Witching Hour

I walk on eggshells. I don't want to upset him. It would just add to the stress in our home. I sigh. How long should I keep my thoughts about our SM to myself (this time)? Long before I found this site, and just after our fourth wedding anniversary, I was unhappy. Sad and frustrated are words that don't even begin to describe the depth of grief and sorrow I feel, but I don't have to tell most of you that.

It's currently witching hour at my house. It's past midnight, and I could probably sleep if there wasn't a monster (my refuser) in our bed. I've realized now that my insomnia is not really a sleep disorder - it's a total lack of sex and intimacy disorder. I get restless and irritable in the evening, because it's the time of day I should be looking forward to crawling into bed with a frisky partner who is anticipating a playful, or passionate, or hard core, or quick, roll in the proverbial hay. Instead, I watch TV, play a game, or go online, to avoid going into the bedroom. A room that represents rejection, lack of self confidence, and constant disappointment.

I feel like I am Jekyll and Hyde. Daylight hours are filled with kids, house cleaning, visiting with friends, lunch, dinner, homework etc. I get through my day, functioning somewhat normally. Then, after the kids are in bed, my loathing and writhing surface. How can he sit there watching football (or eating a sandwich, or talking on the phone, or insert whatever verb your refuser does here) when I sit nearby suffering in silence?

I know I need to reacquaint him with my misery. Keeping things to myself, only drives me crazier than I've already become. So, I decided that I would have to have "the talk" with him - again.

The first time I confronted him with my feelings regarding our SM was eight years ago. It was around Christmas, our favourite time of year. We had been together for 10 years, 4 of them married. If I remember correctly, we had only had sex nine times in the last two years. At that time our children were ages three and one. I had gone to a party solo, and got a little tipsy on spirits. A guy I had been introduced to, zoomed in and gave me some much needed attention. I guess I felt guilty that when he brushed my cheek with his lips, that I ached to reciprocate. That guilt ignited my anger, and when I got home fueled the flames of that first "talk."

That initial discussion wounded him deeply. It was the first time I ever saw him cry. He couldn't say much, other than that he loved me and the children with all of his heart and didn't want to lose us. At least I witnessed his raw emotion, and I knew he honestly meant what he said. Reassured by his professed love for me, I stayed.

Fast forward eight years, I still live in a SM. My third child is 6. I've had sex twice in the past six years. Once when the baby was conceived, and once afterward (about five years ago). I'm done putting on a performance. I can't hold back my feelings anymore. Everyone can see I'm depressed. I've been through a lot of high stress events and an injury, all in the last year, so it's understandable. Little does anyone in my "real" life know what is at the root of my discontent.

I waited for the timing to be right to approach my refuser again. He had a meeting out of town, and he asked that I accompany him. Of course I obliged. While we were on our drive home, I knew I had him cornered and he couldn't escape my deluge of questions, and outpouring of my feelings.

I am a sexual person, and I need physical contact and passionate touching. I told him how his lack of interest in me and repeated refusals make me feel unwanted, lonely, ugly, and pathetic. I asked him if he does this to deliberately hurt me. He said he doesn't. I told him that perhaps he was subconsciously trying to hurt me. He doesn't think so. I asked him if he was going to try and rectify our situation? He said that he would try.

Well, it's been 10 days since this latest "talk" and I'm no farther ahead than I was eight years ago. I'm trying to assess my husband according to other stories I've read online to see if he is passive aggressive. Sometimes I think he is, but mostly I think he is asexual. It is possible that this is due to some medical issues, but since he refuses to see a professional, I may never know.

Believe it or not, I'm not ready to leave. I guess I have to get to the point where I've exhausted every effort to restore our marriage, before I can walk away from it. I think most people would have moved on years ago. Why is it that I can't let go. I don't have an exit strategy yet, but I'm mulling it over in my head. My finances are pathetic, but I started a saving account for myself anyway. I'm considering seeking the advice of a lawyer, just in case. Maybe I will feel more empowered if I am prepared for a split, even though that's not what I think I want.

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Thoughts that invade my brain and stream constantly through my mind... You could see how emotionally exhausting and draining this would be.

I have entertained the idea of leaving, and finding someone more compatible. I could see myself staying until the children are more independent. I can see myself staying "until death do us part" too. Instead of growing old together, we are drifting apart together. I fear staying and being rejected, lonely, and sad. I fear leaving and being rejected by our families and friends, not being able to find a new partner, and sad because of splitting up my family. I fear leaving, because I would be ashamed and embarrassed to tell people the reason for the dissolution of our marriage. I know it's nobody's business, and I wouldn't want to hurt my refuser by putting that out there. I fear staying and having to have "the talk" again, and again, and again. I don't want to rehash this dysfunctional relationship thing over and over again. I fear staying and my refuser having sex with me out of pity and obligation. I think I may rather be alone than have sex with my refuser who has become emotionally detached and awkward in the bedroom. I don't think I'm comfortable with him touching me anymore (not that he has tried). I wouldn't know if his actions are genuine or forced. I resent him. I appreciate all the little things he does for me. He took care of me, when I need help due to my injury. It must be love then? I still care for him; however, I'm not sure if I love him anymore. Does he really love me? I daydream that we are sexually active. I pray that our marriage would be healed. I don't know how much longer I can take this. It's a lose lose situation. I think I'm stuck. Sigh.

It's now 3am, still not ready to get in bed with the refuser.
Unjusted Unjusted
41-45, F
7 Responses Sep 17, 2012

i work to try to forget about the lack of sex... she never approaches me for sex, i ask all the time and am sick of being refused. to try to fill the lonliness and empty lonley life, i work my full time job and took a on call job. i do security part time have a lawn cutting business and do home renovations and have my full time job. i fill the emptyness with work but it dosent help when the job is done. at my full time job i do extra little jobs because the reconition feels good. my daughters i spend time with, take them shopping, to appointments, take to movies or for something to eat. refuser wife i donrt even ask to go anywhere because answer is no... you think after reading all those harlequin romance books she would want sex.. she watches tv or reads until 1 or 2 in the morning, she dosent work quit in november. its not a partnership its more like being a single father with 3 kids, 2 daughters and a wife. its kind of hard going home when there is nothing to go home to, no kiss at the door no how was your day no dinner made nothing... i try, i bought her roses rented a motel and took her for a drive to see the fall colours, packed her a bag for overnight with a nice teddy to wear to bed instead of her ugly flannel. we went for a drive had dinner out went to the motel and all she did was watch the tv not interested in sex or anything. she says you should be glad, i know lots of women who are like me and only have sex a couple times a year... i felt like saying good bye, it feels like there is nothing left. i am not dead, i am in pretty good shape, i take care of myself? i just dont understand how someone stops enjoying sex... guess i am too loyal and take my marriage vows seriously but for how much longer?

We've all taken our marriage vows seriously, that is why we are here... Racking our brains, banging our heads against the wall looking for answers, wringing our hands, writhing in pain, suffocating in our sadness and grief. That is why you are trying to replace sex with work, and I am trying to replace it with food. I'm sorry we are in the same boat. This forum has become my life raft... for now. Hopefully I'll reach the shore soon, and I can stop worrying about drowning and start enjoying beach. Sorry for sounding corny... But as you know our situation stinks. It's not fair, and it's UNJUST! I think we have taken our vows more seriously than our refusers, because I don't see them losing sleep or popping antidepressants over it. In fact I can hear my refuser's heavy sleep filled breath coming from the bedroom, while I am here fuming. From time to time I've told him how I feel, and he hasn't done anything to improve our situation (and I've given him ample time), so why is it that I'm sure he will be shocked when I ask him for a separation? Because he is selfish!

Alright, alright... I'll shut up now cause I'm on your side and I don't want you to think Im hatin on you. Thanks for the vent!

I am tired of hearing if you love me you will wait. Or you have to love me enough and respect me enough to wait... i am ready to walk but my vows. She says things like other wives are the same or be thankful. There is no reasoning... i thought making love was bondingand solidifing your marriage so your eyes dont wander. Mt oldest daughter17, 18 in a month says to me i am moving out in june dad you need to find someone to make you happy my 15 year old daughter is torn between us i fugure i am stilk young enough when she goes to college , that way she wont be in the house , then i will move on the sacrafices i have made.. i went up to 270 lbs am six foot two. Changed my diet i eat more healthy and work out 3x a week in six months i went doun to 200 lbs am now at 225 lbs. I feel great. My cholesterol is really low i have no health issues . My cholesterol before was too high. Dr wanted ro put me on pills. I has a cardiac episode a piece of plaque broke off from a artery and lodged in my heart. They say no damage to my heart so i decided to not have thst hapoen again. So thats why i dont eat like i did before

"I resent him. I appreciate all the little things he does for me" I have been married for 22 years. I share the same conflicting emotions as you do. I wish I could say that it gets better, that you would stop desiring to be with a man. There will be days when you may think, while I can live like this and then it will creep back up on you. You will find yourself longing to put on a dress and go out to a candlelit dinner with a man. If you are like me, when some man tells you that you are pretty, you will that you have gone crazy.. can he see right through me? Does he know how desperately lonely I am? I feel guilty for my thoughts, like I am the town *****, when in reality, I am living the life of a nun.

In the opening of Saving Private Ryan, the captain realizes his troops are being sliced to pieces on Omaha Beach. They have impassable water behind them, and machinegun muzzles in front of him. He rallies the troops, throws together a hasty plan, and they move forward to "Get the hell off this beach"

Wow your story is very reflective and I can honestly say that you are being very giving and selfless and that despite all the rejection and hurt you genuinely love him and don't want anyone but him but he still chooses to ignore your need for intimacy and passion. He is very lucky to have you and while I am in a similar situation I know its hard to imagine that he is lucky to have you because he chose to shut down sexual contact and if someone realizes how lucky he is he should want to reward that not punish it..... I like you are on the fence as to staying or leaving and we genuinely want to believe our partners will finally change and we will be able to live happily ever after, and that is what we want, but we know realistically the odds of them changing is slim to none..... But finally giving up on them means finally acknowledging that the marriage was a failure and that is a hard pill to swallow.....

I am ten year ahead of you – but have moved to counter refusing and what I like to call childish thinking for the past couple of years.

It seems true to me that our spouses have absolutely no understanding at the most basic level what we are feeling. I imagine it is like phobia- what one person feels when they see a spider is not near what another may feel. Trying to get them to appreciate how deep down this feels is one than but in the end, one will be afraid of spiders at chemical level and the other not.

It also seem true that our attempt to change them only results in them feeling we are insane. My wife readily admits “you need sex more than I do” and she “try’s really hard” – by that I mean she asks “do you want to make love tonight?” – so she really is walking amongst her spiders because she knows she has to, she wants to be a good partner. But you know that is not intimacy – that is duty. For most of us rather than appreciating their struggles- deep down, we become repulsed by the efforts. And if they “try really hard’ – I feel guilty for not appreciating the efforts.

Some years ago I came to the hard truth that the prospect of living my whole remaining life with this partner – was inconceivable. I chose various doors and sit now looking at what may be the only real solution – leaving.

To your point: The prospect of living the rest of one's life without intimacy is inconceivable! bt there are many layers. Your partner as a parent, your partner as a friend and financial partnership, among others. All of these issues have to be addressed to resolve the issue

I have lived your life...

He's offered nothing to bring intimacy back into your marriage - in fact, he's done the opposite through his inaction. He's not able to meet your needs though I'm sure it's true he loves you. He's got an issue to which he won't seek answers...that's the crux of the situation. You're willing to move mountains to figure this out, and he's not even willing to throw a shovel full of dirt.

This story is so familiar. I'll bet he's not asexual but it doesn't matter. His reasons don't matter except to him. He's the one who's got to act if the marriage is going to be saved. I think you already know that's not likely.

Stay strong. Seek out friends and professionals to help you through this next phase. It's not easy but it's no harder than staying in a situation that robs you of the life you want.

I think your moment of clarity is way closer than you might think.

To an outside observer, your situation reads as done. Absolutely done.

Based on impartial objective assessment, what you'll need to do is obvious. However, you have the distinct disadvantage of being "in" the dynamic and as such, cold hard objective thinking is NOT a weapon at your disposal at this time.

However, all is not lost, because being "in" the situation will also - eventually - ramp up your pain level to such an extent that sheer self preservation will compel you to do the exact same thing that cold hard objective thought suggests would be your best course of action. Eventually.

The latter scenario involves more pain, which no member of this group would wish upon you. Indeed the members here would greatly prefer you to take the less painful route ("less" being a relative term - there are no pain free tickets out of Dodge)

Personally, I think you've had enough pain now. What say you ?

Tread your own path.