25 Years

I wasn't sure if I should post a story right now or not. The sexlessness seems to be more and more grating as the days, weeks, months and years go by. There is a part of me that wants to just cut and run, and part of me that wants to stay, tough this out, and find alternate ways of getting the missing intimacy (yes, I've mentioned potential for affairs, escorts, etc, and done nothing yet).

Next week represents our 25th anniversary. That's a lot of time invested in building a life and a family. I love the life we've built, and our wonderful family. Leaving all of that over sex doesn't seem logical. I had a revelation the last couple of days as far as why I am so adamant against leaving. Some of you read in my responses that I came from a messed up childhood, including about 9 years in the foster care system. When I left my birth home after my father's accident and my mother's death, I was 10 years old, and had two paper grocery sacks with all of my belongings that I was allowed to take in them. I lost everything, home, family, friends. Everything. Then I went to three different foster homes, and left everything behind two more times before my final stop. I was blessed to have a real family in my third foster home, and learned how to live in a family that was not dysfunctional.

I wrote that not to elicit pity, or anything else. I finally figured out why I cannot leave. I have lost everything that mattered in my life three times, and I cannot do it again. While there could be a really bright future out there for me with another woman, I am not willing to burn down my whole world, and my whole life's work because of this misery.

I don't know what this means for me and for the next 30 years or so on this side of the grass. I am making my life up as I go along, and I don't have a road map for this stretch. I have to say I appreciate this community very much, and there is some comfort in knowing that I am not alone. I just wish we could all use hindsight and get a do-over. I think most of us would have made different choices.

For those of you who are young, and/or unencumbered by children, my advice would be to cut your losses and move on. My roots are too deep here to do anything drastic.

*I reserve the right to change my mind on this, but I don't see how that could happen.
DanteBurning2 DanteBurning2
46-50, M
13 Responses May 29, 2012

The 25th anniversary was a milestone that started me re-evaluating too. The investment of time alone isn't enough reason to stay, but it's definitely part of the equation. Just remember - and I'm also telling myself  - there's no rush to make a decision, but not deciding is a choice to stay. <br />
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This may feel like it would be similar to what happened to you as a child, but this time the choice is yours. And there's no reason to believe  you'd lose everything if you leave - friends, children, etc. Changes, yes. Complete loss, unlikely. The catastrophic thinking that we do about divorce fallout probably isn't how things would really be.

I have been married for 24 years. My husband thinks I am nuts to throw it all away over sex. We have 2 kids, 10 &7. I was planning to stay another 10 yrs for them, but I can't . A switch was flipped when I woke up & realized that this life that I have, although wonderful in many ways, wasn't what I REALLY need. I NEED intimacy. I NEED to feel connected. I need to feel like I have a true partner, who looks out for me, who values my happiness. I am so very tired of feeling this profound loneliness inside. I would rather feel lonely & be alone, than to feel it while married. This is my one life! I can't live a superficial life any longer.<br />
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I tend to agree with your theory about your losses during childhood. I lost my mother when I was 15. She was a single parent. My 2 sisters & I also lost each other. We were split up & raised separately. It was a devastating time. It still affects me to this day. My dream was to get my sisters & I back together. Of course, it never happened. Having a family when I got married was very important to me. The family losses I had from my childhood, I think, paralyzed me from moving on from my dysfunctional marriage. I am essentially abandoning my life. ( but not my kids) And I am scared as hell! But I am doing it anyway. I just can't live this way anymore. I have to believe there are better days ahead.<br />
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Someone here told me, that if you choose to stay in your marriage, for the kids or whatever your reasons are.... You have to embrace your choice! Or it will eat you up inside. Can you embrace your choice? I couldn't anymore......<br />
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I wish you much luck on your journey!

My brother and I were separated a few days after our mom died, and never lived together again. I understand.
I don't know if I can embrace my choice or not, as the only choice I have made thus far is to look at the reality of my life, learn about my options, and make careful, informed decisions in my time and my way.

You stay...until you simply CANNOT. You're not there yet, but I am afraid you will be, eventually. It's okay as long as you keep your eyes closed, like a child who's afraid of the monster in their room: "as long as I don't look, it'll be okay." But eventually, you feel the NEED, burning need, to take a peek. And once you do, once you open your eyes to the pain, the condition your soul is in due to the lack of intimacy in the one relationship that is supposed to guarantee you that "soft palce to fall"? There is truly no "unseeing"....there are logistical nightmares and worries about the kids, and financial quandaries....but you CANNOT "UNSEE" what you have seen....best of luck to you.

A read of my story "Things Change" might be a good idea if you can be bothered.<br />
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In regard to the "road map", there is such a map. It is in these very pages. You've seen it. You just think it's incorrect. That the cartographer has got his East and West mixed up.<br />
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Nothing wrong with the map, but hey, get yourself a GPS. It will give you the exact same directions.<br />
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When you decide to follow them is the only pertinent question, and I think that time may be way closer than you presently think.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Bazzar"- I reread you story, and while things have changed, they haven't changed enough to embrace divorce at this time. Could it happen, sure. I/we are not to that point yet. It is an end game, a "final solution", but not an exclusive one. As you always advise in your signature, I will tread my own path, and when I get to the end of it, then I will know where it led. For now, the divorce option, and the scorched earth it would leave behind, is not a viable option. I will take my time, consider my options, and hopefully be at peace with whatever the path I choose.

I completely understand what you are saying. I have 24 years, and no kids, BUT we do have other things...like our business and his 100% knowledge of my health needs and care, and more. I can't leave all that. People see how depressed I am and try to tell me to move on, but what they don't understand is that he is not the cause for my depression, and leaving would just make it worse, not better.

Change is hard. Risk is harder. <br />
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But as I said in another post, wanting to be needed is very different from needing to be WANTED. <br />
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My own seesaw is tipping. I like stability, but I'm missing out on the joy, the real joy of wanting someone who wants me back.

I am 14 years into my marriage, and for the majority of it has been sexless. We have twin girls 9, and a son 8. I have thought about leaving, but I am my families glue. I basically stay for the kids. My wife will not allow me anything outside of marriage. I am not even talking sex, just to feel anothers arms around me.

I understand why you don't want to leave everything behind. As you continue to think about your situation and what your options are, you will certainly come up with some answers. They may not come as quickly as you'd like, but things will become clearer for you.

Thank you MissLee! I have a lot of sorting out to do. I am considering all options, but in a logical (for me) hierarchy, with the worst as the last. Right now I know nothing but the pain. I continue to read here, and learn, and ponder. Time will tell what happens going forward.


Hi Dante (nice literary name)<br />
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I'm coming up 25 years too. And have a great family life - love my family life with my H. But the sexlessness is getting to me and I'm faced with those same choices - terrified of throwing away something I have spent my adult life building up. I never thought sex would start to loom so large in my mind - it nags away at me. It isn't 'logical' and my husband thinks I am mad to have 'jeopardised' (his word) everything we have work to achieve because I slept with someone else. I keep hoping the feelings will go away but I also gaze into the future with great fear. Can only support, not advise.

Hi MMF. I don't think he will. I found myself wishing in a way that he would - when we discussed it I alsmost felt a sense of relief. He is 13 years older than me - I am his second wife and have been a pretty good one at that. He did go bonkers when I told him and got really angry - which I can understand. He told me that if he had been younger he would have slept with someone else to retaliate - which I would not do myself. He found it inconceivable 'how it happened' - but no-one else would. Our married life has been lived apart (he works away), I have brought up our two teenage sons, and do everything - finances, house, education etc. He has ED for years but won't see a GP about it and we have not had sex really for about a year - a couple of failed attempts. I am young looking and a career woman and most people find us mismatched. BUT I do love him - I just wish he didn't shrink away when I touch him or allow me to take my clothes off. The guy I had the affair with is also in an SM of many years and is crazily in love with me. I am trying to keep my marriage together but my husband is not making it easy as he keeps making excuses for intimacy and now is about to go off to a war zone (his choice) for at least until September - even though he knows what has happened. I am not sure I can resist temptation and have told him so.

Chrissie- Thank you! You get it! I have yet to have the affair, but feel it is a top option at this point. Sexlessness for sexual people is like unsatiated hunger. I am starving, and what I need is at arm's length from me, yet I still hunger every moment of every day. We shall see what the future holds.

Foster care veteran here too DB2. And I'm out. Yes you have more time and investment in your marriage than I did. But vaguest is right as usual. <br />
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You and I know better than most that while uncomfortable it is possible to start over with nothing but what's on your back and survive. It's probable that the next place you end up will be better than the last. We survive and sometimes even thrive. Right now you are living in the dysfunctional foster home, holding tightly to its dysfunction because its better than having nowhere to go. But after two moves you found a family where you learned to thrive. <br />
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Seems to me this is a repeat of an early childhood experience for you. Don't discount your ability to thrive through resilience. You've got more of it than you give yourself credit for.

Very sorry for you loss and your lonely childhood.<br />
As you mentioned you have done this before, I am sure at that age you thought no one would take you and that you would never be settled in to a loving home, but you did.<br />
You think you won't be happy ever again but you will.<br />
Thanks to my parents I have lived my life like this, 8 years in italy, 6 years in canada, 9 years Italy and now 12 years in Canada. I have gained and lost people all my life, I can't be bothered to make friends anymore.<br />
I have lost everyone "but" my belongings 4 times, and I hate to move now, but I wont settle because of fear, I want more.<br />
You can do this, and your children deserve to be in a loving home and with 2 happy parents, you can be happy again.<br />
You can do this, and so can I.

Sometimes you stay for all the reason you said, you have spent 25 years building a family, don't walk away, but also find someone who can share that personal relationship with you that's missing, sex, we need it and it makes us feel good. I say that because I am also in a sexless relationship and haven't done anything about it. It's been 24 years for me. But I am learning to enjoy my sexually and hopefully will find someone to share that part of my life with. Congrats on tweny-five years.

It seems to me that you have lost a lot in your life. It is apparent that you bounce back and respond well to adversity. I am sure that would be the case should your marriage take a nose dive. The difference was that in your childhood you were forced to make the change, now it is your choice. It is liberating to have choices.