Finally Putting It Into Words.

I have been coming to this site off and on for a while now. Reading your stories and taking in what I read to try and make some sense out of the marriage I find myself.

My situation is slightly different than most in that we have always had a sexless marriage. Starting with our wedding night when most are anxious to consummate the commitment they just made in front family and friends, she wasn't having any of it. In fact, it was three days in to our marriage before we consummated things. I'll spare the play by play of the last 12 years of our marriage but the pain of rejection I felt those first few days have been repeated thousands of nights since. Sometimes going months and on two occasions over a year and nearly a year with no intimacy.

I have had repeated conversations with her regarding how this is a problem for me and that I would like things to change. Our circumstances never change and while my head knows things will never change there is a shred of hope left in my heart. My wife is and has always been a physically desirable woman, I still consider her to be my best friend and she is a wonderful mother to our children.

Through my experiences I have come to realize two truths; One, I can only control my own actions. Two, the rejection still stings and hurts as much as it did that first time.

I do not know conclusively why my wife has little to no sex drive. She has told me she wasn't abused as a child and mostly had a happy childhood. She has no major medical conditions, although she does have some chronic pain issues. However, these pain issues mostly do not limit her doing physical activities she wants to pursue. I have often suspected she doesn't find me physically attractive but she denies this is the case. Maybe some day she will be able to share with me the why, if she even knows herself.

I have tried many things to remedy the situation including; talking, self-help books, improving my physical appearance (admittedly I have since let myself go), manipulation and regrettably I have even resorted to what I would consider begging. Some tactics have given me short-term gains but ultimately we have reverted back to our sexless norm. All of this is what led me to the conclusion that I can only control myself, mentioned previously.

The rejection I have felt have had varied consequences for me over the years. I have bouts of insomnia, well, more than bouts really, I am awake in to the wee hours of the morning at least two nights a week. At times I have gone a week or more with 2-3 hours of sleep a night. I have stopped taking care of myself physically. I have struggled with my weight for most of my life but had it under control for many years. Now I find food the only inadequate substitution I'm willing to pursue. I am at times moody and short tempered and can be somewhat impulsive when sleep deprived and just generally angry at the situation. I'm sure there are healthier alternatives to dealing with my emotions but this is the path I have chosen for myself. Divorce is not a viable option for me for religious, financial and familial reasons. Seeking out a woman for an affair is not something I find appealing. While I am a man and I do notice the attractiveness of other women there really is only one woman I desire. Alternatively, I have no concrete evidence but I do suspect she has had an affair or is having an affair. I go back and forth if I want to know or not.

Mostly, I have given up, I have done what I am willing to do and until the day she is ready to make the effort things will not change. As I stated before my head tells me things will never change and I will continue to feel that sting of rejection, my heart still holds out a shred of hope that someday, somehow things will change.
Micc35 Micc35
36-40, M
12 Responses Nov 25, 2012

Hello Micc35,
My story is similar but we had a great sex life up till about 7 years ago. My wife was diagnosed as peri-menopausal and her sex drive has declined to almost nil. Before that it was a nightly occurance. There are medical answers out there for this issue but she refuses to address it, through medicine or counseling. She has decided that we are old and it is time to sit in the rocker and wait to die. I'm not ready for that yet.

I spent a couple of years trying everything I could think of to change her mind or at least to let her know how it affects me. The rejection, the lack of intimacy, etc. All to no avail.

I can hire a woman to come in and clean, cook, do the laundry or anything else you can think of without conflicting with my moral or religous beliefs......except for sex. She is withholding the one thing that religion says I should only share with her!!

I figure that if she isn't willing to help me with my needs she isn't fulfilling her end of the bargain. I have cheated and slept well afterwards. There are many women in the same boat and I was lucky to find one looking for a long term relationship.

I am not saying I am right or that it isn't a sin, I am in love with my wife and don't want to divorce her but I was going crazy. We humans are sexual creatures and we need that intimacy to survive and be healthy.

Behind every man having a mid-life crisis, I believe there is a woman who has decided that sex isn't as important as it used to be

If she has had or is having an affair, she is NOT asexual.

"my heart still holds out a shred of hope that someday, somehow things will change." Wishful thinking I'm afraid. Consider this:
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
Not much hope there, is there??

You have at least another forty to fifty years of life ahead of you (Deo Volente). What an extraordinary WASTE of your life to spend it with a woman who is not, never has been and never can be a true WIFE for you!!

You seriously (very seriously) need to stand back from your emotions and take a long hard look at the realities of your situation. At present you are letting your heart rule your head, and (forgive me for saying so) wallowing in a victim mentality. That is absolutely understandable - but it will get you nowhere. . . . .

Your pain is real and it will not go away until you start to make some changes in the way you think and act. This is my experience....detach from her! As long as you stay emotional attached to an emotionally unavailable person - you will suffer, suffer, suffer. Go to counseling, go to the gym, go see your doctor for depression, start doing things for you, stop focusing on her.....make a plan to get away (see an attorney). Or, you can just stay where you are, continue to be emotionally abused, continue to gain weight, continue to be depressed. Stand up and fight for something better my friend!

If you suspect she is cheating, do find out. Some people say "it's wrong to snoop, blah blah blah..." But if you have a legit reason to suspect an affair (and not having sex with you is a big sign), then you are more than justified. It is not an invasion of privacy if you have reasonable cause (not having sex with you is reasonable cause). Look into key loggers etc...if you find yourself hesitating, realize it is not due to morals - it is because you are afraid to know the truth - either she is having an affair (devastating), or she is not (just as devastating).

Some highlights for you: you say divorce is not an option for financial reasons. Are you sure of this? I'm also curious to know why this is. Is it because you two are up to your eyeballs in debt? Or is it because you make alot of money and don't cherish the idea of lots of support payments? If so, remember, she gets all your money now ANYWAY. Also, see a lawyer to see if your fears are founded.

You say you let yourself go. I certainly understand that, as I have a little as well. Used to be 167 pounds, and ripped as hell. Now I am 167 pounds, with a thin layer of fat and no six pack. I was on my way to fixing it, but got sidetracked. Really, I think getting to this point was a reflection of low self esteem. Once my esteem came back up (because of no more rejections), I started working out. Got sidetracked, but am getting back on track this week. You will feel better once you get in shape. Don't get in shape for her, do it for yourself.

Another thing to consider - the insomnia that your marriage enforces will impact your health in a major way. 2-3 hours in a week, even if that is a wild exaggeration and you are really getting 2-3 hours a night, is FAR FAR FAR below what you need to stay healthy. People who don't sleep don't live as long those you do. Is your money/religion/etc really worth more than your own life?

As for religion, see 1 Corinthians 7. Even Paul, a sexless wonder himself (if you belive his writing), says spouses should not withold from each other. Granted, he says it as a concession, rather than commandment, but he did not have the authority to make a commandment anyway.

Bottom line is she does not desire you, nor respect your need for physical intimacy. To put it another way, you are, very directly, being used. This will go on for as long as you let it. For you to be used in this way requires your consent, which you give every day.

I won't say you should leave, but I will say it is time for you to make moves to see the situation clearly.

<p>"Divorce is not an option.... I do suspect she .. is having an affair" Re-read that a few times.</p><p>I feel your heart really is telling you things, and you are not listening. Why else are you on this site, taking the huge little step of having posted here? And your head is not doing its job because it's accepting illogical statements (divorce is not an option) and is not finding out the facts.</p>

"...until the day she is ready to make the effort things will not change."

Chances are that will never happen.

Why should she make that effort? If she had the sort of empathy required to make the effort, she probably would have already done so.

There is no place so lonely as the inside of a dead marriage.

So well said! Is that original? I'm sure to quote it.

Its been a long while since I used this analogy - red pill or blue pill.....its your choice. Take one and you may find your way to a more authentic life. Take the other and continue to sleep fitfully with that ache in your chest measuring out the slow death of your soul. Its not your spouse's choice - she already made it. Its yours and no one gets to pass on making a choice.

In the same boat as you but not as ethical and commuted as you are... And I truly admire how strong you are... Read up this site is very usefull if not anything else but at least to know there are other people in the same boat... Be strong.

So your abhorrence of divorce is based on "religious, financial and familial reasons". In short, what other persons such as the clergy, your banker, your parents have told you to think.

I will suggest one thing only. Challenge your thinking on this subject. Challenge it severely and challenge it on a fully informed basis. Start by seeing a lawyer in your jurisdiction and see how a divorce would shake out.

Then, make an informed choice - OF YOUR OWN.

If your missus is cheating as you suspect, she may find it necessary to give you the arse, whether you like the idea or not.

Tread your own path.

My heart breaks for you. I found this website only a week or so ago, and it's been very insightful, helpful and validating for me. I hope you find it the same way. I encourage you to read other people's stories, because you will find yourself and your wife in them, and it will lead you to finding some of the answers you are looking for. That is what happened for me.

I have been in an almost sexless relationship for 25 years, and have only just discovered the dysfunction has a name - passive aggressive husband. I read a lot about it (after it was suggested by some of the people on this site after reading my story) and boy oh boy the Ah HA moment has really hit.

I wish you the best, but please read widely here, and you might just find what you need to know. If nothing else, you will know absolutely that you are not alone.

totally understand. I know what its like to be the only real active person in your marriage. it sucks.

i know.