I Live In A Sexless Marriage

I have spent the past few hours reading all your valuable advises posted. How reassuring to know that I am not in it alone. Allow me to bore you with my story to see if it resonates with any of your experiences.

Married for 37 years and am now in my late 50's. Yes, I married young while I was still in college. Life was carefree then. We started having arguments and fights over trivia things 4-5 years into the marriage. As both of us were and still are very independent and of strong characters, we began channeling and redirecting our energy in developing our respective careers and growing further apart mentally and physically as both our jobs required a lot traveling. Physical intimacy between us was never strong to start out with and it literally stopped about 25 years ago! Yes, I am in what you would call a sexless marriage. We don't even kiss, hug or hold hands. As much as I felt something was missing in our relationship and at times felt frustrated, I just let it slip by all these years and continued to submerge myself into work and the day to day mundane. To our friends and family, we are the perfect couple, well established, worldly and always entertaining. But only I know how empty I have been feeling inside. About 8 years ago, the stress of corporate life, menopause and perhaps “late-life” crises finally did me in. I left the corporate and embarked on a life changing and soul searching journey taking a less demanding contract job and engaging more time in leisure activities trying to “rediscover” myself. My husband having his own business and a workaholic on the contrary is busier than ever. He is out of town most of the time and vows to never retire. I try to live my life by the motto of taking full control and responsibility of my emotional happiness and well-being. But in the past 10 years, it is becoming a very daunting task. I am tired of escaping! I want a marriage whatever that means. The post-menopausal depression and all the mixed "late-life" crisis emotions make life even more difficult to bear and further intensify the situation! I don't feel loved and don't know what to expect from my marriage or if I actually have one. I tried to talk to my husband and on several occasions broke down crying which was so not me. As much as he felt uncomfortable about the idea of possible divorce, he reacted very calmly and said he wanted me to be happy and would do whatever to save our marriage. Well, several months have passed since our last serious talk and he is back on the road again and life is back to "normal" – nothing changed and I am still lost and depressed!

I wonder if I would be better off on my own than feeling stuck in a loveless marriage! Having the expectation and feeling deprived is what killing me!
StarsGazer101 StarsGazer101
56-60, F
7 Responses Apr 29, 2012

Let go of him and find the happiness and contentment you're looking for. Why suffer much longer? Move on. You got no kids except friends and relatives to think about. What about you?, as a person you're searching for something, go for it, don't let them stop you. I'm saying this because I'm doing it myself. It is not easy for me though because I got two kids, 20 and 17. I made the decision to split from him because I can't take thinking that I'm not going to the sunset of my life feeling miserable, unwanted, etc, etc. I stayed this long because of the children and as you said it yourself friends, relatives, people we know thinking we are a perfect couple. I've been simmering for a long time already and one day I just decided this is it! ENOUGH! I've lost the respect in him, I don't want him to touch or even go near me. I want my life, confidence back and enjoy what is out there for me. I want to exist in this world without being subjected to any unpleasant criticism. As for happiness, nah I just want peace of mind and sleep well at night, I'll be happy with that. Make a decision and I hope that whatever it is, you will benefit from it. Never mind the people around you, they will surely understand. It's a beautiful world, we should enjoy whatever is out there for us. Wish you all the best!

"I'm not going to the sunset of my life feeling miserable, unwanted...". You spoke my mind! I wish I have your courage and guts. The weird thing is that on one hand I can't bear the thought of him touching me, but on the other end, I am kind of hoping that he would! Despite all the compliments from around on how well and youthful I look, I still crave for that bit of validation that I am still desirable.

Hhhmmmm. Whisk it off, flirt a little bit. A bit of this, a bit of that, put on a nice clothes and go out there and feel good. Try a different atmosphere outside you home. See what happen and compare the difference. Don't forget to smile even if you're feeling down. Don't let it get into you. Enjoy that youthful look you possessed. Remember we aged but with grace. It is just a number added to us every year but don't let it stop you from doing /achieving whatever it is you love doing.

You are right. The last few months have been very draining. I spent most of my waking hours contemplating my next move and it is driving me crazy. I am taking a leave from work right now and is planning a tropical island holiday on my own. I need to breathe!

Wayyyyy to goooo! Enjoy as if there's no more tomorrow !

1 More Response


I've been with my wife 16yrs the last 3-4 yrs I'm getttin none or real close to none


Time passes and people change. They may change a little or they may change a lot, as you have. The changes might be gradual, evolutionary, or dramatic, revolutionary as they have been for you.<br />
<br />
The problem is that your husband has not changed like you have if at all. Worse than that he seems to be singularly driven. He is probably an all or nothing sort of guy. He says he is never going to retire, he doesn't need to but he doesn't need to be married to the business. What drives him? Does he even know? Is it a fear of being without? Is it being driven by the satisfaction of being good at what he does?<br />
<br />
Another problem is that although your husband says he will do what it takes to save the marriage and probably is sincere at the time he says it, he doesn't really understand it and won't truly miss it until it is no longer there and at that stage he will realise that it is too late. He will protest that he didn't truly understand and that he wasn't given a proper chance to address the issue, but he will inwardly realise that it is too late. He also possibly only wants to save the marriage to save the shared resources but then they are not all his merely because you are in a marriage.<br />
<br />
The bottom line is he can't take the **** with him to the grave and who is he going to leave it for, the tax man, charity, off-spring?<br />
<br />
How do you wake him up? Do you even truly want to waken him up given the long-term history and prognosis? Is it fair after all this time to just expect him to change because you have?<br />
<br />
If your instinct, your emotions tell you "I should leave" then leave. If you have the resources to allow you to do that and be independent you don't realise how blessed you are. Also, you don't need to be married at your stage of life to be loved. You can seek love (and sex) ba<x>sed purely on the quality of the personal relationship you are prepared to enter into. At your stage of life the formality of marriage is only likely to bring more practical problems rather than solutions for you. Commitment is what you are seeking. You can be committed without marriage and as you have discovered you can be non-committed within marriage.

You described and analysed my husband to the tee! I don't think he really understands what I am going through and believes it is just a passing phase, something to do with menopause ((sigh!)). You are right. He will never change. Come to think of it, even if we try, I can't really picture us making love again. Guess we let it drag on for too long and the passion is already gone. It is not just about sex but the emotional connection or the lack of it between us. Yes, I am very comfortable financially and we have no kids. If we were to part, the most hard to take would be our friends and family. To them, we are the model couple!

The friends issue, is it really important enough to hold back? This sort of situation is when you find who are friends and who are mere acquaintances. Some of those friends may be having troubles of their own that you don't even know about yet. True friends believe in live-and-let-live. Real friends may disagree but they either keep it to themselves or they provide opinions without judgements. I'll wager that most of those who get righteous and judgemental you can identify in advance; they're just those sort of people. Here is a challenge for you. Of those who do judge you, face them head on. If they are still worth keeping as friends after it just tell them assertively, confidently and disarmingly that they are wrong that you both have been good at keeping up appearances but no longer. Tell them that you still value them as friends as long as they accept your decision without qualification and that when it comes to a choice between you and him that you will make it easy for them by simply not asking them to choose. No doubt some of those friends may be his friends that you have been adopted by and have adopted. The cards for them will have to fall where they will. That is when you will find out if they are friends of a friend or a first person friend. Those sorts of friends are completely and quickly replaceable. Such are the hard facts of life. What sort of divorce do you think you are going to end up having, an acrimonious one or a co-operative one? If you can both manage the latter and remain on at least cursory civil speaking terms then it will make it easier on joint friends. However, worthwhile friends find some way of walking a delicate line between both parties mostly by implicitly or explicitly making it clear that they are not going to take sides. Most people find themselves having to do that nowadays. I know I have and I know I probably haven't played it as well as I might have, but I have always made it clear what my intent is, irrespective of the delivery of results. Whatever you do take as much time as you need to do it. It sounds to me that you are almost there and it is only going to take a small push to find yourself on the other side.

Thank you so much for your support and advise. I think I need a lot more than a small push to get myself out of this rut. Be honest with you, I am so afraid of the unknown! The thought of venturing out on my own frightened me to no end. Pathetic isn't it! For someone who is regarded as calm, cool and collected and super independent, how can I be so emotionally crippled?! I honestly don't know how and where to start!

Do it gradually, don't just packed and go! The attachment is so deep because we are talking here years of being together. Venture outside of your comfort slowly, like baby steps till you find your right footing that it is not too bad to start all over again. Don't rush. It is emotionally painful, scary and sometimes frightening. I repeat, do it gradually. Build up the courage slowly till you're ready. Trust me the feeling is liberating, you'll gain back your confidence. Good luck!

Oh gosh! Reading this brings tears to my eyes! Thank you for being here for me. I really don't know What to say!

My friend your strength is my strength. I'm about to step outside doing my baby steps myself. Let's do it together. Ok? Let's give each other support. Be strong and we will make it.

3 More Responses

Welcome to ILIASM.... the group no one wants to be a member of....

Wow, thanks for the prompt and supportive responses. Have to say, I don't know how many times the idea of leaving the marriage crossed my mind in the past 20 years. I don't understand what is holding me back?

You are correct, you are not alone in this, <br />
It's never to late to find happiness and peace, may life lead you towards it soon.<br />
All the best