Is He Even Human?

I've been "married" for more than 17 years. About two years into the marriage, I realized that I always initiated and my husband was passive when it came to sex. I wondered what would happen if I stopped initiating. So, I conducted my own little experiment to see what would happen. I found out! Nothing happened . . . absolutely nothing for 9 months until I initiated again. I brought up the subject. He didn't see it as a problem. In fact, he blamed me for it. Isn't it ironic? I am to blame for the anger, frustration, and resentment created by his lack of caring and desire for me. I confronted him with the evidence that he has no desire for me and that he would probably be happier if we were to dissolve the so-called marriage.

That's when I learned several ugly secrets of all this:
He wants me to desire him, but he doesn't need to desire me. The partner who has the least desire has the most power. Also, if he divorces me, he loses the power to deny me my most basic needs. I think he actually enjoys the unhappiness and frustration he creates. I used to be a happy person. I hate him now. Next, the situation is insidious because he can keep up the appearance that he's a nice, benign, Christian husband and father because I was too humiliated to say anything to anyone. Finally, he took advantage of my previous failed marriage and my commitment to make this marriage work and not give up so easily.

Several years into this-having sex only every 9 months or so-I decided I was no longer going to be quiet about this. I was invited to go on Oprah for a show about women whose husbands don't want sex. Well, things changed for a short while when he found out he might be exposed. However, for the past 5 years, there has been no sex at all. I gave up wanting someone who so clearly does not want me.

It is not just sex. There is no affection, no positivity, no encouragement, no partnership, no compassion in spite of several deaths and losses in my family, no understanding. He has gone on vacations without me from Day 1 and has freely admitted that he doesn't miss me when he's away from me because he's enjoying what he's doing so much. He doesn't call when he's on business trips. He sucks any joy, delight, and pleasure out of any experience. I can't stand being around him any more.

He swears that he is not gay or having sex outside the marriage. He says he just doesn't have any desire. While he might benefit from testosterone patches, he doesn't really want to fix the problem. I have made appointments with doctors to determine if there is any other underlying medical cause. We have gone to numerous counselors, Christian and otherwise, who simply refuse to work with us because he is not motivated to make any changes. I have shared this experience with the Christian leaders of the last two churches we have attended. They say the same thing: We can't really help anyone who isn't motivated or who doesn't care enough about anyone else to change. However, in the next breath, they tell me this is not grounds for divorce.

In my opinion, my husband abandoned me at least 15 years ago, assuming he ever committed to begin with. Just because he will not physically leave or file for divorce, does not mean that he is my husband. In fact, his behavior is antithetical to all definitions of the word husband; steward, tiller, cultivator.

I am sick of his passivity, laziness, selfishness, and constant carping. The only time he says two words to me are when he complains about money. He was physically affectionate prior to our marriage and the only reason I have not left is because of our two boys. However, I think he is providing such a horrible example of manhood to them, that I think it would be in their best interest not to have him around. I am also coming to the conclusion that all those pastors and Christian leaders who say that this is not biblical grounds for separation, if not divorce, should really start seeing neglect as abuse. If we neglect our children's physical needs, would we not be charged with child abuse, just as if we had scalded them, burned them, or beaten them?

His continual physical presence is a constant reminder of his rejection. At least if he were no longer in the house, I would not have the same sense of pain and frustration. I would have no expectations of him and would not experience such deep chronic disappointment. This disappointment is heightened since the loss of my brother 4 1/2 years ago, with dealing with an adopted son with Reactive Attachment Disorder, and another adopted son who is constantly resistant to correction. I don't think I can take any more of this.
kylaney kylaney
51-55, F
7 Responses Sep 23, 2012

My dear daughter Kylaney,
This is God speaking.
You have made a Vow and I insist you keep it - no matter how unrealistic or unreasonable that might seem.
I know your spouse has also broken his vows to you (by not being the partner his marriage vows intended) but that does not excuse you.
YOU must remain chained to this insensitive, selfish and unproductive man for the rest of your life.
Why? Because I said so!
It gives me great pleasure to see one of my beloved children writhing in mortal pain because they made a mistake.
(Note to self: Must find out who put in that bit about "forgiveness" - it certainly wasn't ME!)
Now be a good girl, buckle down and live under the yoke of your disappointment, your enormous challenges and your seriously dysfunctional marriage without any more complaint.
I'm off to find another victim (ahem! "beloved child") to whom I can administer the same strictures. . . .

sister I no where you are coming from we are just the reverse me male and her female it been 8 years next month don't get me wrong we all get tired of always using our hand to take care of our selfs and yes I still love her sexless or not

you have totally described the last 3 years of my "marriage"

This reads like you are good to go - bar the religious impediment.

Shop around for a clergy person who will tell you what you want to hear.

Tread your own path.

That's what I figured sister E. Reckon the OP has been consulting the wrong custodians of the faith !!

Yes, the uber-strict may be surprised at the level of compassion and realism they will get from their religion in practice.

"absolutely nothing for 9 months until I initiated again."

I ran the same experiment. My spouse actually initiated at the 11 and 1/2 month mark. It might be coincidental, but in some locales, 12 months without sex is grounds for divorce.

You should talk with a lawyer. Life is short, and you shouldn't live this way.

Hope it will help somehow... Many years ago I had a friend, who was a Catholic, quite devoted one. She wanted me to be involved as well and for several months I went to her church and even had confession to one of the priest(which was actually very helpful and relieving in unexpected way...)... Since then I just slowly returned to religion I was always belong(Ortodox Christian) and having been staying there though have never been too fanatic and extreme church visitor... Just staying private believer and saying my prayers without following any strict order or ritual...

So my friend experienced very hard time in her marriage... Her priest told her that the worst possible abuse(and sin) is the abuse of your own soul... and God does not want anybody to suffer... she should decide for herself if she want prolong self abuse as there is no God's will for it... IMHO he was a really wise man...
Good luck to you!

Keep reading on here. You are not alone, and there is nothing wrong with ending your marriage if it is not bringing even the basic that a marriage should bring to your life.