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
82 Responses Apr 2, 2012

A spouse without the benefit of sex is just like living with a roommate. Nothing more. To avoid thinking about my own sexless situation when I was married, I put all of my focus into working on my jewelry designs and building a successful business. I eventually got resentful about my situation, and then angry. I finally filed for divorce after going 15 years without sexual intimacy. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. I am happy to say, I am no longer sexless, either. I wish you luck. It sounds like you have some serious soul searching to do.

Such an unconscious and selfish post, and replies. Hardly any compassion shown for the other person. You need to look inside yourself and find out what it is about you that is creating this pain. Reply after reply berate the "guilty" person. You and your spouse both bring unhealed wounds to the marriage. Don't fool yourself that none of this is because of you. Looking to someone else to fulfill your emotional needs is coming from your ego and not your soul. The only person that can love you wholly is you.

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It's a horrible thing to go on with lack of any intimacy and physical touch. My spouse has not kissed me opened mouth in years. He goes go sleep in a harder bed half the time. I'm staying for my child and l tend to use food as comfort. It's not good and when l want lose weight he sabotaged my diets always bringing home chocolates,candy and pastry. I'm at the endow my rope, l basically live on a peck every morning goodbye for the day. On his last two days off he ignored me with no intention of intimacy...nothing Its like living with a guy friend at the most.

Your life sounds like mine. Same scenario. I think they are afraid of being alone. When we show that we are bettering ourselves, that means, we could leave, and they would be alone. So he sabotages you by buying the sweets. I already told my husband, why don't you leave if you don't want to be married, he said something like, where would I go. So although they may not want us, they don't want anyone else to want us, just so they won't be alone. Try hard to stay focused and better yourself. You can always eat sweets (sensibly) once you lose the weight. Once you start feeling better about yourself, he will see that, respect it (even if he doesn't say it), and change to keep you. If he doesn't then he will lose you. Once you become more confident, it won't be hard to decide what to do next. You'll want to do what's best for you.

How are you now?

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I am 29 and have been in a 12 year relationship with my partner...until yesterday. We stopped having sex about 6 years ago. We still held hands and cuddled, but he pushed me away. I know he has anxiety problems but I felt so hurt by it all I ended up switching my needs off....that is until I met someone else about a year ago and had an affair. I never meant to, and to be honest I never thought I would ever be that type of person. The sex was really good and it made me remember what it was like to have someone really want me. I'm not proud of what I did but I guess i ended up searching for something that was missing for so long. Anyway, my partner found out and completely understood why it happened. He is a lovely guy and we get on great. The affair stopped and I did develop stronger feelings for this man so it was really hard to get over him. In the meantime me and my Bf have spoken I about our issues. He is afraid of being intimate with me because I have told him I am not sure if I just see him as a friend now as it's been so long. I can't be intimate with him anymore I don't feel but I do still love him. We broke up yesterday and he is still living with me, until he gets a new place....we cried a lot and talked loads. He is my best friend and I care about him. I really do want him to be happy. Am I making the right choice here?

Yes, you can never wait and go on living with someone that is not going to waste your life waiting for something that will never happen. It's your turn do what makes you happy.

I feel the same way. I'm 22, my husband is 29. Together, we have a 3 year old, beautiful, little girl. We have been married (almost) 5 years now. Before I got pregnant with our daughter, we had sex every day. It was amazing. But since we found out I was pregnant, our intimacy and physical interactions went on a downfall... fast. Not because of my choice either. Like tonight... my husband said we could have sex, yet when it was time to do it, he backed out... again. It's a never ending story with him. He will lead me on, teasing me, saying we will have sex that night, then back out with some excuse he can come up with the quickest... tonight was because it was too late.... it was only 1am. He will not hold me, always wants his neck, back, or legs rubbed... but when I ask, his hands hurt, or his arm.. once again, whatever excuse he can come up with the fastest. He has no sexual desire anymore, doesn't tell me I look beautiful, even when I get dressed up really nice for him.. it's always "yeah, you look fine." And I'm not meaning fine as in "dang girl!" Nope, it's just barely passing the okay mark. I'm left feeling unwanted, undesired, nasty, unattractive, and crying myself to sleep at night.. which he doesn't even ask what's wrong or why am I crying... just turns over and goes to sleep. I really don't know how much more I can take of this. He says "sex isn't important," "he doesn't like sex," "life isn't all about sex..." etc. I'm sorry, but the last time we had sex was 2 weeks ago, and even then, I had to guilt trip him into doing anything. He is definitely not a "giver." It's always about him, what benefits him, and ad long as he doesn't have to have sex, he's happy. What makes it worse, when we do get intimate, I'm always doing the work, on top.... he won't even touch me or hold me as I'm doing anything. Just lays there with his hands above his head. I mean, am I seriously that unattractive you're not going to even say "hey good job!" Or anything?? I just don't know what to do anymore. I really wish there was just a quick fix for this. There's a huge void and I just feel heartbroken. He's supposed to be my husband... not just a friend. There have been countless nights I've cried over this, feeling stupid to cry over such a thing.. but it's getting to where I cannot take it anymore... I just want my husband back..😢

Hi all i am only 23 and i am going through the same thing as you demisis. I know i might be young but i have been with my partner for 4yrs now and like most of you are trying to figure out what is the logical action to take when it comes to this topic and what i gather from most of the comments on here from males and females is:

-Your female companion wants to be chased/not chased and feel emotionally wanted but will make every excuse under the sun not put out for her partner. Resulting in her partner feeling emotionally disconnected and will try anything to get that spark back. And no matter how much you get rejected you dont want to give up on the person you have built that solid relationship with and spent years of your life with. And wants you finally get to a turning point where there is no point in trying you either get accused of cheating or its all your fault for the relationship going to crap because you always want sex and your never emotionally there for them.

-If you love your partner and you cant take it anymore but you dont want to throw it all away. You find other ways to keep you occupied eg. Work more, start a new hobbie, hang out with your mates more, start a project car or something of sort. You still get in trouble because your not spending enough time with them and then the arguement starts because you cant hold your tongue and so on and so forth.

- You find other ways to get sexual release like watching **** and you then get in trouble for wanting sexual fantasies and you then say its better than cheating isnt it? And then you get the arguement of you want to cheat on me? But that is not what you mean at all.

-You cheat because you feel that you are still emotionally there for your partner and dont want to leave her and then she finds out and your the jerk.

-You cheat and then find you have a emotional attachment to the person you are cheating on and then leave your partner only to find the person you have been seeing wont be able to trust you as you cheated on your prior partner and most likely leaves you. Or it works out well and you 2 stay together and you wonder how long it will be untill there is no sex again.

So i suppose the most logical thing to say is that you cant escape being the bad person am i right?.

This topic has been a massive eye opener for me. And the way i see it is its just a circle of life and we neither win nor lose. I will definitely be considering whether or not i should be getting married next year or not now cheers

Nailed it! No matter what you choose your loose. There is no "right" answer or way to be unless your a monk and can continue to play the game without expectation of any return on investment. My view point is admittedly jaded as I can only draw on my own experiences. I employees you that if you are not already married get out now! If she (or he for others who read this) isn't able to see the issues at hand and the destructive consequences of withdrawal or playing impossible to get then there really is little hope for your happiness assuming your concept of a full filling relationship includes a partner that actually cares whether they are full filling you at a fundemental level. The hardest part is that your in love with them! Love instinctively causes you to disregard your own pain and longings in the hopes that somehow, someway you can rescue them from this life. What I have learned is that rescue is an illusion. The only way it is possible is if the person in peril recognizes it and reaches out for help. in my case she relishes in being the perpetual victim and fights incredibly hard to retain the mindset of being so. It's too bad that I'm am just not worth the same measure of effort. It will hurt to leave but if you need physical intimacy to be happy in your relationship it is likely not possible within your current one. I've spent years trying to "rescue" and now all that remains is resentment and longing....the decision is yours but I sincerely pray you don't find yourself having an extended stay in this group.

I am 55 and married for 29 years. My wife told me 7 months ago that she won't have sex with me any more. The frequency was pretty low before, but now it is none. She says it is no big deal because it is such a small part of our relationship. To me it is a big deal!
The sex was never great as she has NEVER initiated it nor actively participated. She doesn't initiate non-sexual contact either. She has steadfastly refused to talk about sex the entire marriage.
She now shuts the door to get dressed or use the bathroom like I am a roommate or haven't seen her before.
I am angry and frustrated every day, but can't muster the courage to say anything as I have said it all before. I am ready to move to another, bedroom, but am afraid of what that means. Divorce feels like failure to me.
I have never been unfaithful and to my knowledge she hasn't either. I am torn between saying the **** with it and hanging on to a very unfulfilling relationship.
I am trapped laying next to a woman isn't going to touch me and doesn't want me to touch her.

I'm about to turn 50, married for 18 mos., 2nd for me, 1st for him. He's just turned 50 and has turned off. I am facing a low/no sex marriage at a time when I would gladly have it every night. I've begun praying for my sex drive to fade so I won't be so miserable and feel so ugly. I'm decent looking, recently dropped 20 lbs and two dress sizes. Smart, creative, thought I was finally going to have the great sex in a marriage I'd always hoped for. That's what I get for hoping. I just want to fade away.

Sorry to hear that. It is real heart breaking when this happened to me to. My spouse his life just kept moving up and he has done well with me. When l met him l made him sign a paper regarding intimacy so to avoid any issues later. He has broke his promise but l have completed and did everything . He says he loves me but I'm not feeling when we had sexual contact 3 times in one year, fed up!!!!!

Without getting into it too much, sounds pretty identical to my marriage but I just turned 47. For a momenI I too felt like i lost inteest in sex. I love my wife but , without sounding primal, I have needs. Financially divorce isnt an option so I've chosen to have sex outside of marriage. Mant may judge me and think ill of this but I have run,out of options.

I have been in a 6 year relationship with my boyfriend. 6 months into the relationship he slowly stopped being intimate with me. I thought it was me and he made excuses on why he couldn't fast forward years later still no sex. It's so confusing he'll hold my hand cuddle tell me he loves me but can't be intimate. We've gond to dr's and every dr. Claims he needs to relax and that he has anxiety! I came across this article about Elvis... And sure enough

The article explained that Elvis had the Madonna ***** syndrome.. I looked it up and began asking the same questions to look for when someone has this and he answered every question the same as the article. So basically it's a twisted reality in his head. He could have sex with someone else besides me because he doesn't put them on a pedestal he vies me like a mother or sister someone he would never hurt . So when he fell in love with me he put me in another category. This by far has distroyed me my confidence and everything I hoped for in a relationship. If I knew then what I know now I would have broken up with him. I've invested so much time and heartache into this and believe me I haven't come across one dr who can fix this situation. Very very sad!

Lonely 200 I hate to be the bearer of bad news but what I have learned from my own journey is that no one can fix another person. There is little hope in things changing until your refuser begins to understand the depths of pain they are causing and decides for themselves that they want to change. Each of us is broken in our own ways but to allow ones brokenness to be the cause of such pain and suffering in the ones we love defies me. As for my own situation my wife has actively chosen that being the perpetual victim is a far more comfortable environment to live in and is willing to put me through continued suffering to maintain it. I hold onto hope that enlightenment may come to her someday but If she really knew the pain she has inflicted and sabotage she has unleashed on our marriage I feel the guilt would be far too much for her to be able to accept. If you feel your husband understands your needs completely and yet chooses to do nothing I advise you to decide if this current lifestyle is something you can and will live with the rest of your life and either accept it and work on finding happiness internally or prepare to make the hard choice to change your life. Whatever you choose be strong and I wish you the best and happiness.

I'm a 60 year young wife, husband is 62. We haven't had sex in 5-6 years. He had 3 cialis pills, he tried one, it didn't work. The other 2 expired. The only intimacy is he gives me a kiss goodnight. I really think he thinks we have this great marriage. I'm feeling lost and very unloved. But of course I can't divorce him because of the grown kids, I will be the total ***. I had an affair about 10 years ago. Husband decided to confide in our daughter so to this day I'm the problem and she hates me for it.
????? What do I do?? Don't tell me to give him affection, I have tried everything.

Dear wiffeunfultilled, I think it boils down to what you want to do.
It sound like you feel somewhat hopeless.
Remember this is never the case, you have to sit down and weigh options.
You can either leave or stay.
Make a list with two columns of the things you like about your relationship and things you don't, also consider the outcome of the options. So for example if you leave, what about financial security etc.
Once you have that list review it over a period and hopefully it will help to form your decision.
If you decide to stay, you have to realize that you are most likely not going to be able to change your husband and by so doing improve your marriage.
You have to make those changes yourself in order to endure and improve your life.
You mention your children which is important but you can't live your life to please your children, the best you can do once you make a decision is to have a frank talk with them and leave it to them to make the decision. Chances are they will not judge you and will accept the decision.
I am living a similar experience, i made my list and decided to stay because despite everything we are good friends and together we are also financially independent. I discussed this whole decision process with my wife. We both now live in separate rooms and although spend a lot of time together we also spend some of it apart. This works for us. My wife had some problems with it at first, mostly because she feels the social pressures to conform but my view is whatever works for you works, to hell with the social norm!
Hope this helps.

It's usually the woman who hates sex but in my marriage it's my husband. I love sex. What should i ro?

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Married 38 years no sex ,always rejected I am the wife.So I have decided to find sexual healing elsewhere and I am considering divorce. There is no connection and for me I am beginning to despise him, getting close to hating him. Being a good provider is not enough, I am a provider too.
Very tired just want out.

I feel the same way. Ive been with my husband for 10 years we have two young children. We are both 29 years old. The more and more time that passes that we dont have sex, I feel the need to distance myself from him. He has rejected my attempts too many kind of done.

I as I read your story, I could not help but empathize with you. I have been married for 25 years to mine and I am going through the exact same thing as you are. The only difference is that my wife says that she was NOT sexually abused by anyone.

I'm not going to pontificate to you on what you or she should do. I believe in open and honest communication. After so many years together you should at least be able to do that. I don't agree with most of the responses on here that are encouraging you to re invent yourself or figuring out what she wants.

I say if she just can't be blunt and say what she want then why should you be playing blues clues to guess what she want. And that SUCKS!

I will chalk my experience up to saying that I do enjoy my status in life in conjunction with her. I am not ready to throw all of this away now because I will be broke in the end or almost broke. I have heard 1 mil and 1 reasons of why she won't have sex but not 1 reason or attempt that she should. I have resorted to budgeting my money to go on escort dates the same way that she budgets money to get her hair styled every 2 weeks. Who are you getting pretty for if you are not that in to me?

Demisis, thanx for replying to me. Funny, you sound exactly like my husband - he is a great provider, great dad, respected person.... that is why I chose to marry him and have kids with. You see, those are not characteristics that turn me on for sex, though. I am also a good provider, great mom, respectful wife and hard working. Sex is not and should not be how a wife 'rewards' her husband for good paycheck - that just would make her feel like a *****... excuse me .... Exchanging sexual favors for material things... Albeit within marriage. You should think about what characteristics turn a person on to sex - a woman feeling chased, wowed, led by her man is a bit silly, even unfair in a way for the man to put more of that effort ... But that is how it is in nature - the female gets conquered... animalistic, but so is sex itself. :). Bring the right things to the table ... Create chemistry ... Be sexy, playful, unavailable ... Lie if you have to ... it is a game and learning to play this game is an amazing skill. There are many books on how to increase passion ... women are fickle and playful, constantly changing creatures ... A man who learns that game shows me that he really understands me. You have nothing to lose. Passionate marriage is the only kind of marriage that can last ... The sooner both people realize it, the better their chances. Just my humble opinion.

I saw some videos of this pastor on the topic - thought might enjoy them - Mark Gungor - the one about 'got to climb the palm tree' -
Check out more of his videos - as a woman I can say he is spot on ... No I am not associated in any way with his deal ... I study anything and everything on the topic these days - hopefully they hold some insights

I wish I could try this and have hope that it would work. I played this game the first 5 years of our marriage and it never made much of difference. The amount of energy it takes to play the game just isn't worth it. The benefits don't outweigh the sacrifice in my situation. I used to be a passionate person. It saddens me to admit this but it is true. She just isn't worth the effort anymore. I believe that intimacy should be about the other person. For a good relationship it takes 2 people that each commit themselves to what's the other needs. what you describe is almost completely one sided. I haven't changed IMO in what I bring to the marriage. I am today the same man I was complete with faults that I was when we met. I get your points, they just paint a picture for me of an all about me and my needs perspective which I believe serves to only establish a relationship that is lopsid ed. I don't want sex as payment...I need intimacy and affection because she loves me, not because she owes it to me. Based on how you describe what women need I am basically unlovable. If I love someone I'm not capable of not letting them know and feel it all the time. I can't treat them like they don't matter. Perhaps it is animalistic and we just haven't evolved sufficiently. Why marry the good guy if you know you wouldn't be happy with them and love them? Isn't this using them to get what you want with no carrying for them? I do appreciate and see your view point. If my wife had explained this to me before we got married I assure you ai would have told her to find someone else. I wonder how many women on this group list share the same perspective. If you were in my position and your husband who you are completely in love with stopped wanting to make love to you would your perspective change? would you begin to realize you also need to try to keep his interest?

I see your point and you certainly are an awesome guy - loyal and respectable and deeply loving - it sounds like you feel entitled to be rewarded for these awesome characteristics, and you should be. My husband is the same way - that is why I am still with him and believe I would never find a better man to love and treat me so well... but what about chemistry? We feel what we feel and I cannot manufacture feelings of attraction if I don't genuinely feel them... is it selfish of me to want to be attracted to the man I make love with?. And if I don't, then whose fault is it ? ... Mine? His? I read a study that women naturally lose attraction within 3-5 years - nothing they can do about it - perhaps only a new mate can stir new feelings... I am so sorry to say this, but it is quite possible our biology has doomed us in this way .... One way to re establish attraction is to find way to look at each other in new ways. Esther Perel has a talk about that - very insightful - easier said than done.

thanks for sharing the video. I watched it and totally agree. I think fundementally the difference with my situation is that my wife wouldn't respond to any flirting or such advances. I am not 100% convinced her aversion to sex is based on her childhood abuse as she claims anymore though. I do have to share some thing with you though. if you have no actraction for your husband leave him. Staying with him because of what he is providing to you is basically torturing him so that you can live comfortably. As someone that appears to be living the flip side of this coin I beg you to leave him or work harder to learn about your own self and learn how to help him learn to love you so you do find a way to want him again. I. ant even begin to explain to you the gut wrenching mental anguish you are likely putting him through. To be with the object of every desire in your soal each and everyday and yet have that person want nothing to do with you on an intimate level is absolute misery. I personally plan to see a lawyer this week to learn what options I have. After realizing that the likely truth of it all is that my wife married me simply because I was a provider but has no desire for me anymore angers me. She should have been honest with herself and me before we got married and provided me the opportunity to make an educated choice. Instead she hid it from me. In hindsight I should have seen it. She had a history of failed relationships before me. I'm just the idiot who stuck around like the beaten dog hoping someday to earn the love I so desperately needed from her. Lucky for me I think my heart has broken enough at this point that I don't think I love her anymore. Now I just want to find a way to keep the family I love and get her to leave. Problem is there is no chance of that. I provide way to much comfort for her. she will never leave out of her own choice. This is why I implore you to consider the damage you are inflicting on your husband and choose to leave if you have no desire for him.

I am certain that she loved you and meant to have great family with you... Nobody enters a marriage thinking ... Here is a fool I can dupe into giving me comfort and children ... men and women both have high hopes and expectations and want the best at the start. Women are more motivated at the start due to wanting family and kids and knowing there time is limited to find good mate ... Don't blame her for that ... She chose very well. As we grow and change, priorities change as well ... nothing wrong with that ... The only constant in life is change ... my husband and I are working on separation in the following months.

Demisis, no you are not unlovable ... absolutely not. Guys rarely change and she needs to understand that ... Women change constantly and men need to understand that too.

Absolute nonsense! A good relationship that includes good sex is about honesty and not the bullshit mind games you read about in your novellas. Guys hate that crap. You want to get laid more often tell the truth about why you're not horny. For example, really tired, I feel like you're not doing your part in ...., you let yourself go, my pee don't work like it use to and I am afraid of rejection, I gained weight and feel that you don't see me as a sex object anymore, etc. Truthful and honest discourse may get you the *** you need; not the garbage that has been proposed by people like this individual.

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Hi, I am so sorry to hear of your issues. I actually on the other side of the situation - I am the wife who rejects her husband. I want to give you perspective on this matter, perhaps it could be helpful. The issue, for me, is lack of attraction. It was there for me in the beginning but after 13 years and 2 kids, it got to the point where I became depressed due to feeling sex as a chore and lack of turn on for me. It can feel like being a piece of meat when you feel obligation to have sex without turn on. Marriage, alas, can take away the mystery, the space you both need to miss each other, the ability to see the other person as interesting/attractive. There is no formula, but back when we were single we knew how to make the other interesting/attracted. First, we did not EXPECT sex - we were just happy if we got it and it blew our socks off. Second, we had other options - yes, flirting with others increases our partners interest level. It is all about interest in a woman, knowing that her spouse is not for granted and can happily find other options. For me, I felt suffocated by my husband - I need to miss him in order to want him, a little game, hot and cold, if you wish. I told him that, encouraged him to travel, take work opportunities, instead he preferred to stay home and play video games, saying he wanted to be around the kids. Bottom line is, most women can be sexual, you have to find out how to turn her on - begging or asking for sex is a big turn-off for a woman - chasing her, being aloof, holding back, being cool/ taking care of your appearance, finding happiness in your own way (like when you were single) are turn ons. Marriage seals the deal, makes us secure and kills the passion - most women want passion and adventure and to see their man as hero on some level. Passion is bred in uncertainty about the relationship. any certainty, including taking each other fully available will kill it. Make yourself unavailable and mean it, be ready to walk out and mean it, that will not only get her attention of what she could lose, but will increase her interest level in you - it would for me anyways. Sorry, there is no clear formula, but keep in mind this state is bad for both of you, not just the rejected spouse.

Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I trust the members of this group will also admire and appreciate your sharing and not flame your response. I believe there may be some truth in your perspective in my situation. The issue for me however is that the lack of affection started almost immediately after we were married. I had a revaluation last night which was really well timed with your thoughts. My wife simply isn't attracted to me anymore...or perhaps never really was to begin with. It's a hard pill to swallow but it seems to be the only hypothesis that fits what I am observing. I believe I understand your points and need to play the game to feel sexy. For me however I'm not willing to. You're response seems to be completely one sided in that it seems like it is all on the husband to "earn" affection. All my life the game has been exhausting. It just doesn't make sense that to get a woman to love you, you have to convince her you dont? This defies logic IMO. I believe what you shared to be the truth but it just makes little sense to me. I make a great salary and provide everything my family could want for. I have the American rural dream complete with the dog and swimming pool. I am the very definition of a loyal husband and I believe a dedicated father. Too bad it's just not enough to be devoted to someone. I really appreciate your perspective and thank you for sharing it. I had hoped when I was younger that girls would grow out of needing to be treated like that and would somehow magically see that really nice guys are the ones to want to be with....

I wish I could be more positive but as a woman in the same place as your wife, for different reasons it is not going to change. You need to move on, I'm not kidding. I love my husband of 26 years deeply, beyond measure as a friend not as a lover any longer and once it is gone it is gone. I have read books, articles, gone to therapy for answers. Bottom line it's gone and sometimes it is no ones fault, it just happens. For me it was my husbands years of cheating on the internet. You need to demand that your wife go to concealing what she is doing in not fair to you. Talking separation was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I can't believe how much better I feel. My husband is begging me to stay because it is comfortable. You and my husband deserve a woman in your life that loves you and wants sex with you often PERIOD. Your wife is ******* you around you must make her stop, it is an awful way to live for both of you. This will not improve without outside help. I know what I'm talking about as I am living it.

And one other thing not to hurt your feelings..She's faking.

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.

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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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

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

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".

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 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?

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:<br />
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You ask if a marriage without intimacy is a marriage or a friendship. <br />
<br />
It is neither. <br />
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It is a master/slave relationship. They are the master, and you are the slave. It is that simple. <br />
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Some slave may love their master<br />
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Some masters may love their slave. <br />
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But the relationship is not changed for it. <br />
<br />
It is not a friendship, it is not a marriage. <br />
<br />
It's enslavement.

Well said Filter!!!!

wow now I see why she wants to go for vacation without you. she is not into you any more.I am sorry but I stop having sex with my husband too since I am bored of his sex. but as less as sex you do, you get more distance emotionally . I am a video game lover too, so I suggested play station for xmas present that we get play with it and we enjoy playing it, which it makes us more as a friend rather than spouses. but come on, do some thing, if she doesn´t want sex, then search for it out of the cycle that you are in; this is what I always say to my husband "If I stop having sex, then you should not be punish because of me". you are young, go and have fun. maybe I'm the odd person out here...but I still see hope in your marriage. It seems like both you and your wife try to make it work (at least in spurts), but can't seem to get out of that cycle that you're in. Obviously something's got to change in your doubt about it. Maybe seeing a counselor together would help? Or...have you heard of the book/workbook "His Needs, Her Needs"? The author is Willard Harley...and a companion workbook is called 5 Steps to Romantic Love. I know it may seem academic...but if there's just a smidgen of desire on your parts to rekindle the flame and stay together...seems like it's worth a shot. Just my 2 the minority vote here :-) Keep us posted.

i read some interesting info on 'married mans sex life'...might want to rtry to check that out also. <br />
Fix it, or move on are your choices...and it is generally impossible to make someone do something they dont feel like doing. You can only change your behavior...if it does not work them consider moving on.

I have been where you are now. Your desire will come and go, she has bent you to here will. You may exist years in this state for years but you cannot bury the fact that you’re a sexual human. Eventually you will have to deal with this.<br />
<br />
Your sex drive may manifest in the form of an affair. After years of what I call “comfortably numb” marriage you may find your previous aversions to affairs have past or you just decide you’re done and are ready to end the marriage. <br />
<br />
By the time you have reached the ‘comfortably numb” stage your marriage is over. You may not know it at that moment but it will come to you. That lack of desire you feel now is you disconnecting from her. The feelings you once had for her are gone forever. No matter what kind of sexual show she puts on for you in the future it just will not feel the same. Your love for her has fundamentally changed for ever. <br />
<br />
Kids will grow, mature and become more independent. Your thoughts will begin to drift towards your own need and desires. This is when you discover that your marriage is over. You begin to imagine a new life for yourself. <br />
<br />
I hope that you find this out sooner than I did and act on it. <br />
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Good Luck!

Would it be better to endure the marriage for my kids? Our relationship is outwardly healthy in that we dont argue or act out on each other. My kids are all the sacrifice better for them?

I chose to stay and have been in a sexless marriage for 21 years now. I also began having an affair 2 years ago. To stay or go is a decision only you can make. I think it will be harder for you as you have found this ILIASM much younger age than I did. it would be harder to stay armed with knowledge you are gaining now.

I know what you mean football. I got to the point where even if she wanted have a sex life again I just wasn't interested anymore in someone who ignored my need for intimacy for so long.

some marriages evolve to intimate friendship and companionship with no sexual content. Some partners in marriage arrive there on their own. I think a marriage can continue without sex but it must be mutually arrived at. She should not want to continue depriving you any more than you want to continue being rejected. See a counselor or simply arrange to be divorced. It doesn't have to be acrimonious, you both simply have different needs and expectations, and neither is getting what they want/desire.

To answer the question in your title: <br />
No, it is not a friendship. <br />
A marriage without sex is a host-parasite relationship. That does not preclude friendship, mind you. However, as long as she is refusing sex or being a cruel evil dishonest ***** towards your normal loving desire, then she is a parasite and she is categorically NOT your friend. At best, she is the worst friend in the world you could ever have. <br />
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After we decided to split, my wife admitted that she was refusing because she wanted me to lose interest in her. Before we decided to split, she was giving me the same bullshit excuses. She even went so far as to say that she lost interest in sex entirely. <br />
Now she is ******* some other guy. <br />
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Choose your own adventure! I recommend that you get a divorce.

My advise: <br />
-Read the stories here<br />
-Stop playing video games or any of those other things.This is serious. Don't play video games. Don't. Play. Video. Games. <br />
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From there, you have two choices<br />
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A) Getting out of your marriage as fast as possible<br />
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B) Do everything you can to try to fix your marriage that cannot be repaired, and then leave. <br />
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I chose route B. I recommend route A. She does not desire you. She does not want you. Most importantly, she does not respect you. Don't waste your efforts on trying to make that happen. When I left, my wife finally spilled the beans that she did not respect me, for minor things that happened EIGHT YEARS AGO. <br />
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For me, even an enemy deserves better than that. <br />
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Her reasons do not matter, you cannot undo her opinion of you. <br />
Get a lawyer.

A couple of points, firstly when you say you think she always "finishes", there is one certain way to tell a genuine "finish" with her or any other woman you may end up with in the future - press your finger on her arse hole when she is "finishing" - a voice can lie but her arse hole cant. If it's spasming, she's "finishing", if it isn't, she isn't.<br />
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Secondly, praying for a reduction in sex drive is utterly pointless. Prayer has not been scientifically shown to work for anyone, ever. Draw your own conclusions on why that might be.<br />
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Lastly you ask if it is a marriage or friendship? I'd say it can't even be a friendship if you need a certain amount of sex and she refuses, because you'll end up resenting her - you can't be friends with a person you resent. And it's certainly not a marriage, because what separates marriage to someone from being a room mate is intimacy and sex. We couple up mainly for intimacy and sex because it is a biolgical urge.<br />
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It could be that your marriage is over and as others will advise, you need an exit strategy.

it is natural to NOT desire someone who rejects you. over and over and over again. But its funny, the men I find myself more and more attracted too, seems to be the ones that my husband makes fun of the most. go figure.

It's neither a marriage or a friendship.<br />
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She's told you quite clearly she's not interested, and is not doing anything about it. Clear? She's boiled you thoroughly.<br />
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The good news is that you are now getting emotions and messages - if you will only attend to them - which are telling you this is enough. Not desiring her is an example. Listen to those emotions, then act when you are ready.

Once upon a time, a fish applies for a job as a cycle courier. The bloke running the operation had serious doubts but being a compassionate, equal opportunities sort he decided to let the fish have a go at the job. However, sure as night follows day, it quickly becomes clear that the fish can't ride the bicycle, so he decides he is going to have to let it go. He calls the fish into the office and explains things. The fish says "But you knew I couldn't ride a bike!" He replies, "Yes, but you can't do the job". "I can't possibly learn to ride a bicycle now!" cries the fish. "Yes, I know" says the bloke, "But you <i>still</i> can't do the job".<br />
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If the analogy doesn't work for you, sorry!

lol!! FOIA, from now on I will get a mental picture of that fish whenever I read about a Refuser!! ROFL

Your wife has effectively "taught" you not to desire her. Because your overtures are met with resistance or with distinct apathy, your mind has started to tell you that it is wiser NOT to desire her.<br />
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Can you live with this? Probably not. You are a "sex person" - which is both god and normal. Whilst you may suppress or divert your sexuality for a time, it WILL come back at times and insist on being recognised!<br />
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Her dislike of sex is sad for her, but it does not give her the right to inflict the result of this on her husband - you. Her half-hearted participation smacks of passive aggressive behaviour - she takes part, therefore believing she can say "But I am having sex with you". But she obviously pays no attention to YOUR enjoyment - as if to say: "It should be enough for you that I'm taking part."<br />
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That attitude is not that of a loving, affectionate and intimate spouse.

Being in a dysfunctional marriage ***** with your head.<br />
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That is an inarguable fact.<br />
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You actually wrote this - "I have prayed constantly for a reduction/complete loss of sexual desire to help save my marriage..."<br />
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THAT, is how nuts you have gone. You have somehow rationalised that it is more important for "the marriage" to survive than it is for you to evolve as a person. For you to take the reins of your life, to take responsibility for your own happiness, to make your own choices.<br />
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I'd urge you to re-think the whole thing, from the ground up. Your present thinking is decidedly skewed.<br />
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Tread your own path.

I have prayed for reduction in libido without regard to the marriage. A perfectly understandable desire, especially in men.

I did it for many years while in a SM. Hoped it would go away, looked for ways to diminish it - from the mystics of various religions to using medications to damage it or destroy it. I was, after all, truly depressed. I did it using SSRI antidepressants - until their side effects almost literally cost me my life.

So what do you do.... I have been in a sexless marriage for 21 of the 25 years we have been married,,, It is very hard he is a nice man but please... I think of him like a brother He is my 3rd husband and I have tried very hard.... I will soon be 56 and I dont like this but dont know what to do......

You've got the same choices that any of the rest of us have (or had):

1) Stay in the situation as it is, and remain miserable, say "goodbye" to sex forever.
2) Outsource your needs. Cheat, or agree to an "open marriage".
3) Get divorced. Either find someone else, or remain single.

Sex is the thread that sews a marriage. No intimacy, it falls apart.<br />
I hear you, I am also losing interest in H. Weird feeling. without the bonding, the chemistry, and the pheremones, we are left numb, shut off from our passionate natures. I think it's a survival skill. Burn up (anger, resentment) or fade away ( numb, passionless) <br />
Childhood abuse is serious. Not doing all one can to heal from it is a tragedy, and using this as an excuse to deny someone we make vows with a full and satisfying life is purely heartless. The cycle of abuse continues.

Q: Is a marriage without physical intimacy actually a marriage at all? <br />
A: No, you are just roommates<br />
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Q: Is it possible for me to feel emotionally connected to my wife without a healthy sex life? <br />
A: No, you will start to disengage<br />
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Q: Is it my duty as a husband to continue to ride it out?<br />
A: No, why should you? W/o sex you are not a hisband any more and your W is in breach of contract.<br />
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From what you wrote your W only puts out when faced with fear of divorce. This is not a good foundation.

He is SUPPOSED to have sex with you if he loves you. Nobody wants pity sex, that's demeaning. I am sorry you find yourself in a SM, it's a painful place to be.

No sex, no intimacy, I wouldnt call it a marriage. In the absence of other obstacles to being intimate and physically close, if two partners cannot be intimate, then it is far worse than a marriage or being house mates. I agree with Frustrated1978.

If there is no physical intamacy in a marriage what you have left is a room mate. Let me ask you this. If you had a roomate, (not your wife) would you support them regarding payment of bills etc?<br />
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The answer is clear, no physical stuff, no closeness. Roomates