Struggling With Fidelity

My partner has severe back pain and can barely stand to be hugged much less anything else. He gets depressed about it, and says that when he feels he has no quality of life left he plans to end his life. I do my best to keep him positive and hopeful, so having frank talks about our sex life is not something I would do. i would never leave the relationship because he truly is my soul mate.

I'm considerably younger and have quite a bit of libido left. I wish I could negotiate an open relationship, but it would devastate him which would devastate me. I fantasize about having an affair and try to rationalize it as a reasonable way to address my dilemma, trying to convince myself it wouldn't make me one of those selfish cheaters. Seeing all the sex on tv, in novels, in movies, makes me feel like I'm missing out on life. the frustration makes me cranky and irritable at times.

I have friends who say an affair wouldn't't be immoral under these circumstances. I might even give such advice if the shoe were on the other foot. But trust is so essential - how can violating it ever be okay?

I know others have been there. Nice to have you all to share this with.
outlier86 outlier86
46-50, M
5 Responses Apr 25, 2012

In the same boat. My wife isn't sick, or in pain or any of the above. She just has no sex drive, passion, needs or lust in that area. She has an emotional thermometer set at sub-zero with no warm up in sight. <br />
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Frankly, I don't know what to do. I have a healthy sex drive and crave sex but she is no where to be found in that area. She even told me recently that she will never initiate sex because it "isn't part of my personality." I almost asked her if it was alright that I date in that case, but I was too hurt and shocked to make light of it. <br />
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I really don't know what to do. I just crave a connection with someone that I can't achieve with my wife who also sees no need for a sexual connection at all. She is fine with everything the way it is. I'm not.

My partner has back pain, plus assorted other joint issues to boot.<br />
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And she just loves a root.<br />
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Different people, different attitudes.<br />
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If your missus WANTED to **** you, believe me, she would.<br />
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You have no hope of 'negotiating' an open marriage with this chick. You'll have to mandate it. If you are going to do that, get legal advice about how a divorce would shake out in your jurisdiction (in case she re-acts in less than understanding fashion to your plan).<br />
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Tread your own path.

If he is truly your soul mate, he should be able to put his own pain aside for the 5 minutes it takes you to lay your cards on the table. Can you not reassure him that you are his soul mate but need more at the moment?<br />
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Best of luck whatever you decide. I also live with a spouse with severe chronic illness.

Oops I now see your soul mate is a woman, please correct my comment to "she"!

I feel your pain, but if you truly are his soul mate and love him dearly, I doubt you'll be able to pull it (an affair) off, with out showing the guilt all over your face.

I hear you - I feel your pain - and frankly I also climb the walls. My "spouse" for lack of a better term is not my soulmate, nor is a sm my only issue. I choose not to have an affair because at the end of the day, I want my reasons for leaving to be clear to everyone involved. Period. An affair would complicate the hell out of that for me, and make the end potentially uglier then it has to be. Some people choose that and it's fine for them for many reasons - just like some people don't for the same number of varied reasons. Welcome!