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Common Denominator?

Who's problem is a sexless marriage anyway? I am in a sexless relationship, much love but not much intimacy. I am the one in this relationship unhappy with the outcome, not him.

I failed at a 13 year marriage, with the father of my children, that ended six years ago. I gave that part of myself away, never to get back. I enabled his alcoholism all the while hating the behavior. I continued to paint a pretty picture and deal with the "Elephant" in our home. When I got out of that I vowed to never be the enabler/martyr again. Yet, here I am.

I love my man, I want desperately to complete him and possibly I do, but he doesn't complete me. We have a long history of great sex and emotional connection; as we were a couple 20 years ago, engaged once, but life called us in different directions. So twenty years later, here we are again. We have a deep connection, just like my ex husband and I had. I am the one unsatisfied. I want more. More intimacy, the ability to grow to one another even stronger, connect more.

I read the comments on here, some angry, jaded, sad, frustrated. It's like we all want this big red "easy" button to fix our broken partners. But who's really the broken one? I am the common denominator in all of my failures, and likewise, my successes. I'm just not prepared to fail once again, give up and walk away. I want to adjust my approach to get to the bottom of this for myself and him. I want to help me without hurting him, because I am the one who wants more. Just a thought.
lonelyouthere lonelyouthere 41-45, F 10 Responses Dec 5, 2012

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Ive been there, done that with the loneliness thing. It sucks and eventually everything works out the way it is intended to be. That being said, you are still human and crave human interaction. Anyway, if you would like, Id like to chat with you and maybe, just maybe for a little bit I can put a smile on your face.

Working on yourself is ALWAYS the best place to start.

Beginning YOUR journey of self improvement and self determination is a great thing.

If you are in a relationship and you are embarking on the journey, one of two things will happen as collateral benefit, or collateral damage.

1 - your partner will embrace the process and join you on the journey, value adding to it by their own personal growth.

or

2 - your partner will not join you on that journey or be incapable of so doing. In which you continue alone.

Tread your own path.

"I want to adjust my approach." You put this at the end, but it sounds like a great place to start. That falls squarely under the category of taking care of yourself and taking responsibility for yourself. How do you plan to do the adjusting? have you thought through situations that are similar in both relationships and what you have done in comparison? Do any incidents stand out as successful exceptions, and can you identify what was different in your approach?

As others have said, don't worry about hurting him. Circle the wagons and take care of yourself.

"I want more" ....is that not the core issue.

<p>Broken?<br />
<p>Do you feel broken?P>You can get to the bottom of it for yourself, but not for him.<br />
<p>The "he completes me" part - that might be a recipie for lesser success.<br />
<p>Instead I look at relationships (all of them) in terms of whether they add or subtract value to my life. I realize this might be a matter of age too - when I was younger (under age 50) I thought more in terms of romantic relationships having a dimension of "completing me".<br />
<p>However, as I have aged and feel comfortable in my own skin (and knowing that life will go on and can be very satisfactory - regardless of romantic relationship status because that status could change at any second) I switched paradigms to the add/subtract value and is the one I use now. Feels so much better.<br />
In what ways is your husband adding value to your life?<br />
<br />
In what ways is he subtracting value?

You vowed not to enable one's bad behavour again but as i read it you are enabling his. Have you sat him down to have an honest talk to him? Does he know you feel this way?

If he doesn't it is probably time you discussed your feelings with him. If you have already done this however it is probably time you gave some thought on how much longer are you prepared to accept this.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

The only thing that really helps a relationship change for the better is open communication between you and your partner. My girlfriend and i do care about eachother a lot but i have the opposite problem as you. She loves sex and that is the only time she wants to be affectionate. Talking about the issue has helped my relationship some and i think it is probably the best option i can suggest to you. The best thing is to talk it through and make sure to come to the conversation without placing blame on anyone for how they feel or what they want.
My best wishes to you with this issue.

Well said, thank you.

I wish I had the answers. I think there can be love between two, but things fade because they do not match in terms of passion and a view of a relationship, or how a relationship should be maintained. For me, my wife doesn't do anything to maintain the marriage-she figures autopilot is acceptable. And she is at an advantage because she knows I would never abandon my kids. She'll allow me sex once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less; but she very very rarely initiates it. I don't think she gets how unkind, or conceited that appears to me. We have so much vested, but she takes it all for granted. Or maybe just believes that "just being there is all we need". What a bunch of BS. Anyway, as I said-I think it is a matter of perception & after all that I've been through, I don't see where people change in that regard. It's not you, it's not him. It's that the two of you simply have different levels of need-different standards.

Autopilot is a fear of mine. Too bad she doesn't realize she comes across conceited, that realization may jolt her out of her slump.

I'm don't believe any relationship is perfect, but I do believe it's okay to want more, to consistently aim for higher/better places. It is frustrating to realize our levels of need are so far apart. At the end of the day it doesn't change my love, just my tenderness.

Yeah, I hope that you can find a way to get through to him. I'm spent, but I've been at it a lot longer, and all situations are different.

why are you the broken for wanting more?

here is a hint, i have found there are certain times a month that the need is over whelming and my mind wants to focus on what idon't have
when i can catch my self there
i change my mental focus to all the great things about him
change your thoughts, change your world
find acceptance and don't beat yourself or him for it

Couple of questions:

who says anyone's broken? - to be sure, acknowleding our own contribution is a pretty good idea, doesn't mean we're broken.

what would he do to "complete" you? - and why do you feel you need anyone to complete you?

It's bothering me a bit the way you're phrased the need to help yourself "without hurting him" - very laudable - but he has to own his stuff the same as you need to own your own. It's not like you're asking for stuff that ain't expected in a marriage FFS, nor can you prevent hurt.

I am completely in touch with my co-dependency tendencies. I believe we all have the desire to be "completed" by another, that's why we desire a partner. Human nature thrives on love, love in a whole is what makes us whole. I don't believe I am delusional, maybe a bit too much of a romantic.

The phrase about helping myself without hurting him simply meant, this is obviously my problem. I am the one wanting more of something he isn't able to offer right now. While it's frustrating to the point that I feel angry, I don't want to lash out at him. I want to lovingly express my feelings and come together as a couple. Hurtful reactions on my part don't help the situation.

With all of that being said, it would be nice to see the effort on his part. Effort that makes a difference, not just emotion, but tangible effort is what I'm needing.

And can you lovingly express your feelings, and lovingly acknowledging he is the way he is - and still be able to act, to change the situation? Even though it involves hard work and pain and hurt? I'm trying to guage where you are in your journey here, and feeling you may be inhibited from acting.

Sometimes, even with goodwill, compassion and understanding from both parties, a good and ecological solution is not to be had. And you don't have to live with people you love.

BTW, I very much want love and loving intimacy - including that being expressed carnally. But I do not need that to feel complete in myself.