I Need To Learn To Accept This

My husband and I have not had sex in over 6 years, and that was an awkward experience- prior to that one time it had been over a year. I don't know how to teach myself to accept this situation as it is, but I love my family and I have learned the hard way that finding relief outside my marriage is just not an option.
I've been married to my husband for 15 years, and we love each other very much - we are best friends and have a very good time together. For the first year of our marriage, we couldn't manage a single day without sex - even pulling off the side of the road to make love in the car because we couldn't wait the 15 or 20 minutes until we got home. This was a regular occurence - the sex we had then was most certainly the most intense and passionate I have ever had in my life, that is part of why this is so difficult I think.
When we had been married for about a year, I became pregnant with our son. Nothing changed until he was born - but once we had the baby the sex was just gone. After almost 2 years without having sex even once, I tried to talk to my husband about it - I was desperate. His response was that it couldn't be forced, and it wouldn't feel spontanious if we did it just because I asked if we could. I began to feel that this had to be due to the weight I had gained during and after my pregnancy - and I fell into a deep depression. I eventually went to the doctor, who diagnosed me with hypothyrodism (this was causing the weight gain), and prescribed medication to treat it - within 6 months I lost all of my pregnancy weight plus some - I looked better than I had since I was a teenager. I had hoped that this would help with our love life, but it did not. Over the following 5 years, we had sex only a handful of times, and I always felt that my husband was only trying to fulfull an obligation, but he wasn't really interested. This festered inside of me, and I began to feel very badly about myself - was I ugly, why didn't he want me anymore? Eventually, I found myself in a situation where another man was paying attention to me, and making me feel wanted... I had an affair. The guilt I felt was horrendous, and I couldn't live with it. At the time, I felt that I needed the sex more than I needed my husband, so I told him that I was seeing someone else, and we separated. This was by far the most horrible time of my life. I was miserable, I missed my husband - I didn't really like spending time with the other man unless we were in bed, so we had sex all of the time... at some point, a condom failed, and I got pregnant. I couldn't face raising a baby with this man I couldn't even talk to, so I left him and moved in with my parents. Throughout all of this, my husband and I were still in touch and on friendly terms, we love each other. After several months apart - before my baby was born, we decided that our seperation had been a big mistake, and we decided to make a go of it as a family again. My husband has been a wonderful father to my daughter and our son, and I have never felt that I made the wrong decision. I want to spend my life with him. We have been living together again for 7 years, and in that time have had sex only once. It does not seem to be something he wants or needs. I am at a total loss. When I have spoken to him about it, he always says - it will happen when it is right, when it comes naturally... I don't know what to do because it will never come naturally again. Is there some way to lower my sex drive? I do not think of it all of the time - but sometimes I feel that I am missing a large part of my life. I've always been a very sexual person - and at only 40 years old to have gone 7 years without sex, and to be facing the rest of my life in celibacy, is hard. I CANNOT cheat - but I am desperate! Thank you for letting me spill my guts here - this is an embarrasing subject for me, and I don't speak about it to anyone.
Luann1971 Luann1971
22 Responses Nov 19, 2011

I can relate to some of this.... an incredible story I must say...

Wow - I want to really thank all of your for your thoughtful comments! You have given me quite a lot to think about. Just even speaking out about this issue in a post has been really cathartic, I feel like now that I have identified the problem, and "given it a name" - I have to address it. I appreciate your openness and kindness. Thanks so much! I will keep checking in and reading - and I'll let you all know if I manage to take some action.

Omg! My friend! I was married for 23 years, and he expressed him with out.<br />
On his own. And when we did have sex it was wham bam cya!<br />
When my daughter went to college he took her room got a facebook page<br />
And got ahold of his social high school football fans and many x s.<br />
Then he learn how to text a d was receiving text 27/7 from women.<br />
Ugh! He lied! I had access to at&at on cell. And was shocked that her had<br />
Texted over 1200 times. To the same woman. My kids texting was under<br />
350 text..we are now almost divorced. Ya I miss him and he got the house<br />
And grown kids. Which sucks! Cuz I miss just being there. <br />
I don't miss him lying to me and treating me badly when he was down.<br />
He was my only friend and that made it impossible for me to think clearly.<br />
Now 1 year later I'm living with a man who has no job, and drinks within<br />
2 to 4 hours of getting up! There is no sex. It doesnt work!!! To much drinking!<br />
Hes super sweet intil her blacks out then screams at me! Then we don't talk for<br />
A few days! He also lies!!!! Omg! I drive 1 hour to work. And 1 hour back.<br />
Reduced my work hours and now don't make enough to pay my own rent!<br />
So I'm stuck! My parents are gone and my kids have there own life.  <br />
Now I feel super stupid!!! I was dreaming of a wonder hot sex life with this man! <br />
Life is what crazy!!! 

"It'll happen naturally when it happens"....and then he sits back and waits SEVEN years. I know, I have been there and done that. <br />
<br />
My refuser ex wife used to say "but I do want you/think we can be happy/want to have sex" <br />
<br />
Me: "WHEN is this likely to happen, it's been X years ! "<br />
<br />
Refuser X: "Soon"<br />
<br />
Always soon, never right now. What they don't realise is that there comes a point where you're not even sure you even want them anymore. That's when you know you're really f***ed. <br />
<br />
She'd still be saying "soon" now if I hadn't finally put an end to it and got on with the rest of my life.

Hi, if you read "Cupid's poisoned arrow" by Marnia Robinson, you might get a very good insight as to why you both possibly could get into this situation of a sexless marriage and read how you could work with it in a simple way.

Hi Luan,<br />
<br />
If you read "cupid's poisoned arrow" by marnia Robinson, you will get incredible good information<br />
as to why you both possibly came inton this situation of a sexless marriage.

Chasing why is an unproductive exercise in most cases, but when the why appears to be doing jumping jacks right before your nose, you may as well grab it, recognize it, and use it to recognize that it ain't you.<br />
<br />
Madonna / ***** syndrome doesn't get much more classic than this... not that I'm a psychologist... <br />
<br />
...and it isn't you... it isn't the bit of weight you gained, or the affair, or the way you flick your hair, or anything that you do or don't do... <br />
<br />
Act accordingly... in the mean time, hang around, read and get to know us all here... and you will begin to find yourself.

Wow, I would really be interested in hearing your husband's take on why he isn't interested. Because, I am in a similar marriage. However, no children and no cheating. Yet. <br />
I love my wife, and I just don't know how to rekindle the old flame.

Searching for the why really doesn't matter and it never will. Why will not bring him back or change anything about your circumstances. Only a real effort to change on his part can ever affect change in your situation. Your post suggest that he is not close to making that happen. He controls how he will deal with this.<br />
<br />
As for trying to learn to live like this you cannot. Sure you can burry your needs and desires but the will remain so forever. Don't waist your life hoping for a change that will never occur. <br />
<br />
Listen to the many wise people here and begin your plans to change your life for the better. It is truly the only thing you control.

What a selfish, selfish man. Just like mine. Ostensibly, he's "wonderful" but I want you to really think about the situation. What would you say to me if I told you my husband told ME, sexless for 3 years, "it will happen when it happens", which really means, "It will happen when *I* feel like it."<br />
<br />
To hell with all you think he does for you. It's nothing compared to what he's doing TO you. Don't let your guilt over that affair make you think he has permission to treat you like this.<br />
<br />
He's treating you like dirt. He's telling you YOU DO NOT MATTER. Just like mine is.

Once a person shows you who they are, believe them! <br />
<br />
He is not going to address the issue. Perhaps he is into something else, maybe if you ask his permission to be with someone else. etc.

So one day you will wake up and both realise that the magical time is right and your hell will be over...that would be great. I think you know it wont happen like that. It would take two willing partners and a lot of hard work after a gap this long.<br />
Do not while away your life waiting for that miracle-take control or you may just find another 7 yrs have passed without the time being any righter than it is now.

Succinct and well-said.

By accepting this situation you are normalising his abnormal behaviour.

I advise looking at Madonna ***** too... This smacks of it<br />
The thing is - knowing its name does not really change anything.<br />
Good luck

Oh Luann...<br />
I so feel your pain...Having been in a sexless marriage for 8 years, 11 months and now.. 19 days.... The good news for me is that my H finally decided to move on and I am now alone --- and pretty happy. <br />
<br />
There are any number of medical conditions that could be responsible for his low libido.. have you asked him to see his doctor? About 1 in 5 men suffer from a low libido making it a much more common condition than many would realise. Could be as simple as low testosterone...it could also be stress, fatigue and is he being treated with medication for high blood pressure or depression? Both conditions are treated with medications that cause low libido! Those are the easy things to address...<br />
<br />
The other issues are a bit more complicated.. in that they involve emotional components. First, your husband has to recognize there is an issue here.. and be willing to address it. That is very hard for many men.... Sadly. The next is to ask if there has been any marital anger in the past... have there been things that have happened that maybe are not resolved? I am not a therapist and certainly don't know a lot about this... I just try to educate myself... <br />
<br />
My sexless marriage was not because my H had a low libido.. in fact, he has such a high one that it lead him into casual sex with people he would meet in special internet places "married man seeking casual sex." Devastating.<br />
<br />
I hope this helps a bit and just remember there is nothing wrong with you! Here is to him waking up and realizing how valuable you are, how much you love him and then him taking action!<br />

Learn to accept what??!?? This is madness! <br />
Seven years and no sex??!??? Wow! Your husband does not really love you at all!<br />
<br />
Once you gave birth, you were no longer a warm place for him to put his schlong. You transformed into an obligation that he can never escape. Your husband never really changed because he never really did love you for who you are. <br />
<br />
This is how God wired mankind. Body warmth does not grow on trees nor can you pluck it from the soil. You, as a normal mother who depends on the father to play an active role in the nurturing of the new family, are given a flashing red light. Your husband's limp **** is God's communication to you that you can not depend on your husband. How else can God speak to us?? <br />
<br />
Your own actions proved it: you went to a different man. The DNA of your children do not matter -- what matters is that the man is there by your side all of the time. In the wild, your husband would die of cold while you and your children sought warmth. <br />
<br />
Embrace your nature and prepare to divorce lest you go mad. You know you are going to go insane if nothing changes, right? Think of your kids: they will see you as the crazy one and your husband as the sane one. You know that is coming.

Look into something called "Madonna / *****" syndrome... in which a man cannot have sex with his wife once she becomes a mother...<br />
<br />
Asinine as it sounds... it does exist.

I completely understand how you feel luann, being trapped in a sex-less marriage for several years myself but at the same time feeling that I have to accept the situation for the love I still feel for my wife. At first I tried to discuss the situation with her but she is, and has always been, very inhibitted and embarrassed when talking about anything to do with sex. Sadly this is a legacy of her puritanical upbringing. The way I eventually coped and kept my marriage intact was through chatting to people in similar circumstances, even through cyber-sex and role playing on yahoo etc. I'm new to EP so I don't know what the possibilities would be on this site but you may know more than I. I am aware that what I suggest is not everyone's cup of tea, indeed the idea of cybering may repulse some people, but it certainly works for me and allows me to persue other interests in life without the constant day to day anxiety of my sex-less marriage. I wish you all the best for the future luann and if you want to explore the possibilities, I am here for you.

I have never experienced difficult, complex issues, problems resolved themselves by magic. I am at a loss as to why 'sexlessness' is any different. Either he has a totally hopeless romanticist's idyl view of sex and love or else he is shovelling huge porkies, possibly to himself as well as you. Guess which possibility I think more likely?

I don't know what to tell you because you did separate, and went back with the spouse anyway..so yes, you are stuck with your choice..Perhaps in time, you will gain emotional strength to face your unhappiness, and then be able to really change your life...<br />
<br />
Your husband is correct that he can't feel what he doesn't feel..The desire for him is gone, and so even if he does try to be sexual with you, it will not be what it once was..I don't know if your spouse has a medical problem or a depression problem,,but he is the only one that can change things..within the relationship..There really is nothing more you can do..I have no idea if counseling would help, you can try that. The counseling may help you to either accept your situation, or to be able to move on...I am not very confident, that the counseling will help to repair the intimacy.

Are you just getting this banal "it will happen when it is right" rubbish only ? Or is he also pro-actively working his arse off at finding out what his "why" is ?<br />
<br />
See, the answer to his issue - whatever it might be - resides with HIM. And without his pro-active and committed hard work on it, his "why" remains a problem. HIS problem. And there is not one damn thing YOU can do about HIS "why".<br />
<br />
The only thing YOU can control in this dynamic is YOU. You say - "I feel that I am missing a large part of my life" - that would be because you ARE.<br />
<br />
What comes through your story to me is desperation. It is like you know where this is heading, but are frantically searching for a reason, some reason, any reason, to hang in there. And avoid the obligation of choice, which is the only thing that is going to get you through this.<br />
<br />
Choice is hard. It is exceedingly hard. But you don't get a pass on choice. Nobody does.<br />
<br />
You could do worse than hang around this board. It will challenge your thinking if nothing else, and that's a good thing.<br />
<br />
Tread your own path.

I get it.<br />
<br />
It is super tough. I think your husband does love, but something did happen, as you said, and since then he is blocked.<br />
<br />
He will either locate his block and release it or not. No one can tell you that. Given what he says about it coming naturally, he indeed says it will come back or not.<br />
<br />
Having said that, I can imagine your despair at his lack of enthusiasm to authentically address this as a problem HE can do something about. I also sense he is passive about this, and your chances are high that he won't change until he actively pursues making it better. Anything less is half-assed love.<br />
<br />
That is the truth about him. And you either suck it up, perhaps ease the pain with counseling and support, or leave. But it seems you have already chosen there. Be strong in choice, be black or be white, but not gray...gray works against you here.<br />
<br />
Be well with yourself.