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We spoke again last night.  Same responses pretty much.  So today we went for a walk together, alone.  The kids stayed at home.  I listened to him for a while and then I brought up where we stood.  He said he was trying.  We finished our walk and he was even somewhat affectionate through the day until we started just chatting and I made the comment "along with the other problems we have" as part of a conversation about our son's difficulties.  He immediately jumped and accused me of pushing the no sex issue.  I didn't say anything about that.  I generalized about all of our difficulties but he went right to that.

Wow, did I get an earful.  Then suddenly we weren't talking much again.  We worked together making dinner but if I was in the kitchen he was on his computer in the other room.  It was as if nothing had happened.  I decided to take a bath and relax awhile and I made it clear that I would be available.  He didn't even come in to say Hi.  He used to come in and at least wash my back but that was years ago.

I wonder what he is really trying to do.  I have to admit that leaving is looking more and more appealing but I worry about our son.  He really needs both of us and if I leave I will go back to where my family is so that I have support.  Still confused.
greenpfenig greenpfenig 46-50, F 7 Responses Jan 15, 2012

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Sorry this is happening to you! This whole "lack of intimacy" in a marriage still baffles my mind!<br />
ED is just an excuse not to have sex. Handicapped people who can't or don't even have one, can still be intimate with there partners, so what gives? Performance anxiety? I can't talk to my spouse about it, it brings up an inner anger that is holy hell on the whole family! <br />
If I want to **** my wife off, I don't call her names, or even ignore her rants, I just give her a big hug and tell her I love her! That set's her off big time? If anyone figures this **** out, please let me know ASAP.

In my experience, the awful, gut wrenching marathon discussions that entail "the work" are so awful that very very few people would choose to go there unless they had no choice --unless the house was on fire.<br />
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I recall multiple occassions, with the kids playing in the other room, a desperate conversation in the kitchen culminating in a walkout - me collapsing to the floor beside the sink when she wasn't there, and trying to choke back the sobs, as I listened to my children playing. I recall my wife turning to booze, literally smacking her head against a wall, and both of us walking out into the night to gods know where. It is skin-flayingly uncomfortable to work through this stuff, and it took us many many months to see an inkling of hope.<br />
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In fact, the only REAL change, such as it was --at the scale it needed to occur -- happened when we both made the choice to give up on restoring anything. Divorce was no longer a threat, and we were talking about our relationship in past tense.

His way to deal with problems is denial and withdrawal. Sounds familiar - my H does the same thing. Only my husband also self medicates with Lortab, Klonapin and alcohol.<br />
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I have tried everything to get him to pay attention to me and nothing has worked. He won't address any issues that he doesn't want to, even simple ones like getting our son a gas credit card. He prefers to let things go, even to the extent of being too lazy to write the check and mail or deliver his golf membership bill.<br />
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They are in denial about their lives, hence the withdrawal. My experience has been that nothing I do can make him WANT to engage. He will for a little while, if his status quo is threatened, but then he reverts back, or the next situation pops up and he withdraws from it. (Me: "How do you want to celebrate our boys' birthday?" Him: "I don't want to talk about it.") It's only one person trying. If his mode is just to withdraw, you can't make him engage. And when he does, the rejection will still be there, because it won't be true intimate engagement in the situation. You just have to decide if you still want to be alone in the marriage. After all, you're already dealing with your son alone, and you would probably have more support if you moved near your family. Respectfully, my experience.

Very good points, thank you.

My god if my wife told me she would be available and would be in the bath I WOULD BE ALL OVER THAT! We have a big tub and we would be having some fun in it and then on top of it and then out of it and then well let's just say lots of fun.

I am also in a sexless marraige.Our situations are very very similiar.Though my son is now 21 and out of the house.I still can't leave him,we are in a financial situation, so there is no selling the house and going our separate ways. I knew about his problem and was willing to overlook it because the rest of our life together was great! And it NEVER effected our sex life. His last indiscrestion left him with peyronies disease but, as stated above by others if he isn't interested then maybe an open marraige can work for you.I am already putting that in motion here.I will let you know how things progress.Email me anytime to chat and vent or exchange stories!

Thanks, I will.

"It was as if nothing had happened" you note.<br />
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Really, nothing different DID happen did it ??<br />
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You talked, he fired up then withdrew. Seen it before a time or two have you not ?<br />
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I think that you are trying to get him to see the situation from your perspective. I think you want to 'convince' him that your complaints are legitimate. I think you REALLY want to leave, and that you want him to fully understand "why" and own his part in the situation.<br />
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I don't think him accepting the reasons or taking any ownership of them is ever likely to happen. There just seems no evidence to support any theory that he is capable of so doing.<br />
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Can you handle being "the bad guy" (in his eyes) in perpetuity ?<br />
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In regard to your kid, do you think the behavior your husband models for him is a good thing ?<br />
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Tread your own path.

You already know where this is headed. He's done with you intimate wise.<br />
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If you cannot live with that reality then may as well start preparing for what is going to happen.