I'm Crossing Some Sort Of Line Here.

I have been kicking around this website for a long time, never shared before, but I feel like I will either explode or sink into a hole of depression if I don't share something now. My wife and I had a wonderful sexual relationship before we were married. After the wedding my wife's interest in sex waned, but for the last five or six years we have essentially ceased to have a marital relationship at all. We will be married 39 years in June.

I have tried to convince here we need professional help, but she refuses, saying I'm asking too much of her. So I have been in therapy myself for the last 3 1/2 years. It doesn't help very much. Actually we did go for marriage counselling about 15 years ago, and it did help while we went, but then our therapist got sick and had to stop working, and we eventually slipped into our old ways.

Occasionally I get up the guts to confront her with our marital problems, and she admits that she has no sexual feelings, that it's not my fault, she doesn't know why, and she promises we'll make love tonight. But when tonight comes she doesn't want to. And it continues.

What is different now is that I am feeling that if I happen to meet the right woman I would probably be willing to have an affair. I have not had an affair, and I never even considered it, but lately I find myself thinking about a woman I used to work with, and how wonderful it would be just to spend time talking with her, how wonderful if she would just hug me for a minute. It's not just the sex, it's the need to be wanted, to be touched, to be considered. Writing this now I feel like I am making some sort of declaration to myself, telling myself I am human, and I have a need and a right to be loved. Somehow I feel like after posting this I am going to have to make some decisions about whether to stay or go, whether to seek companionship elsewhere or not.  I still want to make this marriage work, but after all this time I don't think it will ever work. Thanks for allowing me to vent a bit.
Fedupandlonely Fedupandlonely
56-60
13 Responses May 5, 2012

I think you need to do whatever it takes for you to be happy, and I definitely think you should tell her that. I mean I'm sure as hell that you'd be willing to make sacrifices to make her happy and probably already have but if she's not willing to make a sacrifice for something that is important to you well... that speaks volumes. <br />
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So let her know that if she's not even going to try and do what will make you happy, then you're going to go and do it yourself. Commitment means nothing without happiness. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. :)

I feel for you. One needs to be hugged and touched and desired to live. Do whatever works to get you there happily. best of luck.

What you are experiencing is a process. You are at the stage where you are contemplating an affair. Feelings work in a strange way. Everyone is different. Some people deal with their feelings and process things quickly and other take longer to get there. <br />
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What you are contemplating is perfectly valid. It does however come with consequencies. You most likely will be caught out and face a **** storm from your sexless wife, who for some reason will claim she did not see this coming. She will likely go on the war path and intiate divorce.<br />
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Alternatively you might also reach the point where you cant take no more and just want out. Either way the choices you face are hard but need to be made.<br />
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You would do will to get legal advice and see how you would fair in the case of a seperation before you do anything drastic.

So many of us have been or are where you are. Long term marriages have particular nuances to them that make the journey different than those who have been married less time. The pain, however, is the same no matter what.<br />
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There is little more devastating than your spouse, the one to whom you've committed your body, heart and soul, telling you s/he is not able/not willing to make love to you...and by the way, "it's not you; it's me." No matter what, that reassurance is not reassuring. If someone loves you, why can't they be with you sexually? <br />
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I think for those of us above 50, our mortality plays into our feelings. We realize we don't have forever to wait for things to get better. I've been in therapy personally for 6 years and couples therapy for 3 and I can say without hesitation the therapy has been worth every penny. It doesn't look like it's going to save my marriage but both of us are on the same page and have come to a place of mutual understanding and consideration. More than that, I have grown and changed so much, there is no chance I will repeat past mistakes. <br />
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A word about affairs - they are game changers. An affair will not likely lead to a long-term relationship but it will increase your resolve to have what you need in your life. Those of us who have stayed in long -term marriages are not looking for a quick fix. We are looking for a committed relationship. I think affairs can be very useful but they also hurt alot. <br />
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Keep reading here...there's plenty of wisdom.

I have thought of having an affair too - my hubby's mot a bad man but he's a poor husband and father and a poor provider. But at the end of the day I have decided to give this marriage until October to heal , and then if it's not working to take my daughter and leave. <br />
If we can retrieve it then that'd be great but if not then it's time to move on for me … perhaps it could be for you? <br />
I think if I can leave him then I can go back to being 'me' again. I font want to have an affair and feel sordid. I want to retain my decency. <br />
Good luck whatever you choose! I hope you find happiness, Love and hugs xxx

Thanks for sharing your story. It's not much different from so many on this site. It's so sad when one spouse loses interest in sex and any kind of intimacy. You clearly still love your wife and value the 39 years you've had together and yet you're hurting. I know that feeling of being so lonely. The sexlessness and lack of intimacy create a huge rift in the partnership. You really don't want to seek it elsewhere, and yet, you crave it. As a human being who still has warm blood coursing through your veins, you want to be held and more, it is only normal. The one person who should be doing that for you, won't...this puts you in a tough spot. <br />
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Writing your story here is the first step. I'm sure you'll get lots of advice. You need to do a lot of soul searching and exploring. It's not easy. I wish you the best of luck.

I have to concur with Baz. You can go seek an answer to feeling wanted, loved, but how could you conceivably enforce it as a right? Apart from that it simply wouldn't work would it?<br />
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I think it is one simple fact that some people have a greater need to feel wanted by someone else than others. It is what it is. Others are, for want of a more appropriate phrase, more "self-contained".<br />
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If I am to be entirely honest and dispassionate about it, it is more feasible to suppress and control a desire for something, anything, rather than drum up a desire for it from nothing. That also is what it is.<br />
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That may all lead to a conclusion that if you are certain that you have that need and that it has to be dealt with in that manner then you will have to go your own way. The actual and virtual cost of that will be the measure of the importance of your need.<br />
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One question that strikes me from time to time is what happens when two people that have that need meet but don't feel the need to give as much as they take? Are they doomed to out-compete one another for affection creating an even greater discord between them than if they were with a partner who has little need for affection? I don't know to be honest although I would suspect it would not be good news.

Try this... open the page where your story is and leave it open for her to read. As long as there are no kids around to read it. You will get a reaction one way or the other from her. You will find out if she wants to keep the marriage alive or if she doesn't want anything to do with it. <br />
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She will know you are not happy and if she wont give just a little it will be over as your at the crossing road in your life. Thanks for sharing your story.

I reread your title to your story. You have reached a point where you are not content with the relationship the way it is. Something has to change. Acknowledge that for yourself and choose to change - whatever - with thoughtfulness. It could change anyway, and when you are not prepared.<br />
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I am 54 yrs old and currently pursuing a divorce. Scary, but do-able.

Yep, you have a choice. I like the recommendations to choose to have that opportunity for yourself. As PrincessMore wrote in a recent story "It is okay to choose yourself over someone else."<br />
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Your wife could have a post menopausal hormonal imbalance. Perhaps a visit to a hormone doctor could provide some answers in that regard.<br />
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Good luck

Congrats on making it this far. 39 years is a long time to be married. <br />
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Sounds like you have talked to her, expressing how you feel, your need to be wanted by the one you love...that is what I was missing. The need to feel desired by someone who I gave everything for...<br />
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Turns out to be a crock of ****. When someone doesn't like sex, or, sex with you, or, worse, does not respect you and your legitimate needs, there is not a thing you can do. All you do is everything you need to to feel completely right is seeking an outside solution, be it an affair (comes with pricy strings) or divorce (also pricey strings). <br />
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I do think the bottom line in these situations is that your wife has chosen to not be a wife. If man and woman do not have sex, there is no need whatsoever for a marriage. Worse, when a spouse does not fulfill your real and legitimate needs, AND expect you to fulfill their legit and crazy unreasonable needs...well, they are just using you. <br />
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Some people worry about being used for sex. I worry about being used as a companion pet / work slave.

"Some people worry about being used for sex. I worry about being used as a companion pet / work slave." Doesn't THAT just hit the nail on the head!!

I understand how you feel when you say it's not just sex, it's the touch the simple want to be wanted. I hope you find some clarity and affection soon.

I'm not so sure that we have a "right" to be loved, but we sure as hell have the obligation of "choice".<br />
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To seek our various aspirations in life we need to choose actions that make such aspirations 'possible'.<br />
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For example, if you value a full relationship with everything that entails - but are in an environment where that simply cannot happen - then it falls to YOU to do something about that.<br />
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Leaving your intimacy averse situation guarantees you nothing, but it gives you a shot. Staying in your intimacy averse situation guarantees that you never get a shot.<br />
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Choice is a *****, but you don't get a pass. No-one does.<br />
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Tread your own path.