Do not want a broken family but being sexless, invisible and feeling worthless is just wrong.

I am a mid forties woman. I have been married for eleven years. We have two children under ten. We married quickly after we met as i fell pregnant. We were happy and optimistic about our future. We've had sex 7 times since we conceived first child. We've both brought problems to the marriage but my husband has huge intimacy problems as a result of his dysfunctional parents during childhood. His one only other serious relationship was sexless too. He had an affair five years ago after a difficult situation not involving me. I wanted to save or try to save marriage for all of our sakes. I can't say i trust or mistrust him now. I actually don't know if i trust or not which is really head nipping. My husband does use passive aggressive behaviour in other aspects of our relationship so i think there is connections there. He's not a bad person at all but is totally inept at intimate relationships. I am a sexual being who has had a full and healthy sex life before this marriage. I stay because i cannot bring myself to split my children's family home life cause i want to have sex! (we function well as 2 parentsand there isn't arguments all the time or anything). I can't have an affair cause i would be a hypocrite and its not the person i want to be. I've trie. d to discuss this with him but he cannot or will not deal with it. He is harboring so much anger from so many aspects of his life but refuses to seek help or counselling about it. Of course i am told quite clearlyblame for this situation. I try to be objective and i know where I've caused problems from my end but i don't buy it i am all to blame buto blame. I. am open to help/therapy and i am motivated to try. I am however beginning to really see him and as much as i really do want to keep trying i'm not sure i can fully give myself emotionally to hi
janey98 janey98
41-45
11 Responses May 9, 2012

Hi, first off, I apologise for the poor typing when I entered my story; I did it on my phone and sometimes it's so button sensitive etc.<br />
Secondly all of the comments have been great! Hard to read at points but that's ok, I love truth and other people's truths, it helps me see and grow.<br />
We have our kids at private school which is another influence in my decision to stay so far - I can't deny them that cause I want sex!!<br />
However, lots of your comments are a huge help and a great source of comfort. I feel humbled that so many people on this site take the time and effort to write their thoughts, so again thank you.

There is clearly a sense of feeling stuck there. And that's not a good feeling. Seems like you know the kind of person that you are and what you need to thrive as a human being. YOu need to ask yourself if your marriage is providing that to you. I too have two children and have been worried about their well being should i leave. After a long deliberation, I've come to the conclusion that it's better that they see their father happy outside of a broken marriage than grow up witnessing the inner-makings of a broken marriage. For those of us who have kids, leaving will involve more steps and are usually more complicated logistically speaking. Unless you see some glimmer of hopes that are solid enough for you to hang onto, you should at least leave open the option of leaving.

Just my two cents. Ever watched the Matrix? Red pill or blue pill - you choose. The thing is, you have choices. They are not good choices but you get to choose nonetheless. You can stay and keep trying, hoping your spouse one day realizes how valuable you and the marriage is and decides he does not want you to keep hurting, or you can stay for the varied other reasons (security, the kids, invested time, finances, culture, what family and friends will think if you leave, your expectations of marriage, etc), or stay and get your sexual needs met elsewhere, or you can leave. As I said they are not great choices and all carry their measure of pain. Take care.

" I realise i can't fix him but i want him to sort his s*** out. "<br />
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride . . . <br />
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Your wishes are normal, natural and good ones. You want him to fix things so HE can have a happier and better life himself - as well as for the benefits it would bring to your marriage. But sadly, he has chosen (VERY clearly) not to follow that path. "Why" he has chosen not to do so may be impossible to understand - but you need to accept that this is his choice. There is NOTHING you can do to change that.<br />
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At present your are hanging in there, hoping that, in time, he will realise he needs to "do something". But actually, hanging on as you are is only enabling his current behaviour, as Petrushka says. (If you are not familiar with "enabling", look it up on the Net. You will find the information enlightening.)<br />
<br />
IF you choose to leave him, you may (only may!) find it works as an impetus for him to seek to improve his own life. But he may choose to forever blame you - because that seems to be his coping mechanism.<br />
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Blaming others is to be a "victim" - it means the person sees him(her)self as unable to control their own life and at the mercy of what others "do" to them. The IMPORTANT thing for you to recognise is that this is NOT reality. You are NOT to blame for "everything" that goes wrong in his life! You are just a very convenient scapegoat!<br />
<br />
I bet he blames all sorts of things for his problems too! His boss or the work place or colleagues for things that go wrong at work; other drivers for problems on the road; shop assistants or other customers for difficulties at the supermarket . . . Oh! and of course "the government" for all the ills of the nation!!!<br />
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Maturity and self knowledge are needed for personal growth. At present he does not display either of these. You, OTOH, display both! No wonder you are finding it so difficult living with this man.<br />
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Read widely, keep your mind open, and DITCH the "I can't" way of thinking. That will only prevent you from exploring all the possible options. And remember this - the "perfect" option (happy marriage, two parents) is already OFF the table. Now you need to decide on the next best option.

You learn an amazing amount from bering part of this forum. A while ago now one of our member's (can't remember who - old timer's disease!) said something VERY important. It went something like this:<br />
"Everyone wants their children to grow up in a happy home with two parents. But just having two parents does not mean the home is happy. In cases like this (sexless marriage) there is NO happy home - just two parents living together . . . . <br />
<br />
So, that particular bird (children living in a happy home) has flown. And it won't be coming back. So now you have to decide what is the next best thing to do . . . "<br />
<br />
At present you are operating from the position that you need to stay together for the sake of the kids. That is an argument with two totally opposed sides. Many of us here believe that this is NOT in the children's best interests. Children learn what they live. In your case (as in other cases here involving children) your children will grow up thinking that your marriage is a "model" for what marriage is about. This is what they will see:<br />
Mum does everything she can to make Dad happy - but nothing works.<br />
Dad blames Mum for everything.<br />
It is Mum's "job" to be the scape goat.<br />
It is Dad's "job" to put the blame for everything wrong in life onto Mum.<br />
<br />
Do you want your children to live out this same model in their own lives? Somehow I doubt it . . . .<br />
<br />
At some point, as they get older, your children will lack respect for both of you - for their father for being insensitive and bullying; for you because you don't stand up for yourself.<br />
<br />
Please realise that it might be far healthier for all concerned if you negotiated a fair and positive co-parenting arrangement with your (ex) husband. That allows the children to spend lots of time with both parents, but separately.<br />
<br />
There is an old saying which might give you something to think about. It is this:<br />
"Better to come from a broken home than to live in one."

The following is a quote from a story comment by ILIASM member PinkBerry, approx January 2010. You may find it relevant.<br />
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------------------------------------<br />
A new poster said, about her husband:<br />
<br />
"I really like him and the way he lives his life. Committed, hard working and honest. He simply is not interested in sex. He has had no past issues that would cause this, no traumatic childhood experiences or abuse from other family members or previous relationships."<br />
<br />
PinkBerry responded:<br />
<br />
"He does sound like a good person. But committed, hard working, and honest is the way I describe my friends, many of my neighbors, and my mailman too. What does that have to do with the rest of this? He doesn't need to be a terrible ogre who beats you senseless in order to be a bad or not nice person. <br />
<br />
Let's get back to the most important fact here. He gets angry with you when you express your need for sex. There is no way to justify this. He is attempting to bully you into not saying anything. Why? Because when you say it, it probably evokes some level of bad feelings or guilt on his part and he may also feel it implies that he must take action to correct it. Neither of these is comfortable for him and rather than find a solution that suits both of you, he chooses to bully you, make you feel bad, and ignore your pleas for affection in order to maintain his own comfort. <br />
<br />
Yup, he sounds swell!"

Get a divorce. You are done. <br />
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" I am however beginning to really see him and as much as i really do want to keep trying i'm not sure i can fully give myself emotionally to hi " <br />
You are past done and you are in denial. Once you start refusing sex yourself, you become your own enemy and an active participant in a dysfunctional marriage.

By the sound of it, he accepts there is a problem as well as yourself but he isn't leaving you any options to exercise to address the issues. So failing that what are his suggestions? Does he have any or is he expecting or hoping Puff the Magic Dragon pops along any moment and grants you both a magical wish?<br />
<br />
Firstly, you might want to consider whether counselling or therapy for yourself might be beneficial, not so much to help you deal with the stress of the situation but to help you understand as best you can about handling difficult relationships with others. I believe that this is not a natural ability for most of us and is something that can not so much be taught but with guidance can be learnt.<br />
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Secondly, I don't know whether the suggestion of counselling or therapy to him has been made in the context of couple counselling or not. If it has and he won't discuss the problem with you he is unlikely to discuss it in your presence even with a third party. The only thing you can do is try to appeal to him to go to solo therapy or counselling. If he is resistant to that idea all you can do is appeal to his better nature, assuming he has one, and ask him to do it as favour to you and the marriage and as a favour to himself because you think or hope that it can help him deal with life, with other people, apart from you, on a better, more confident basis. It is never too late to learn anything and there is no shame or embarrassment in doing so. He needs to recognise that whatever he might say will be tame compared to what some therapists hear.<br />
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If against the probability he does actually go, you would have to be prepared to be both patient and tactful, even if you feel you have had enough already. Resist asking what was discussed, that is for between him and who he talks to. However, you can ask how he felt about it, if he felt he learnt anything, if he would be prepared to stick with it for a number of sessions to see whether he could adjust to the process and eventually get something from it and other non-invasive questions like that.<br />
<br />
Others will simply tell you it is all a waste of time and money and that you should prepare to leave now or later, which may well be true, but you have said you are not ready for that yet so these are my suggestions in that context, whether they are actually worthless or not.

Puff is mine, all mine mwah ha ha

Desperate is good. You will find you come to have no choices, because your unconscious is taking the lead where your rationalisation and fear will not.<br />
<br />
And the situation you come to where "I can do no other" contains a great deal of power and direction, can move the world.<br />
<br />
Use that power with compassion and integrity, and that's the best you can do. It is not OK to let yourself come to harm, and that is no basis for helping others be happy and fulfilled.<br />
<br />
As noted above, you already have a broken marriage, read a bit more and you will come to see that. Either it gets reinvented or you conclude that it is not worth saving. If it stays the same, you are in an increasingly toxic limbo.

Further, i don't want to appear full of self pity, i guess i came on here to offload and listen to folk's views. I simply cannot contemplate having a sexless life forever more nor can i contemplate leaving because of my children. i know i am responsible for my own life and happiness but i just can't see a way forwd. I reckon he knows he's not a good guy re this and i do tell him Im being used as a scapegoat however nothing really materialises. I prob appear a bit of a fool or dormant, I get that but really Im not, i just want to find a path forward. Sharing similar stories helps and i am very grateful for your comments , thank you.

Thank you for taking time to write. Your comments are valued. God its all so bleeding desperate! I hate desperate! I refuse to be desperate! cheers

Gee, you have some terrific possible "whys" to chase over the horizon here.<br />
<br />
Childhood dysfunction is "why" he is intimacy averse to you.<br />
An affair is "why" he is intimacy averse to you.<br />
Passive aggression is "why" he is intimacy averse to you.<br />
Being inept at human relationships is "why" he is intimacy averse to you.<br />
Him harbouring anger is "why" he is iuntimacy averse to you.<br />
<br />
Hard fact is that he is intimacy averse to you. <br />
<br />
That is his choice, he is quite ok with it to the extent of ruling out doing any work whatsoever on it. And, as this is not a matter over which you have any control at all, what you see is what you get.<br />
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Of the few (all awful) options you have to choose from, one of them is NOT "you being able to fix his problem"<br />
<br />
Your choices distil down to staying or going.<br />
<br />
Tread your own path.

Yes you are right. I realise i can't fix him but i want him to sort his s*** out. He's too scared to go there and its easy for him to make it about everyone but him. Sad thing is he's miserable within himself its so clear. It's like he has emotional maturity if teenager. maybe he's got stuck at that teenage years/stage when his home life was s***. Getting past giving it head space.
Cheers