that I put my body's needs over how my heart felt. I know it's a bit old fashioned, but I just can't help but think that that would make me a bad person.<br />
I'm going on tour with my band in a few days; we'll be on the road for a month, so we'll be apart at least that long, and being in a different country will mean that we won't talk very often. With any luck, she'll have time to think over things whilst I'm away and see how things fall out when I get back. I think the time apart will do us some good, if nothing else. <br />
<br />
Thank you, again :)<br />
<br />
Jo xx

With any luck, you'll find some initiators while on tour with your band!

I have been married for 16 years. In the beginning the sex was great but I think I was just blinded by love at the time. A few years after we were married I started to realize the sex was awful. It started to be a routine and throughout the years it diminished. We have not had sex/physical contact for 3 years now. I have absolutely zero desire to have sex with him. <br />
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My friends ask me constantly why am I still with him. I do everything and he ONLY contributes financially. We have a beuatiful 10 year old son and it kills me that he doesn't have the father he should have. One that says come on let's go play soccer, basketball... The truth is financially I can not make it on my own and I am afraid to be alone. I want to be in a loving relationship more than anything. I have so much love to give but just not the right person to share it with. I ask myself all the time, is this how I am gooing to live the rest of y life? I am only 40. <br />
<br />
So sad

WOW! Sooooo many of pretty much the same stories. It does help a bit to know you are not alone in this. The years and years of pain, agony, suffering, some quiet and low, others raging.<br />
<br />
My story is long. Married 18 years, two kids. First 5 years with no kids were great. Sexual withdrawal started after fist child. Had next child three years later, sex for a couple times in a few weeks for that conception (a very rare thing at that point). Then, back to almost nothing. Was "bothering" her for sexual intimacy a few times each month for years. One time, tried an experiment to see how long she would go - three months without. When she finally did approach me in bed, she had no comment or surprise about the time that had passed.<br />
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Kids are preteens now and about 10 more years until college. Sex is somewhere between 6 and 10 times per year (I think - not really keeping track anymore). It is somewhat shocking and repulsive when it occurs due to the unbelievable dry spells between. However, I take it because I really want something, even this cruelly withheld "handout". <br />
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We are both physically fit. She is still very attractive, I have much less hair on the head but have not changed that much. Sex situation has remained the same throughout job changes and moves.<br />
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There have been some significant "revelation" steps in the last 10 years: <br />
<br />
1. Went to some counselling. Counselor said 'No Sex" - actually a HUGE relief - It took the agony and rejection away and allowed me to view her as a roommate without the possibility of sex. That took a massive amount of pain and suffering off my shoulders. Now just have low level sadness and mourning the loss of what was once a great passionate relationship.<br />
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2. She goes immediately defensive and divorce/I don't love you talk when I try to discuss our relationship. Then nothing changes. After many years of this, I am beginning to realize it is a tactic to shut me up and leave our marriage on passionless autopilot, which is most likely exactly where she wants it to be. <br />
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3. Started finding sites on the internet with Men and Women going through the same problems. I was amazed to see just as many women with this issue, thought it was more of a mans issue. Soooo sad that we could not be sex-drive matched BEFORE marriage.<br />
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4. Started to focus on and do things that I am interested in to take my mind off the loss of passionate marriage. Cycling, Learn Guitar, Construction Projects, Audio Design Projects.<br />
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5. Found this thread - many great insightful comments and realizations. (SHE IS) EXPRESSING EXACTLY HOW (SHE) FEELS ABOUT YOU! WOW, very powerful.....another interesting comment is that marriages with low sex tend to be much less fulfilling - kind of going against those that say they like the couple-times-a-year-thing.<br />
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I will probably make a few more attempts through the years as see opportunities or get to another crisis section of our relationship. This thread might give me a boost to try again and focus this try on how exactly it is that she loves me.<br />
<br />
This year she started asking me why I don't seem happy.....not sure what to say about that. Sometimes, it makes me laugh at the absurdity of the question, other times, it just makes me more sad.<br />
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To The Young People and No Kids People - Not sure how you find a sex-drive matched soulmate. But I can tell you the sexless suffering is almost unbearable for years upon years, so think hard about your future life before you have kids with that person.

Hey all, <br />
First time poster, I have read a few of the tales here and WOW ....and yikes! The above post was rather scary. My "Name" is DB and I guess I am in a sexless marrige, I am a 30 year old male and I am still in love and attracted to my wife. I hound her for sex and other affection's often but usually to no avail. I fear my wife might feel the same way as the poster above and this crushes me and angers me. I know that the "Spark" seems to be gone and we have been having problems for years but nothing like the last few months. My wife does not want to kiss me unless I ask for a kiss or make it happen. I fear that my wife in not attracted to my body or my personalty. I can't understand her feelings in full becuase she often does not wan't to talk about it with me or sometimes at all. The state that we currently are in is awful, I am sleeping on the couch every night last 3 weeks or more( lost track) We have not made love in months. I worry that the longer she and I go without affection we will be falling out of love all together.<br />
<br />
Am I in denial that my wife is still in love with me? <br />
Is there thing I can do to win her back?<br />
<br />
DB - Hurt, Confused and Angry

Hi DB.

My two cents: I hope you do not have kids yet. If you do not have kids, then you are still at a point in life where this can be addressed. Talk it out with her, explain that you want to have an intimate relationship with her. Try things like writing little notes to each other about what you want/desire, in and out of the bedroom. Give it a chance, let it settle into her head. If there has been no "permanent" improvement after a few weeks or months, then have the discussion again and set the walkout deadline.

If you do end up leaving her, I do not know what the chances of meeting the right, "intimately compatible" woman is. But, I do know that loosing the decade of your 30's to a sexless marriage is traumatic and will remove a large chunk of your soul such that you become indifferent, withdrawn, and "beaten down" in your 40's.

I had put the following as a comment to unwant at the end of page 8 but I thought I would share it as a seperate common to the entire thread because, well, I feel like sharing now since I was a victim of what this thread is about. Now I am happy. So, unwant had asked why can't he just accept the way his refusing wife is, and I replied:<br />
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You're not being a crybaby and you can't accept it because nobody should have to accept it. I was in your shoes once. But it's only going to get worse. You will go from not feeling much anger & animosity to more & more frequent periods of feeling that, along with bitterness, resentment, and wondering what is wrong with you. It's not you, it's her. A classic refuser. You will get miserable and start to really really dislike it and your quality of life will gradually get worse due to the increasing stress you will be under. You will come home from work and feel a shot of anxiety through your body, just knowing you'll be stuck in that house of gloom for the night. So unless this is how you want your life to be, do what I did (without any real "Exit strategy", and just leave. I've been gone a year now and I am a new man. I see my kids 50% of the time, and it's great. At least now I am in a proper stress free state of mind that I am fun to be around them, and I think they enjoy me a lot more. If I had stayed, I guarantee I would be a future heart attack or nervous breakdown victim. And how good of a father would I be in one of those positions? Sometimes you have to put yourself first. Good luck! <br />
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So I would consider myself a success story here in this group. Not for fixing my sexless marriage, but for realizing that it wasn't going to get fixed, because my ex didn't even see it as a problem. She would need extensive therapy which she repeatedly refused for about 15 years until the night I left. I was married for 19 years, we were together for 22. The biggest eye opener of the entire experience for me, was realizing I had "wasted" so many years where I could have had happy, instead of miserable years. I did get two amazing kids out of the deal, but that's the only good thing to come from staying with her.

Three cheers! Your right on target!

Hi i have been reading this post and see my life but i do love ny husband but i think it would different if he would help out a bit im always stressed cuz of the kids and he just wants to get it in for a woman to feel sexy and ready to go for it her mind must ve clear of all bullshit and distractions i am always tired for sex when i used to be ready at anytime and that makes me sick why should i have to take care of business myself when i have a perfectly attractive sexy loving horny husband if he would just deal with the kids from five till bedtime while i wind down then **** i think it would be back to were it all began none of this post may not make sense to anyone but it felt goos letting it out now i just wish i could tell him

Periods please!!!!! Can't read it. WTF?

Make up some cards with sex favors on one side and help favors on the other - tell him you have X amount of energy and he Gets to choose how you spend it - he can put the kids to bed in exchange for shower sex or whatever - you can't do it all - if he helped out a bit more he'd be less horny and more tired - trade him sex for help- Quid pro quo - its what all good marriages are built on :_)

You are dead on - my husband started abusing me verbally on our honeymoon - the words "f&*^%ing b*&CH" became synonomous with love and sex - i turned off then and there - I went through the motions of young marriage sex, usually at my initiation, for two years until our 3 children were born and realized he never asked for it ever - this added to the relief I would feel - 12 years later when nearly 9 months or more would go by without even the mention of sex I asked him why he never wanted it - he told me psychologically I was unattractive to him - I realized that this truism was something he had felt a long time which was what was behind the abuse - and his never wanting sex from me - I think he only wanted me because all other other men found me very attractive - I was sort of a prize - a doll in a box he never really wanted to play with. I went to a counselor and in a couple of sessions realized that I was not angry at the lack of sex, but at the principle of the issue. Also, I realized something about me - I would do anything sexually he ever wanted or asked for or didn't ask for - but kiss him. I absolutely hated kissing him and wouldn't avoid it at all costs - does this make me the victim of abuse or the abuser?

Your husband is an ***. He lied to you when he told you he loved you. He is totally messed up as a person and a man--who would do this to another human being--you are still young--get into the best shape you can mentally and physically. Then as you do this make your exit plans. Why in the world would he want to have children--does he love them at all?--You need to have a life and to find someone who really will love you. Do this for yourself and your children.

Thank you all for sharing your stories. Please bear with me; English is not my first language. I am a 42 y.old woman, married for 10 years. I have known my husband for more than 20 years. We met as teenagers and fell deeply in love. He moved away and we lost contact for about 8 years. Then, we met again and fell in love (again...). He is a wonderful guy and he has always been. Around the time we got married 10 years ago, we were having sex maybe 3 to 4 times per month. We have always been very loving; lots of touching, lots of kissing even if the sex was not super frequent. After the birth of our daughter 8 years ago, I lost all of the 50 pounds I had gained during pregnancy. I came back to my 'normal' feminine and well-groomed girl state quite rapidly. I noticed then that I was always the one initiating intimacy. He would kiss and hug me many times a day, however. I bought new sexy underwear, new clothes and did everything to make myself even prettier. The years have went by and it has gotten worse and worse. I cannot remember the time we had sex...2 months ? 3 months ? Over the past few years, I have gone to bed alone, crying at times. He is a good listener and very caring so many times I explained my sadness to him and I tried to find out why this was happening. I never got a clear answer. I clearly stated to him that intimacy was very important for me and that I needed it in my life. A few months ago, I explained this to him again. I said how tired I was of waiting for sex...and that over the past years, I have always been the one initiating it. We sleep in different bedrooms since he snores. I have gone to his room a million times just to be rejected (I am tired, etc...). About 3-4 months ago, I had a serious talk with him. I told him I would stop initiating sex, as I was tired of being rejected or being the one chasing after him all the time. I clearly explained my needs calmly. This has not made any difference. The other day, I was getting out of the convenience store and he told me 'I saw how these 2 guys were looking at you'...I replied that I had not noticed this. He said 'you are a pretty girl you know '. It's too bad this is not enough to tempt him into having sex with me anymore. I am a super good mom, I am educated (6 years of university) and I bring a very good salary to our household. I am always kind and patient with my daughter and I treat his parents like they are mine. Basically, I do everything I should be doing 'as a good wife'. A few months ago, one of my girlfriends told me ' wow, you look so good...your husband must tell you how pretty you are right ? ' I replied 'no...he does not'. My husband is a very tender human being, he is respectful and if you take out the sex part, he has always been extremely good to me. He has always been supportive of my projects and my goals in life, and he is the best dad my daughter could ask for. What I am to do now ? How long should I stand this ? I feel like the love we have together now is just like brother/sister (even like twins, as we are very close otherwise). I feel like having a double life now, as I cannot believe I am only 42 and life will be like this for another..20, 30 years ? I do not want to screw up our family life. But now, I look at him and I am starting to loose interest in what he has to say; this has never happened before. It's like I don't care anymore, even if he is nice with me. A moment ago, I was sitting on the couch and he kissed me good night. He climbed up the stairs and went to bed. Why not take me by the hand and lead me to his room ? Nope. There we go again. So I am here writing this post instead.

i find many similarities with you girl1969. i am also 42, born in 1969, living the same double life as you. he's a good father to our children, we do all the family things like nice vacations, he's very "surface level" considerate to me, but we've struggled with sexlessness and become emotionally distanced from each other for a very long time. this most recent dry spell of 3.5 years (we had a baby) is a lot to bear. i also have communicated my concerns and needs only to have him promise to change and then quickly return to the same cycle again. he's on a trip right now and i asked him to think about whether he can live the next 10 or 20 yrs continuing on like this. and to suggest what our next step should be. the thought of screwing up our daughters' lives is heart wrenching as well. i know how hard it is when girlfriends talk that way and you literally have NOTHING to contribute.... when i got pregnant with my 3rd, my friend said she could too if her husband came home for lunch sometimes. sadly, mine will only have sex at night and only after i have the talk with him, i think he doesit to avoid conflict, and once a yr is not really what i call regularly. so sad, let's be friends : ) another person in a brother/sister relationship. too bad i don't need another brother as i already have one.

girl1969...get out while you still can. I'm in the same situation. Giving it year after year, thinking 'it'll get better'. It doesn't. If you want a physical relationship with your life partner...get out now.

I am curious about all this. I was led here thinking I'd find others' success stories to inspire me. What I found depresses me instead. Though I didn't read all the comments I'd like to share my story. My wife has been in poor health most of our marriage - over 25 years. The drain of kids, job, etc. just took a lot out of her. Anything left was not usually in the physical intimate department. Though I've been certainly frustrated, as the healthier of the two - I rarely doubt she would be interested more if she were healthy. We also have many other interests in common so we do interact in ways other than sexual.<br />
Bottom line - it's not been easy - working through this I've said some things that I believe really hurt her trying to understand why we couldn't have a better sex life. But, and this is a BIG but...I feel she truly loves me and I her. So...I wouldn't dream of straying nor ending the marriage. It is what it is...not what I wanted in the sexual department, but satisfying in other ways. Does this strike a chord with any of you?<br />
David in MA

David, we all came here looking for success stories. Unfortunately we all have the same kind of success in mind (fixing the relationship) and that success is only an oasis on the horizon. None of us want to abandon our marriage or stray, but staying creates a greater conflict. In honouring the letter of our commitments, we end up abandoning ourselves and straying from that which makes us who we are. Unfortunately there is no outside pressure to keep us honest to ourselves, only pressure maintain our contract of marriage. David, this WILL destroy you if stay the course. You will find this dramatic and perhaps mean spirited now, but some day, maybe years from now, you'll understand that this is the truth. Don't think you can lean on your virtue to carry you through this unscathed; it won't.

I think you continue to be spot on TW and amazingly without being bitter. The realization struck me the other night that every day I delay leaving, the cost goes up AND the benefit goes down. I've only got so many more days left on this earth to be happy with a COMPATIBLE partner really wants to and is able to share intimacy with me. I don't want to miss a single day with her that I don't absolutely have to!

Wendigo: I've thought about your comment and I validate your belief the relationship would be destructive IF only one of the spouses had love for the other. However, if BOTH have love for each other, I have found abundant evidence of hidden strength in sacrifice based on mutual love. With over 35 years of fidelity in the midst of this challenge, I think, proves this concept.

Excellent capture of the situation too many of us share. Oh and a tip for those who may be contemplating a pathway out...<br />
Met with a divorce attorney today to just walk through and get familiar with the process. Once you file there can be up to a 2 year delay period of legal separation before a divorce will be granted in my state. However, the start date of the separation can be back-dated, and the time you started sleeping in separate rooms can often be referenced as a start date of the separation. So keep track of that date. It may serve to speed your exit when you are ready to pull the trigger and get on with living again.

Im the wife in this situation except my marriage didnt last long. I never loved my ex husband, i was never attracted to him heck i didnt even like him! But im young and i knew i was making a mistake marrying him but i wanted to "settle down" oh and i was pregnant. I left before our daughter was out of the hospital. Even though i now have the annoying ex issue going on i am so thankful for my child and pleased i left when i did.

Thank you for doing the right thing by leaving him.

Im the wife in this situation except my marriage didnt last long. I never loved my ex husband, i was never attracted to him heck i didnt even like him! But im young and i knew i was making a mistake marrying him but i wanted to "settle down" oh and i was pregnant. I left before our daughter was out of the hospital. Even though i now have the annoying ex issue going on i am so thankful for my child and pleased i left when i did.

Excellent capture of the situation too many of us share. Oh and a tip for those who may be contemplating a pathway out...<br />
Met with a divorce attorney today to just walk through and get familiar with the process. Once you file there can be up to a 2 year delay period of legal separation before a divorce will be granted in my state. However, the start date of the separation can be back-dated, and the time you started sleeping in separate rooms can often be referenced as a start date of the separation. So keep track of that date. It may serve to speed your exit when you are ready to pull the trigger and get on with living again.