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This Shouldn't Be So Common

I've been married 10 years to a wonderful man. He's loving and attentive in every way but one. We have 2 small children and a comfortable life.

We don't have a completely sexless marriage. On average we partake about every month or two--but that can't be normal or healthy. I'm so envious of my girlfriends that complain about their husbands " wanting it all the time".

If I had to foresee a marital issue...this wouldn't have even been on the radar. I've tried to talk to my husband about it, and he tries to assure me that everything is fine. I'm done discussing it because..who wants to have sex with someone that doesn't desire them?

I take good care of myself and stay fit and feel I'm attractive. I get the attention of other men but it doesn't curb the hurt feelings of not being desired by my own husband. What's strange is that my husband is very flirty with me, especially around friends and family. Almost like he at least wants to have the illusion we're swinging from the chandeliers.

I have never cheated on my husband or considered it until recently. I met a man with whom I have a mutual attraction with...he's married also. The thought of hurting my husband makes me feel physically ill. I would never leave my husband, I love him dearly and hope to grow old with him. If I knew I could have an affair and be assured that he would never find out, I have to admit I would. I just don't know if I can risk what I have.

Since I've spent time with the other man I feel alive again, like a woman again. I'm not some sex crazed nyphmo,I just miss what I think should be part of a marriage. I never though I'd be a person considering such a thing.

Is it worth the risk or is almost perfect enough?
Sarah464 Sarah464 41-45, F 20 Responses Aug 8, 2012

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Sounds to me like your husband is still interested in you - so maybe it's a medical problem with him?<br />
Has the other guy (the one you are attached to) propositioned or hinted that he wants to take things further with you?

I've thought of the possibility of a medical problem, but he's told me that everything works fine. In fact he's told me that he needs to "take care" of himself every couple of days or he can't think straight. Now what the heck am I supposed to think of that?

I know the other man is ready to take things further. Just not sure if I can. I want to, but I don't want to be that slutty woman that cheats on her husband and worse yet cheat with someone else's husband.

It sounds very strange then. How does husband respond when you try to seduce him? There can only be a limited set of excuses.
Here's some other possibilities,they may not be correct, just throwing them out there..
1. perhaps he is having an affair already?
2. perhaps he is trying to hide latent homosexuality?

He's basically cheating on you right now. Withholding is cheating and it's even more so that he will satisfy himself without you. Men who do that do it because they are too lazy to bother to try and put the effort into satisfying their partner.

The longer it goes the worse you will feel about yourself.

Let him know that you will discreetly seek it elsewhere and don't put up with his BS.

I posted this somewhere else but thought you might like to see it.
I'm trying it now. I basically presented it as a done deal and my wife was free to deal with it how she wanted to. I tried not to be an *** but I doubt that I succeeded very well with that part of it. But after eleven years of rejection I kind of felt that it was my turn.

So far it works but I sure would like to see my girlfriend more than I do. Work has kept us apart when we planned to be together lately. Oh well, soon...

We met to see if we would like each other enough to have sex but found so much more together. It was rough trying to sort out my feelings at first and took a while to figure out that my self confidence had taken quite a beating during the previous eleven years of rejection.

I occasionally have insecure moments when I doubt that anyone would truly be interested in me but that happens less often and for much shorter periods now. Hey, it's only been six months since we met.

A real relationship should, in my view, be just that. Real and honest. If you were to have an affair you'd be compounding the dishonesty that sits at the heart of the problem you have now. Without a willingness on both sides to get to the bottom of what causes his disinterest (and of course the issue lies with him, not you), there is no relationship. Not even a friendship really. He may be gay but in denial of course. Or he may just have a low drive for all sorts of reasons. If having had the chance to face it together, perhaps through counselling, things just can't change, you may decide to move on. But at least you'll know that you did so in a loving and mature way.

"Everything is great bar the sex" eh ?<br />
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So good, that you would have an affair if you figured you could carry it off covertly.<br />
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I think you need to severely challenge your position that 'everything is great bar the sex'. You are kidding yourself.<br />
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Tread your own path.

In the same boat love. My hubby and I are great together apart from with the whole sex thing, im over speaking to him because it sucks having someone do it out of Duty. I really wouldnt have an affair but i can honestly see why you would think of it, its hard missing out such a huge chunk of married life

It is worth the risk! Changed my life and gave me back to myself.

Can you share what happened with your affair? Are you still married and if so did she ever find out?

A charade can go both ways. Your H may put on a public display of affection to keep up the appearance of normalcy. You might put on a similar act while you assemble and execute an exit plan. One seeks the status quo, the other a radical change.<br />
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At the heart of this is the decision to stay and work on it, or to roll the dice again.

Is it worth it? Well yes in the fact that you feel alive and valued on your most important terms for the first time in years. And no in that feeling alive you face the reality of your situation in new and very stark terms. Terms that will leave you sobbing. My sense of the guilt part is that you will have none interestingly enough. Guilt can be a minor emotion compared to the others that an intimate affair creates that there is little room for it. So I suppose "going there" means your raise the emotional chemistry of your brain to somewhat scary levels for good and bad. Good luck - no easy answer.

Great response. Have you had an affair and if so do you regret it or how do you feel it impacted your marriage?

Agree with NWFLMan completely. Once you go there and actually feel visible, desired, satisfied, it's impossible to go back to the way things were. All of us here are good at compartmentalizing, or else we wouldn't have lasted in SMs for this long---but I don't think many people can compartmentalize this combo. The difference is too stark...

When you figure it out please let me know. I am in the same boat, except our once a month has slipped into once every couple of months or more. This is not the direction I was hoping to go. I have tried to incorporate "marital aids" but he just says that extra stuff is not necessary... I have thought about an affair, but to me sex is part of love and I don't want some random hookups, that totally turns me off.

Wonderful man, huh? Pardon me while I disagree with your character judgement. Let's see...first of all, he doesn't respect your feelings. You're voicing your displeasure, and he's poo-pooing it like it's nothing. Secondly, he's showing you little physical affection, which btw, probably has zero to do with your looks. You're a doll on a shelf that he takes down once in a while to play with. Not my idea of wonderful...

I just cant help but wonder if there might be something that has affected his ability to perform and he feels ashamed. Maybe errectile dysfunction or something he doesnt want to talk about. Maybe he should see a doc if u are for sure that he isnt performing for someone else. If u love him and it sounds like u do, dont hurt him or your children with an affair. Be loyal to yourself because in the end u have to live with yourself & the decisions u make. God bless.

"I've tried to talk to my husband about it, and he tries to assure me that everything is fine. "<br />
"The thought of hurting my husband makes me feel physically ill."<br />
Your husband does not want to admit there is a problem ,he is quite comfortable with the situation and trying to manipulate you to think the problem is in you... Sorry,he is not that loving as you try to convince yourself(or he tries to convince you)...

Exactly!

I don't know what to tell you, but an affair will not thelp. If he thought you MAY have done something before and was upset, just think how it would be if you did and he found out. Affairs are for people who don't like themselves or their partners much. And it sounds like you still love him. Seek counseling or couples therapy. He deserves that much if you have a good life together with 2 small children. Peace.

Wish ep included like buttons on replies! Discovered that early on in my affair, and made the decision to instead live my life genuinely. Confronted my dissatisfaction and moved on...

Sara, face it...you're fishing for someone to answer, "yes, affairs are great - do it." If you want it that badly, just friggin' do it. But don't say we didn't give you plenty of warning ;)

my hubby is like yours. he acts good in front of others but when no ones there, even hugs are forced. I say come here and he's like "what?" he gets annoyed i want him to walk to me just for a hug. which leads me to believe that they know whats up they just don't care.

Why do people like your husband say "everything's fine" when it patently isn't? It's absurd. It's as bad as saying It ain't raining outside when it it's absolutely tipping it down.<br />
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Folks are saying that if you go down the affair route that you had better be prepared in advance. I would go further. You shouldn't do it because you can't do it, at least not successfully. If the very thought of it makes you feel nauseous I just can't see you carrying it off. You will end up letting the guilt eat into you and end up confessing. I would give you about a 80 - 90 percent probability that you will. You just aren't the right sort of character for it. Can you at least do righteous and indignant?<br />
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Having said that, I don't know what else to say that would be anything else other than bland platitudes. I'm assuming you have been around and around in circles and have simply run out of sensible ideas. You could always tell him you are going to put your body up for auction to the most appealing bid on Ebay and see how it goes. I wonder whether he would even put in a bid?

Ouch...got a little bruised up form the last remark. I've had mature conversations and the "not so mature" conversations...during the latter have somewhat threatened to have an affair. He couldn't sleep...woke me up at 3am asking me if I had. It's very confusing--why would he be so worried about it.

-----"why would he be so worried about it."

You need to do extensive reading on this forum. Just because a spouse does not want to engage in an intimate way does NOT mean they want anyone else to have you either. It would be a loss of pride, of ownership, possibly questions of paternity, a lose of your husbands comfortable life if you leave him for another man, and on and on. Note I did not say it was necessarily because he was wildly in love with you - it might be because he fears a loss of your comfort/companionship/care should you find another that provides you more intimacy.

I recommend you STOP threatening to have an affair, this does nothing but erode trust further and is NOT a way to get your husband to be more intimate with you. If the threat does spur him to engage in more intimacy it would probably not be sustainable over the long haul. If you are serious about having an affair (I don't believe you are at that point yet though perhaps you two need counselling and more thing to try) then I recommend you do the following:
1. Tell him - not threaten, just tell him you are not going to live without intimacy any longer and that this step you have decided to take is not to hurt him, but to get your needs met. This allows him one of three options:

1. To get intimately engaged in the marriage and work with you towards bettering the intimate envrionment - OR
2. To accept, without complaint, that you are going outside the union for satisfaction OR
3. To divorce you.

He needs to know where you are at in this process. Do not shield him from the brutual truth here.

Sounds like he wants you 2 starve with him.

Sarah. Don't say "Ouch!" for goodness sake! While he wasn't putting in a bid for your body, he wasn't putting a bid in for any other woman's body. That little factzoid won't make you feel one jot better about your predicament but at least it should enable you to achieve a little better perspective. Mvcmvc is absolutely right on. Whatever problems/issues he has he doesn't want to be humiliated by the notion that virtually any 15 year old teenager could muster together a better game plan, or for that matter any 90 year-old. Not that I am making any specific suggestions. BTW, if you feel you need to stoop to insulting him in frustration try that line on him rather than accusing him of being gay, it will hurt a lot more. I'm tempted to tell you to start battering him around the head with a rolling pin until something that looks vaguely like a rational explanation falls out, yelping for dear life. It's these ******, vacuous, inane one-liners that get my goat, "It's me, not you" (Ha!). "I don't know what's wrong" (Go on have a guess!). "Everything's fine" (Really? I must be dumb, explain it to me). Would you be at least relieved if he told you, for example, that he simply hadn't got the hots for you anymore? He reckons not. He probably knows exactly what the issue is or the issues are, he's just not telling like a lot in that situation because they are SCARED. Like being in the fall-out zone from Little-Boy going off.

Ok, I feel like I need to defend myself with above noted "I threatened to have an affair" comment. I know that wasn't my finest moment..believe me. I think I've conducted myself pretty respectfully. I've told him that I'm a strong woman, can handle anything or any reason, I just want to know. If he's not attracted to me...I've asked him just to tell me..that won't hurt me any more than what I have going on in my head already. He's even told me that it's a very primal desire for a man to feel like they're satisfying their wife in that way....and yet still nada mucho.
The rolling pin idea will be the next course of action.

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Thanks for your thoughtful responses....especially Mvcmvc. All great points.

BEFORE you take such a tremendous risk, you need a contingency plan. That is, you need to find out how a divorce would pan out in your jurisdiction. For if your husband gets wind of any extra intimate marital activity he might move to divorce you. Or you might fall in love with the other guy, or some other scenario that would lead you to divorce.<br />
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You are thinking of engaging in high risk behavior, and if you do so, you need to be prepared BEFORE you engage.<br />
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Be smart, play smart.

Thank you for your insight?

Thank you for your insight...did not mean to put a question mark after that!

go ahead and go for it, you only live once. I did and have to admit it was AWESOME!!! Nothing is better then feeling WANTED by your partner without having to beg for it or feel like it is an inconvienence to them. <br />
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But there are risks and getting caught SUCKS, but that is a whole other topic

-----"Is it worth the risk or is almost perfect enough?"<br />
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You will have to be the judge of that. I take it from your story that your starting position here is "all is great bar the sex".<br />
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Now, from that starting point a couple of things popped out here:<br />
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-----"What's strange is that my husband is very flirty with me, especially around friends and family. Almost like he at least wants to have the illusion we're swinging from the chandeliers."<br />
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Your intuition is correct on this one. Classic PDA (Public Display of Affection) behavior normally for territory marking and not to build intimacy or further the marital intimate happiness. For that behavior to feel authentic to you the flirting would NOT stop once out of the public eye, but only begin.<br />
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-----"I've tried to talk to my husband about it, and he tries to assure me that everything is fine."<br />
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I would venture a guess here that he feels guilty and that he knows you are hurting/disasatisfied with the level/frequency of intimate interaction. People do not like to feel guilty and that might be why he assures that everything is OK when it clearly is not. If it were you would not be asking internet stranges how to deal with your marriage issue.<br />
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Keep reading on here you might find something of value.<br />
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But be warned - reading on here might make you question your stance of "all is great bar the sex" once you place your marital dynamics underneath a microscope and examine more closely.

"Classic PDA (Public Display of Affection) behavior normally for territory marking and not to build intimacy or further the marital intimate happiness." ---------------

That is most likely. The alternative explanation might be one of what constitutes "sexy" for this husband, with regards to his wife. I've seen it proven a number of times in my own situation that when my wife SEES me with the kids being a great Dad, it turns her on. Note that being superdad apart and away from her, to give her a "break", does NOTHING, even if she is fully cognizant of the reason. Not surprisingly, her own familial parenting relationship growing up, was extremely unsatisfying to her. I pose that the flirting might actually be genuine and keyed to that context.

I agree. Good points. But over time continual PDA's without the wifes' intimate satisfaction in private only keeps the husbands interest. If he fails to satisfy the wife in private then the PDA is useless to her - and she will grow to resent that particular behavior - because she knows it leads to nothing.

All good points. I do resent it. It's not authentic and it's not for my benefit. In fact I don't know what it benefits.

Totally agree...my hub is very big on PDA to the point where I tried to discuss our problems with my mum and the first thing out of her mouth was 'but he's so loving and affectionate'. So if/when I leave it will be my fault of course...

Sarah464: am pondering same questions as you...not an easy decision to make. If you do it enjoy every second of it but be prepared in case the **** hits the fan...it sucks feeling forced into this kind of a situation - but of course its not really being forced is it...its us not wanting or being ready to give up what we have and what our children have. Good luck xx

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"This shouldn't be so common"? And that judgment is being passed on, let's see, four million years of evolution that couldn't possibly have any consideration for the hurt caused by refusal? Really. For four million years, all that mattered was whether the man had bigger muscles, clubs and balls than the competition, and whether the woman had strong hips and a fertile uterus. Political correctness, balance and consent between the partners was damned until what, a few hundred years back? Allow Nature a couple million years and all this will get sorted out. Yes, the evolution of human sexuality really sucks.

When did you enter me and live my life...are you still here? It's a ***** dear, and unless is changes you're in for a haul of frustration and discontent. Sorry.