Married To The Love Of My Life...but He's Only A Roommate

I am married to an honest, responsible, intelligent, handsome man with a sense of humor that to this day makes me laugh like no other. He is wonderful with our kids, who are in elementary school. They idolize this wonderful man, as well they should.

The problem: We've been married almost 10 years, and during this time I keep hoping for a miracle...that he would want physical intimacy as much as I do. I feel that I have to explain a little further. I learned early in our relationship that he experienced some sort of sexual abuse as a child. He never gave me full details, but my understanding is that something happened once that left him scarred. He revealed this prior to getting married, but we were sexually active; not as often as I liked, but it was at least 3 or 4 times a month. I figured I could live with that EXCEPT that changed soon after marriage. What was 3-4 times a month quickly turned to 1x/month, then 1x/ get the picture.

It has been almost ten years, and I can't believe I am writing that I still hope for a change. I've asked him to seek counseling hoping that could help. These long stretches of dry spells are killing me. He refuses to receive counseling, and he has reminded me that he told me about what happened to him, so I should have known. Should have known that he wouldn't touch me? Hardly ever ?! This is so frustrating. I get angry, depressed, hurt...just want to run away some times.

I've thought about leaving, but the truth is I still love him. And, as awful as this may sound, I do believe he loves me. His physical intimacy button is simply broken, and I can't repair it. I've thought of other options...some more absurd than others. I've thought about getting some antidepressant. I figure that might help w/ some of the depression I go through over this situation, and many of these meds have a side effect of experiencing decreased libido. I've thought of going to counseling myself, but I don't know how effective that would be without him being a part of it at some point. Finally, I've thought of finding someone know, NSA. I'd get my physical needs met, and not mess w/ my hubby, who seems to be bothered by any sexual advances I make. If I found the right guy for this; I might.

I've already given up on trying to interest my hubby. The feeling of rejection every time has been numbing me over the years. It's not that I don't WANT...I've simply learned to back off, so that it is not so painful.

Any feedback is or otherwise. I'm just glad I found a place I can vent and read about others' similar situations.
noluvin noluvin
31-35, F
12 Responses Jan 26, 2012

Wow, this is terrible for you both, as I'm sure he would love to meet your needs and keep you happy. I guess in the end, the hard truth is how long can you hope for something that very possibly may never change. How much of yourself can you ignore. A relationship is only a relationship when both people involved are involved and striving to meet the other's needs. I feel really bad for you. I truly hope you find clarity soon and everything works out for you and your husband, but there would be no guilt in your desiring happiness and being loved Good Luck.

Thank you all for your replies. They give me a lot to think about. I don't want to exact revenge...but I do want to feel like I'm a woman again. I want to have a conversation w/ my hubby about this, but it's such a touchy subjec, that I don't know when is a good time. Is there ever a good time? Anyway...truly, thanks!

Take care of yourself, take care of the kids...and, if you can, get help. This is NOT going to heal on it's own.
Best of luck.

"A functional definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions and expect a different result."<br />
There is a lot of wisdom in many of these responses, but the bottom line is YOU have to set the priorities for YOU. Sorry, I can't agree with the ultimatum talk, or bringing the boy-toy home to "your" bed. If you WANT to hurt him, there a lots of ways to do it. The hardest part of all this is NOT to look at "getting even" or the like, but to find the person you want to be, need to be...YOUR place of balance and go for it. <br />
Who is the woman you want/need to be? What are YOUR priorities? Move to that place and ask him to join you. No threats, begs, pleas. You see, even if he was abused, then, it has become an excuse, now. IF he were to seek help, even if it was slow to accomplish anything, you would know he was trying. Far too many people have recovered from far worse; I'm sorry, but for all he is good, he is carrying his "red badge of courage" to weld like a weapon, controling your relationship.<br />
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Let's face it, you have MANY years ahead of you. Are you willing to continue on the way you are for another 20-30 years? more? <br />
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I would encourage you to think through what people have written, then go deep inside and find the woman you are meant to be...what that means for you, in a realtionship, in your life...and then become her. Invite him along on the journey. He'll have to make decisions, but they are his to make.<br />
Be strong, fair, compassionate and yourself.<br />
That's the best person you can possibly be.<br />
Good luck<br />

My parents had a relationship like this. I think all was fine until they were together about 10 years. After that they were mainly companions/friends, nothing else. But, they stayed together until my father's death. They were together almost 40 years. I think it was worse for my dad through the years but like I said they stayed together anyhow...

His choice to unilaterally remove sexual ex<x>pression is exacting a price. Thing is, YOU are the one paying for it via your misery at this point.<br />
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HIS price - thus far - is just you getting a bit pissy about it.<br />
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But as this moves on - and you go the affair route (which, as your choice will also carry a cost) the chickens ultimately come home to roost for his original choice. It may take a while, and you may have a fair amount more misery until it does blow up. But blow up it will.<br />
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You need to see a lawyer to establish how a divorce would shake out in your jurisdiction. From that you need to craft an exit strategy. <br />
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You will need this exit strategy in the future.<br />
For when you finally have had a gutful and can not go on with the charade any longer.<br />
Or when you cheat - get caught, and he decides to split<br />
Or cheating results in you finding the 'soul mate' who you simply MUST be with - and you have to split so you can be with him.<br />
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I would also imagine that you have just read this, and are thinking I am an alarmist ***** who does not understand your unique situation.<br />
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All I'd like is for you to think about your exit strategy. If you never have to use it, great. But you do not want to be in a position where you need it - and ain't got it.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Always like your posts, bazzar.

Unfortunately, you are in an awkward sitaution. You profess a love for this individual and in addition have the sometimes overwhelming burden of raising a family. Divorce is a highly unlikely option in your case and would place the security of your children at risk. <br />
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Counseling without him along makes little sense since it is he who has created the dilemma and not you. I am amazed that it has taken you ten years of his denying your needs to bring you the conclusion that this marrage is not what you wished for. He is clearly a fool not to cater to your needs and I deem him a self absorbed, uncaring partner.<br />
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I hear often of sexual abuse in the past creating problems later in life but more often as not the scars from that seem to affect women more than men. Further I feel strongly that with men it is often used as a thinly veiled excuse for their disinterest in sexual intimacy. <br />
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Life will pass you by and this will not get better i can assure, only worsen. You may wish to seek out, as a momentary escape, from this morass with a dallaince or two. These may in truth keep your marraige stronger and less contentious as the years quickly roll by.<br />
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I do wish you well and you have my sincere empathy.

I'm in a very similar situation. My wife believe that sex and love are not dependent on one another. Aside from the lack of sex, we get along fine.<br />
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My previous relationship before her (wow, 12 years ago) was ONLY about sex. We were passionately in love, but did barely anything other than have sex. It didn't take long to notice that we had virtually nothing in common outside the bedroom, but it didn't matter, since we mostly stayed in the bedroom. Still, we realized that it wouldn't work, we're just on the opposite extremes of the spectrum on too many things. Plus she was Jewish (officially...but wiccan in practice), and in order for us to be a long term thing, I'd be required to convert. Not gonna snip off my tip.<br />
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Anyway, my point is, a relationship ultimately comes down to being friends. Even if a couple has sex for 12 hours a week, that's still only 1/6 of the 72 waking, non-working hours that they could spend together. The other 5/6 has to be worthwhile too.

so, as I read this, maybe this is what they meant in the movie the big chill...where he says rationalization is better than sex, with the follow up question, have you ever gone a day without a good rationalization...

Tell your husband that you want more love or else...... you fill in the blank.

I'm very sorry that he has the horrible justifiable reason (for not wanting to or not able to), express his love for you through the natural process of love making. That is a tough situation but as others have said, it's his responsibility to get help and assistance to overcome this for the health of his marriage.<br />
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Just watched a great video that someone posted in another thread, you should watch it. <br />
<br /><x>yer_em<x>bedded

That is a great video - very simple, very true!

All you can do at this stage is communicate with him very, very clearly as if he cannot understand; the likelihood is that he really can not understand. His history is in the way of his understanding. <br />
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So you're going to have to have "The Talk." Look around here for many, many discussions about The Talk and what it can and cannot accomplish. Mostly it frees you to move to the next step instead of getting stuck where you are. <br />
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You can be kind and loving to him about this and still put it on him. The fact that he mentioned he has a history means nothing if it results in his abusing you, and that is precisely what a Refuser does. He has to be told in words of one syllable that either his days of investing in being a victim are over, or his days of being with you are over. <br />
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In order to say this you must be prepared to follow through with it. My suggestion is that your ultimatum to him carry a consequence that if he cannot me a husband, then you will be free to hook up and bring your fnck buddy home to YOUR bed, whether your husband is home or not. AND that you will expect his full support and compliance. This is a bit of shock treatment and leaves you free NOT to follow up, of course. The idea is not so much to have another guy making you moan at night, but rather to get through to your husband that this is serious stuff and he better start paying attention. Save the D word for later; no point in raising it first. Hopefully you can startle him into at least checking out a therapist.

It sounds a lot like my situation. My wife was abused when she was young and did seek counselling before we met. I asked her to see a counselor again after we married as our intimacy dried up as well. She said everything was fine and I responded by stating: everything was all right before you had a husband. Now you do and sex with your spouse is natural, normal and good. She is a good person and I care for her deeply but my patience often wears thin. Good luck...

OK, so not his fault.<br />
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Still his responsibility. <br />
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I would guess, if you looked, you could see this pattern perpetuating in other areas of his life.<br />
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There needs to be natural consequences for his behavior, and basically, you are saving him for paying the price of HIS choice to not deal with this. You aren't doing him any favors here, or yourself.<br />
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If he doesn't deal with this, you may take a lover, destroy his marriage, his family...he needs to get the point there are consequences for neglecting his wife...whether he means it or not...

Gee there is some good stuff coming up on the board today. This one "OK, so not his fault. Still his responsibility". Is brilliant in its' truth and brevity. Good one MsV.