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Is A Marriage Without Physical Intimacy A Marriage Or Friendship?

I am still with my wife and as expected the cycle continues.  I'm sure many of you can relate in that we go for a long time with little to no physical intimacy, me attempting to initiate only to be met with myriad of pandering excuses well crafted as to be plausible enough to be possible as well as ensure that I cant challenge them without 100% clarity of their falseness (i.e. I don't feel well, I am bloated ...really?, I am tired, I have a headache, my allergies have me completely congested....so on and so on).  I have to admit that my W is very gifted at coming up with these excuses. 

So there is me...massaging my wife's head, neck, shoulders hoping to relieve the pain so that she might feel up to making love to her husband...and...you guessed it...passed out.  This goes on for a while until I eventually succumb to the rejection induced withdrawl from the relationship which after some time causes my wife to begin to wonder why I am so distant and don't talk much.  For a while I continually answer Im fine at a vain attempt to stave off the inevitable "talk".   Finally she catches me a time when my anger/resentment is particularly high and I tell her my withdrawal is just a coping mechanism for me to deal with her constant rejection and lack of physical intimacy.  This is then met with reminders that sex for her is a chore and that she doesnt need or want it because of her childhood abuse (see my other story).  I re-explain that I NEED to feel sexually desired and wanted to be happy.  Blah blah blah...she eventually agrees to try to be more attentive and there for me physically.

For a while things go well....once a week typically and consistently for a while.  She even seems into it and seems to enjoy it (assuming she isnt faking...she ALWAYS finishes.  I make sure of it and if it is faked I am impressed and she deserves and oscar).  Then after some time I start to notice a bit more reluctance at my attempted advances which she then catches herself and feigns higher levels of interest....then progressing to obvious acquiescing and relative non-engaged participation...she still gets finishes but does NOTHING to help me do so.  This leaves me feeling like some kind of a pervert rapist...not a turn on for sure. 

Eventually she starts to get tired or sick again and I stop trying to get the obvious pity/obligatory sex with the husband and then start to look to find happiness in other things outside of a sex life with my wife.....cars...projects...work....video games (yeah...Im a kid sometimes agreed). 

So lately things seem to be changing for me though.  I am now 36 and have begun to notice that sex doesn't seem as important to me anymore.  I have prayed constantly for a reduction/complete loss of sexual desire to help save my marriage...is it actually happening now?  Will this make me happy? 

Is a marriage without physical intimacy actually a marriage at all?  Is it possible for me to feel emotionally connected to my wife without a healthy sex life?  It doesn't seem so...the less sex I have with my wife the farther and disconnected I feel from her and less I am there for her emotionally. 

This pattern just seems to have no end.  Is it my duty as a husband to continue to ride it out?  Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?  Can I expect my wife to just get over her sexual abuse issues or should I just accept having to pay for sins I had nothing to do with nor could prevent? 

Sad thing is last time we had the talk I told her I was starting to loose interest in her physically....I think she was relieved.  How sad and depressing is that to hear? 
demisis demisis 36-40, M 50 Responses Apr 2, 2012

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Wow. You just wrote my story in every detail. Knowing that the physical needs and emotions I crave is not mutual is driving me crazy. It feels like a heavy cloud on my shoulders. I wish to be happy again. She doesn't make it easy. I feel all I have now is my plastic smile and frustration.

With a bit of guilt I say it's nice to know I am not alone. Talking doesn't help, this has been a slow progression over the last three years, we are at a point that I have completly given up. I have no self esteem left and each day just gets harder. I cry more often than I smile. The tough part is our friends see the surface of us and tell me how lucky I am and what an amazing person I am, I wish they could see what I deal with everday. I am so deperate for a freakin hug, I have come to term with the fact that he has no sexual desire for me, all I want is to be held and maybe the pieces of me could be put back together. I think that's the hardest just wanting to be held. Is it bad that I don't want it to be him anymore? I used to be happy, but those days are gone.

You can't expect your wife to "get over" her abuse...but you can expect her to seek out therapy and appropriate coping mechanisms in order to have healthy intimate relationships. Engaging a partner in a cycle of alternating intimacy and rejection can be a way of perpetuating the abuse, in fact. It is not purely a matter of physical preference, it entails the emotional as well, as you have pointed out. From my own experience, it sounds as though the person you want as your partner, is not prepared to be anyone's partner at this juncture. I say this with all respect, as a survivor of similar abuse.

My husband is like your wife. Though he suffers from depression. He has no interest or urge to have sex. So to go long periods of time without sex does not bother him. For me I feel unloved, ingored and lost. It has been this way for the last 8 years. I do think about divorce daily. But financially I could not procede with one. So I am stuck living this way. Like Abunay I feel more like room mates than husband and wife.

It is sad... I live in a sexless marriage as well. Funny enough, my wife has the same excuses. I do not believe that it will work out eventually. I think of divorce on a daily basis. Tried the same talks you had, with no luck of course.

So, I really do not believe that a sexless marriage can work out. It is like living with my best friend without the privilege of being able to have a girlfriend!!!

Well at least I'm not alone, I feel for all of you! My girlfriend won't touch me except after a couple months of rejection I finally get to the point where I have to make a big scene of it, then usually she gives me the pity sex a couple days later. The constant rejection makes me feel horrible about myself and then she gets mad at me saying I need to have more self esteem, believe it or not! I explain that it is her lack of attention and rejection that is making me feel that way, but she doesn't get it. When I compliment her on her looks or clothes I get a look like "yeah ok you're just saying that" yet she seems thrilled by others compliments. I work, get the kids up and ready for school daily, I do all the dishes & laundry, sweep the floors, open doors for her, buy her flowers for no reason, and anything I can think of to get her attention, to no avail. Saddest part is, a couple months ago I let her pick out ANY ring she wanted for engagement with no limits and she picked out a $4000 ring that I am now 1/3 done paying for and she STILL has no interest in intimacy! We met 17 years ago and had just been split up for 4 years, after she called off our previous engagement! The SHE wanted me to come home, which I did somewhat reluctantly at first, but then I got really happy to be back and once that happened she seemed to lose interest. My only thought is that staying is better than being alone and at least I get to be with my boys all the time! Good luck to you all, I wish you all happiness no matter what decisions you make in your lives

My situation is similar... I have asked my husband to see a doctor about our lack of intimacy but it has been 9 months and still no doctors appointment. My husband is a perfect roommate, a perfect father, a perfect friend, but I have no self esteem left. I feel so very undesirable. It is to the point that we go to bed facing opposite directions. We sit on separate sides of the couch. I am lonely in a house where my husband is usually by my side. How can that be? The problem is that I love him and don't want to leave him but I can't imagine the remainder of my life being without intimacy. I am only 54 years old. People have always said how beautiful/attractive I am, but if my husband doesn't show me that he is interested in me, then it's hard to find comfort in that. I don't know what to do.

Jannie19, I am in the exact same situation. You are not alone. I am trying to figure out how to live in a no sex/no intimacy relationship. It's not a marriage. Not the one I envisioned. I don't know what to do either!

Jannie19 and Peach96, I am in the same sort of situation. Our baby is only 19 months old and he is a good person and a good father, but he has no interest in me. I feel fat and unattractive, but I have been told by others that I am a pretty and kind person. He is my friend, but that's really all it is. I'm 41 and don't know if I can remain in a marriage where there is no intimacy, but I don't want to leave because of our son. I am so sad, I can't believe I've turned to posting this to strangers on the internet.

Not sure how old this post is but it may just help me vent! I understand how you feel it's been 10 years n getting worse, in the beginning everything was good won't say he was a sex crazed man like my ex husband but I would have hoped for a little more touch feel intimacy hug a kiss out of the blue I have cried myself to slept many nights feeling so sad to have the man I love next to me n nothing sex always was starred by me but always about him nothing oral about him sad that I have spoke up n said what I need what I want n nothing I believe he loves me totally but why does t he get that he has a part in sex ! that it's is a huge pArt Of staying close I feel like his child 11 year difference in age but it is to the point where resentment in me is Turing to hatred n I love him but I feel if he does t change. Or at least try baby steeps that I am going to loose my mind at at 45 ! I don't know how to turn sexuality off ! Thanks for reading

I will the same way too. My marriage is perfect except for
the sex part... there isn't any. Wish there was a switch

I am in the same boat!

Hi Jannie I'm 32 and on the same boat. My husband is an amazing friend and great father to our kids but as a lover he shows no interest. Sex is important to me and I tell him. Sex will be good for a couple of days then bam it's back to a loveless life. It's the same thing over and over and over and over again. I too don't know what to do

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I am having very similar issues. My husband rejects me every time I turn around. We were only married 3 months ago. He even pulls away from me if I touch too close when he's asleep. He snuggled against me Christmas night and called me another woman's name. He swears until he is blue in the face that he is not and has not ever cheated on me in the 2 years we have been together. I don't know what to believe. He says he loves me, even sent me an email while I was asleep next to him, telling me how much he loves me and how sorry he is for the lack of intimacy. But still continues to do nothing about it. He doesn't kiss me the same, he doesn't look at me the same, or any of the other things that I always loved. The last time we had sex he kept his face buried in my arm the whole time, I can't even tell you when the last time he finished during sex. I feel so incredibly lost and alone right now. His PTSD causes him to shut down when I try to talk to him sometimes. I want to cry myself to sleep sometimes but don't want to wake him.
Oh and we have 4 kids between us, 3 of which live with us. We haven't had a date night in over a year. Since his kids came home. He finally told me that the chances of us ever having a date night were non-existent. He's too paranoid about getting a babysitter. (The 2 youngest kids mother took off with the kids and could not be found for almost 2 years.)

So many people sharing d same experience. What intrigues me is d fact that someone who claims to have proven their love for u thru matrimony thereby agreeing to b sensitive to ur feelings can b so selfish n choose to completely ignore ur sentiments. Wud they have been d same had things been d other way around? My husband wudv never accepted this yet he expects me to accept him d way he is n even b in love wid him to top it all. I dont understand how one can b in love wid someone n not b attracted to him/her physically.

Hi hun I am going through the same thing. What you describe (the not wanting to talk the anger and resentment) I am experiencing too. I am 33 but I am a woman, my husband has no interest at all, not just in sex but any form of intimacy. I have spoke to him many times and like your situation it changes for a short while to placate me but all too soon it returns to the same freindship state. I was abused as a child but I have dealt with it (alone) nobody except my husband knows.
I need to do something because it consumes my thoughts. I have been tempted to look for someone else but I couldn't hurt him like that. I am at the point of letting my marraige end because the loneliness is so painful.
I hope you find a way to feel better and if you do please let me know how xxx

If I knew what I knew today, when are relationship started I would have bailed out, but I didnt and here I am today. Me and my wife had great sex and closeness until we moved In together. Then it pretty much ended seems like I worked hard for it then even. She sId once she was abused by her mothers x, but then recanted later. Her father left her and her sister at age 2. She doesnt elaborate much on that. Thing is our relationship has everthing but one thing. That intimacy I desire, and always have. Almost 30 years invested, and the last 10 with NO sex. Am I a fool? THAT ONE THING, IT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME. I DONT EVEN WANT TO HOLD HER HAND ANY MORE, AND SHE JUST CONTINUES TO ACT LIKE NOTHING IS WRONG. SO MANY YEARS DOWN A PATH MAKES IT HARD TO EVER TURN BACK. I HAVE A FRIEND IN THE SAME SITUATION JUST NOT AS SURVERE. HE WANTS A DIVORCE, BUT IS SCARED TO ADMIT DEFEAT TOO.

Forensicfox... I hear you... I'm a woman 34 and it has been almost 3 years since my husband and I had sex. I am a passionate creative sensitive person and I have struggled with depression in the past. My husband and I had a short courtship and got married a year after we met. Since the beginning I had a fear of him not really loving me, I wrote on my journal at the time that I had a feeling he wasn't in love with me and it was more of a business partnership. I really tried to make things work but after we had our daughter it became very hard. No intimacy whatsoever. I would actually call it neglect. Never heard my feelings, my needs. I can't live in a marriage where there is no emotional connection. After many attempts to make him know that I was unhappy. I completely lost any attraction or romantic feelings towards him. I see him as my brother if that makes sense. He works a lot, always provides, and has been trying too hard after I told him this past week I wanted a divorce. He thinks that God can do a !itacvle and feels so sorry for what he has done to me. He says he loves me and wants a fresh start. I can't see myself living a happy passionate life with him, cause we have never had. I feel guilt for divorcing him but I can't sacrifice my life. He still cannot believe I'm for real about the divorce. I care about him but I don't see any other way.
Its a hard desicion to make.

Hi roomate7 I recently found that writing in a journal app is all that is keeping me sane! I have the same thoughts as you... is he only with me as it is convenient?! I know how it will end....In divorce I just don't know when yet. Then the thoughts of what if he does something stupid like takes an OD if I leave, it is like you talk yourself out of leaving. The sad thing is we can never get back the years we lost on someone who didn't deserve them! Please keep in touch, let us know how you are doing xxx

I completely understand. I want a divorce but am torn because our 19 month old loves his daddy so much. I have told him I want to work out the issue or get a divorce but there is no action or response from him. Lately, I am feeling like I don't even want to work it out because I am losing my interest in him. I am so sad and don't know what to do. I hope things work out well for you.

I feel ur pain :-(

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I hate to see how many people have the same problem as me. However, it's good to know I may not be crazy or asking too much from my husband.
We have been married for ten years, together for 13 & our sex life has always been very minimal. I love this man & he is so good to me in every other way. But I am a very affectionate person. If we have sex, I instigate it. Unless of course he has been drinking. When I'm sober, the last thing I want is to have sex with my drunk husband.

He isn't comfortable with me at all. He won't talk to me about his fantasies or what turns him on. (I feel like I should know these things by now). He doesn't want me to touch him. I can't even rub his shoulders when he is tired. There is no sexual connection what so ever between us.

We have gone at least 9 months without sex & 4 to 7 months is very normal. When we do, I could give you a play by play. Its always the same & he is NOT open to new things.

I believe in marriage & making it work. But I find myself fantasizing about other men. When the man you love doesn't even want you to run your fingers through his hair, how do you not take it personally? He never compliments me unless I ask him if I look ok. I compliment him a lot. I keep thinking he will realize how good it feels & return the favor. I just want to feel wanted & desired. Instead I feel like his roommate.

I don't know if I'm being unrealistic. Like I said, he is a great man but I don't know if I can live without that connection. I'm so lost.

I know how you feel. My experience has been on both sides. Currently, I am in a marriage where I am wanting intimacy so bad, but I am scared to try anymore. I have medical problems, REAL ones, and am so stressed, but my husband is not good when I ask for help, even if I just need a hug and supportive words.

I've tried to make myself more attractive, and telling him how I feel, and I take the time to listen to him. But, it seems he just wants to watch television. I could be sitting two feet away in lingerie, but he didn't have a clue. So, I'm scared. I am so sad of rejection. I even mentioned divorce in the last few weeks and he calls me crazy. I told him I can't go for years without intimacy. He says I am wrong, but I told him to look at this body language. His arms were folded and he couldn't look me in the eye. No hug, NOTHING. I ask him what do I need to do for him and he can't come up with a response. He tells me I'm too stressed out.

I feel so unwanted I am starting to imagine myself in other relationships, just to fill the void. I wish I could turn my feelings and needs off, too. I feel your pain. Have you tried counseling? Even if she doesn't want to go, you can. But, she needs to meet you half way with wanting help.

Don't feel bad about your other hobbies. They will help you de-stress. That's what I do, and have met some nice people along the way.

I hope things are going well for you. Your post is over a year old so I hope this problem has subsided.

I feel the same exact Way with my husband . We haven't even been married a year and he never wants to touch me, I'm dying inside trying to hOld it together but at this point I feel sO emotionally drained. I tryed so much to initiate it and I got turned down so much that now I find myself not even attracted to him anymore. I can count on one hand how many times we have had sex in the past year. I just don't know what to do anymore. The resentment just keeps building :/

Im sorry to here that Sadwife, im in the same boat and my husband and I are so disconnected that I find myself at times sleeping on the couch. We have been together or 6 six years and married for 3, and we agrue so much I think because there's no connection so that causes alot of friction. i have never been hug by him nor french kiss so im at a no win situation that i tells him about and he trys for 2 or 3 days and slack off and then months goes by and we are back were we started before. When we go out i get sad when i seen couples into each other like kissing, holding hands, and the man just showing his affection for that woman. I want that and I feel like im dying inside of whom Im really am. A marriage will not survive without that bond/connection from the partner, it just want. I find myself fantasizing about an affair, and im headed down that road, just dont know what to do myself, resentment on my end just keeps building

Im in the same situaiton with me now wife of one week, weve dated on and off for nearly 19 years, when we got back together in 2008 intimacy was plentyful but one year later that all changed. Ive know been waiting 16 months for any intimacy, each time i try she laughs at my attempts, or winds me up and when we retire and i expet the yawning starts and nothing happens not even on our wedding night or honeymoon just a week ago.

can marriage last without? i do not know, i do everything i can to make her feel loved and special, i clean our home help her pay bills everything a husband should be, but the lack of intimacy pulls me down makes me feel undesirable. shes 35 6 years younger than me, while my sexual drive is at its peak hers is zero.

faith is the only thing that keeps me going that she might change. all she wants to do is retire early each night to sleep. i get moaned at by drinking beers at weekends, but as i Argued just last night its the only pleasure i get as she gives me none, when it has occured, it lasts only mins before shes had enough and i havent even started. or i giver her oral pleasure and get nothing in return.

how long we will remain like this i do not know its hard, but keep positive as far as our wives are concerned its thier loss, but i dont want to lose my sex drive without actually getting to use it

Well mine a sentence: Life to serve 23. That's when the youngest turns 18 and I get out of the state's potential statutes on CSupport. If reincarnation exits, I sure will never do marriage again. Like Never.

I honestly think the answer to your situation would be clear and easy to make, except that you have children. That is probably the worst part.

I'm so relieved to know I'm not the only one going through this. My boyfriend of 9 years has not wanted to have any intimacy at all for almost three years now. He works day and night -- almost two full time jobs. He's always tired yet finds an hour to work out about 4-5 nights a week. I've become so sad and depressed and kept hoping and hoping things would change but they haven't. It's too much to think about most days so I just maintain the status quo. I am 52 and he is 56.

I am just glad to know I'm not the only one going thought this and questioning why I'm even with him....

im afraid the reason we are all with our partners is the same. we love them, despite how thier actions make us feel we love them and have faith to wait to see if they will change or see what they are doing to change and make an effort

While I am saddened at your story, It is one I have been living for a little I we a decade now and I am at least relieved to know that I am not alone.

I love my wife. She "loves" me. Distant, cold and hurtful to be so dismissed. I'm at the end of my rope. Have begun on-line "fantasy" relationships with other women that are just more unfulfilling drama that I don't need.

I don't want divorce but, I don't think life will be possible any other way. She can't or won't change to fix this and I don't believe her anymore

I ant an intimate loving relationship like we had for the first half of our marriage. There has for to be someone out there that will desire me

Demisis,
I can only speak to my situation. What you decide to do is up to you. In my mid 30s going without sex wasn't a big deal either but later on it was. As for just being friends that is not what people get married for is it? I had the you don't talk to me stuff either but she would call me about three times a day at work and many other times outside of work (I really hate cell phones), so when I got home what was there to talk about that hadn't already been covered. It is not like I shut her out or gave her the cold shoulder there just wasn't much new to tell her.
I do think what you say about withdrawing from someone who won't be intimate with you applies to me as well. It is like she won't get intimate with me but i have to fulfill her every emotional need. My stbx has other emotional issues as well. The lack of intimacy is just a symptom.
She also claimed to really enjoy what little sex we used to have before she cut me off completely. So it was frustrating to think she would withhold something we both enjoy just because of whatever hangups she had. Like you if she was lying why lie? And if she was faking it she should have been an actress because she was damn good at it. I also see no reason for her to fake it because she never went out of her way to pretend to be happy about anything else, why do it with sex. It she didn't like something she was never shy about letting me know. She always let me know exactly what bothered her all of the time. It is one of the major reasons I divorced her.
So you have your own path to tread and i will not steer you one way or the other. I just want you to think about the type of person who would treat their spouse in such a manner about anything. I had already decided to divorce my wife before i found this site but it opened my eyes to the fact that what was going on in my case was not just some "problem" my wife had it was a character issue. She knew sex was important to me, she even told me I was a whole different person when we were sexually active (she meant it in a good way), but it still did not matter to her. Her needs in this area, just like her fears in other areas trumped everything else. This was not a problem my wife had i had to deal with it was a choice on her part that reflected what type of person she was.
Lastly, I do not think it is anyone's "duty" to ride out a relationship that is almost totally one sided. I cannot tell you where to draw the line but I drew mine. I considered myself to be in an abusive marriage. I stayed with it out of my belief that marriage is sacred. I no longer hold such a belief. NO ONE should stay in an abusive relationship. IT SERVES NO PURPOSE!
Good luck to you and keep in touch if you wish. I care about your situation.

Did she try to get help? It sounds like she was overwhelmed and trying to reach out to you, although it was a very disfunctional way of doing so. Women are more emotional but it sounds like she was using her emotions to make you feel guilty about some imaginary problem. Am I close?
Take care!

My wife was never "reaching out to me". It was always about her.
She was always in crisis about something and never got help. She was very manipulative and controlling. I am glad to be away from her. I found someone who isn't like that and love her very much.

I'm starting to think its me.

I am in the same position as above. It has been a year and 5 months and 14 days. I am starting to think its me. I read the 5 love languages and started doing "act of service" however that didn't seem to work. I find myself taking care of it myself( which is embarrassing to say) but I am not a cheat. I don't know what to do....

38 and hopeless.

Please, please consider your situation outside of the framework of "if only I learned to love her better"! That can be such a trap and I am afraid on most cases it is all the church has to offer men who are in very bad marriages. It is the man's responsibility to love their wives. It is not their responsibility to fix or even take responsibility for fixing everything wrong in their marriage. If the wife refuses to see most or any of her problems it is not the man's "place" to take her abuse nor is it proper to gloss over a wife's bad behavior.
All my wife seemed to get from the church was sympathy and all I got was admonitions to "serve her more" or "learn better communication techniques". The five love languages was just one cure all book. My major love language was touch. Guess how much of that I got from a spouse who would not even let me put my arm around her at night? Hers was acts of service but there weren't enough hours in the day to meet her black hole of needs. So what is the purpose of knowing a spouses "love languages" if she uses it to demand more a while she ignores mine?
The church needs to grow up and realize that men and women have to work in a marriage and that things like severe mental illness cannot not be treated like a communication problem of a lack of understanding of the other persons needs.
You should not be 38 and hopeless. You should either be 38 and getting help or 38 and developing an exit strategy.
Best of luck to you and feel free to write.

I think that there is a lack of understanding on both sides. It all boils down to men give love to get sex, get that "itch" scratched. Women give sex to get love. After the "heat-period" of a new marriage, and as the years go on, it gets monotonous and predictable. She feels used, he feels like he has to perform tiresome preliminaries to get her aroused, and little home interactions have an *edge* that leaves us irritable and we go off by ourselves to decipher why we seem to go around feeling hurt all the time. Like a pitcher that has been badly handled, we have stress cracks. Some marriages hold together anyway, and some ends up shattered. As long as civility and respect remains, it is possible the marriage will endure through mutual commitment. If the rest of life is good than maybe each partner will convince themselves that what the marriage still presents is enough, even without passion.

Anyone who feels "used" having sex with their spouse even after many years of marriage, has major problems and not just sex problems. the same goes for those who consider preliminaries to get her aroused "tiresome".
Yipes!!!!

No physical intimacy is a friendship, not a marriage....

Well i am going thru sommething similiar with my husband. At first he just made excuse and know he just gets out right mad saying he has a low sex drive and he doesnt think about sex..it has even got to the point were he is reluctant. I asked him to see the doctor but he refuses. I think its just unfair for him to realize he has a problem and do nothing about it Or does he really have a problem. I am a very attractive woman and everyone lets me know it except him. I don't know how much I can take of this loneliness.

Tell him to talk to the doctor or you know this guy named OmyTVC15 who will kick his butt!!!

how many of us can take any longer of this? im sad to admit i fantasise about my wife to pleasure myself to relive my frustrations, but its make mes feel so low after thinking why does it have to be fantasy why isnt it real?

Well, what if she knew it was vital to the marriage. That without it she might lose her husband? then would she see things a little different? A lot of woman and some men too, think that their spouses are only here to serve "them". that it is all take and no give. Selfish. Is she selfish in other things? Is therre a way to make it fun for her? Im sure you 've tried everything. What if she suspected someone else was interested in her husband. Maybe some sparks would ignite? Sometimes we only want what someone else wants. Not that you actually have to have an affair, jsut make it seem like it is a possiblility. Get her guessing? Maybe?

Wow, we find it easy to say "she is an abuser, get away". Yet noone says that you must love her like never before, to the point that you are trying to do everything to keep near by even if it makes you feel miserable. Is that real love, or only a conscience or strong implanted principles screaming out? (Do you have kids?)How long can a healthy person live without sex? Desire .. lust... a natural feel, for once in a while. When faced it every day is a different story. We can live without sex , true, but could we live without love or the least the hope of it? Do you really care if she loves you? Are you still begging for love? Or do you care more for the love in your heart? Does it hurts feeling how it melts down? hope not, true love once in the heart , always there.Good to have love in the heart even if hurts like hell.. If the whole world shouts at you telling "she doesn't deserve you" would you care? Could you get away from her , share your heart to another? I think we are not right to love only one anyway, it must be suffocating to have all the love of one person over self, might turn you into a monster, always pushing to see the love proof.. A heart has a tremendous power to love, I would stop giving her all, find a way to share it to others . Marriage?! What really is marriage ? Maybe inside chains smartly engineered in hundreds of years of imposed rules?... We humans need to be manipulated.or are we not ?

Honey; Marriage is physical intimacy, designed for companionship and procreation.

It is a union of two hearts, two souls and two bodies. You are not going to have your world rocked every night. Sometimes a heartfelt kiss, a warm embrace or a kiss that communicates a deep longing will be enough to keep you satisfied until you can fully explore your connection. Even holding hands can spark electricity if two individuals feel such desire. I have seen loving looks between couples that have been together for a lifetime and are now sharing rocking chairs at the senior's home. They still have it. Intimacy.

Kim you are the best. It is about intimacy. I didn't have it with stbx now I have it with someone else. I don't expect to get blown away every night and tell her that often. She takes good care of me and I let her know that each and every time she is too tired or just isn't in the mood. I know I will get something the next day or the day after or some day down the road. She is not ignoring me and never will. We have that trust and if I don't cuddle beside her during those times she is not in the mood she will think I am mad at her and I am not so I always do. See even when she is not in the mood she still desires to be held. Who could ask for anything more!!!

big smile - I'm glad you found the same thing I found. Enjoy the blessing.

Someone told me once, there are 3 kinds of people who find themselves in these situations: those who stay, those who leave, and those who make arrangements. Which will you be?

Preach Cowgirl Preach!!!!

i love that analogy

I am just as confused as you. I don't know the answer, but the emptiness became unbearable. I can't leave, but I can't bear to stay. There are all kinds of ways to self-medicate the void...but it is still there. Sometimes I watch him sleeping and I try to remember who he is. He seems like a stranger who used to be my husband. I don't have any desire for him anymore or maybe after so many years of rejection, it is self-defense. We do what we have to do to survive....and shuting down is one of the many defenses we employ to survive this involuntary celibacy.

I have the exact same marriage as you do please let me know if you find an answer. I am here with him but feel totally alone , How sad life feels.

Wishing and changing,
For God's sake consider what kind of person would do anything that makes you fell this miserable for any length of time? If you saw your own life in a movie what would you think of the character who played your spouse? That is who they are and you life isn't a movie! Look deep down in your heart, it is there you will find what you need to do. Leaving is AWFUL but if it is what you need to do, do it. I hate the situation I am in since I left but have no regrets about doing so. I am slowly getting my dignity back and I know I made the right decision. No one should put up with abuse, if you consider you situation abusive my advise is to develop an exit strategy and leave. Only you can decided if you situation is abusive but if it is you deserve better and you have the power to change it.

Oh also:



You ask if a marriage without intimacy is a marriage or a friendship.



It is neither.



It is a master/slave relationship. They are the master, and you are the slave. It is that simple.



Some slave may love their master



Some masters may love their slave.



But the relationship is not changed for it.



It is not a friendship, it is not a marriage.



It's enslavement.

Well said Filter!!!!