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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 56-60, F 78 Responses Nov 20, 2011

Your Response


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

What do you mean by a communication problem, and how do you suppose said problem be remedied?

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

Its funny. I keep coming back to this post, this story of the almost impossible odds of repairing a long dysfunctional marriage. You can see my previous reply below.

And I'm back yet again. My stbx is asking me why, why did I not go to counseling as we had planned. Why do I find that I no longer love her and wont even try. Why after 32 years of marriage, and why after almost two months of being separated, do I still refuse to consider reconciliation of any kind. She is still in a stage of denial that I think this.

The questions from her are very painful, not because I don't know the answers, but rather her questions require me to once again say to her the painful words "Because I don't love you anymore" that hurt her so much from the beginning of our separation. They require me to be brutal again in my using these words to her, something that is just not in me to do so many times over and over, as I've done. And I have hesitated lately when she asks, looking to soften what is so evident. What I have told her brutally before. And it's lead to her continue having feelings of false hope of reconciliation at times, even though she has actually said she realizes there is none, and that this painful decision would lead to better lives for us both.

In thinking of writing her a letter to keep from my stumbling answers, worded too softly, I thought of this post once again. How it outlines the almost impossible odds stacked up against repairing a long term dysfunctional marriage such as my 32 year one. How between Neuilly's words and mine in my reply below, the full reasons of why I had to make the decision to end my marriage to save myself, was outlined so perfectly. I thought of how I would only have to use this outline to answer her. I don't think it will do much good, at least not now with her being so deep in denial, but perhaps in the future when she realizes that this was only a painful step in her finding more fulfillment in life. A hope I have for her. A reality I have found for me. Funny how such truth spoken here almost 2.5 years ago, will continue to apply for years to come.

Thanks Neuilly, once again. IJU

I understand that denial.
After four years of zero sex with my husband, lots of misery and being honest with him about how unhappy I was--and about 6 years prior with technically a sexless marriage (like, maybe once a year), at age 42 I began an affair with a male friend who had experienced the same sort of heartache I had. It was -- is -- an amazing sexual relationship and friendship, but I'm ashamed of myself for becoming a cheater, for lying, when I had always been an honest person, up to that point.
I told my husband a year into the affair. He was devastated, or so he said, and he went to the doctor, discovered low testosterone--and went to a counselor--all to "fix the problem," as if just sex and not a lack of communication were not also the problem. It was strange, also as if he wasn't consulting me--he was somehow going to privately take care of it.
Well, that fizzled. Financial trouble and the meds were expensive and the counselor not very good--still little communication--and I had told him if things changed I was sure I could not remain faithful, he stopped trying that, we still didn't communicate, and the affair continued.
And here I am. He just "found out" again, seeming angry and shocked and threatening divorce, but when I agreed maybe divorce was what we need, he retreated, doesn't want me to leave, doesn't want to hurt our kids (neither do I), and now we're quiet again, coasting again and content on the surface a few days later, and I still long for the comfort and touch of my lover.
Money is tight, and we can't afford two separate residences. I don't think I'd want to move in with my lover, even though I love him, because I wouldn't be ready for that, but I'm not sure what to do. I do believe, if I could keep it all under wraps, my husband would be content to let us go on like this indefinitely. Aside from intimacy (so crucial in a marriage), we make great friends, great roommates, great, invested parents to our kids.
This living dishonestly has destroyed me, however. I'm not the person I once was or want to be. I truly don't want to hurt anyone. I just don't want to feel hurt anymore, and I don't think my husband really understands the years of heartache that it took to change me this way. Yes, I made this choice, to cheat, to be a liar. I should have divorced him then. In retrospect, it was clearly the weaker choice of two lousy decisions to make. One could argue we could try to save things, but what I would find, when I would try to talk about things, try to bring it up, is I'd either get "yes, you're right," and no action, or just silence. Until I made the decision to cheat, it was only me trying to change things. making appointments with counselors, trying to arouse him, making dates, trying to communicate with a brick wall when it came to sex.
I'd like to add that I'm not unattractive at all, although I felt that way for a long time.
What's my choice now?
I don't expect anyone to take my side, really. Seeking sex outside of marriage is taboo in just about every culture, but it's not taboo to deny your spouse sex, so it seems. I'm the one who cheated.
I can't imagine going back to life without sex. My love affair with my friend has been so fulfilling, but its illicit nature has kept it separate from those I love (although I have told some of my relatives and friends--but of course, not my children).
I'm not sure where to go from here, but I can't live in denial much longer.

Polly, please don't despair. And certainly do not feel judged. Not here. Not by anyone here on ILIASM. Your not alone in wanting, having to have, that feeling of fulfillment. I found the same.

Technically I am the same as you. I am not legally divorce yet, but I have found the love of my life with a woman who can, and does love me. There is no shame in that. No reason that my life can't be fulfilled.

You are not alone. And you certainly won't find judgment here.

Polly, you are young enough to be able to start again. I know financially it's hard, boy do I know but I am 56 and have not had sex in 17 years. Time and time again I try to talk to my husband about it but he refuses to see a problem. The latest excuse is we are old. Hello, hell no, I'm still a randy old goat. I have only told my problem to 2 friends. One is 40yr and the other 60yr and they both say WTF. Neither can understand how I've coped but I loved him and hoped but nothing.

Last year I told him if he didn't want me I would find someone who would, still nothing, so I started on a dating site. Now let me state I'm a big woman (thank God for chubby chasers) these gentlemen and they were, made me feel good about myself. I mean if I hadn't sms or emailed because I was sick, they would be ringing to find out how I was feeling.

Now I have noticed people on here being high and mighty, saying we should talk to our husbands, partners or whatever. I'm sorry but 15 years of being told there is no problem and that I'm stupid and sick to want to have sex with my husband, I think has given him enough opportunity to do something about it. Actually, I really could have forgotten the sex if there was respect, touching, holding, just made to feel wanted. That's all I really want is someone to hold me, make me feel like I matter.

I told him this morning that I had joined EP and about ILIASM and all he said was "you should see this youtube". I am so frustrated that I'm ready to die and that isn't just a saying, at my age I have nothing to look forward to say why hang around.

How old are your children? If they are adults I think you need to talk to them before he can. Is he the sort of person to say to them "look what I have done for your mother and this is how she repays me". We try and hide the bad times from our kids but sometimes it will come back and bite us in the butt, making us the bad guy.

If you don't want to live with your lover just yet what about a family member, a sister, a daughter? Yes I know I have only mentioned females but they surely would be less likely to judge.

I hope it all works out for you and please let us know how it goes.

<3 Kim

Polly, I know exactly how you feel

I am a 46 year old male and 26 years of the nightmare that is a M w/o Sex. I am to the point where I can leave without remorse (except for the kids) and going out on my own and not to anyone. Things may play out that way later but I am giving her NO room to judge as though I left for someone else.

WOW you just described my situation except for the cheating part....but don't think I haven't seriously thought about it. Hubby is going to the doctor to find out the issue but that's after years of talking, crying, wondering why we are where we are in our marriage, telling him exactly how I feel all the time with no real response or reply, making all the doctor and counseling appointments, yes we have been to counseling and I keep saying to myself I'm done but here I still am....we are still just roommates really because isn't intimacy one of the major deciding factors of whether or not you are married or just friends?!? I almost forget what it's like to be held, kissed, loved emotionally :( I never thought a marriage could be like this had no idea there were marriages without intimacy. I wish I knew what to do next....

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

This is a dated posting, but one I read when I first found ILIASM in August of 2013. And like any Newbie, I thought the same then. That the majority of those here were too negative, too willing to chose the leave choice in these marriages.
While I didn't scoff at Neuilly's advice, I was determined to prove it wrong. To add another choice to the well know choices of ILIASM - 1. Stay and lower your expectations 2. Outsource and stay or this one, the most prevalent, 3. Leave.

I wanted a fourth. "Stay and change the dynamic". And I tried. Hard. Painfully hard. For 5 months. With a spouse who said she was equally as willing. Using the advice and wisdom found here at ILIASM, and the support of dear friends here who wholly supported my efforts, regardless of their choices. Including Neuilly.

But this postings truths couldn't be overcome. The mountain of hurt and rejection that I felt for 15 years of my 32 year marriage was too high. The scales between my wife's attempt to change to be the woman that I now knew I needed was too far unbalanced. She couldn't feel or appreciate, how much anguish and hurt was in me. Although willing to put in the effort to change the dynamic, I don't think she ever really got how much trust I had lost in her. How much hurt and damage she had done. To my heart, my self-esteem, and my feeling of worth as a husband and man. And I don't think I did either.

As for the race? Thru those 15 years, my anguish at not having the marriage of my dreams, or even a tolerable "Normal" one, continually caused me to think of what that dream would be. And being here, reading story after story of the people who wanted to get back to "the good old days" of when they first met and married, the good old days I never had, or the story's of those who had left and came back to praise the joys for finding their dream partner in "Opposite Land", something I couldn't see happening with my wife, caused my resentments and anguish to continue to grow my mountain of hurt, further tipping the scale. Causing me to reflect on what my idea of what I wanted in a marriage. My Normal. What I yearned for my fulfillment now.

And it put my expectation's so much further down the race track that there was not any chance that my wife could even begin to catch up. Even though she knew fully well what she would have to overcome where I needed her to be or I would leave. Even in the final days of my marriage, when I had second thoughts minutes after telling her I no longer could find love in my heart for her, she couldn't meet any one of my desires for a "Normal" relationship. To be able to overcome the years of hurt, misery, and fear to trust. I don't think she understood how hard she would have to try. I don't think I knew, in the beginning, how much damage had been done to my heart. I had no idea of how great a burden it would be to try. To her. To me.

I finally chose the painful #3. I left.

There are a very few here that have or are still trying to repair their marriage. People I know as friends. People who supported me as a fellow "repair our marriage" friend. People I still consider dear friends. But I have many more dear friends, that also chose to leave. And don't regret that they did. Not one. And not me.

Like Neuilly, I don't know if repairing a marriage, balancing the scale, is possible for most.

And I certainly have no suggestions on how to do it.


I sincerely hope you can see beyond this to a more promising future, however you spend it. The truth is, it is now exclusively yours to spend and you leave no debt behind. No doubt you will mourn, as the end of a marriage is, in fact, a death but once having done that you can see brightness on the other side of the dark. I commend you on your courage; it takes a huge amount to take that first step out the door but you have to take care of you, no one else can do that; trust that you're going to be okay :)

it honestly requires a good faith effort to repair the relationship, really understand the dynamics of the situation...until you make that effort....most people haven't a clue of where they are emotionally, and they haven't a clue that their partner is not hurt by any of this. Their partners are oblivious, and i don't mean that in a smart *** way...i mean it as a realistic comment. The partner that is sexually disinterested are content...and we are NOT...we are hurt and don't understand the lack of sexual interest that is happening in the marriage.

I am recently remarried, and life is so easy, love is so easy. there is no awkwardness, or awkward moments.. it is a night and day difference. But, i still can't help but look back at life in the sexless marriage....and wonder ....why...??? ...all of this happened . my spouse and i were well matched, he was a nice person, a good person....just a physically unloving person, or at least a person uncomfortable with being sexual.

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 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 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!

Outside of a low libido, or other emotional issue, a major root cause of why marriages may fall into sexless relationships can be attributed to not letting go of the past. While it is easy to say "forgive and forget", being able to forget is a major hurdle between two individuals. Regardless of the issue or issues that come between two people. If they both believe that their relationship is worth holding onto, past events should remain in the past. If not, then the two should go their separate ways, or come to an understanding on how they wish to pursuit their lives emotionally ans well as sexually.

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

Neuilly, its more than just the sexual frustration that can be the product of other underling issues that point to interpersonal dysfunction. 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.

However relationships that have resulted in animosity between partners because one holds anger towards the other for past transgressions that were forgiven, but not forgotten thrive in many marriages. If one spouse is annoyed at the other, fat chance that the two will be intimate that night. Multiply this by a good many years, and the end result is no intimacy. If sex is still present, it is due to sheer inertia that results in a pure mechanical act.

So while some may have actual sexual hang ups, there are those with impeccable memory hang ups that don't let go of the past, and who have become disconnected from their significant other. Some may call this "growing apart", others something else. Unless the un-forgetful spouse is willing to bury the hatchet for good, the relationship will remain broken, with sex a definite casualty.

So, to forgive for past hold out of sex? That's I believe is easy. Forgetting what pissed one off in 1978 is the bigger challenge to overcome before any talk about fixing a sex life.

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.

I know this is an older post and I wish it could be sticky because it is so well written and informative. I agree with every word, thanks

your very welcome.

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 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!

Excellent assessment. It proves how promptly the issue needs to be dealt with. I definitely get the feeling that people here who are 1-3 years into a marriage are stunned by the advice to immediately divorce their spouse. While I am not quick to recommend divorce, but when one chooses to try to work things out, the longer it drags on, the harder it is to forgive the refuser. Personally, I am 11 years into my marriage, and while my spouse has gone to therapy, and is soon to meet with her gynecologist. Even if she becomes a beast in the bed, I will be sceptical of her motives for years to come and will have a hard time trusting her with my feelings. I don't think things are insurmountable, but we all should be honest with ourselves. Thank you for your post. I wish I had read this when I first found this site.

<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 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 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).

Thank you for posting...there is the possibility of hope. People can and do fall back in love. This is not an easy road....and not a short one. Congrats to you two, I am absolutely thrilled for you.

DS hits it with
"the absence of sex in our marriages is really a symptom and not the cause of the problem. "

texas yes iv heard that many times... the' symptom' thing.....................

if it isnt the lack of sex that is the problem...... then what is it?

and if the problem was there from the very first day of marriage ...i would think that the refuser knows the problem, but the refused is blind to it.................

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.