The Maiden Voyage

Hi, my name is SuperSecret and I am in a sexless marriage.

I have been married to my husband for 20 years (just turned 40) and we have a 10 year old son. We both have fulltime jobs, a home, two cars, a dog and a cat. My husband decided five years ago that he no longer wanted to call me while he was out of town on business trips (his reason was that he preferred to just talk to me when he got home). That same time, he decided we needed different rooms since he had to wake up so early in the morning. And that is when our sex life died. That is also about the time he started falling apart as a human being.

I know this is screaming "he's having an affair" but I have been digging and have come up with no such evidence. Either he is very careful, or it's just not happening. Before the five year drought, our sex life was monotoneous and predictable: maybe once a month if I initiated, which I did often. He has never been the initiator in our relationship.

I love my family, but I hate my marriage. I can't imagine going on like this anymore. He doesn't want to eat dinner with my son and I because he doesn't like the food I prepare (it's healthy). He suffers from depression, ED, anxiety, is close to needing heart meds, skin ailments, you name it. But he lives an unhealthy lifestyle: up all night, donuts and coffee for breakfast, no exercise, and a very high stress job. I have tried to involve him in a healthy diet, exercise, etc, but he refuses and I refuse to nag. So, the bottom line is we live seperate lives. Eat different meals at different times, participate in different activities at different times, sleep in different rooms. I am wondering where my husband went?????

I have tried to be sexy, loving, fun, appreciative, giving, and everything else he may need. But, he does not respond.

What is really starting to **** me off now is how he is shutting himself off from our son. I am the one involved in everything my son is doing: hockey, baseball, etc. My husband just shut down and I can't figure out why.

Trying to put my whole life here in a few lines is impossible. I love my family, my home, etc., but he is really starting to affect the qualify of mine and my son's life with his toxic living habits and attitude. I am thinking of a divorce, but that scares me. I guess I fully realized this when I started dreaming of meeting strangers for a rendezvous or two. I haven't actually done it and I won't because I value my health and safety too much (as well as the health and safety of my family), but I realized how this marriage is changing me into something I don't even recognize or like anymore. I used to be so attracted to him. He was healthy and vibrant with a chiseled face and strong shoulders. He did sweep me off my feet 20 years ago. We danced and laughed and had fun. But slowly over time, he started changing. Now I don't even know who he is. I don't like who he is either.

I have tried counseling, but he won't engage in that with me. I have tried to get us back in the same bedroom, but he said he like his own space. I can't stay married like this. It's a sham. I am mad. I am very mad.

Thanks for listening.

supersecretxxx supersecretxxx
36-40, F
11 Responses May 17, 2012


I feel for you. There is a lot of genuine love for your husband in your post and a desire to do the right thing as a wife and mother. You are certainly not selfish or asking for something unrealistic. That makes it so much harder, and the irrational behavior of your husband causes you to still love him but slowly realize that you don't like him. I see this as a possible path my own marriage could take. I wish you the best. Keep trying to connect honestly and appeal to his sense of how good it used to be and could be again. Give him an ultimatum about counseling and a chance to reclaim his responsibilities as a father and husband. He has to know what he is close to losing.

Given what you wrote, it does not sound like he is having an affair. His ED and health issues may be causing depression and he may feel shame which is making him detach from his family. Make no mistake, he's failing right now as a man. The causes and the possible solutions could be different than they appear. You've put so much of yourself and your life into this, your best efforts are warranted in fixing it. But his are too. I hope you find clarity and happiness with him or eventually with someone else.

It is so sad when someone loses interest in their family and life. I trust you will find some understanding here and a safe place to vent.

just a thought, perhaps it helps, from a man.<br />
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When my own son was 10, I went through a period of depression. I was somehow relieving my own traumatic childhood, and was projecting my own bad memories into the life of my son. The son and myself have similar thinking (he followed me into the computer profession). I was quite sick, as if the traumas I suffered when I myself was 10, were coming out again in the reincarnation of my son. <br />
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Could it be there is something similar happening to your husband ? Another possible explanation is that he might be under pressure at work. People don't lose their jobs all of a sudden. It takes years, when one sees their options narrowing, as their slowly get pushed out to the sides. Kills a man's self esteem.

Welcome to the group. Clearly your husband has checked out from the marriage a long time ago. <br />
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Regarding the affair, can you afford a Private investigator? Some men are real good at hiding affairs. Speaking as a man myself his actions scream of affair. Not calling while he is away, seperate rooms etc.<br />
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It is possible he is just staying with you because he fears the repercussions of Divorce. Ailomony, assest seperation etc. Perhaps he has had legal advice already and been told it is not in his interest to Divorce you.<br />
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I suggest you seek legal advice of your own. Then you will be in a better position to ***** if you should total up the bill for his actions and present it to him. Sounds like his account is way overdue.<br />
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Stay Strong & Goood Luck

Welcome to the group no one wants to be in. Stick around and read some stories and get some good insight. I too thought of outsourcing my needs but STD's, guilt hold me back. Aside from the previous I long for deep intimacy which a hook up more than likely won't help. Good luck!

Very sad state of affairs, there are no simple answers.

I know how our feel my dear, 21 years and the past 10 to 15 have been about the same as yours. Im lucky to get it 3 times a year, may as well say none.

I wish my wife had your passion. Depression is a very tough thing to deal with. It is good you are getting help. Let me know how it turns out.

I would suggest that he suffers from depression alright but PERHAPS it does not affect him badly enough to actually challenge it other than to pop a few pills. He is probably leaning on you and your relationship to basically keep him figuratively upright. The junk food comfort thing is something I can relate to and as far as I am concerned is as indicative of behaviour as smoking, drinking or abusing recreational drugs or presc<x>ription medication. Withdrawing from and evading you and your son is a defensive measure that 'uncomplicates' things in the short term but as you realise only makes things worse longer term.<br />
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The probability is that he will do nothing to change the current dynamics unless he realises that things can and will actually get much worse. In other words, you leave with your son and take what practical shared resources, such as your share of the sale of any property, etc. Unfortunately, even then, he may simply adopt a fatalistic stance to it all.<br />
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All you can do is what you know you have to do, need to do.<br />
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P.S. Does his depression have a face?

Thank you, XP. I will keep up the counselling as it is helping me and giving me strength to see this marriage for what it is (which is not much anymore). He checked out -- that is one thing my counsellor is driving home with me. I know it takes two to make a marriage happy, but he really is the one who shut down or shut off the love. Just like that! At first I explored all of my flaws and tried to change. Maybe I nagged too much? Maybe I didn't dress sexy enough? Maybe I didn't apprciate him enough? So I did all those things and tried to revive the marriage, but he shut me out even more. He blames his many ailments and disorders all the time, but I don't buy it. Maybe I am not sensitive to mental sickneses, but it just seems he chooses to give up on life. In the meantime, I have to think of our son. This is not the life I wanted for any of us!!

Thank you for your story. You are with friends who understand your situation. I myself have been married for 14 years and celibate for the last 7. For the last 5 years the only thing keeping me here has been my ten year old son. I am now pursuing lovers via Ashley Madison and am close to leaving the marriage because I see that I can not be the person I want to be here, which means I can not be the father I want to be.<br />
Kudos to you for going to counseling. Keep up individual counseling for yourself regardless of what he does.