Why Repairing A Sexless Marriage Is So Impossible....

Here in our group, we often get criticized for being too negative, too willing to leave the marriage, and too unwilling to try and repair the marriage. I want to explain to new members why, all the group here is really doing, is just being honest. I want to try and explain why the members here are only being honest about the reality of a sexless marriage,and simply trying to be as truthful about what is possible, and what isn't

When your in a sexless marriage, you have 2 partners, totally living in different places concerning intimacy. The scales are out of balance. If you can imagine a set of scales, where one is 3 feet lower than the other, that is life in a sexless marriage. The longer the sexselessness goes on, the more out of balance the scales become. One member is content, the other miserable, one is in tears, the other in smiles. we are totally out of sync. And so, when it comes to repairing that marriage, starting over that marriage, the starting points are different. Each partner is at a different level. We, the refused,are facing a lot of hurt, misery, tears, that we are now supposed to forgive and forget. We are somehow having to find a way to climb over that mountain of hurt and rejection. Meanwhile, our partners have none of that, and so their investment in us is minimal. They have no idea what we are dealing with, when it comes to the loss of trust in our partner, the fear that is in our heart to trust our partner ever again. They have no idea of the fear in us, of not wanting to trust, and just be hurt all over again. They have no idea the hurt they caused, and so to try and repair something from these two starting points, is like trying to win a race. where you are starting at the same time, but you a are a mile behind your opponent. Your chances of winning that race are pretty impossible.

My spouse and I went for counseling, but to be honest, the counselor never even discussed this difference in balance, between my spouse and I. I don't believe she even really realized, what she was expecting me to just look past. To simply look the other way, after years and years of tears, and desperation, It is simply not even a fair burden for any of us to consider. I don't know that it is possible for anyone to be able to really do that. I don't know what to even suggest as way to do that. I think this out of balance emotional status, is something that can't really be corrected. I think the scales going forward.will always remain as they are, way off kilter.

And so this reality is what the members here project...
neuilly neuilly
61-65, F
71 Responses Nov 20, 2011

i agree with you.

really old post but so true!

How old is your partner and how long have you been married?

I think maybe I am one of those people who have criticised the negativity of these marriages.
I stand firm on my believe that there is a lack of communication going on in every one that can, if so desired, be fixed. When I have mentioned this everyone experiencing a 'sexless period' in what's supposed to be a lifetime partnership, throws it all back in my face disagreeing with all I have mentioned. Not only that you all blame your partner for some bizarre reason. There's nothing you all say that can be done to change his mind, he,s stuck in his ways etc etc etc.
All what I'm hearing back is lies, excuses and nonsense so yes I will criticise your unwillingness to try.
A marriage is about 2 people, whether a success or not. No 1 person can be totally blamed. It's not your partners fault you are in a sexless marriage. It's both of yours.
Why doesn't your awful terrible partner write an experience? In fact if a partner of one of your group writes in agreeing with what you have said I will hold my hands up and apologise.

I'm leaving the best bit till last. Something I've known all along but couldn't be bothered to mention.
Everyone of you people who replied to me regarding the sexless marriage experience are for sure going to cheat on your partner if you haven't already. Then you will blame him for causing you to be in a sexless marriage that eventually pushed you towards someone else.
Watch this space and remember. There's no excuse for being unfaithful

Maybe the last bit about cheating could of been dealt with a bit better by myself. Anyone offended I apologise, truly

Married to a wife with clinically diagnosed ADHD (inattentive type). It's a neurological disorder causing primarily a lack of ability to perceive time. We do not have a communication issue and this cannot be solved with higher quality or higher frequency of communication. Still trying different medications in the hopes something will help...

Have not and will not "cheat". Another relationship of any kind is dead ******* last on my list of things to do. After this experience I don't want someone else in an intimate way. I just want to be left the **** alone.

This post was enlightening and so very true. I have recently separated after spending 16 years with the person I felt was my soulmate. In the beginning, we made love all the time and for hours. Amazing!! It was sexless for the last 7 years. Something I initially rationalized with "she is just not affectionate and is just generally a detached person". But every year I went without intimacy, I felt rejected and completely unlovable. I began accepting less and eventually feeling like I did not deserve to be loved at all. When I let it be "okay", eventually the rejection changed something deep inside me. I became this insecure, out of control, ugly person. My soul has been drowning in all the tears that I have shed. My internal light has been extingushed from lack of oxygen. I am in a dark place that I am afraid I will never climb out of. She is unable to understand my anger because as you said her investment in me was minimal. I hate myself for allowing this to continue for so long and because I still love her. She is the only one on the scale, I no longer exist. I am afraid my scars are beyond repair and that I will never be capable of trusting myself or another human being. Neuilly is correct the emotional imbalance in this relationship can never change. She always knew I loved her and I felt like I never existed to her. How would you ever balance that out on a set of scales. My heart is broken and right now, so am I. One step at a time to repair myself.

Great post. So much Truth

I agree 150%.....there is no repairing years and years of rejection and heartache...

I am new to this and trying to learn. I have worked with people though in anger and stress management for years. Although I appreciate the post, I have not delved further into the Board yet, but will be coming back to this site to learn more. I think it is very hard to try to save any marriage, but a sexless marriage where at least one person is unhappy will probably be among the most difficult. I do want to say that if one partner has years of pain, suffering, resentment, regret or any combination of those it will be very difficult indeed. One of the reasons anger management works though, is that when you change yourself, by improving skills, improving your own happiness, your spouse may change as well. Improved skills are often emulated, because they get results. After one class I had a client tell me the next day that she tried one technique and was amazed at the results. She and her husband had had the same stupid fight every night for years. She changed one response and the fight evaporated. He responded, "Aren't we going to have our argument?"

Your unhappiness is your problem, even if it is not your fault. You are the only one who can allow or created happiness in your life. Thank you very much for your insights, I think if is responsible to encourage people to explore there optoins and figure out what is right for them. There can be so many causes, reasons or problems that contribute to a sexless marriage, and to say that the only solution is to stay together would be naive.

Please, Please, Please, Do yourselves a favor, save your marriage. Take a look at marriedmansexlife.com It's very hard but it works! Man up guys it really is a lll on you!

I have been on that site and it does not seem like the success rate is all that high, in fact the person who alerted me to it, my brother-in-law is going through a divorce right now....

It's not always the men that can't deal with a sexless marriage....sometimes women like myself are the ones being rejected...

EXCUSE ME. I am laying here reading this junk with my long term partner. She is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. we almost NEVER have sex.

She is not bothered, I am not bothered. we laugh and play and have out own little jokes and cute ways. we love each other very much and sex is not at all required for this.

She understands that im happy to meet and sex others. She is best friends with some of them and they can sleep over with me and her too.

we hope that some of our best friends that i date can come to live with us and she can be happy to live with a friend and I can have another girlfriend.....or 2 or.....?

You guys just arnt living.......

your playing music on a one stringed guitar and listening to it in mono!

And dont tell me its not love. I have had a full on wife and had a gf for 9 years. i know monogamy very well.

its about time the world stopped and listened to the fact that science knows well.

monogamy, particularly for males, is NOT normal!

People must stop following tradition and things they see on TV.

Take off the stupid rings and get out there and meet someone interesting on your friday night. introduce them to other interesting people you met and create an empire of great friends to date and i promise you, you will have your favorites and you will never be alone.

and you are going to find people like this goddess under my arm and you are never going to be married and still feeling lonely.....

and if your REALLY skilled and lucky like me, you get to have parties with 20 dates at the same time! ;)

Thank you for your time,


Hi its me..

Look, im not joking. Im a real person. Nothing in that post is untrue.
Ill send you the pictures.

I actually do have the ability to create an all girl "cult" if I want to.

It began when I found out that I got kinda famous on a dating website.

I find out that I am almost the perfect guy. I mean theres someone out there who is close to it. Im not perfect, but Im really REALLY close to what girls want.

And fact is, they prefer honesty to monogamy.

I guess they value being with a guy they dont need to trust. they keep their freedom. thats good for them.

Anyway, i simple explained everything to the girls on the dating website with carefully crafted and fully honest cut and paste messages.

Then just spammed them out to the 300 or more girls trying to talk.

Mentioned that I would like them to come one a date with me.

And BOOM!!

I think some of them came just to see if it was real.

Once they were there, i made a speech to explain everything.

Saying, I cannot take you home or anything just yet because I dont really know any of you....sorry.

I strongly positioned myself as a leader and had already appointed one girl as my spokes person.

they all saw her as the leader of them. Someone to aspire to be like.

And in the end, someone to be jealous of and try to overcome.

and we had monthly party dates like this.

The format was dinner club then hotel.

Many of the girls were still living at home so they come to stay at the hotel with me rather than come home late.

I didnt sex them there, but i did have sex with the leader girl in full view of them. (under blankets of course)

This established her as the dominant female and made them want it too.

It sounds strange but actually it was not long ago, just and evolutionary blink of an eye, that this was the natural order of things.

All this stuff really is hard wired into females.

I mean, going out to the club and having to count heads as the leave all drunk and stumbly ia amazing fun.

other guys pulling me aside and saying "just....HOW!"

I just treated them like any girl on a date. food, drink, dancing, kisses etc...

its was insane....

I used to wear a ralph lauren bathrobe to the club....

I was a rockstar!!

And I can do it all again too!! Just cannot be bothered.

I still have the facebook group with some girls in it. about 15 but I kicked most out because they wanted to have parties together and also meet guys.

In hind sight, ruling with an iron fist never pays off.

I should have organised a party for them with other guys one month and looked sad all night.

Pulled the guilt trip...

I will do it all again, but its a lot of work.

making sure every girl feels special and things.

Heres a tip.....

Dance with the ugly girl, she will have a huge grin on her face and the other hot girls will think, "if she can be special, then why cant I?"

and they will feel lower than a girl they thought they were above and then they will try to increase their value with you.

This whole 20 girls thing was a hell of an experience and it unearthed all sorts of interesting psychological mating behavior evolutionary twists.

omg....I totally have to do it again....


But this time BIGGER!!!

In reading this excellent post and responses (and after having been on ILIASM for many months, reading other stories and posts), something just dawned on me.

I think all of us that have been refused may just be incurable optimists. I think I am. I think things will always get better. Even when they don't. I try to see the best in things, even when there doesn't seem to be much there. Perhaps this i why so many of us hate to look at the "dark side". Much wishful thinking going on, at least with me.

I think people really need to feel that the marriage is salvageable, that there is a way to reach the heart of their partner.

Agreed. And I've spent my whole life fixing things (and I get a whole lot of satisfaction from doing just that). So, living in a SM is something broken that I want (need/crave) to fix. I keep looking for the correct tools, but can't seem to find them...

I know, the problem is. you can loose a life time in the process. And once those years are gone. you can not retrieve them.

A very good friend, when we were working on a project together, saw that I was trying too hard to improve things. Three words she uttered changed my life, because I still use them. "Ready, Fire, Aim". In other words - Enough already, it is time to move on!!


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In this century, "Marriage" is a fiction and myth. Naive people still believe in movie stories, romantic novels, where writers have only intention is to make profit selling books (fairy tales) to naive people.

As a divorced 42 yr old male, I can say to all married couples that always keep in mind, divorce can happen overnight. In my case, I didn't even know my ex wife had extramarital affair. She divorced me and remarried her boyfriend within a week of divorce. I was stunned, shocked. My 7 yrs marriage ended overnight. So, it's better to be prepared for unexpected, because we are living in an immoral,crazy world.

hi neuilly; it's nice to read a post from you --always wise, always sincere. I think that there are two types who post here. Those who are so beaten down as a result of their sexless marriage but just need someone to throw them a lifeline by telling them the truth and those who don't really want to hear the truth and are still hoping for a Disney like happy ending. You can help the former but, not the latter

I agree...i don't like dashing some one's hopes and dreams against a wall...so...i say try one more time. But this time with your eyes open and your wits about you, and make rational decisions based on fact and not on what you want to to believe is happening. At least you have a chance on helping your self and the situation.

Hopefully not repeating what has already been offered on this discussion, but one point I'm not so sure I agree with is that "one member is content, while the other one is miserable". I think the partner who appears content may have found a way ( or someone ) to deal with the circumstances. I know that sometimes there are mismatched sex drives, but people still crave some sort of intimacy unless they have some deep emotional issues that haven't been resolved. I used to be the "other woman", and while my current hubby and his ex had not had sex for a couple of years, it didn't mean he wasn't having sex. He was, because it was with me. Whether she had someone else, I can't say. I don't think so, but sometimes we as women, because of hurt, betrayal, financial insecurity, just lose trust and faith in our partners and physically, it just isn't happening. ( Now that last statement, I got from some of my female friends)..I'm a woman that has a very high libido and can't imagine being in a relationship and not having sex..I might not be having it with my partner, but it'd be with myself, my toys, my showerhead, or someone else!!!! I'm not advocating cheating, but life is way too short to be miserable when there is something you can do to fix it. Sex is another form of communication and I think we women don't quite appreciate how important it is for most men. Those of us that do, well, we end up living where the ex used to live!

Imo...and that is where the problem lies. Having to forgive and look past a year or teo is possible. Looking past a decade or more of sexual disinterest is a whole different type of situation.

I agree with you Neuilly....if a divide has been in your relationship over a year.....I doubt seriously, it's repairable...not saying it can't happen, but highly unlikely..too much resentment build up

Yes but you are leaving out another huge problem...the inability to trust that all is really ok..the threat of all of the sexual deprivation and lack of any affection starting all over again is a huge risk...i certainly was not willing to put myself through that..and so i said no. I can't go through this again.i have been hurt enough.

"I have read on this forum many descriptions where the other spouse is great on all counts except in the bedroom. I believe that many of these situations can be repaired. "

Mmmm! If you have truly read widely on this forum, you will know that MOST of us do not believe this to be true. It is very rare indeed that a couple can enjoy a wonderful relationship in which ONLY the sex is a problem - even though many come to the forum believing this to be true.

LOL - when you said showerhead (!), my mind started wandering about you climbing up the bathroom wall and hanging upside down... But then I figured you must have meant something else!

detachable showerheads!

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Thank you for this excellent posting. I totally identify with your metaphor. It is difficult or impossible to forgive the years of rejection.

Well, I cannot respond directly to Oceansun as she has blocked me, but I want you to consider a few points please OS.

I am sure everyone here, and that certainly includes me, is delighted if your marriage has recovered. It would be VERY helpful to those many poor souls on ILIASM who are struggling to recover their marriages if you and all your friends would post a story on HOW you fixed your marriages.

Encouraging people to try to save their marriages is very laudable - so what do YOU suggest they do? If you truly believe that more marriages on here can be saved, why don't you share that information ?

BTW, honesty is NOT brutality. Honesty is only seen as brutality by those who fear honesty. Brutality is when you are confronted with UNtruths IMO. And one of those untruths is that you (by yourself) can do something to "fix" the relationship. As Neui so wisely points out, your SPOUSE needs to be a willing participant in recovering your marriage or nothing you do will work.

Are you aware, OS, that Neuilly tried for forty (40) years to fix her marriage? It seems to me that you think ILIASMers as a whole discourage people from trying. OTOH I believe ILIASMers on the whole encourage people to be realistic. And that is very different . . . .

I await your story about how you fixed your marriage. I'm sure others here are equally keen to read this. Hopefully it can help save MANY marriages on this board.

well said Enna..
most members here, walk a tight rope. We try to be as honest as ppossible about the reality of a sexless marriage. We want people to know that the % of fixes is low..But at the same time, we share what situations we have tried in our marriage, that seemed to at least open the door to discussion, and just maybe that door would open enough to allow more than just talk.

And Enna,I can't imagine anyone blocking you because of the information You offered here. For example :you have written a lot of articles on how to talk to your spouse. What to say, how to say it. What not to say. All the things that would assist us in reaching out to our spouse, not ways to just slam the door on the guy/gal. You have gone out of your way to try to tell people to stop demonizing the spouse.There are countless times you shared, what a great guy your spouse was.. You said he was a nice man, great friend, just a lousy husband when it came to affection. And that is not said very often here. So I send hugs your way. your good counel, your wisdom helped me a lot.You offered facts, and tried to keep emotion out of it, and you offerd honest information. You were not trying to push or pull a person one way or the other, except in the direction of truth.Because if you did point them out the door, it was because you were quoting something they said, and you would suggest, they re-read their own words.
a 1,000 hugs coming your way.

I hate to disagree, I was actually going to post a story stating just the opposite,
I am speaking to 4 or more members that no longer post here, and they are doing just fine, including my self.
It is very unfortunate that people who get back on track with their marriage are just too busy living again, that they don't bother to come back and post their success story.
I understand why, cause I am one of them, but it's not true that they all go to ****,
I am proof and so are many o my friends.
Also being honest and brutally harsh only drives new members away, so thats another thing I never have agreed with, we all suffer one way or another, and we all fight to get what was lost, some more than others, some die trying, but no one has the right to discourage someone fighting to save their marriage, and that happens way too much here, because it is possible, very much so.

I am not saying you should not fight to repair the marriage..but what i do see happening, is the longer this goes on in a person's life the more our spirit is broken down.. and we simply don't have the menatal strenth because we are too sad, we don't have the spirit to fight.
I was in this for 43 years, 34 sexles...and so don't think for a second that i wasn't trying to save things..but when you are struggling against a brick wall..you need to realize that, and move on..If you can get your spouse to cooperate, and get your spouse to go for counseling, or get your spouse to communicate, and reconsider being intimate and loving and sharing... well then you have a chance..but if all you get back is this, half *** attitude, that ,there is no problem..then you need to realize, your getting no where, and you need to move on

BINGO! Another dead on analysis and observation. I am lonely now but not for her.

Your words are so spot on and a real wake up call for me!

<p>iv often wondered why the refuser doesn't try to find someone who is on their same sexual level.<br />
why would they want to live such a nightmare, living with person who they will ultimately refuse sex / intimacy with, live with a person who they have tricked into marrying them, dealing with the ever growing anger the refused will have towards them.</P>

I think that initially they were sexuallly interested, but it was short lived. and so they too were caught .. The difference is they really refuse to believe there is a problem.They are in denial And so the struggle begins, and gets complicated if now you have children, and then if there are financial or health issues keeping the family in place.. Your all stuck.

I am not one that thinks it was a conceived plan from the get go. I just think they feel that the courtship is over, and the sex isn't as important..it was more of a way to woo you. It is just a way of thinking on their part. To them the need for sex isn't as important anymore..it was apart of the dating routine and not part of what is really important in a long lasting realtionship..They think it is mature to place sex at a lower necessity in life. But the problem is..they assume you feel like they do. And that is the difference..We think sex and the routinde of sex is normal. We think intimacy is normal. And we don't understand their new way of behaving. All of a sudden, sex is not a part of their life. And so we are hurt and want to just have the partner behave as they originally did. Meanwhile, we feel unloved, unattractive, undesirable, and we try to somehow win their love and affection back, but we get no where. The longer this situation goes on, our self esteem plumets and our unhappiness and lonliness increases to the point where we just can't function

Yes so true. I saw it early on and tried to discuss things but was met with a wall of denial, blame and brushing under the rug.

my thinking when i wrote the above was on the bait and switch thing... that is what both of my refusers used on me. act like they are all into me. then once they have you where they want you, they refuse you.

ya know if my refuser told me that he would like to see our sex life improve... id be right on it... but for some reason our refusers wont do that....

yep right... its just boggles my mind that they just dont get it... if my spouse is un happy with something im doing -or not doing... i respond by trying to make it work- to make it better... these refuser were born with out the d-n-a to understand they are fuking up.......... i wonder, if thier boss calls them into a meeting and says, hey buddy ur F@@k n up, you need to correct this .. cause im not happy with the job ur doing... they get that right? so why can they not understand what thier refused partner needs are...

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Well, Vjerilood, I can say that after three years of sexlessness we're screwing like rabbits. So there is hope. We went through a very long dry spell that didn't end until I told him I was leaving. We had become roommates and that's not what I want from my marriage. There was no intimacy, and eventually we never even touched to hold hands, brush against one another, or hug. It's a terrible way to live and I understand the pain, imbalance, and rejection. Ours was solved because the shock of living apart makes you both more willing to do whatever it takes to restore intimacy. It was slow and uncomfortable at first but I can say our sex life is finally rockin! We're exploring and trying things I would never in a million years thought I would enjoy, but I do. So move on or move in 100%, it's too lonely living without sex (and love).

Hi Neuilly - You are spot on. I had coined the phrase "asymmetric relationship", which is the same as what you are saying. And to make matters worse for SMers, with a few exception, the absence of sex in our marriages is really a symptom and not the cause of the problem. However, SM looms so large because it transcends our physical, emotional and psychological needs as human beings, it often obscures the root cause of the problems that put the couples in the first place, making solving the problems darn near impossible. That, IMHO, contributes to making the repairing of an SM a monumental undertaking.

Well, and the problem is elevated, because most of our partners do not want to deal with the problem, so you never get close to really knowing what the truth behind the sexual avoidance really is about .

Head in the sand and not wanting to ever deal with it. Try to bring the subject up and there is silence, not a word spoken from the other person. Very frustrating.

I know...sadly...I know

Sadly, I know that too. Worse is that when my refuser w decided to respond, she always made it into my faults.

exactly what I am going through

yep, my refuser will sit there and stare into the air, as if he is looking at some kind of invisible cloud floating above him, watching it float around him ... I stand there looking at him, waiting for a reply... I watch the clock, time him, to see how long he does this eye in the sky crap O-la....of course I never get a answer.

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I think you totally nailed it.

thank you

You're welcome.

Don't forget professional help and group talks where your peers judge you helps you see where each person is wrong and right. We can argue till death but when another person has an opinion it sticks hard in the gut.

I was the frigid one but we cared enough to dig deep and understand each other. He gave a little I learned a lot. We explored together until I was comfortable with my own sexuality. Some women think its bad to enjoy. Don't know how Their bodies work. Once a woman learns and loves herself you have a dynamo in bed. Maybe problem is the man not wanting to teach and learn and empower her. Don't stereotype us. I was abused and thought it was dirty. Now he knows my triggers and makes other moves. Patience and love !

Yes..but you were willing to listen and do something about your situation. That is a huge a difference, and a wonderful difference. Most refusing spouses in our group, are not willing to admit there is a problem, let alone consider doing anything about it..
And so, your willingness to at least try is exemplary.....and so hugs to you and your spouse.....May you and your spouse have a long, loving and happy marriage together.

Thankyou but love is worth fighting for. And I will always answer when asked anything. Talking and explaining your needs is hard for some. I never shutup and I believe talking about everything is the key to marriage. If you leave it unsaid , how can the other person fix or change or compromise.

If my wife were like you, I wouldn't be here on EP! You and my wife are identical, up to the point of caring enough to dig deep. I don't know why she is how she is and she won't go there. "I'm just not interested". What you said is what I've been praying for - comfort with herself, love herself, knowing what she likes, and yes, a dynamo in bed (this would be incredible, of course). Wish you could have a long talk with her.

If only my spouse was the one to never shut up. When asked what is wrong the answer is always "nothing" nothing is wrong even thought you know something is but because I can't read minds I am clueless as to what it is.

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I am not sure why I had not seen this post before, I guess I had hoped my marriage was going to change somehow? <br />
Well written and to the point. In my case the scales are definately out of whack. My wife has built up some sort of protective bubble around her also. She won't allow any happiness to penetrate it. Yet she is and was the refuser. I was more than willing to break the bubble, and forgive and forget, but she never allowed that. I never in my life turned down sex from my wife, even when I was sick and she decided that was the night she wanted to get pregnant. By the way, that was the last sex I ever had. I even apologized for not being very good that night. She even said, don't worry honey, you can make it up to me later. I think she knew even then, she had no plans to ever have sex with me again. She can't understand my bitterness toward her? I can't understand her at all! What kind of person would just decide emotional intimacy was no longer required, and with no discussion with their "Partner". You would not go buy a new car, or a new house without discussing it! <br />
This is a great post, thank you!

I totally get what you are saying. The refuser pays lip service by saying things like I get how you feel I'm a f' up - etc. The last conversation was alllll about him and his feelings etc. He has NO interest in me, but takes care of his needs and looks at ****. Now further, our roles were switched in the past, but he NEVER went longer then a few weeks. We're nearing one time in nine months (and it was not a complete time). I don't know how you can watch someone suffer like that and be totally okay while professing undying love. First chance I get, I am out of here. What you say needs to match up to what you do - people learn that in elementary school.

My reality is that I have lived in a sexless marriage for 14 years and it just breaks my heart. he never could satisfy me because he came in a flash then he wasnt inerested for about a week when he would start being affectionate with me again. I was frustrated our entire marriage. We have been married for almost 35 years.. We barely ever touch. Sometimes I will just hug him if I need comfort because I am very ill.with many different diseases. I am grateful to him for being attentive when I need him or my medications or food. I went the route of getting all the counseling,reading all the books. He was the one who stopped the counseling and I wish I could have moved on as I made a good salary as an RN. Then I got sick and never really got better. I cannot wait to die because These diseases have gotten the better of me. My husband and I are housemates and care for each other. I encourage him to be with his friends as much as possible. They also take trips together and do all the things that friends do so I won't allow him to miss out on life just because I have to. it is just what I fel is the loving thing to do for him. At least I can give him that. Please do not do what I have done. If i could have made it on my own when i was stronger perhaps I would not be living here in this very small world. i am lonely and i very much appreciate what I could never tell anyone else.

and your story is exactly why i too tell people ...don't do what I have done.. deal with the situation..while you have the ability to..because ..you may loose that option in the future..

I am so sorry that you lost an iportunity for a normal loving life..i really am..and am sending a 1000 hugs..I do hope that your health ..at least gets more stable..to the point, where you can participate in life. and have normal visits and outings with friends..I know...only having internet realtionships..is not ..the best situation, but at least it provides you with a way to talk about ..your life..your feelings...your day to day problems..and ..so do that..and when you need to talk..i will listen...

H says he wants me, the marriage and sex. I am still waiting. At this point the last time we had sex was 7 months ago, time before that 13 months ago, time before that 30 months ago...<br />
I told him almost 2 years ago this sexlessness was a deal breaker, that I feared being tempted to cheat and I wanted to work on things. We have only slightly moved forward in that he has at least acknowledged there's a problem, but seems to think time will heal it.<br />
He has some health issues but refuses to see the doctor about them. Yes he is capable of the act. Also hand holding, kissing, massage and other activities that stopped when we married.<br />
There is no acknowledgement he is causing me constant pain. There is no plan on how we will improve things. He hides behind his hobbies and rarely does things with me, other than eat. We're both getting fat.<br />
If not for our young kids I'd probably be speaking to a divorce lawyer. I feel stuck and miserable.

But you can go for counseling with out him..and you can say something like..i can not live like this..and so ..with or without you..i am going for counseling..and i am going to find a way to have a loving life.. and a normal life...and i will do that...with or with out you...

I did, he seemed to listen, was unable/unwilling to agree to any plan to improve things or really open up about issues. He said I was too moody, didn't listen enough to him, he was too tired, too stressed out from work,.....

had an upset stomach, headache, hemoroids, brought work home......yet he has time to go out with his friends, will take us out for dinner and a movie,...its like sex is last priority

i like honesty. i appreciate all of your stories. Im really new here but it helps me to see that im not crazy. I never wanted a sexless marriage and I feel that I have been baited and switched. Ultimately we will all decide what will work out best for our situations. <br />
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Thanks everyone for being so candid and sharing those stories!

There's two points here depending on your place. In both we are assuming you love your partner and they love you.<br />
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1. If its fresh you can save the marriage, but you need to stand up and make your partner aware it's not right. <br />
2. If its ongoing then you must leave assuming you tried the first part. Leaving doesn't mean divorce. You can start to date you partner casually to see what happens. Communication's important, but passion is the missing link. That's what broke you two down. It's not all one sided. For example I told my wife years ago I didn't like big round nipples. After child birth she had big nipples. I took her not wanting to undress and show me as her not wanting sex. She did it out of fear I wouldn't like her body. This is the root. 4 years ago????? We never knew. For me it gets a lot more confusing, but that's mainly my and in part my partners doing.<br />
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The balance can be set equal when all is lost on both parts and the root is found. But to move forward with or without your partner is your choice and your partners depending on your actions ie affair or escorts.<br />
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This is my take. I'm on my own and in love with two people. I'm confused and so are they. I chose myself for now. I don't know the future yet it's not all my decision.

your dating idea works only if the partner also wants to date and try and renew the relationship.. because that takes both partners...and both must be willing and on board with 100% effort and interest....and as with any dating...a sexual chemistry needs to be there.. how eager are you going to be for a second date, if the date is dissinterested in you ???? Hmmmmm? or if one of you is physically there and yet not really there mentally....????

i also like the analogy of scales. but in order for it be even they become unhappy. it pains them to try and even out the scales. even for a little bit.

To me, it seems everyone has a tolerance level, a breaking point that once you are beyond it, hate and resentment settles in and replaces the love. At that point everything becomes negative and near impossible to repair.

seanrice....i agree that what is happening in the sexless marriage, is way more complicated than just the lack of sexual interaction...Because ,as we discuss here many times..there is minimal sharing in other areas, like converstion, dreams, joys , laughter..just ordinary stuff..And, the longer the sexless marriage goes in...well, bad habits become ingrained..and so i agree,... chances are, you may leave the sexless marriage, but your taking with you all the behaviors that you shared with the sexless spouse..And so it requires a lot of soul searching and sorting out to really move on...You can't just blame the other guy..you have to also look at yourself..and so that is the other thing we talk about here..We talk about what kept us here and what to do now..to go forward...Because of what you shared..you should consider, reading some of the the different posts, and perhaps, you will find some information to help you...all we really do here, is reach out to one another , to help each other get through another day..

I received an apology from seanrice..and he left a very well written comment,,and ..and so i said i would delete my remark..however, because seanrice's apology was written as a reply..when i deleted my remark..all of it was deleted..I did not expect that to happen..And i feel very badly about this..But I am asking people to please accept Mr Seanric's apology..Because of what he wrote, I now know that he has had a very difficult situation to deal with, and as far as I am concerned, he is very welcome to comment on any thing i write. I encourage him to be a part of our group..All any of us here are trying to do, is deal with the sadness and hurt in our lives..<br />
Again..i apologise for deleting his portion..so let it be known..if someone comments as a reply..if you delete your portion, you loose it all..

Forlorn, you have really been taken advantage of in so many ways..it is so very sad.. I am so very sorry that all of this has happened to you<br />
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I think the importance if what you have shared, can not be underestimated, because it is very hard for people in our group to accept that our spouses would willfully and deliberately hurt us..We want to believe it was accidental..But the logic does not suport that belief.<br />
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For example, In my case, for my spouse to avoid sex for decades, and say it was accidental, that he never noticed we weren't intimate. That fact, is just not logical or believable to me... Or in your case. all the episodes of financial swindling, and other events, that happened, were very deliberate....I think that some of our spouses, were deliberately hurtful and hateful .And it is the knowing that someone you loved, and assumed loved you, would go to such extremes to hurt us, is a very deep wound to get over.. I think It will take a long time to recover from our years of hurt.You are very fortunate to now have the loving person in your life, that you have. I wish you both all the love and happiness, as you move on, and share your life together.

My problem is not as simpple as out of balance scales ... one of us is a digital scale - easy to get on & easy to read ... hte other is a cmplex balance beam with measured counter weights and a 300 page manual to use ....

2 things. <br />
#1 You ROCK girl. VERY well writen. I agreed 99.99999999%. Hey nobody's perfect...HA!!!<br />
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#2 Damn I wish you lived closer...lol<br />
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Seriously though. Rated UP!!! Great read.

LIFE IS SHORT! OLD age is around the corner!

My marriage was sexless because: She would fall asleep and grind her teeth all night. Grunt and groan all night. Pull the covers off of me. When I would come home after a long tiring day she would scold me for not getting a home project done. She would fall asleep before I got out of the shower. She would grind her teeth all night. She would grunt and groan all night. Pull my covers off. Criticize me for being tired in the morning after little sleep. She would deny all of the above and refuse to see a Dr. to help those annoyances. I solved the problem, so I could get some rest and be alert at my job. I never felt so good.

Excellent, get some zzz.

was it a divorce? or sleep in the next room?

Sad to say, but I believe you are right on the money.<br />
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For a long time, I thought as morningteatime said that my wife was just scared. I invented various scenarios in which she there was some sexual being inside of her and for one reason or another she was suppressing it. I’m sure many in this group have played the same mind games with themselves, so there’s no point in listing possibilities. I even entertained the idea that she might be a closet lesbian who wouldn’t admit that to herself. But the simple fact is that she is just not interested in sex. Never has been and never will be.<br />
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As I have mentioned elsewhere, we spent years and tens of thousands of dollars in counseling – with several therapists just to make sure the lack of results weren’t the fault of the therapist. In every case my wife acknowledged that this is a problem for me. There’s no way anyone can ever really know what is going on in another person’s mind or what they truly understand, but she has given every outward indication that she does understand all the pain and anguish that I see in my fellow members of this group. She says the right things. She says she knows it’s a major problem for me. She says she’ll try. She says, and I quote, “I know it’s my problem and it’s something I need to work on.” But yet she steadfastly refuses to do anything to address what she acknowledges to be a problem.<br />
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In counseling we have worked on me. We have worked on other issues in our marriage. We have touched on the periphery of some of her issues. But when it inevitably comes to addressing her problems or more specifically, the sex thing, it’s all over. She quits going. All I get out of her is that we’re wasting time and money because, “There’s nothing more that he/she can do for me.”<br />
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So the scale analogy is quite apt. We’re just in different places. I don’t know if she truly understands what this does to me or not, but as I say, she gives every outward indication that she does. But she’s happy with the status quo and since I have put up with it for 36 years, she feels that there really isn’t any need for her to change.

sex horse and girl

wolfy......there is a difference in refusing sex and leaving the relationship,,and refuisng sex and insisting that the relationship continue..When i was trying to sort out my marriage..what i wanted to do.etc..My spouse was determined to make things right..the problem was, I no longer felt anything for him.i no longer desired him.I was turned off to him, and I felt like you did. I was now the refuser..except..I wanted out of the realtionship. I had no intention of just continuing in a lovlesss dance, and letting my spouse spend the rest of his years guessing, does she love me, or love me not..I had lived that life, and I was not going to do that to some one else..And I think that is the difference..it is one thing to quit loving someone, but own up to it, and say..I am sorry, but this is over..I no longer love you, or desire you..and it is a whole nother story to say, i love you, but do nothing more than that.

Maybe ....I am closer to ending this relationship then I think. But there exists still several unsolvable issues that prevent it...yet I think that emotionally I am done. You're admission that your results were exactly what I see mine headed for is confirmation of that. And I am not really happy about that ...still. It all seems a giant mistake -a waste and a pike though the heart.

i agree with the senastion of a pike through the heart..we should never have had the problem considering that our spouses claim to have loved us, and still love us..but if that were true...we wouldn't be here..

Some have noted that each story here is as different as the actors in it. However there are several where I just feel completely justified in saying - get out. The refusing spouses in these stories are exhibiting behavior that says they do not care. They are saying make a choice, my way or the hi-way. It is still sad ....<br />
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I have a slightly different twist. I am now convinced that my wife's medical problems drove her to be a different person, and until the latest surgery she was indeed convinced she was "ugly" and not worth it. If I loved her and still wanted it - well then that cast me as a desperate person which was unattractive to her....a nasty little spiral. I note that others it seems have noted the "turnaround" about the same time the refused spouse started to simply ignore the play, and start living on their own terms. Either the refuser was frightened they would upset the "balance" or ....maybe this made the refused somewhat attractive again...as it seems is my wife's current mood (all talk - tease for now though). The dynamic has changed since my first post here...where I was convinced she would never initiate again in my lifetime. <br />
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But as you noted in your story - it is difficult. Even if I know her why (Baz is a genius - why does not matter) ...it does not matter because there is still the hurt, the fear, and the loss of feelings for the other. A hurdle of great size. Others here have also wisely noted the only person you can effect change upon is yourself...and I have started working on that. However, I am unsure that this will not result in a role reversal. I.E. I have been though a lot....I have not covered every hurt and every stress because I am not here for a pity party, and I feel the need to keep some things to myself. The hurts, that relate to the other underlying causes of an SM (Money handling differences, trust issues, respect, communication, life goals, life-style- etc.) are still there - she could have done something...even if it was only to apologize for being downright mean after she was on the mend. but even if she had....the cold hard look said the other issues were also killing our marriage.<br />
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Instead....she simply wants to act like we can just pick up from where we left off. But all of those differences were accentuated by the lack of intimacy....and now.....well. If she loved me or not then, or has changed her mind and now does...I feel a bit like the other side of Ron's usual comment....I am not sure I love her.<br />
In fact I am rather sure I do not. I have changed...she has changed...and it may be neither of our faults...but that change results it me not feeling attracted to / or wanting to be - toward her. <br />
I am still the guy who (right or wrong) for one moment when she went code in April...thought ..OK it's over ..and we don't even have to do the divorce thing ...it was vowed to death part ..and now if she does not come back from this ...I will have been released. That is an extraordinary feeling - at once horrible and full of guilt and also fleetingly interesting and hopeful..a weird experience. Leading to a weirder moment.....when I realize that it was the stress, the loss, the hurt and the experience of all that which may have now permanently damaged this marriage...because I cannot say I want to work to fix it. And I can say with certainty that I do not want to start over with this same person.<br />
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I find myself now - more completely confused then when I came here and posted my first story (in third person mostly) looking for help. <br />
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I will continue to work on my own issues...anger at certain things, mistrust of other things in society ...I will continue to foster the very few deep friendships I have found in the middle of this desert. I will continue to fund and plan my exit strategy...because if I become the rufuser - it is better that I let her go to find happiness then to hold her back.<br />
And maybe in the end that is the difference. Some refuse because of perceived or even unintentional things we may have done, some because they have an aversion to sexual contact, and some because they seek to control.<br />
Why matters not, the fact that they expect you to go along matters greatly and creates the unfair imbalance. Since you cannot change them and they are unlikely to change themselves - or allow for you to have an out...this creates a cage...and cages create the animosity.<br />
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I may take a few hits for this - even hinting you may cross to the other side is an invitation - I know...but I really feel I am headed there. I hope I am wrong on one hand - and on the other hope that if I am not that this can get over soon and with as little meanness as possible.

I feel several here would agree that sometimes there is no going back to sexua intimacy. We start trying to lives our lives and put on the persona that things are fine, then the two people grow apart. I dont think I could have a sexual relationship with him again at this point. Has happened too many times in the past to go again. I appauld those who can and do.

littlefeller, your a bit more explicit than i, more to the point,,but the message is the same..care about the one you love, let the person you love, feel loved, and be loved,,and there are no problems like this..Bottom line..my spouse..sorry ex-spouse, would swear that he loved me with his whole heart and soul.....well i would have to dissagree with that.. because if he did ..he would have..it is that simple..

I was raised to beleave that! If you don't tend your house someone else will? So I told my wife to be if she wanted to **** around and that's all. I don't want,need or drserve to know. Because I don't want to know!!! So after the wedding I started tending my house. By tending my house I aiways remenber why she said she wanted to marring me. I would look in her eyes & it was like all I would see or hear was nothing but her. She was right? So 4 or 5 yr's later I noticed this find young thing. Then I thought what is the wife looking at. I went home droped to my knees & I Licked,Sucked, & played with that ***** like I was a kid with a new toy. A couple days later I came home shoved my **** in her mouth then bent her over ****** the Hell out of her. Now we try & surprise each other.

Baz..basically you have it in a nutshell..because ..your patience can only get you so far..eventually, you have to finally face the truth, and you are tired of waiting for a miracle..and to be honest, why should it require a miracle for your spouse to be willing to love you?..I mean really..miracles should be for life saving events.. your spouse loving you,should be something he looks forward to, with anticipation and a bit of lust in his eye.

Neui,<br />
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you are right in more ways than you know.<br />
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The refused will not be able to convince the refuser to be a willing partner in re-establishing and nurturing intimacy and sexual ex<x>pression within the marriage (the refused version of what the marriage 'ought be')<br />
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Conversely, the refuser will not be able to convince the refused to be a willing partner in maintaining and continuing in an intimacy free and sexual ex<x>pression free marriage (the refusers version of what the marriage should remain)<br />
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Whichever spouse gets pissed off the quickest will end it. Eventually.<br />
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Tread your own path.

I've been guilty of believing that a sexless marriage could be repaired. There was a time when I thought that if I tried hard enough, loved him more, looked prettier, cleaned the house top to bottom, etc. then it would magically be all better between my husband and I. <br />
I thought that I HAD to stick to my end of the agreement when it came to marriage, for better or for worse, so on and so forth. I felt like if I gave up on my husband, then I was going against everything that I stood for. <br />
Now after many years, I realize that is a bunch of crud. My husband never once stood up to his end of the agreement. Marriage? What marriage? The last time that I checked, marriage is a partnership between two people who love one another. You can't love someone if you are willing to cause them so much pain every single day.<br />
You are 100% right, sexless marriages are impossible (or very close to impossible) to repair. My husband has done a turn around, but I am having a very hard time getting over the past. It has nothing to do with being bitter about not getting any in the sack. <br />
It has to do with him never being there for me when I was so damn lonely that I thought that I was going to go insane. It is about all those sleepless nights spent crying, while he could so easily sleep next to me. It is about him letting me down countless times and me playing the fool and forgiving him over and over again. <br />
How can you trust someone like that? How can you just sweep years of pain under the rug? You can't.

I couldn't agree more. It goes beyond the sex and intimacy issues.

I feel guilty for wanting to leave. I feel selfish for calling our bluff.

BUT, in the end, you're right. What marriage? Marriage takes TWO. I really don't feel my H stood up to his end of the agreement.

And, while I'm aware that in my case my H didn't have the tools to work on his end of the agreement, I'm ALSO acutely aware that he never took the time to build up his repertoire of tools when we were communicating about it all the time.

Eikasia- well said, my wife never had the tools. Looking back 28+ years I never saw real intimacy in her parents relationship either. I think alot of how we feel about marriage is what we have been exposed too. I now feel badly for my own children, the cycle continues. My job became a provider, regardless of my own feelings or lack of intimacy from my partner.

Neui,. beautifully and wisely expressed. There are people who stay in their marriages - sometimes because their partners are genuinely trying; sometimes because they feel they have no options to do otherwise (for whatever personal reasons), and sometimes because they are trapped by fear and inertia. <br />
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I salute those who are genuinely able to make a positive difference in their existing relationships, such as hl42. Anyone here who experiences genuine sustained positive results can count on HEAPS of support and affirmation. We seek to support individuals in finding their own happiness - if that can be done in the existing relationship we are DELIGHTED!!<br />
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To those newbies who think we are "too negative" or too likely to suggest divorce, I can honestly say that almost ALL of us came to this forum originally in order to find the "magic bullet" answer to SAVE our marriages. The sad truth is, that magic bullet does not exist. . . . <br />
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Neui, thank you for articulating so clearly the "ILIASM dilemma" - it should be required reading for newbies IMO.

Struggling, you say you both ignored the issue and you both want to change. You also say your wife is a member here and has already told you it may well be too late. I suggest you are not being honest to yourself here . . . . <br />
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IF your wife is a member here and says it may be too late to go back to the marriage, I suggest SHE has been trying to get you to see her side of the story for a LONG time. And I equally suggest you conveniently overlooked that until she said she was planning to leave . . . <br />
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NOW that YOUR life is going to be adversely affected, you seek to improve the situation. But whilst you were happy and it was only HER life that was adversely affected, you chose to do nothing . . . <br />
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This has a huge bearing on the issue of TRUST that Neui and MTT are discussing. Why trust someone who only acts when their OWN comfort level is threatened? If you truly loved your wife and wanted the intimacy and connection you say you do, why did this not become your priority the FIRST time your wife raised it as an issue?<br />
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You say your situation is different from others. I say your situation is EXACTLY like many others here. You chose to act only when it looked like you were going to lose what was important to you. Whilst it was only your wife that as suffering, you conveniently ignored the fact and went right on refusing . . . .

I understand your perspective, and believe me, I have asked myself daily whether I am fooling myself into thinking that I really desire my wife and want our intimacy back just because of the negative impact our divorce could have on my life. I know that my wife can't trust I'm truly committed until my actions change and I show her this over time.

I was not happy with our marriage; I was deeply unhappy that our sexual interactions were failing. I didn't know how to fix it and she was unable to make me understand what she needed. She gave up and so did I. We floated along for years, never really talking about it. Sure we had other issues all along that came from the same source, but we both failed to piece it all together. I am worthy of blame for not seeing it and being proactive in addressing it. The first time I saw the scope of the situation was the talk we had, and since then I've made it my priority. My wife wishes she had realized and told me a long time ago, and so do I.

It wasn't only my wife that was suffering, and it wasn't only me that was ignoring the problem. That's why I think the situation is not exactly like many others here. But the years of neglect were there regardless, and the damage done. I don't think I would have continued much longer without realizing this myself, she just got there first. And I won't go back to our life without intimacy; we either work to fix it and succeed, or we go our separate ways. She and I both deserve better.

Your explanation does much to exonerate you IMO. From what you say it sounds like you were both unable (unwilling) to truly communicate your feelings to each other. May you both find the good will, the grace and the love to redeem your situation in ways that will make you BOTH very happy.

I couldn't agree more.

In my case, I did communicate my desires - all the time in the beginning. I even asked (begged at times) to go to counselling. YEARS ago. Our sexual mismatch, our lack of intimacy was never a problem that needed professional help in his eyes.

While it is likely that my H was unhappy with our sexless marriage, he never DID anything about it. I worked at communicating and pushing the envelope a lot. Until I wore out. That was three years ago. I handed the baton over to him. It was his turn to find tools to help fix the situation.

He. Never. Did.

Fast forward to today. Sure, we both sailed through ignoring the elephant in the room. I can accept my portion of the blame. But in the end, it still comes down to 7 years of trying to open up doors that didn't want to be opened.

I think you're right that repairing an SM is impossible - why would you want to do that?<br />
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I think it is possible to reinvent a marriage so that it becomes sexual again, with the same partners, because we have done so. Blooming hard though, and rebuilding trust is an extended process. It's worth it if the "new" marriage is a real one, growing and mutual.<br />
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And of course, as you and many others have experienced, the effort involved - if forthcoming at all - may be too late.<br />
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I do not know why people enter a marriage without being committed to a duty of care to the other for their sexual and emotional needs. Well, I do, but it's reprehensible and doomed to unhappiness.

struggleng tochange.....,,but if you and your spouse both lament the loss of the intimacy..then that is a different plane ..then there is a possibility..because, at least you both realize now, that the intmacy makes a difference..and so you may have a chance..most of us here,, are not in that situation...The intimacy is not missed, and not wanted back..and so the choices are limited as to what really is possible.<br />
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My spouse ,did try ..at the end, but it was too late..i just could not look past the years of neglect..i hope that both you and your wife involve a marriage counselor to help you through this, it can make a huge difference..this is too big of a problem to handle with out outside help.<br />
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And..your here..that is a huge difference..You at least care enough to find out what you can to repair and bring back a marriage..Now if the other 22,199,missing spouses would show up..we could make a lot of progress, reviviing dead marriages.<br />
I invited my spouse to EP, to our group..I thought it would offer a lot of insight..He turned up his nose..So i give you a lot of credit...<br />

Thanks for suggesting I deserve some credit, it's a much appreciated vote of confidence, but I don't feel I've earned it yet. I'm trying to understand what happened to my marriage and I'm in therapy to figure out why I got into this horrible situation. I know I am flawed and I can't possibly be happy until I address my problems. I certainly deserve the darts that people fling my way; the resentment and pain my wife feels is real. Maybe the outcome for my wife and I will be different, it's my sincere hope we can rebuild our marriage.

I wish you well, and i wish you a happy outcome to both you and your spouse, and your relationship.

I am very interested in just how much you are capable of changing in order to close the intimacy gap between you and your wife. My wife has on lots of occasions tried very hard to address the chasm between our intimacy levels but has always failed miserably. The changes may last for a few days but then quickly revert back to previous low levels. She is just as miserable being intimate as I am miserable not being intimate. My joy is her misery and vice versa. Having said this I am quite capable of upping my intimacy levels to any extent because I am never bored or tired of giving and receiving physical pleasure. I guess though that it is difficult to judge this objectively because I have never had the privilege of a full and sustained workout over several weeks.

I wonder whether you will be capable of enjoying a greater level of physical intimacy just by trying very hard to achieve this and whether your path will be one of joy or misery under the burden of forcing yourself to engage in unwanted and undesired sexual activity. I am fascinated to hear how you get on and really hope that you will actually start to achieve fulfillment from your renewed activity.

I'll be happy to let you know how it goes if my commitment and efforts are reciprocated by my wife. I don't think I will be miserable trying for physical intimacy for the reasons you suggest. Sexual activity with my wife is very much desired by me, and it always has been. I used to initiate it all the time, only the problem was I didn't grasp the way in which my wife needed me to provide it. I'm starting to understand the kind of connection that was missing between us. Whether we can achieve it only attempting will tell. The problem for me will be overcoming performance anxiety and defense mechanisms that hold me back from being vulnerable.

1 More Response

I am new to this experience and this group so I may have a naive view of things. I don't disagree with you and I would never presume to try to convince you or the other members of this group that the years spent in a marriage without intimacy can be reversed, and relationships reconstructed. The discrepancies between the members of the sexless marriage in investment and desire to deal with the issues, and the inability for of the refuser to understand the hurt inflicted on the other, really are convincing points with respect to how repairing the marriage is impossible.<br />
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My only comment would be that not every sexless marriage follows the same pattern. In mine, we both want intimacy, connection, and sex but we ignored the importance of these things for years. The damage that has been inflicted is significant, and I am completely willing to be accountable for my part in that neglect, while I realize how unhappy I've been all along as well. My wife came to me to have the talk and in the few weeks that have past since then I have had nothing less than a revelation about what we have been lacking and what I did, and didn't do, to bring this about. I absolutely do not want to live in a sexless marriage any longer. All I want is to change things and I am working harder at it than I have at anything in my life. <br />
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Part of what my wife told me during "the talk" was that she felt it was probably too late already. I haven't had a chance to repair the relationship and I don't know if my wife will meet me in the middle to even try. She is a member of this group so if there is a bias here to be negative with regard to the possibility of repairing a sexless marriage I certainly worry this will influence her decision. People here just speak the truth, they tell their stories and it's a great thing that people can find the resolve to get out of their sexless marriage when that's the right solution. I really believe my situation is different; we all have to evaluate our unique circumstances carefully and make the best decision from that basis.

I guess you have you answer for yourself as to why you have been how you have been. For me, my wife's "why" was too empty and the claim of having fixed it so swiftly almost "overnight" with no thought basically made me realise she was not being honest. So I would suggest two things. Be absolutely honest with your wife about every little detail of your feelings, every positive and negative thought so she and you can better understand them. The second thing is, don't hold on too tightly if she backs away. The guilt of giving up on something she has suffered so long to stay in will be enormous and you need to accept if she decides that she is done. That said, I wish you both good luck - just put your efforts in honestly, and whaver comes out the other end will be the best it could ever have been.

Every story will be as unique as the individual and couple are, so this has to be kept in mind. For example if one 'hurt' party is more of a sexual camel than the poster here, then that is less than one who has a greater emphasis on intimacy.

In my humble opinion, I think the spouse that refuses sex/intimacy actually is saying that they want 'out' of the relationship but does not know how to bring the subject up. Neuilly and Morningteatime really have the situation well thought out.

Yup. My wife achieves most of her relationship dynamics, not only with me but with everyone, through unspoken moves. She is great at achieving her ends while remaining quiet and avoiding all confrontation.

I was trying to find a good way to illustrate how out of balance this is..and why it is unfixable..and this is it..There are 22,200 members of our group..There are 22,200 members who read ,and are searching for answers..looking for a way to simply love their spouse , and be loved in return..and so there are22,200 despearate souls here ,who write one sad story after another, trying to find a way out.of this sadness,,....and....so you know....there are 22,200 people NOT here, and who should also be here....,,the 22,200 spouses of theses people should be here, and be as determined, and at as much of a loss, of not having an intimate realtionship with us..and should be looking for ways to repair the marriage.. But the reality is, they are NOT here..They are NOT desparately looking for a way back..They don't even know there is a problem. so don't look to them to help fix a problem that to them does not exist..So, as you read these stories..remind yourself,,that the partner to this relationship..is NOT here,,and is not reading, and does not care to look for any solutions, because to them there is NO problem,.,That is how off balance this is,..

The statement that the spouse does not know there is a problem, which happen to be my husbands response to me several years ago. Which me being the sensitive person I am, felt that there had to be something wrong with my way of thinking, if he didn't feel we had a problem in a marriage where there was little to no sex and no physical contact. This group is becoming a tremendous help. Neville, I feel you have lived my life

I'm not entirely sure the case is that the spouse doesn't know there is a problem. I think that's really the core of the entire situation ... they just don't care enough to make it a priority or make an effort.

well..what i meant by the spouse not noticing a problem..was that.. to him..life seemed fine..we were livinng well economically..and so he was content with the way things were..and was really quite content..and comfortable..and so was truly not aware that we..as a couple were out of sync..

Warrior i agree,,and i also think that you have to ask yourself not only why they were so unloving to you, but how can they not know that this hurt you?. You can't do this to someone for years, and think it doesn't matter or count...<br />
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And the other really important point you bring up is.... why stay?.<br />
.if a person is hurting you,...your in tears all the time..... then why are you so determined to keep your self there? ..... And i asked that of myself a lot..And the best answer i have,,is.<br />
<br />
.I didn't want that to be true.....I preferred to lie to myself, and say..but..he didn't mean it, he did not intentionally hurt me,,...he really loves me..and so this 34 years of not being able to love me..was well..I don't know...an oversight.. hmmm... .....<br />
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.yes..well..i have had to come up with a lot of excuses for me to remain here...and so i do sympathise with the people that are trying to stay..because they still are where i was..and so i understand only too well how hard it is to deal with the reality of our lives.. I know only too well all the lies we tell ourselves, that get us through one more day...as we desperstely convince ourselves..that it isn't that bad..besides there is this problem and that problem, and we need to stay put.. sadly, .i know all about that...

FOP..unfortunately, your right, that your own desire can die,, because like it or not..shutting down desire, is part of how we get through this..we have to, or we would be consumed.<br />
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I get very angry at the people that rudely comment ,concerning sexual self fullfillment, because that is a very sad place to be .If that is all your left with sexually..then that is a very demaeaning way to live within a marriage. A marriage demands that each partner should have sexual respect for each other, and love and care for each other, and not leave their partner with the sad realization that they are on their own sexually.

I don't get angry with them... I accept that they took the "acceptance" and "just deal with it option"... that is a valid decision, and one they can rightfully share...

I just find it ironic that those are the first to post on a story such as this... it has happened to me as well.

Hey, I am not proud of self help and I try not to 6utt in, but acceptance is way better than gunning down a bus full of people, or jumping off a cliff.

It never ceases to amaze me, that when you write something so real, and fully desc<x>riptive of the situation, the first person to comment will be there to disagree.<br />
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This is beautifully put, and exactly the truth for all who haven't simply given it up altogether.<br />
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Yes, it is possible for your own sex drive to wither up and die, and once the reason for the pain is lifted, eventually it can fade into the past, just as other grief does. Only to reappear when one is reminded of something that causes the pain to resurface.<br />
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...which it is unlikely to do if one has waited around until their own libido died...

The libido just goes to sleep. Libido may die for the spouse, but not inside ourselves.

manmovingforward........the problem with lost sexual intimacy is, it eventually affects all affection. and before long. there are no more loving words really shared, except to sign a greeting card, that says..all my love...You don't easily say, love you, before leaving for the day, or before saying goodby on the phone, because, why would you?..Yoi don't feel loved, and the less said about love , the less hurtful..so this thing leaves the bedroom, and permeates all the rest of your interaction with your spouse..It really does take a life of it's own.. You don't hold hands anymore, , you don't share jokes anymore. you really don't laugh much at all, probably only sharing conversation to relay important infiormation for the day..not private thoughts., your no longer doing anything willingly together... ....And so the more it does all of that.. well, it is all the more difficult and impossible to undo..

Neuilly, so very well put. While my wife has physical reasons for being the way she is; we have still past through the stages you have outlined. Since I am a caregiver I do not see myself moving on as long as I am able to take care of her, but it is not a pleasant path. After reading your post however; I am going to go back and try holding hands and try and start there. Thank-You!

Morningteatime..you said something very important, because your are right, that this isn't so much about rebuilding , but really is a new construction that is needed, because chances are, the marrige was never right in the first pace..And in my case, that is absolutely correct.. But the problem is..i wanted to believe that it was right in the beginning. ..and so was fixable..And that is ok,, except, that is like trying to fix a watch, and yet not knowing what is wrong, and not having the right parts,and so you are getting no where..To fix a problem you have to know what is wrong, and you have to then have a plan to repair, and an expectation in mind of what the result will be.<br />
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Repairing a relationship is no different , except, there are 2 of you,, and the repair or new construction requires both of you..with the same effort, same plan, and same finished result in mind..And there lies the problem of a sexless marriage...The goal is not the same..the desire to reconstruct is not the same, the need to fix is not even there, for one of you... and so we are out of balance..and this reconstruction is not possible..I am sorry, but to correct this, both partners have to be in sync,,you both have to be on the same page, of the same book, at the same time. I know how hard it is to accept.. To accept that you are stuck where you are, and can change nothing, is horrible..Believe me I know. I didn't stay in this sad marriage of 43 years, and loveless for 34 , because i wanted to be there..i stayed because somehow, i wanted it to be fixable changable.. be what it was,,And, all that happened, all that ultimately changed, was the date on the calenadar.

I hear your pain my friend and am possibly right behind you. My H is truly working hard now at understanding his own "why's". But I don't know how to begin new construction. I am not open to being hurt again - by anyone. So, I am not ready. I will know when and if I am. One outcome of this situation is I've come to truly value and listen to my inner voice which never steers me wrong. I have gained so much confidence in that and can rest knowing I will continue to know which way to move. Blessings to you my friend.

Good stuff, neuilly.<br />
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And morningteatime nailed it!

I to lived in a marriage that not only the sex was the difficult issue and knowing in my heart something wasnt definately right.Some can live in marriage that when the sex goes they find something else to be replaced or in my case i was replaced and as i was in the transition of replacement and not knowing truly i was being replaced i tried everyday to make marriage work in some way.The truth is we all need to be loved it was love that brought you together and it should be love that keeps you together and if you can stay in a situation that you can live with well then its entirely its up to the person.No two marriages are alike and pple shouldnt have a opinion why you stay or why you go that reasoning belongs to the pple in the marriage. For me it<br />
was to difficult to stay because of the lying and the cheating but that was my situation only thing that one can do is to wish all the best and not to judge because whether it be marriage or anything else no two pple think exactly alike

You are so true. Every marriage is different. The people are different.
It does not hurt to give an opinion that is why this board was made because there are a lot of people in this world who don’t have anyone to turn to or talk to without feeling embarrassed.
You might have friends but some of those friends might have their own agenda and you know some people live off of other people misery.
It is not always good to keep things bottled up. Not healthy.
Thank god for this website I stumbled across and I am not a desperate person just because I bare my most intimate thoughts and expressions.
I thought something was wrong with me and with my husband not telling me, expressing his feelings toward me, I thought I was all alone in this world by myself and when I did say something about the relationship, all I got in return was how a good man I had just because he does all the cooking, cleaning and he brings home his whole paycheck to me. That don’t mean sh*t to me because I would gladly give all that up just to be sexual with my husband again. I didn’t get married and it’s my first marriage (and definitely last) to end up sleeping in separate rooms, barely speaking to each other about our problems but he sure can talk about other people and their problems and even has the nerve to give an opinion.
I am sorry about your situation.
I wish I was being replaced or put to the side at least I would know how he really felt about me and the relationship.
Yeah he tells me that he loves me but those are just words. No physical action to prove that he loves me.
I am in the process of getting all the bills paid up to where I won't be leaving him any baggage and I am moving on my own.
I am willing to be on my own than to deal with another man who can't share his feelings with a woman because that will make him feel less of a man when he does.

Neu-<br />
This is an important discussion. I like your analogy of the scales being off balance. It is exactly right. One is putting huge amounts of effort into the equation and the other is not. An imbalance in any part of nature cannot be sustained, and we human beings are just that - a part of the natural rhythm of the earth.<br />
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The imbalance is one of effort and desire. One is willing to put in tremendous effort to acquire his/her desire and the other isn't. Ultimately this will fail unless everyone stays right where they are in the pattern that exists. It can definitely work - we've all proved that - but when one partner makes a shift, it changes everything. <br />
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As we refused emerge from under our own rock, we find ourselves disoriented and searching for answers. But the imbalance remains. Refusers seldom look for answers. But I don't believe it's because they are happy - I thnk it's because they are scared down to the core of their beings. Their fear is stronger than their desire to be whole. <br />
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But we are all accountable. We all must take responsibility for our part of the problem. The loss of trust is the most difficult part of the rebuilding process. I think the SM is one of the most difficult because for many of us, we can't say, "If we could just get back to where we were" since "where we were" never existed except in our minds. My sexual relationship with my spouse was never great even in the beginning so how do you rebuild something you never had? I guess it's not REbuilding - it's new construction. In fact, we gave them our trust before they earned it and continued to give it long after we should have.<br />
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How do you trust someone who abandoned and neglected you for so long? Is that love? Yet we stay and struggle. Why? Because we're afraid too - we all have our stuff.<br />
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This is a big part of the back and forth movement we make as we slowly jimmy ourselves out of our SM's. There are only 2 real choices. Leave or construct a new relationship. That's all there is.

morningteatime - your reply quite resonates with me.

My sexual relationship with my H was never great in the beginning either. The fact that I'm not trying to rekindle or rebuild feels incredibly overwhelming. Might it not be easier to just start afresh with someone new?

The fact that I had given H my trust before it was really earned; the fact that I've been working on the marriage for 10+ years; why now would it miraculously change to a point where we can create a new relationship that will be fulfilling?

I, for one, am still sitting on the fence.

I understand where you are. I'm there too. It may be I want to seek a new relationship- that there's too much baggage in this one. If we can't have a satisfying sexual relationship, then our marriage will be over, but our relationshp won't. I want this man in my life, but maybe not as my husband. The two are not mutually exclusive. Having said this, no relationship is without it's challenges. If I leave my marriage, I will be looking for someone who's willing to put the time in to figure things out for himself and meets me half way. This means a big change to MY pattern of behavior which has been enabling. One doesn't get over such patterns by just changing partners. I'm doing my own work while sitting on the fence so the time isn't wasted. It's actually an amazing, rich, soulful time for me, though not easy at all!


So so true.

1 More Response

I would not apply the word impossible to all sexless marriages. BUT for spouses in search of a support group who come to this board chances of repairing the damage are approaching the impossible. If you are looking for support from strangers that means you get none at home and your spouse is unable to comprehend the pain that comes with the lack of intimacy and sex. Which is why we see such low success rate for those who chose to stay and work on it. I am trying to turn my SM around and I agree with your post and know how low my odds of success are. Several members here, myself, maninfull, fatherof2 and a few more (yourself included I think) finally got through to our refusers and were able to communicate and convey the pain and the damage of a SM but turning things around is an uphill battle. In fact, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of ILIASM friends that I know whose spouses are even putting in the effort. And as you correctly pointed out, counseling and all the damage control often come too late. Resentment kills desire.

Well said. By the time you get on this forum and are baring your soul to strangers, I think the marriage is usually over. It has to do with the level of desperation reached.

"resentment kills desire"
so true


Could be something good if there are people that has good experience about repearing post them.

I need to add one more point...Trust is an automatic reflex..it is not something you can control... You can't convince your heart to trust..Trust is like desire, you either desire or you don't, or like love..You either love or you dont..and so, trust is not something you can force to happen ..And so trusting your partner is a part of a marriage..If your partner has destroyed the possiblity for you to trust them and their love..I don't see that just being resolved..there would have to be a lot of healing, and i don't know what all, to finally have trust back in place..and truthfully..doubt would probably always be there. Fear, also would always be there...And so for trust to be there, fear has to be gone..


Neale Donald Walsch has written a book on Relationships that you may find very interesting

You put that well, i agree, but isn't that sad, just like you can't help who you love and when you don't love someone.

teahouse.....I have no idea how much hurt your haviing to forgive,I would be looking at decades, and to me ,that is just an unreasonable situation. My spouse had no right to be that uncaring and unloving,and yet still call himself a husband. Sorry, but being a spouse carries with it, a commitment and responsability of both partners to be committed to that realtionship. This attitude of better or worse.was never meant to refer to not giving a damn. And that not giving a damn, was allowable and aceptable. in a marriage.. For better or worse, was meant in terms of health and economics... and a promise, .to stand by your spouse with love and to help him, and each other through times of problems. My spouse was not there for me..and so there is no reason for me to be there for him.<br />
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Marriage is a partnership...and you need both partners...each putting forth the same love and effort to make it work..Anything less than that..is not a marriage..

looks like we are not alone from all the comments.. in my case sex is sex and busness is busness and she and i do have a profitable company so we shall continue to go along thanks to internet pron and other things to make up for no loveing at home

I have written an article on love and marriage which is very uplifting. You may like to read it. Bellsgel

i only agree part way with you but it is hard to not have that intamet time to gether with some one else, one who you commited to till life depart . I have found some peace over time liveing together and leading my own life not as good but it will work