My wife stopped loving me.
She stopped desiring me.
She did this for reasons outside of my control.
but also cited some reasons inside my control.
I did all I knew to do for her.
I stood by her through incredibly tough times.
I accepted her body even after a masectomy and the changes that chemotherapy do to a body
I went along with her very strange radical political ideas, hoping it would bring us closer.
I took up her hobbies, hoping it would bring us closer.
I gave up teaching marching band and a youth symphony so that we could spend more time together.
I allowed her the leisure of not working for the entire duration of our marriage.
I postponed having children
I remained loyal always.
I traveled far and wide with her at her request
I left my very good job to move west with her
I lived out of a car for four months for her (yes, it is what she wanted), even though I really, really did not like it.
I cooked every day for her
I made sure she knew how I loved her not just through the things I did, but the way I would talk and listen to her
I did not hold back expressions of affection.
and I always, when we did have sex, make sure that her needs came first.

Despite that, over time, I did more and more and more for her, she was less and less interested in me. I don't know if it was because I started to look like a thirty year old instead of a twenty year old. She only wanted me once I told her I wanted a divorce.

I think the big realization I'm having is this: a spouse who does not desire you is simply attempting to become your master. You do more and more, they give less and less, until the relationship is not husband and wife, but master and slave. They say, well, I would feel like having sex if you did x, y, z. You do both x and y, and maybe z. Yet they still don't want you. If someone does not desire you, nothing you can do will fix it. At the root of the issue is lack of respect for you. They do not desire you, do not respect you. A spouse that refuses you over and over is, in truth, worthless as a lover. Yet somehow, it is we, the refused that feel worthless. I feel it is simply classic abuse. The fact that I am still thinking about this everyday, despite being 2000 miles away and legally separated shows me the true power that such a person has once they have ingrained the habit of servitude into you.

Yesterday we spoke on the phone, and I AGAIN catch myself wanting her, wanting to do things for her, etc...

It's just too classic. It is a pattern of abuse. The abused returns again and again for more beatings.

Those of you still in your abusive sexless marriages - I say - GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT!

Only then can you begin to heal.
FilteringMachine FilteringMachine
31-35, M
26 Responses Apr 26, 2012

Although I am still not here, THANK YOU for this! I guess it will be of great help in the future for me.

so here is how i see it,

the one party that is NOW TAKING CONTROL,

is the party that lost respect for you,

and treats you like shitttt,

it is a simple calculation of energies,

a battle of the strongest energy prevailing.........

she is funnnking with your head?

why is she doing this?

what did you do to her?

yes remember that saying of it takes two to tango?

the fault does not only sit with her....

somewhere you did something that made her resent you so much that she simply cannot see you as a "man" in her eyes anymore....

it can be that you failed to be there for her emotionally the way she needed it,

and you disappointed her,

and she feels ashamed of even marrying you from the start,

and being hard on herself as she is, she takes it out on you,

because you made her believe that you will be the man she WANTED when you married her.......

but you proved her wrong....

so now she is taking back control,

that control she gave away when marrying you.....................

now she wants to make you feel what it feels like to be really rejected....

you can do all those things for her and be a good slave,

but that is still not what she wants..............................

she wants a man that understands her deepest needs and desires,

a man that can take control,

that can show her what she is afraid to see............

taking her places................what she dreamed of marrying you.

oh well,

it takes two to make a thing fail and/or succeed.

" If someone does not desire you, nothing you can do will fix it. At the root of the issue is lack of respect for you."
There was a profound lack of respect towards me...and because of my past, I'm uniquely vulnerable to having that warp my thinking.


our circumstances are very different, but I find myself relating to many of your thoughts and words. There is a very subtle and gradual shift of balance and power in these kinds of relationships....a shift that is imperceptible to the person affected most. :) Thank you for writing...I know it's not a happy story, but I appreciated reading it.

I haven't read all your stories, so I don't know your whole situation. But let me clue you in on what I once felt...<br />
<br />
It's not that we don't love you. We probably love you a LOT, but it is not the kind of love you want in a life partner. We appreciate, cherish, and would fight tooth and nail against any enemy for you. If we could conjure up desire on our own, believe us, we would!!! <br />
<br />
I'm sorry. From you're perspective, we're broken. You need more than we have. It hurts us to know that too. We'd much prefer to sweep it under the rug until you become impotent and we can have the comfy, companionship-ba<x>sed relationship that works best for us. <br />
<br />
I know, you're thinking that is crazy. But we're thinking you are oversexed and we're hopeful that you will eventually settle into the life that makes us happy. Sex isn't a big part of it. <br />
<br />
If this is outrageous to you, let her go. It will probably not get any better for any significant length of time. You're simply mismatched sexually, but very much emotionally attached. She's not bad; you're not bad. May you both find understanding and compassion for each other whether together or apart.

I would encourage you to read my stories. I stand by my stance in this post: someone who is not naturally interested in meeting the most basic need of their spouse is simply not a good spouse. That would be like a man who does not do anything to support his family. Being desired by the one you love and are committed to is the greatest feeling I know, and it is important enough that I would rather be alone the rest of my days than endure that level of rejection, dis-love and disrespect for my needs as a human being. I have already let her go. At this point I would not take her back no matter what.

You are 2000 miles away but still connected by paper? You have only one more step to take, file the papers and get it over with. Since you do not have children and you already have miles between you, it should not be that difficult. File and in 90 days its done here where I live. On that note.....<br />
<br />
Let me say I know how difficult it is to take that final step. I did not want to let go of my first marriage - for the kids. 4 years later I could not take anymore. I was the bread winner, housekeeper, going to college, bill payer. When I left he had never even bathed the kids for me they were ages 2 & 4. I managed to finish college courses (started because my job was taken to another state and was paid for in severance package). Because I had struggled so hard to hold it together (2 1/2 years) do homework, be a wife and a mother etc work part-time plus all the household duties. I decided if I were going to do it all, I might as well be by myself. I was already proving I could do it. Two months after graduation I left and never looked back. It took 2 years for my divorce. He fought me tooth and nail as they say. Wouldn't show up in court, wouldn't call his lawyer back and drug it out way longer than necessary. Tried to prove me an unfit mother and take the kids. Called every person in my personal phone book and told them I was doing drugs and cheating on him before I left. THANK GOD I got out, and my friends knew better. Not many turned away. That helped get me back on my feet and have the support I needed. I hope that you have friends or family to rely on. If not you have plenty of support here...... JUMP and don't look back. Count it up as a lesson well learned. You now know what kinds of traits you want to watch for. If the red flags pop, you'll know to run not walk the next time. GOD BLESS

Filter... I congratulate you for what you are doing. I do have a comment:<br />
<br />
You said:" I think the big realization I'm having is this: a spouse who does not desire you is simply attempting to become your master."<br />
<br />
To me, there is a bigger realization: when you change yourself (even for your woman), you stop being yourself, you become a shadow version of yourself. No woman will remain in love with a man who stop beeing himself.<br />
<br />
Have you considered where your relationship would be if you hadn't try so hard to be what she wanted you to be?

Only every night and waking moment.

At some point I had to stop jabbing out my eyeballs.

I understand. I suggest you read an article by Nathaniel Branden called "an urgent need for self esteem". It is amazing how a person's self esteem can sabotage the bet of the relationships.
It goes to your point of the spouse who does not desire his/her partner

wow i will check that out thx :)

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'YOU AND ME AGAINST THE WORLD' ... this is only applicable for couples loving one another, because you are riding in the same boat,but if not,no matter how or what you do for her will be useless,because she doesn't love you.If she loves you,even the most simple way you do for her will be appreciated.Sometimes we let go of somebody we love not because we want to,but because we had to so that we can move on. Let her go,MOVE ON.

if someone doesn't desire you any longer then it is already over <br />
sorry to say this but run

Already did, I'm 2000 miles away!

that's great it took me years to figure out that nothing was ever going to change for me and my husband it was the same like he had no time for any kind of closeness it was like i was alone wanted to make it work but found leaving the situation was the only solution

They begin to desire the control they have over you, more than having sex with you...<br />
<br />
...and, I think when you work so hard for them, they lose respect for you too... <br />
<br />
I think, sometimes, they can't respect someone who loves them so much, because they don't see themselves as worthy of love... so therefore, there must be something wrong with a person that would love them like that.<br />
<br />
It's painful as hell... coming to those realizations... <br />
<br />
You'll get there... keep hanging in...

To BlusSpruce and CHange, when I wrote that comment, I was PM with Filter, and for some reason I thought he said he left 7 years ago, so thats why I wrote tha, I had no idea this was 2 months ago. <br />
Sorry FM for mixing up, you are doing great actually, stay strong.

That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

Oh sweets..find someone that dotes needs to go both ways.

Forrest, keep running!<br />
<br />
If it helps at all, it's taken me several years to regain a measure of sanity and forgiveness - for myself most of all - after changing from the SM.<br />
<br />
Give yourself time & be kind to yourself. You've done the biz.

I know two people who have the exact relationship you have described here, and my heart goes out to you. When we see this couple, we cringe and no one knows how to react or what to do. It is just as you said, she is the master, he is the slave... trying to win her love and thaw out her heart, but she has admitted to someone close to her before that she does not love him any longer. It is so heartbreaking but also very twisted and makes you just feel nauseated watching it. It is obvious they don't love each other anymore, or really he is emotionally suppressing himself and it is just so sad. Almost like he wants to hide his bitterness away so he can still convince himself they have a future together... I just don't even want to see what happens years from now when he can't keep up the facade, I have no idea how he handles her abusive attitudes and deals with kids they have too. It is horrible. God bless you for sticking by your former wife and trying so hard, it is so tough but what can you do but move on?

A spouse that refuses you over and over is, in truth, SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE YOU.

You are healing mate and starting to clear the emotional backlog. There will be anger and tears and regret. Empty the cup of its bitter brew so that it may be filled again, this time with a better brew, tempered with the lessons you have learned. Take care, this too shall pass.

Thanks Lao.

I feel like I keep coming back to this same thing: I have no idea who I am...being a providing husband was such a big part of my identity I feel like I am just floating through space.

Like 23's suggestion.

"I postponed having children" It seems the best you could do to her.... You are adorable guy, if you don't mind me saying- why the hell you keep talking to her? I noticed(from my own sad experience as well)- the more you devote yourself to the other person the less he/she is interested in you.... But if you love and respect yourself, lead interesting own life and carrier, develop and grow as a person, he/she is more and more interested in you.... It is good for you in two ways: you are interesting to others, and if you are not very lucky in your personal life you have a lot of good things in your life to move on and still be interesting for others probably better suitors ext time.... Very good luck!

You know, all my friends said the same thing when I said I talked to here. "Why did you do that?" they said. "I don't know" is the answer.

The refuser is insecure, they want you constantly proving the depths you will go to be with them. They become addicted to the rush from being pursued, and the power they feel watching you jumping through hoops in spite of their rejection. As soon as the refuser gets their "high" youve served your purpose; their self esteem is reaffirmed, you want them still though youve been given nothing in return. At first it feels like neglect, but over time in the SM it eventually becomes abuse. Once you have told your partner how you feel and they still willingly inflict the pain, that is DEFINITELY abuse.

I'm pretty much feeling this same way. I've given & given & given to my husband & I've never received anything in return. We started dating nearly 5 years while fresh out of prison. i've carried him (in every way) since. He finally got a good paying job but child supports eats 60% so bring home pay is like $100 a week. I in turn make $50K a year. Ok no biggie $ doesn't matter cause I want true love. This year I find out from him that our relationship has been fake this entire time, he said he wasn't happy (never has been) and that I'm controlling. I'm pretty wowed by all of this because of everything I've sacraficed and all but I'm trying to hold on. Now I find myself being totally unhappy!

Exactly - she has all the control and you are her puppet. Your secret to victory is this - the person who cares LEAST about the relationship has ALL the power. Just stop, remove yourself emotionally. Remind yourself daily that you are in fact AWESOME just the way you are. Once you become indifferent, it just no longer works.

"the person who cares LEAST about the relationship has ALL the power." Yes, with one caveat. The person who cares least about the relationship has all the power unless the person who loves more decides to love THEMSELVES more than the relationship.

The person who holds the initiative in a relationship is the one with the do-able exit strategy.

Shrink4Men, amigo. It's another lifeline, to help you understand her behavior.<br />
<br />
Also consider the books "Walking on Eggshells" and "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me". Both will probably resonate with you.

Walking on Eggshells: Excellent. Haven't read I Hate You, Don't Leave Me but I will now. Thanks Spruce.

Filtermachine, if you're not already in therapy, think about starting. Oceansun has a point - you are still suffering from the abuse and control and you are still feeling like a doormat even though you had the courage to leave. You need to build something to fill the hole in your psyche that was left when you ripped out the succubus you married. Your healing will begin when you allow yourself to start existing as your own person instead of as Her husband. You might need some help to kickstart that process - don't keep hurting needlessly. There are some things we can't do well by ourselves, and wearing the tough persona gets really old fast. Find a CSW or a psychologist to help you with this journey.

It is only recently that I've heard SM's described as a form of abuse... and that has had me thinking. There are a lot of personal things going on in my dynamic that lead me to accept the premise that I might be in an abusive marriage. My wife has some serious control issues that stem from her mother (not mother-in-law bashing...but come to think of it...wait that's got to be another EP group). I won't go into it, but that insight is very keen and I am definitely going to explore more into that idea. Out of simple (and not so simple) curiosity, anyone think that would stand up in court as abuse? Or do you think it would end up a "you didn't fulfill my emotional" but "you didn't fulfill my physical" (a he said/she said)?

I don't think it would stand up in court as abuse. I don't think being cruel in words would either. Just because a court does not recognize it, does not mean it isn't real. Maybe it would be more accurate to say SM is very much like abuse, in that it develops similar patterns of behavior.

In Afghanistan, courts don't really recognize rape and punish the woman. I don't think we can expect much from courts.
It's only recently that marital / spousal rape has been recognized by courts here.
Our emotions cannot be dictated by external factors. Sadly, we stay in our SM's for too long because we allow external ideas to dictate our decisions.
We need to listen to our deep feelings and be honest with ourselves.

I think many SM are abusive. If you took away the sexlessness but still had the disrespect, dismissive attitudes, hurtful comments and intimacy aversion but still had sex in many cases that would constitute abuse.

Hear! Hear! I have always believed that sexlessness is merely a symptom of some deeper unhealthy dynamic in the relationship, usually centered around control.

You don't sound like you've healed much.<br />
Hang in there.

I think he has and is healing a ton. "Yesterday we spoke on the phone, and I AGAIN catch myself wanting her, wanting to do things for her, etc..." - This is recognizing the fault in his own behavior (owning his part) and correcting it. The abused has to ALLOW the abuse. There are no shackles keeping you there. When you learn to walk, it's only a few more short steps before you're flying.

...very well put.

Ocean, I think putting together this story is the beginning of healing and recognizing a lot of things. He hasn't been angry enough yet. This is a very long process. Leaving the marriage doesn't suddenly make you whole, healed or your behaviors different. Once you get through the process of leaving the marriage the process of healing yourself from it can begin. That's why I and a lot of others who are out are still here. We may be out but this process is anything but over for us.

I think your answer is spot on. However the first step is so very hard to do. I know becouse im still trying after 30 years.

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