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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 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 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 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 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 70 Responses Apr 2, 2012

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zombie thread, but marriage without ain't a marriage. Stop fooling yourself by calling it that

I married my second wife 4 years after my first wife died of cervical cancer. I was emotionally devastated still. I really didn't love my second wife at all. I was angry with God that my first wife got cancer 10 months after I married her. I didn't want to get close to any one again. I wanted a disposable spouse. I never wanted to risk getting hurt again. The day I married the unlucky girl I didn't have sex with her. I felt raped anytime I was coerced into it. I remained dutifully married almost ten years. I never cheated. We had sex only twelve times. I had entrapped us both. We are now divorced. My fear of intimacy, vulnerability, has led to a sexless life. I was 31 when Denise died. I am 53 now. Your wife has intimacy issues brought on by sexual abuse. She needs help. She has to be willing, other wise, life is too short. Free yourself. You are not married.

I feel

I am 31 my husband is 38. We have two kids. We have no intimacy at all by giving each other hugs and kisses before one another goes to work. He work full-time and i work part-time but we can seem to find time to do anything together like go to the movie have dinner and even no intimacy. I get it that he doesn't want to have kids but i cant get pregnant anymore. But what should i do? I don't want to divorce him cause i love him and we have two kids together...

Thank you for being open about what you are going through. Your story mirrors mine, many do... only thing is I'm the wife. My H has a physically demanding job and works graveyard hours ( about 6pm to 5am ) so he works all night and sleeps all day. We are both in our 40's ... I am a fitness instructor, good shape, stay at home mom . I have to practically beg or negociate sex. Im at the point where im getting resentful and don't even want to be intimate with him anymore ( 3x's a month) its turned me from a happy, secure person to hating my body, my face, my hair etc.... cuz there must be something wrong with me, right? I just don't know what to do, im frustrated and heartbroken,

I believe after you express to your spouse how important it is for you to have intimacy and nothing changes after long period of times, the marriage is close to being over. Its not fair to the spouse who wants and needs the intimacy. Why sleep in the same bed if no intimacy is happening? Why be married if no intimacy is happening? What really gets me is if they think you are having an affair and they have the nerves to be upset. But the spouse don't have the desire to be intimate with you. What the hell do they think will eventually happen. I don't want to be in a sexless marriage. I'm too young and in good physical shape for a relationship without intimacy. I hate to say it but I understand why some spouses cheat on their mates.

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for 4 years. One year into our relationship he lost all interest in sex. I don't even know why. I have asked him if it's me or something I did during sex that put him off, I have asked him if it's something he's worried about but he has repeatedly said no to these questions. Then he blamed his weight, which he has now lost but still my advances are met with excuses, my favourite being "I've got the sniffles."
No matter how many times I talk to him I always get the same result. For a while, once a week he manages to push himself for at least a little foreplay, but inevitably, he loses interest after about two weeks and we end up back where we were with me miserable and him pretending like nothing is wrong. I have tried everything I can think of, from oral to sexy underwear. He is interested in neither. Now I am at a loss as to what I should do. I don't want to lose him, but at the same time, should I continue being desperately unhappy to keep him?

My question is if he is not interested in you then who is he interested in? My spouse and I go months without intimacy and it makes me angry. However, I do have a friend that I can talk too and it is satisfying at times. The only thing that is keeping me from leaving and have an affair are my vows. But how much can a person take? If this marriage does not work, I will never get married again. What I don't understand is why aren't he complaining about the lack of intimacy. It makes me suspicious of him that he might be stepping out of the marriage. I'm maintaining my cool and if he is cheating the marriage is over for sure.

This sounds 100% like my relationship. Except we're not married. I been with her for 6 years and we've never seemed to ever stop arguing. And sex hasn't been consistent since the first year of our relationship. First it was once every week then every other week then once a month and THEN once every 2 months. Things have never been to the point where I'd want to take a knee. But not too long ago we went to a Christian family camp and she found the holy Grail of excuses...I'm saving myself for marriage. Fml

I am going through the same situation. We are only two years married this month. I am 21 and my husband 25, and any physical intimacy in our marriage feels to me like pity sex.
I guess I'm part of the problem because I don't feel like physical intimacy is a "right"for me. I've always felt inferior because he had had previous sexual relationships, but I was only ever with him. This, and my already lacking self confidence, makes it hard for me to discuss with him too, because I feel that I'm just pushing him to do something he doesn't want to do - be intimate with his wife. Divorce is off the table for me too because of my own personal values and beliefs. Either way, the future looks lonely and I can only imagine what it would be like if we had kids and my body changed or I had stretch marks or put on weight...

In the same boat unfortunately. Not sure what the best thing to do is. I took killing myself off the table when I had kids so now I'm ******* goddam stuck. Too expensive to divorce, plus it screws the kids over. I'm thinking affair, but inevitably it eventually goes south for one reason or another. But as long as you can find someone else to screw it's ok.

Wow partner your story is exactly my story, I get it totally it's almost as the more u try the more she rejects you. Even when you go out of your way to be romantic it doesn't matter. You and her can have a perfect day out laughing and joking like when you first met and your feeling close to her and the night ends in a non sexual way it's very sad. But we become accustomed to this outcome. If you need to talk let me know and I will forward you my number

Hey, Demisis, I am actually in a sexless marriage as well. Here for you!

I am a woman and I have been sexually assaulted in my past. I am here to tell you that your wife needs to see a therapist or counselor to confront her issues with sex. I saw a counselor only once and it completely set me in a new perspective. I am a very self-aware person and make decisions rationally and quickly, though. I can understand it might take other people quite a bit longer. But, honestly, talking it out can help. Of course I still get flash backs to the assault, but I am told that is normal. They are less and less all the time. And they DON'T come during sexual activity because I have been able to compartmentalize those memories away from my good sexual experiences.

I also wanted to post in lament with you because I am also experiencing lack of intimacy in my marriage and I do not know what to do. My husband is just not into sex. He tells me it's because of past sexual trauma, but he will not digress nor will he see a counselor. I also have a hard time believing this because he actually never comes on to me AT ALL. He is not even very affectionate. He will only cuddle with me if I ask him to and he never initiates sex. I always do that, but most of the time, he gets to nervous to have intercourse. I end up doing all the work to help him finish, but he reciprocates nothing. Not to mention, I resent initiating. I only do it when I'm super desperate because I am just waiting for him to come after me! I really, really want that. We've had so many fights and tears over this and he still does nothing to change.

I gave my husband an ultimatum the other day, but I am scared to carry it out. I do want to have a full marriage, though. I believe what he is doing and has done is a breach of our vows. I think this is just as bad as adultery. I certainly feel incredibly rejected. This is the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life--to want someone you love so badly, but to have them ignore your pleas for more intimacy. I think it is abominable. He does not agree. He thinks I am blowing it out of proportion, but I just do not think so. I am ready to break free of this relationship so that I have the chance to flourish elsewhere. As it currently stands, I would not say either of us are flourishing and this marriage is dead in the water.

I am 40 my husband 44...I am the one who gets rejected....I am feeling quite disconnected and he tells me sex isn't everything and I try to tell him that sex actually is a big part of marriage because without it you are like room mates especially when you have no hobbies or anything else in common...he does watch "****" on the computer or read "stories" and that would be fine if our sex life was healthy but I feel I am being robbed because of this... so it is like he is having an affair.

Hello, I ran across this and it's exactly what I am going thru. I am only 28. My marriage is good as far as feeling like I am with my Brest friend. We do love each other but I feel like we are not "in love" and we do not connect on a sexual level at all. He doesn't kiss me and sex is a thing of the past. It's sad but we have never had good sex. I just don't know what to do. Is this a good reason for divorce?

I am not sure if this would be grounds for divorce but it is very lonely...and it's like I mentioned to someone at my job I would never judge anyone for having an affair because if this is how they live then they will seek to have their needs met from someone whether it is emotional or physical, and at 28 you are way to young to be tied down in a marriage that is not meeting your needs!

Is it a good reason is really your decision to struggle with. For me It is a matter of faith and commitment in regards to my own religious beliefs but this is of course a highly personal issue for each of us to navigate. I cant imagine someone your age having to deal with's when my own SM started....arrrrggg. Your not alone. You will find allot of support here but unfortunately only you can make changes for your own life. Have you discussed this issue with your husband? Make it clear to him that despite what he may think you need physical love in your marriage to be happy. See what happens. If someone loves you, truly loves you, doesn't it mean that they should put you and your needs in their top priorities?

I would try counseling first and if he does not respond and step up to the plate then it would be an option for me to divorce. I'm going through the same thing as you. It makes me angry that I have to go to bed with someone who does not seem to care about intimacy. I say we might have sex approximately 3 to 5 times a year. I use to approach him and insist but now I don't want to have sex with someone who is just doing it because I asked. One of my old boyfriends calls me on the phone and he has been begging me to be intimate with him. But I'm trying to honor my vows. Talking to my old boyfriend approximately once a week makes me feel like a desirable woman. My husband is starting to disgust me the more we are without intimacy. He is a good provider and very respectful. But I need intimacy at least once a week. It is no excuse not to touch your wife at least 1 to 3 times a week. I hate that I got married. I should have stayed single.

He is selfish plain and simple IMO. To understand your expressed needs and refuse to do anything about it while also engaging in other activities to satisfy that same like need in himself is just inexcusable. I feel for you. My wife just doesn't like sex and at least doesn't look for satisfaction in other places which would seem worse to me I think. When it all boils down to it I suppose the why isn't important. The simple fact is that he is the one that committed himself to loving you and he doesn't get to define what that means, you do. He is simply failing at his job ;-). I'm sorry for you pain. Sadly you are not alone.

Exact same situation here. I am a woman, my husband has been rejecting me for 14 years. Right now we go about 3 or 4 months at a time with no intimate contact. I haven't had intercourse with my husband for over 5 months. It is very painful. I don't know what to do anymore, and if I ask him why this is happening I get silence. Not even excuses anymore. I don't even want to sleep in the same bed anymore because the physical ache of being next to him is too much to take. Mine also looks at ****, and I feel robbed. But I have found it very tempting to try and meet the lack of intimacy with other things, and it is extremely challenging to stave off the temptation. There just is no relief....

It sounds like classic sex addiction to me. There are sex addicts that are called sexual anorexic. Sometimes it's because of **** addiction, other times the addict is completely abstinent. The issue is a fear of intimacy and a desire to control. Look into sex addicts anonymous for more resources. It is also common for the sex addict to have been the victim of abuse as a child.

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This is my life. Except I am the wife. So sad all the time.....cry much more than smile. After 3 years, I now have lost my intimacy toward him. I actually resent him.
I am 43. He is 51.

I refuse to give up on being a sexual person!!!!! I have been down this road too and wondered if I be happier but I refuse. I am a man. Sexual desire is normal, healthy, god given.

I don't believe what I'm reading here, I thought I was the only one with this problem. What I find so interesting is that I could have written this story, word for word! Having suffered 7 yrs. in this position, I have now completely gone off sex, but according to my wife I am the one who is being unreasonable. I wasn't very popular when I told her an old joke about the problem " Girls have sex to get married, guys get married to have sex" not quite the same thing! I even went through a period of really believing that she some how got off on rejecting & that maybe explained the arguments that would follow me not showing any interest in the subject. I am seriously considering having a chat with my GP about a way of permanently killing my sexual desire, but since she is a woman also I don't think she would understand my request, even if it was possible with some kind of drug maybe.

Its possible. Ive looked into it. But as a wise person on this board said...think about what you are contimplating. You are actually considering putting drugs into your own body to circumvent a completely natural and celebrated aspect of who you are just to avoid conflict with your significant other because they flat out refuse to support your needs.....tad ridiculous when you really put it in context.

Thanks for your reply although I don't agree 100% with you. BTW, are you saying that a drug exists? . so then, what are you suggesting should be my next move? a physical affair with one of my female work mates? I have been offered one btw, but I have yet to see a marriage survive that. I have strayed a few times recently at work, only because I couldn't put up with the frustration any longer.

I swear this is my life, except for it's not me who refuses or turns down advances, it's my husband. He is older than me and I would almost allow that as an excuse, but for years I have watched him flirt with other women, he has cheated on me and yet I get nothing at home.

What makes this more frustrating is that he wants to do everything in the marriage except have that intimate bond that is only achieved through making love. He wants to hold my hand, hug, rub my back, walk next to me or slightly behind me in public with his hand on my hip, etc. Yet I literally have to beg for sex and am told that we need to rekindle that bond that we lost after his multiple affairs. He says it takes time. BS. I don't buy that. I want and need to know that he wants me as badly as he did anyone else and yet it's the ONE thing he refuses to give to me.

Everyone thinks that we have recovered so well from his affairs, but no one knows the living hell I go through. We argued about this this past weekend. He has not touched me since January. Three times I have initiated, wore sexy lingerie and gone outside my comfort zone to do things he's said he'd like me to do and each time, he was too tired and he would make it up to me.

I am at a loss. I am an attractive woman, successful and have forgiven him time and again for his shortcomings. I literally feel as though I'm dying inside because I need his touch, his reassurance that he still wants me and I need to see him looking in my eyes while we make love. I crave it to the point that I cry almost everyday on my way home from work because I know that I am going home to a swift good night kiss and hug and nothing more.

I am seriously considering a divorce. I know I won't be alone forever, but I want my marriage to work. I just don't know how at this point. It's just really a mess. I want him to want me, but at the same time I feel even worse after we do have sex (maybe 5 times a year) because I feel like it was pity sex or maybe because I know that it will be so long before he needs me again. I'm really not sure which.

Oh and let me add, I have begun drinking almost every night to cope. I know it's not healthy and all of that good jazz, but like I explained to him this weekend during our argument... if I drink to the point of oblivion, then I just go to bed and pass out and am too drunk to care that he doesn't want me. I've been on this binge for a year or so, but our sexless marriage has been ongoing for about 5 years. It's funny though. He travels for his job and frequently travels to a town about 2 hours away. When he's there, he wants me to come visit on the weekend and he wants sex then. But when we're at home, he will NOT touch me. I've gotten to the point that I refuse to go visit him because it makes me feel like s**t when I leave. Like I was just a piece of a** for a lonely guy.

Wow! Thats tough.I've been there in my second marriage. It was horrible. Right now my husband is totally impotent. It's pure hell at times.

If he were impotent, at least he'd have an excuse. But he's not impotent. He did have some issues with low testosterone about a year ago. He's been going to the doctor and getting injections and it's helped tremendously when we DO have sex, but he just never wants to. I often wonder if he's having an affair and kind of wished he was with someone he would leave me for, then that takes the burden of tearing our family up, off of me. It's so very convoluted.

AHHHHHHHHHHH. I'm so confused! He called me just now to ask a question about our sons after school activity today. As we were hanging up, he says "Alright, I love you". I didn't say it back, I can't, so I hung up. He called right back and proceeded to tell me how rude that was and how much that hurt HIS feelings. What???!! Really?! It's the oddest thing. He wants EVERY part of the marriage but intimacy and I just don't understand at all. What right does he have to be mad at me for feelings he caused?!

Hi Condrabo. Are you in Australia? I am a male in the same situation as you!

We're at the same boat, my hubby is 7 years younger than me...for him not sleeping with me is his punishment because I was "mean" to him.:( I was punished because I got pregnant and my hormones went crazy. Right now I can't talk to anyone I know because I don't want them to know what's happening to my marriage. My husband wouldn't even kiss me, he said I will never get it and we can never rekindle the intimacy we had. I started to get so afraid of even touching him because for him that was a sexual act. I started taking sleeping pills so I don't think about it at night...whenever I asked for a hug or beg for a hug, he will hug me to the point that I couldn't breath at all, he'll make it appear that all I want from him is sex. I am really losing my self-esteem now, he said he's not emotionally connected with I was like, why are we still married?

I am in the same boat. My husband and I have been through alot in our 40 years. I am 57 yrs old and am dying of the rejection. He's cheated in me and says its because he didn't feel loved. He used to always want sex and after the cheating, I forgave him and thought we were back on track only to his rejection again. I am open to just about anything sexually but can't get him to tell me what he wants. Without going into the whole dragged out story...I am not perfect and have put up my walls and have had female issues that have interfered but I fixed my issues and he now is back to no intimacy with me. He is active with **** and would prefer to do it himself. He hasn't said that but please, I am not that blind. I don't want to live the rest of my life feeling dead and un loved. He too, gets all hurt and ticked if I don't talk much, but he puts me into a depressed mode. I am so tired of giving and not getting. I know I'm not alone in this type of life. Guess I need to make a change.

I'm so sorry. Your story mirrors my life.
I don't even want sex anymore with my husband.
After being rejected so often. And feeling low about myself. I really look at him and wonder why doesn't he want me?

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Demisis are you still having the trouble from 2012? Im interested cause Im kinda in the same boat. Thank you for the post you made.

Yup. Still in the same boat however the waves are getting larger and larger. I am pretty sure we are at a decision point in our relationship and I am pretty sure I know which way things will fall. Over this past weekend I finally had "the talk" with her and told her I am no longer willing to keep going through this cyclic hell of a relationship. I wrote up a long list of things that I feel are make or break needs for me in our relationship and I need her to either agree to meet them or be truthful with me and herself that she has no intention of meeting them. I await her response but if the past is any indication this will likely be the begining of our end. Sadly. I hope you fair better

So sorry Demisis. This is an extremely frustrating position that our spouses put us through.

However in my situation, last night for some reason he came alive and it was just like I wanted it to be. The only downfall is that I know it won't happen again for another few months, so it's really bittersweet when we do connect. It is so incredibly confusing why they do this to us over and over again. He says he knows it hurts me but doesn't know what to do about it. That is the angering part for me. He knows but does nothing.

What ever her background she is playing with you. Maybe that is all she knows. Since she was abused as a child she may feel justified in manipulating others .
You can only control what you do and how you react. You can be the "Good Guy" and put up wth it if you want but how long are you prepared to live that lie. You may confront her with your suspicions but if she is not prepared to accept your insight she will deny it.

The whole point is what are you pepared to live with and what are you not prepared to live with. When you answer that - you will know what to do .

I have been searching the web since I posted this looking for something that could help me in this hell that someone else has created for me. This trap left by an uncaring and worthless group of people who unknown to me ruined my would be wife and any chance of the life long love affair that I dreamed my marriage would be.

I have come across I site that had allot of interesting perspectives and information, at least for me and thought that based on the title of my post and its discussions this would be a perfect place to share just in case some other person is in a similar situation.

Dont mind the title really is a good article full of thought provoking discussion points and views from what I thought was a very neutral point of view. It may even be a catalyst to help share with your refusing spouse and try to get them to realize the pain and suffering they are inflicting. It definitely helped me to realize the pain my wife is going through. It didnt make it any easier for me but at least it helped me by allowing me to relate and see my actions/reactions are normal.

My husband and I havent had sex in 3 1/2 years. He never had a strong libido, where I did. And another time we went 2 years without it too. And I was always the one to initiate and after our son was born it just went to the way side. He is a wonderful man, I love him like a teddy bear, but have no desire to have sex with him anymore. He is not the "manly" type but neither is he gay. He is just a soft kinda guy, great dad, and wonderful husband in other respects. Besides I get off on my own very well without him, and I'm sure he's doing the same thing. We dont talk about it but have a loving, respectful relationship.We also have always slept in separate bedrooms because of his snoring. I know we are just roomates raising a son - but we dont ever talk about having issues with this so I guess we're both OK. I'm also a creative artist so get my passion out that way. People talk about this "soulmate" thing and I dont get it - so dont guess I know what I'm missing out on. I dont think sexless marriages are unusual, or spouses not sleeping in the same bed. I have 2 other friends who live the same way and are in wonderful marriages - they travel, do things together. Being happy first and self-confident has much to do with it. I dont need to be physically loved to feel loved. My husband shows it in all the other things he does for me, and I do for him. Being intimate does not make a marriage - it's icing on the cake I guess - if you want that. But if either person IS unhappy because they arent having sex than I can see where there is a problem. ANd that's what I'm hearing here. Perhaps, "self-loving" would relief some of that tension and then focus on the other good things of the marriage. Just my 2cents!

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.

I send to you a heart felt hug! Know I understand all too well the pain you feel. While it know it makes not much of a difference sometimes knowing your not completely alone in your misery provides some solace. our friends think our marriage is perfect too...well they did until this year when I decided to stop pandering and making excuses for her. Now I am real at least with my friends. I respect my wife but I am also sure to correct anyone that says things like "you guys are such a happy couple". Needless to say this does not sit well with my wife but she cant argue with truth.

I wish you could feel the warmth and love you so longingly need!! It is not much to ask in this world is it?

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.

I must agree. I have started to come to terms that it would appear her desire to be happy with me and make me happy is woefully insignificant to her desire to NOT face the pain of working through this issue. I cant provide the motivation to heal...only she can. And unfortunately her love for me just isnt strong enough and I dont have the emotional fortitude after 15years of rejection to continue with a smile on my face with hope that someday...someday maybe things will magically change. I ask over and over what I have done to earn this followed shortly by what am I supposed to learn? to retract inside oneself. How to be emasculated and still learn to love the one who inflicts it? I realize its not intentional but damage is damage whether collateral or targeted unfortunately. It hurts just as much either way, perhaps more because at least with intention I could leverage anger and contempt but for me...anger just breads sorrow and disappointment for my failure to love unconditionally.

Did you make it "though"? What provided you the motivation? Thanks for sharing!!

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

You must be kidding! Already no sex and you're getting engaged to be married and paying thru the nose for the privilege to face a life of no sex? You're a joker or a masochist! She's clearly not interested in you yourself, as the previous cancellation of the wedding attests to; probably looking for your resources and/or third choice because others turned out not to be interested in her. Your turn to call it off, sell the ring, and look for a lover. Good luck.

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.)

My husband and I just got married in February and we are headed in this same direction. We weren't even intimate on our honey moon and we didn't get intimate until 6 months later. How crazy is that! I always initiate and I continually get rejected. "I'm tired", "the kids", "my sinuses", etc.... seriously!!!! What man turns down sex??? I literally feel like I'm the man in this marriage. He's a stay at home step dad and takes care of my kids and our home. I'm the bread winner and the apparent man of the house. He is also a vet diagnosed with ptsd. I'm not sure how relevant this is but we also have that in common. Right now i feel like I'm just a convenience for him...I pay all the bills and I'm his companion. I'm not sure I can stay in this marriage without intimacy. I love him and I will make every effort in the world to make this work but I need the same effort from him. I'm not sure he is willing. I'm not sure that im am strong enough to pull us out of this and I'm not sure that I should put all this weight on my shoulders.

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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