I Can't Help How I Feel............

My wife refused sex with me effectively for 20 years. We had absolutely no sex since 1999.
She died recently (Her refusing was nothing to do with her illness), and although I've publicly been praising her and expressing my grief, privately I'm angry with her. Angry that she robbed me of my sexuality. Angry that she denied us both a happy intimacy. Angry that my sex life ended when I was 35, and, because of my age and the very rural location I live in, I have very little chance of ever meeting anyone else.
I feel guilty about this, as, despite everything, I did love her and she was my best friend. Anyone experienced anything similar?
stevepower stevepower
46-50, M
15 Responses Jun 16, 2012

Not to make light of your issue (but all of us here have our own issues), but maybe it is because you would put a cat picture as your profile!

I understand your anger totally! These partners who deny sex are appalling ! They wonder why we become so resentful towards them! I'll never forgive my partner for telling me, as I was standing in front of her with a fine throbbing erection that sex is a " chore" get f***** . You don't deserve my **** *****

So, how is your anger going to serve you?<br />
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It can, in very useful ways if you let it. It will keep you safe in future. It will motivate you to take action right now.<br />
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Use it.

Don't give up. And don't use others to put yourself down. Think radical. Do radical. On top of all your practical challenges, women don't find self-pity attractive, never mind sexy. Harsh maybe, but true nevertheless.<br />
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Try to tell yourself, "*****, I'll have the last laugh, not you"! A tad insensitive but you don't have to tell anyone else about it.<br />
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Take what time you need to grieve and get over what has happened, then be determined to put it behind you. Out there are women who are your age and are determined to have a second chance and are looking for the right guy. Just make sure you are that right guy for it and I mean the genuine article not masquerading as it. That will just destroy you and them.

Agreed. You can't help how you feel....but you CAN come to terms with it. You can accept your feelings a valid. When you do that, you can work on the rest.

It's okay to be angry with her: death does not transform people into saints. For whatever reasons, you stayed, so you'll probably have to come to terms with that as well. It's a rough thing to admit to yourself.<br />
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Ultimately, your life is your own now and you can wallow in anger over the things that you cannot change-your wife's refusal of intimacy- or you can deal with your feelings and grasp the chance to make it into what you want. <br />
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Nowhere is too rural to find love. The internet has a multitude of sites dedicated to dating. When you're ready, check them out.

I'm about your age and have had a somewhat similar experience. PM me if you'd like to discuss/vent/decompress/etc. <br />
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Princess SmallTownGirl

After thinking about your situation further another thought occurred to me. I think most, if not all of us, even the most jaded. can't but hang on to just a little hope(or perhaps fantasy) of one day finally getting through to our spouses and getting them to understand what their withholding of sex and intimacy and affection have done to our psyches Even if it doesn't result in a happily ever after, or even saving the marriage, just to finally gain their true deep understanding and empathy would be cathartic. I imagine that when you lose a spouse forever, the hope of ever making that deep connection goes with it, and adds frustration to the sense of loss. It's much like you hear some people express regret at the death of an estranged parent, or child, or sibling before getting a final chance to reach out to them to resolve old conflicts. I may be way off ba<x>se, but I wonder if that isn't part of what you're feeling as well.

I do not mean to be harsh or to offend. However, you have to step away from seeing yourself as a victim. No one gets a pass on choice. While married, you exercised your choice to stay. Your spouse did not rob you of your sexuality, there was a tacit agreement on your part to cede it away. In a way, you enabled this as well. Now your spouse has passed on, you no longer can use all the reasons you had for having stayed. <br />
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It is your choice now as to whether you do some long overdue self work and learn to release your sense of entitlement and simmering resentment. So, here are your choices :<br />
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1. Do nothing and continue to justify your inaction by blaming your deceased wife, geography or the weather, because lets be honest, there is comfort in the routine, in what is known and there is fear of venturing out of this cocoon you have built.<br />
or<br />
2. Start to unpack your mix or roiling feelings and really examine them and take responsibility for your part in the long standing issues and also take responsibility for getting you out of this hole. Many of us had to dig our way out. This forum and its members are a good support.<br />
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I reckon you may feel affronted by what I wrote but please sit with it for awhile. Your ally here is truthfulness. Read the many stories here. Whatever age we are at when we begin this journey just remember, we have one life to live - so choose well how you will live yours.<br />
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Be well


I agree with the above, but still say that blender tornado of grief stuff is some pretty serious stuff. I grieved HARD for two years and then I was like F**** I'm so glad that person is dead and now I am indifferent. Feelings are not based on reality, they just are what they are.

Great post, I hope its taken to heart. Although it can be painful, there is great power in owning one's decisions. We sometimes control more then we think.

I am sorry for your loss.<br />
Your feelings are normal and they are nothing you should feel bad about.<br />
Just because she has passed away, that doesn't erase all the hurt you have suffered. You are still left to deal with those feelings - you have to, especially if you want to heal and move on from them.<br />
Sometimes the people we love the most are the ones who also hurt us the most.<br />
You did love her and that's not something that easily goes away, even given the circumstances. It sounds like, despite not having sex, you were willing to stick it out in the marriage and perhaps with her passing, part of your anger is in the fact that you are now left to really examine your feelings and the situation you were, and now are, in.. You loved her, she was your best friend, but perhaps she wasn't the best wife. And that's ok to recognize and admit.<br />
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You may benefit from seeing a therapist and talking these feelings out. They can help you deal with the different levels of hurt and anger you are feeling.<br />
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Again, I am sorry for your loss.. I wish you the best.

There's no "rules" on how to grieve - you can do all of the above at the same time - it doesn't make feelings put on or superficial - feelings about something we have no control over (death, etc.) tend to swing wildly for a long time afterwards, until eventually it goes back to center. Makes sense to me you miss the positive, and the wrong ****** you off.

In the computer age all the world is looking at you through your screen... I guess you do not live on Mars... You have catch up rapidly what You have been missing for 20 years... Put your energy in positive way of looking for passion....<br />
You probably have 10-20 years of a very happy life in front of you... Go for it! <br />
Good luck!

First, I'd like to offer my condolences for your loss as I'm sure it's difficult and painful to lose your closest friend and life partner, notwithstanding the sexual challenges you endured throughout your marriage. <br />
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On the other hand, you don't face the dilemma many of us do with indecision and inaction regarding whether to stay or go or cheat. One hurdle has been removed from your path, don't manufacture another in your head to replace it and keep you running in place. Take advantage of the opportunity to move forward. You have the great fortune that you live in the age of the Internet, and there's really no such place as the middle of nowhere any more.

Your distress at having a sexless marriage is normal, as is your anger about how your life to date has been without intimacy and passion.<br />
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But to say that your age and location will prevent you from having this in the future is defeatist. YOU control your location. If you believe you cannot find love in your area, then you need to take active steps to go beyond those boundaries. Whether that means moving, travelling or choosing on-line romance is up to you.<br />
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As for your age, that is just ridiculous! You are only half way through your life. You will probably live between thirty and forty more years! Do you plan to give up NOW on any future happiness? <br />
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Your wife was certainly responsible for the absence of passion and intimacy in your marriage. But YOU are now responsible for those things in the future. If you fail to take active steps to find these things, then it will be YOU who has failed you!<br />
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At present you will probably be unready for a new relationship. I believe you need about a year to grieve the loss of your wife and to get your life back in balance for yourself. But these are only my thoughts - it may take you less time, or more time.<br />
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But once you feel ready to start opening your heart again, please take the necessary steps to do so. There IS happiness out there for you - you just have to be prepared to seek it.

Your not the only one. I am in the same situation. I stayed in my marriage only for my children. Now its too late for me to start over. We no longer share a bed... or even touch... and its been that way for almost 10 years now.

My partner and I both left our marriages at age 57 and are now both 60 and living togeter very happily. Do NOT let your age be a barrier to future happiness.