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All That Glitters...

I have read many of the stories here, and many seem to run along a typical theme. I am going to add my thoughts to those who are living in a sexless marriage, as I am, but who also speak of love and friendship with their partners -- who say they have a wonderful, warm marriage, indeed -- except for that little thing called "no sex."

I have some news for you. I think you should re-examine just how sweet and loving your partners really are...

I don't know too many people who would classify as "caring" or "warm" or "sweet" or "good" those actions that do real harm to another, except those who are desperate to find some "silver lining" to a sad situation.

  • Denying your partner sex is not a sweet and friendly thing to do.
  • Knowing a partner is miserable because of no sexual expression, and not doing anything to alleviate this, is not sweet.
  • Friends don't do malicious secretive passive things to their friends, and then put on an air of innocence about it..."Oh, my total lack of caring for your frustration and refusal to ever broach the subject or to stir myself to DO ANYTHING about it...oh, that upsets you? I had no idea! And now I will do *nothing* to change this situation except possibly ignore it even more, or for a change of pace, blame you!"


I've been where most of you are.

  • I tried to see things differently.
  • I tried to "do without" and do it with grace.
  • I tried to change myself in the hope of enticing my partner.
  • I tried to change my innermost feelings from sad and angry to something "positive."
  • I tried to tell myself that it was my fault.
  • I tried to tell myself it didn't matter, really, when one is with such a warm and loving partner (except for the bit about NO SEX).
  • I tried hobbies. I can weave, knit, crochet, brew beer, frame a house, build a wagon, hand-tame wild birds, grow giant pumpkins, make rope, cast pewter figurines, win at darts, and much much more. Blah.
  • I ran long distances, physically and mentally, to try to run off my desires and energies.
  • I told myself I was bad and evil.
  • I told myself I was pathetic to be 35...40...45...49 and still wanting to have sex.
  • I said so many rosaries that even the Pope asked me to stop.

And then...

  • I begged...
  • I screamed...
  • I broke my hand by slamming it against MY OWN HEAD, duh.
  • I wrote reams of letters about it...
  • I cried...until I was sick...many times...
  • I threw myself on the floor and knocked my head against it and said I would do anything, anything he said if he'd just tell me what the reason was for his lack of interest...
  • I said I was sorry approximately 100,000 times for being "bad" and "being demanding and shallow..."
  • I said I was so sorry even more times for being such a bad person as to put "something as minor as sex" above his lovely warmth and goodness as a partner...

Is anyone getting the picture?

Those who ignore your anguish, who place the blame on you, or who let you place blame on yourself, those who do nothing to stop this misery of your heart, THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND, they are NOT loving people. So, to add to your problems, you're either living with a really passively mean person or a psycho.

Would YOU stay in a marriage where BECAUSE OF YOUR BEHAVIOR your partner was desperate and sad and in anguish?

Would you sit back and let YOUR partner be in such misery about something YOU did or didn't do?

No, you wouldn't.

You know, those who are drug abusers, alcohol abusers -- they don't care about what they are doing to their husbands or wives -- they don't see it, they don't accept it -- if you tell them they are hurting you, they don't buy it -- their abuse is "not the cause" of any terrible consequences -- there is NO getting through to them -- but no one, not one therapist in the world, no matter HOW lousy (and most are REALLY f-ing lousy), would tell the drug abuser that the abuse is "okay" or that the harm done is negligible --


You will find PLENTY of sexless partners and "therapists" who will indeed tell their desperate partners that -- that the sex doesn't matter and that the refusal to be a true husband or wife does no harm. They will place the blame SQUARELY on your already aching shoulders, my friends --right where you've most probably placed it at times yourself, you poor things -- me too -- BUT DON'T LET THEM.

I have no grand final remarks, other than to say:

  • It truly sucketh...
  • Your partner is not acting right...
  • It is not your fault. It isn't because you DID or DIDN'T do something that he/she is withholding sex from you...
  • It won't get better...
  • Get out now, or you'll be like me, endlessly hunting on the internet and in magazines for someone who found a way out without really getting out...
  • It will fester in your soul, no matter how long it goes on, as long as you are with the person who has hurt you this way...
  • There are those out there who DO have natural views about sex and who DO like it for what it is, not as some weird control thing or "dirty" thing, and maybe a miracle will happen and you'll meet them somehow, the meantime, comfort yourself with at least THEY would like to have sex with you...!!!!
  • You are not if that is any help...

And now I'm off to run my 3 miles!!! And then I have a great new hobby to start!


deleted deleted 26-30 556 Responses Apr 18, 2008

Your Response


So glad to find this resource, this story is so much like my own.

I think that this person has completely and totally nailed it!!! everything that I read here was so terribly accurate for my own personal situation. I dont know who you are but you have my respect and admiration for your candor and honesty and wisdom!!! Good luck with your running and hobbies :)

"You know, those who are drug abusers, alcohol abusers -- they don't care about what they are doing to their husbands or wives -- they don't see it, they don't accept it -- if you tell them they are hurting you, they don't buy it -- their abuse is "not the cause" of any terrible consequences -- there is NO getting through to them -- but no one, not one therapist in the world, no matter HOW lousy (and most are REALLY f-ing lousy), would tell the drug abuser that the abuse is "okay" or that the harm done is negligible --"<br />
<br />
Not knowing, in and of itself is the typical denial. There are those who progress past denial. One huge barrier is the admission of the pain you've caused others. Because sometimes, someone does love you, and some people do change. Some people get, and stay, sober. <br />
Just as abusers and refusers CAN change. <br />
<br />
It's up to us to decide if we can help them through the changes, or if it is too bad for us to stay.<br />
Some people are incompatible, and some people are not going to change.<br />
It can be hard to leave behind victim mentality without a healthy dose of anger. But if we don't get past anger, we are stuck in blame. Balancing act between learning from an experience and becoming what was done to us.<br />
<br />
"Denying your partner sex is not a sweet and friendly thing to do.<br />
Knowing a partner is miserable because of no sexual ex<x>pression, and not doing anything to alleviate this, is not sweet.<br />
Friends don't do malicious secretive passive things to their friends, and then put on an air of innocence about it..."Oh, my total lack of caring for your frustration and refusal to ever broach the subject or to stir myself to DO ANYTHING about it...oh, that upsets you? I had no idea! And now I will do *nothing* to change this situation except possibly ignore it even more, or for a change of pace, blame you!"<br />
<br />
This quote, I am streamlining to make into a statement I will use in our staged arguing in Joint Counseling. ;)

Your story was very powerful. I can see just by the comments on how many lives you just touched with your words. I guess I am on the other end of this......the one I guess that is "denying" sex. For my situation, it is not denying it, it is being incapable. Physically limited in what I can and cannot do. That doesn't mean that there is not intimacy, there just is not the actual act of sex because of the pain it causes. I used to have a very full and satisfying sex life before the crippling degenerative arthritis. It bites. But it is also what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. Just by reading, I can feel how much pain you are all in, and it seems that it all boils down to wanting answers. I truly hope you all find the answers you deserve.

When there is a physical reason, then it is not denial...and women understand, and can be quite excellent..if both work at it....Don't let you limitations make you think you cannot please a woman in any other way...

That's a very accurate, incredibly well written story that I think every one of us resonates with. It definitely reflects my experience and how I'm feeling ... increasingly lonely, unwanted and that no matter what I do it's never enough.

Wow, that made me even more angry!

I may not live in a sexless marriage, but I sincerely wish you all the best with your situations. Blessed be!

I am living in a sexless marriage. It's horrible! my husband blames me for his lack of interest as I have destroyed our relationship by parenting my son (his stepson) in a manner not consistent with his wishes. He says that I have undermined his efforts to discipline my son and so I don't respect him. Our sex problems have been a long time coming but now now they have come to a complete halt. He also refuses to speak with or acknowledge my son anymore as he also blames him for our marital problems. In truth.... the only one with a problem is him and he is the one creating all the drama in our home. My boy and I are just going on with our lives but he insists on maintaining a grudge over my son getting into trouble 4 months ago and won't let it go. My boy is 14 and still growing and learning lessons. He's doing good in school, kind, generous, and well liked by his teachers, classmates and all the family. I think maybe my husband is jealous? I don't know what to think... either way. The sex went from sporadic to ZERO and I can't stand it. I'm 41, attractive, fit, a professional, and a cheerful person. I'm am still here because I love and am waiting for a change. All the stories I've read here hit close to home. This hurts SO MUCH! It's nice to have a place to vent. :(

Wow makes so much sense .hope you find peace .you summed it up for me as well .

Wow, I sure needed to read this post. You described my life. My husband who is just like yours finally gave me a lame excuse this week about why he has not wanted sex with me. It was so ridiculous & was an incident that happened so long ago (probably 25-30 yrs ago) that I don't even remember it. By the way he also lies to me about things that I have said in the past. How do you fight back what you can't remember it because you probably didn't say it. Please women, GET OUT. I have stayed too long & now I can't leave. Life with him was so bad that I became ill in my early 30's. First I got Grave's disease, a thyroid disease (caused by stress). I then got TMJ, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression & anxiety & then to top it all off now I am battling breast cancer. This list is only part of it, but you get the idea. I can't leave now because of the cancer & I need insurance. He would make sure I have nothing. We are self employed & he would just walk & leave me with all the bills. Believe me he means it too. He has poisoned my adult children against me & I would have NO help. I am now 61 & have few options left. When we married I was co-dependent & he fit the bill as an abuser. I take responsibility for that, but NOT for what came after that. I think what he has done to me over the years is so very evil that it takes my breath away. He is a sociopath, just like my counselors have told me. Oh Ya, I've been in counseling for 30 years. Been there, done that. Had I known in the early years what was going on I WOULD HAVE LEFT IN A MINUTE. Women, don't fall for that crap that he does that tells you how nice he is. It is a game. He is not nice. He is a manipulative abuser. It will NEVER change. Get a plan, and GET OUT NOW. Don't end up like me. The EVIL he has perpetrated on me will certainly continue. Don't go that far. It WON'T get better. Sorry ladies. I know you are hanging on to that string, but it is not really there. It is a lie, he is a liar & it won't change.

You've articulated our universal agonies so well here. Thanks for the dose of reality: the bitter tasting medicine, much needed, but hard to swallow or try to take.

My God, do you know how it makes me feel to know that I am not alone in this? You have put into words all that I feel. And an even more sad thing is how both men and women suffer this fate. I have been married to my wife for 33 years, and I just found out that she has not wanted to have intimate contact with me for several years and has no belief that it would be possible in the future. She won't consider counseling, and is blaming me for ruining what we have together; our wonderful life, and just the stuff that goes with it. I'm wrong for wanting to have intimacy, and her last words to me were "good luck with that fantasy, nobody is going to want to have sex with you".....

You are certainly NOT alone. There are both men and women in this situation - a LOT of people! And, no matter what you look like, or other attributes you have, there is somebody for whom you would be very exciting to have intimately. A sexless marriage really destroys confidence that anyone would want you. It's just not true.

ranfar, her remarks about no one wanting you surpasses the bounds of evil. What a trollop! May you find more willing wanting women than you can shake your . .____ at!! just to spite her!

I'm so sorry. Although I'm male, this is word-for-word the story of my life. I'm a faulty human, but I'm nevertheless a human. And I'm not good enough for her. And I'm pretty f-ing good at life. <br />
<br />
I has a sad.


I tell myself to be thankful that my spouse is kind and warm hearted and that when we do have sex it's at least "good." You are right though, no attempt has been made though to increase the frequency of physical it sexual attention towards me at all. We only have sex either after a big blow up about not having it, or before we are about to have over for the same reason turned out he had no testosterone. So he got on treatments for four months (no change in his drive in any way, he said so). The doc says his levels are over the top now and doesn't have any advice for us now

Yikes. Was really hoping to hear a happy ending with the testosterone treatments. I have tried everything on my end. Still trying to convince him to see a counselor and doctor. Was hoping for a magic cure with testosterone treatment. But looks like even that isn't a sure thing.

Well said. I'm convinced. Now that the problem has been identified, what do we do? There is the tough part. We have been conditioned to work on marriage as a forever thing and no one ever warned us about this possibility. We all hoped for happily ever after..

i to am in the same situation, i was a pretty 22 yr old and had two kids when i met my partner, he was 11 years older, and no he wasnt a wealthy man or anything simelar! he was or should i seemed to be nice and loving liked the kids etc, he wasnt good looking by any means but i thort he was realy nice and grew to love him. been with him almost 20 yrs and for the last 10 when we moved our sex life went down hill even more than it was.i think we had sex once and then not again for a year. all the usual excuses tired stressed, got to work and so on . the kids left home over a year ago and still no improvement, we mainly sleep seperately and i try to get on with things, and have learnt loads of new hobbies crochet etc, but sometimes i get so flustrated and angry with him. he must be a complete idiot as he doesnt see a problem!, i get blamed for being moody starting arguments even though for ,most of the time my mouth is shut . i hate him and resent him and think what a pathetic excuse of a man he is not just to be like this, but to be to thick to see what hes done and still doing, and he makes me angry, then there are times i just plod on and keep my mouth shut. theres no compliments, or affection aswell as the rest of it only on a v rare occasion. but to add insult to injury he buys a newspaper every day and i know he looks at the topless girls in it, and he looks at women slyly when were are out if one catches his eye!. i just dont understand it and what is going on with him and i will never know im sure of that. i was very poorly for over a year so been of work so im dependent on the useless lump apart from stuff i buy and sell on ebay. im getting stronger and want to be in a position and get financaly dependent . its a horrible way to live so if your in a simelar situation give it a chance for say two years and start saving up in between then when that times up both men and women in this situation, get the hell out before they make you ill, depressed, make you thing your going mad and its all your fault, and off your food like i was and ended up severly anemic. they will just carry on like they always have till one of you dies otherwise, so get the hell out before it eats away at you !

It's been almost 10 years since I have had any type of intimacy with my wife. A few months ago I finally stopped giving her back rubs and telling her how much I loved her. Yes, I started looking for affection through the internet. when the affection couldn't be found at home. I'm an ordained minister who is going to give up his ministry and his credentials in order to find some sort of happiness in a relationship before I get older than I am now (I'm 58). I just wish that people would realize that intimacy *IS* that important ... even to a man of God. But, I need someone to hug and that can hug me back and make me feel loved.

I too am a Christian. It is such a dark pace we live in. This is not exactly a subject we can talk to friends about. Before reading "All That Gliiters", I felt guilty &amp; horrible for caring that my husband withholds sex from me. He is, after all, so good to me in every other way. He is a Christian too. He is a deacon - he is in a position to care for and help other families while we sit here in this house with this huge chasm between us. I don't begrudge him the work at church as a deacon; nor as a trustee; both of which require meetings and time. I just wish I was somewhere in that line-up of important things. WE have only been together 12 years and he hasn't touched me in at least 7 or 8 of those and for 3-4 before that I was the only person initiating sex. I finally stopped asking. It was too hurtful to be shot down over and over. I am 51 years old.

Oh dear friends, my heart goes out to you. You never hear people submitting prayer requests for help with a sexless marriage. It is truly a very dark and lonely place to be.

You are inside my head! I have felt so alone for weeks. This is a recent development, only occuring over the last 6 months are so, but it is almost more then I can bare. I feel so completely alone with the affection of my husband.

You Rock...

Wow, i'm speechless. I need time to asborb everything you've said. I hope you are happy now and enjoying your new hobby xx

OMG we are all married to the same person!!!! I'm 52 and got tired of being made to feel like I was to old for sex and a pervert because I wanted a sex life. I'm tired of passive aggressive behavior. 21 years with the last 6 being sexless. I too was told to get a hobby... I walk now. I do plumeria. I do me hehehehehe. I got myself an online love... better than nothing. Good luck to us all..... and may the great gods of Orgasmia be kind.

I live in a sexless marriage not by choice but by circumstance, due to the pain in my body and my chronic back pain sex is no more. Hubby is very understanding if it was to happen it would take me at least 3 days before all the pain stopped hurting more than normal. But angiebee40 I was in a relationship like yours for longer than I care to think about and I was as if you were talking about him. Finally I said enough is enough and told him to leave, took his sweet time about too. Hope all goes well soon.

I was crying for myself. After reading all the comments... I am crying for all of us. We need to form groups in cities and towns where we can gather together. Even maybe find new partners. We need to be strong. We are not the problem. We don't have to put up with the pain of rejection. We have each other.

I found this forum a few minutes ago and I was absolutely blown away. First of all, just the sheer number of people in sexless relationships - it's really amazing (and a bit depressing). Secondly - there are WOMEN that are rejected for sex? I'm nearly 50 years old - I have had many girlfriends over the years, I've been married twice (on the second marriage now) and I've never, ever, heard of this - WOMEN that are UNHAPPY about LACK of sex? How could this be? My first reaction was simple disbelief. Certainly all of the people posting here are MEN, pretending to be WOMEN. Men are always the initiators, women decide whether to submit (or not). Right? Have I been living on the wrong planet my whole life? The other possibility is that the husbands in these stories are gay, but scared to come out of the closet. Right? Is there such a thing as a straight man refusing sex from a woman? C'mon....<br />
<br />
But, the reason for my initial google search was to see how men are dealing with the lack of sex, in an otherwise happy marriage. My wife is going through menopause and we haven't had sex for months. Her hormones are changing, she's on medication, she's in pain, she's having hot flashes, you know.... <br />
<br />
I read that menopause can take from two to five years, so I did my best to brace myself for this "pause", but when it happened I found that no matter how well I prepared myself intellectually, I'm having trouble emotionally and physically. It must be similar to heroin withdrawal... well, maybe not quite that bad, but it is a HUGE change in my life.<br />
<br />
I know very well that it's not my wife's fault - I don't blame her at all. I love her very much and I have no intention of leaving her of doing anything other than support her through this difficult time she's having. BUT, I also feel that I can't talk to her about MY needs. The few times that I approached her (after starging menopause) she made me feel like a selfish, thoughtless bastard.<br />
<br />
One thing I didn't see here, although I admit I didn't read all of the past posts, is the mention of emotional affect that sex has for men. For me (and my guy friends that share their experiences with me about their marriages) sex is an emotionally bonding experience that keeps me feeling close and romantically "in love" with my wife. Without sex I still love and respect my wife as a person and a friend, but the romantic feeling fades after a while. Is this too much to admit?<br />
<br />
So my dilemma is how to deal with simoultaneous feelings of desire and sympathy for my wife and the feelings of rejection and loneliness that accompany a sexless marriage.<br />
<br />
Oh, and you guys that hung in there with your wife through menopause - the sex starts again at some point, right? Two years? Five years?

You need to read here a lot more if you didn't find stories of men who find sex to be a bonding experience. There are a whole lot who say that it is. Good luck with your experience, although I don't think I like your comment that refusing men are impossible - your gender stereotypes within this issue will be the next thing to fall if you keep reading here.

You make too much sense! I've beentelling myself for years that he truly does love me on a higher plane than most mere mortals because he stays with me without sex-eventhough I'd be happy to have a normal marriage.18yrs,16 celibate.


Thank You!!!! for this. I am reading this much later than you posted it. But like the rest here, this is the story of my life. The only consolation is that I am not alone. I laughed, I cried.... and then I went downstairs and had yet another fight with my husband over this topic<br />
<br />
If any woman reads this - don't think its how you look. I was slim and used to model when all of this happened. Please don't internalize as I did. <br />
<br />
Here is perhaps the most damaging thing: I haven't felt beautiful, desirable and lust-worthy since I was 26. This insecurity bled into all areas of my life. Decades later, I miss knowing the girl I was when all this started. I can't believe it now, but I was comfortable with my sexuality, comfortable initiating, and thought sex was part of a healthy life. Like a breathing. There are so many psychological and physiological reasons why regular sex balances the human body and brain. Endorphin release, hormone balancing through pheromones, psychological closeness with mate/ pair bonding, burning easy calories, need I go on???<br />
<br />
Perhaps the silence too is deeply damaging. I don't tell a soul... I am embarrassed and I certainly don't want to invite people into this shameful secret. <br />
<br />
Not sure I am ever going to recover... I am embittered, frustrated and deeply resentful for my lost youth. I have only now had the courage to admit this. I've been so busy pushing this down and denying there is a problem. OMG I am a woman I never thought I'd be.

And thank YOU for posting your story. It's almost identical to mine. I can see that there really is no light at the end of the tunnel, but just knowing I'm not alone helps me feel better for a little while.

I feel and share the depths of your agony. your story is also my story.

Looks like you did everything except what you SHOULD have done...perhaps she isn't interested in sex with someone who isn't willing to do anything but complain...what have you done FOR HER? How are YOU making HER feel? Obviously...not like someone who is worth any effort, hence, her lack of desire to reciprocate by putting effort towards you.