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No Emotional Or Physical Intimacy

Remarried after my wife's death. We had an amazing spiritual, emotional, and physical connection for our first 6 months of marriage. However, during the newlywed adjustment period, my wife just gave up and isolated herself emotionally and physically. Although I made many changes to make our relationship work, my wife decided that coming to terms with our differences was simply too difficult for her. I told her things that she really didn't want to hear. And so, she withdrew.

A year and a half later, we have been physically intimate one time. My wife will talk with me because I have scheduled twice a week talks. But once again, I have to initiate the conversation and plan all of the discussion subjects. She just agrees to show up and participate...somewhat.

My wife gets annoyed when I explain that I just don't feel loved. She asks me why do I need "feedback" from her? Am I unaware of the feedback that she is giving me? Yes. I so seldom see kindness, that I tend to dwell on the negative feedback that I frequently receive.

We keep talking. I go to therapy. She thinks that couples therapy would be expensive and not effective. I agree. Only one of us seems to want to fix this. So it won't work. She stalls. I wait. It's getting harder to be courageous enough to be patient.

Emotionally, I think that we share superficial topics. Sexually? Don't even think about it. Simple physical contact...pretty much nothing is appreciated. We sit in seperate chairs, sleep in seperate rooms, and have seperate activities and friends.

In all reality, I don't see things ever changing back to the way that they once were. Nor do I believe that my wife will ever reach a point that we can make this "marriage" what it could be. It gets discouraging at times. I refuse to show my wife how much she hurts me every day.
noneforyou noneforyou 56-60, M 35 Responses Dec 7, 2012

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at this point, no matter your good intentions, divorce is the answer. i believe she has other items on her agenda, which is normal. she wants out, but dont know or want to figure out. I wish the best for both to separate.

It sounds as though you only had real love with your previous wife. Sorry to hear. But it could be a sign.

You have taught me that sometimes a second chance doesn't work out.

It doesn't matter about the number of times of chances as long as you eventually find what is ultimately your definition of happiness with a person. That's the goal we as humans look for. Never give up!

So, what, we should marry, divorce, marry, divorce until we get it our way?

Why marry them straight away, date them, for a while until your sure that's what you both want. Often people fall for the superficial side of someone their looks, physical attributes, profession etc. They are all extensions of someone and important assets too. But after the romantic whirl what your both left with is the character and personality if a person. And if that doesn't match up and you see red flags with each other that would usually not work even at a later stage. But it's different for everyone.

From my perspective I know both sides of the coin, I have had relationships with both sexes, and some women do play a lot of mind games and the fact that men can't always read them is an advantage in some level because it's an open door coz they know you can guess which one you can enter in and they can manipulate it to their advantage and your non the wiser. But women are quite receptive and can read men like an open book so she knows most likely how much she is hurting you coz although you don't say it. Your silence about it speaks volumes. Women are sensitive and they don't sit well with constructive criticism, they think it's an attack on them. And maybe some of the things you said were true for her and it hit to close to home to deal or process it. Women like small but meaningful and sweet gestures through out the day and is a kind of ice breaker, she might think your doing it to sweeten her up for sex is probably her first thought or they get curious to what is pertaining with the gesture, that's when you prove them wrong don't have an agenda, just keep that in your pocket for now. Just keep it simple and say coz I wanted to do it. No matter what button she try's to push don't react. Instead of trying not to show your hurt focus on the thought of it doesn't effect you and possibly she will grow tiresome of the game. ( remember this is from my experience of women) you can try what I said or not try it. If your really unhappy and can't see it changing no matter what you do then you have to move on, close this chapter there is a saying "It's better to be alone, than to be with someone and feel lonely. Somewhere out there is someone compatible with either one of you and unfortunately it's not with each other at this point. I wish you the best if luck with what ever road you choose to walk down on. :)

Affairs are rife now a days. Confront her by asking if thats the reason she is not talking to you. If not then ask her what are the possible solutions or what you need to do to get this marriage working again.

Why the **** are you sticking around?

You might try reading some DD blogs, such as http://atianandlilliesplace.blogspot.com/, http://loveandsubmissionjourney.blogspot.com/, http://mickandlyndasblog.blogspot.com/ and see if this kind of lifestyle appeals to you. If it does, think about introducing it to your marriage (But I cannot tell you how it would be done - sorry!)

You refuse to let her know how she hurts you? Sorry but communication not happening is a great barrier . Both of you need to visit the time you met and decided you were in love with each other. What happened for it to go boom at 6 months of marriage? Sadly I am speaking from my own experience. I hope you two can once again find your common ground you once knew. I also hope you both can stop being selfish toward each other. From your words, it seems to me, you are trying to control the situation. Show your love to her no matter how it hurts to not receive what you perceive as love from her. I hope you do find peace and happiness once again with you wife. Love and peace to you!

Well, you said it yourself at the end of your story that you refuse to show how much she has hurt you. What is the difference between you and your wife then?
I am sure all human wants to be loved, and I do not mean to defend your wife but for her to let herself become numb and shut herself like that, there must be something pretty traumatic that happened. I think this behaviour is like, "I'm too tired with this, I'll just stop care."
It might be a long time ago, but I don't think it is ever too late to mend anything. If she is still alive, then it is not too late. I am sure your wife is not happy either, but neither of you show that you care to change.
I think it is important to be honest and show how much you are hurt, because it reminds the other person that you are human and have feelings too.

I think if you read jenniferugadi response above you hear the other side from a women, As men, our libido is pretty high, women not so much particularly as we age. I think she is just not being honest, if you don't need sex, then you really don't want to lead a partner on with the romance as Jennifer points out. That is the most honest women I have ever heard from.
I was in a sexless marriage and left, I felt guilty moving on, primarily because she never admitted to her not wanting sex and blamed it on me with responses like: "well if you didn't work so hard, or if you didn't drink so much, or if you didn't have to touch me all the time", then maybe I would want to have sex. If she had just said I am not interested in sex, then, maybe I could have dealt with it, but the not knowing drives us crazy, Good luck, I feel for you.

<p>Wives cannot help responding positively when husbands love them unconditionally and sacrificially. The more the husband takes the necessary initiatives to accept all the burdens of responsibility, and also acknowledge the rights of his wife, all marriages will blossom by the grace of God. You have the power to turn your marriage on its head. Bless you.</P>

P.S. Your wrote, "I told her things that she really didn't want to hear. And so, she withdrew". Better take back all the hurting things that you said and apologize sincerely. It will work.

Your wife expects too much of herself Dont try to look back. Think of yourself as divorced.Meet others and that way you might attract someone in the same position as yourself.A failed marriage You have a lot to give another.DONT wear a wedding ring

You told your wife things she didn't want to hear, perhaps you should start there.
I'm surprised that no one addressed this in their comments. Something occurred during your honeymoon phase that made her behavior change. What was that? Sounds like you did or said something that hurt her and she is just reacting to it. At this point a professional is what you need to dig down and get to the nitty gritty of what it was that up=ended this relationship. Good luck with this &amp; remember that there is always 2 sides to every story and somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

You told your wife things she didn't want to hear, perhaps you should start there.
I'm surprised that no one addressed this in their comments. Something occurred during your honeymoon phase that made her behavior change. What was that? Sounds like you did or said something that hurt her and she is just reacting to it. At this point a professional is what you need to dig down and get to the nitty gritty of what it was that up=ended this relationship. Good luck with this &amp; remember that there is always 2 sides to every story and somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

<p>I agree with most of your post, in that the wife/partner should be intimate and make love with each other and that a relationship cannot work properly without it. However, I just have one comment, my opinion only, about the last line where you state "she was single for a reason".</p><p>I am a almost 40-year old lady who has never had a decent relationship and really craves this. I want what everyone wants a loving, kind, decent man who will care about me and love me with all the intimacy and making love that a true relationship is supposed to have. However, for some reason men do not seem to be interested in me. I am not unattractive, not beautiful either but normal looking. I am not perfect, but I think I am kind and caring and would love to meet that special someone. It just has not happened that way for me. I know I find it difficult to meet decent men and trust them, due to my past experiences, but the comment you made about, "she is single for a reason" implying that as she is a older woman and was still single there was something wrong with her is not necessarily true about all older woman.</p><p>I crave everything that you want in a relationship, it just has not happened for me yet......</p>

For a woman intimacy can be emotional, so if she has closed off to you physically there is an emotional reason behind this - she may feel unloved, resentful or hurt. You may think you are loving, but check again - many women respond well to love and loving confrontation. Are things getting in the way of you genuinely loving her as a person without a "goal" or motive behind it? Are you genuinely concerned about her wellbeing, even if you get nothing out of it? She will know if you are faking it, or if you are judging her or blaming her for the state of your relationship. Your actions may be "justified" but are they loving? Scheduling talks seems a bit odd - find out what makes her feel loved and do that, rather than forcing her to talk to you to try and satisfy your own needs. Be prepared to be the "bigger man" and be loving toward her without receiving anything back (yet).

Make sure you take responsiblity for you half - to truly love her, and then allow her to make her own decision about whether she feels that she wants to be intimate with you. If she decides not to, remember she has no obligation to giver her intimacy to you - that is a gift, not a payment. If after this her heart does not soften you may wish to end the marriage, being aware that whatever weaknesses or errors within yourself that you fail to address, will go with you into your next relationship.

Also, unless you have tried couples therapy, I'm curious as to why it would be a waste of time. Is this a bit presumptuous? It may be that she really holds no hope for the relationship, but that can change. I truly hope you can work this out together.

I do not have an agenda. My wife lived by herself for over 20 years. She found it very difficult to share space and posessions. I adapted to her style of housekeeping and activity schedule. I have been generous, very helpful with household duties, plan thoughtful activities and do spontaneous nice things. If anything, I tend to go overboard to put her needs before mine. And it's not acknowledged or appreciated. I was very surprised and pleased with our initial physical intimacy. I have given my all, but now my wife doesn't "feel chemistry" but doesn't know why. So until she does feel the chemistry I've been told not to expect any physical contact/intimacy.
My wife IS a therapist who specializes in couples therapy. Yes, I wonder why there is no desire on her part to find a neutral party to discuss this with.
For the first 2 years, my wife intimidated me with her reactions to misplaced items, communications errors, etc. I was really terrorized by her treatment...not wanting to do anything to bring on the wrath of her disapproval. I expressed this to her frequently for 2 years. And now, with personal therapy, I've been able to feel much better about myself and be able to tell my wife that I'm not afraid of her any more. She says that she is glad that I'm not, but that certainly has not changed her actions or feelings toward me.
No, intimacy is not a payment. However, unexplained removal of intimacy and lack of desire to work with a counselor to improve this marriage is discouraging.

I think the problem here is that you adapted to her ways. In my (chauvinistic) view, that was a mistake. In general (though not in every case of course), women like their men to lead, and if you do much adapting, the woman will not be satisfied.

It's good your able to admit your faults, such as being intimidated by her. It's a bad sign when one party has no trouble pointing out their partners faults, but can't do the same for themself. Everyone on here is going to give their own opinion, most of them will be wrong, in fact probably all of them, because only you truly know how you feel and the state of your relationship, and also because you will paint the picture from your perspective only, with your own biases, complaints, needs, etc. The picture won't be complete or perfect, so the responses on here won't be able to adequately address your situation. How we respond to others is within our control. The most unteachable person is the one who thinks they have done nothing wrong, or that if they have, it is justified or not that bad - the martyr, the victim. It's good you're taking responsibility for your flaws in yourself, that's all we can do. Who knows, maybe changing in yourself, recognising unloving things in yourself, fearful things, etc, will change the dynamic of your relationship. At the very least, it should change you - which is worth a lot more than changing someone else.

Your said the lack of sex is discouraging you because you don't understand why it has been removed and her lack of desire to work on it. Once you figure that out, you may be on the road to understanding her. I wonder if you really had the amazing connection you say you had at the start, because you don't seem to understand her on a very basic level - why she won't physically engage with you. Open your eyes. She may be wonderful, she may be awful, the marrige may work or it may not (and both will be to blame equally). Either way, at least you'll know why. And ask yourself why you don't understand her too - why you say you don't understand why she's not physically intimate. Seems to me you have a lot of self-improvement to focus on before you go trying to improve her or the relationship. She sounds like a hard one though, if she's a therapist but won't go to therapy - yikes. Good luck :)

Hi guys, I thought I would weigh in. I am a menopausal woman (God, that sounds awful!) and I also suffer from depression, which is well treated with medication. But it does make the whole menopausal experience more extreme for me. Anyway, I don't have much appetite for sex, and honestly never did. If I start to feel romantic about a guy, I start to feel sexual, but the romance fades, eh. And so do the sexual feelings. I am single now, and there is a guy kind of flirting with me, and bringing up these feelings, which is great, but: I thought from the get-go I will hurt him. I have too much to do to take care of myself.
Look, I think the Victoria Secret comments are ridiculous, you do got to grow up yourself about the fact that women are people, not sex toys, and meet them as such. However, I think that maybe some older women shouldn't get into relationships where they can't or don't want to have sex very much, unless they are clear from the beginning. Maybe it is a bit of a myth of our culture that women need men, and so women go out and look for relationships against all common sense. I don't know. Or maybe for some, just financial security? Anyway, my heart kinda goes out to you guys. Good luck with looking for intimacy, and I hope you don't get taken by anyone.

Unless you will accept things the way they are you should leave. Your suffering because you choose to live this way. If your wife isn't willing to change you must do what's best for yourself.

Noneforyou, your last line really stands out to me .... 'I refuse to show my wife how much she hurts me' I don't think that is going to help, perhaps she could connect with someone who felt pain and perhaps it looks to her like you can't.

Could you let go and show her the truth?

That's the problem. I have told her often how painful this is for me, and how much I miss the intellectual, emotional, physical intimacy that she shared early in our relationship. I do tell her the truth. She knows that she continues to hurt me deeply by her disconnecion. I can change me, but not her. So since I can't change the way she hurts me, I can control my reaction to her hurtful activity. I don't think that it's wrong to control/limit my reaction to her behavior.

Noneforyou, your last line really stands out to me .... 'I refuse to show my wife how much she hurts me' I don't think that is going to help, perhaps she could connect with someone who felt pain and perhaps it looks to her like you can't.

Could you let go and show her the truth?

try innerbonding.com is really good for relationship, but u ve got to accept responsability for ur part of the system and not just blame her, Im sure she has pretty good reasons for not wanting sex with you, and intimacy in this case would me to be open to learn with her WITOUT any judgment or blaming on ur part

But my wife already takes the "blame" saying that she just doesn't "feel chemistry".

I think u should try to understand ur wife rather than judging and blaming her, it seems to me you are trying to make her change, you are trying to make her be who u think she should be. And she doesnt like to be control, nobody likes to be control. She might be resisting your control. I think it would be a good idea if u find a way to be happy on our own, do ur own hobbies and fill urself up with happiness and once u are happy enough, open to explore and learn about her WITHOUT judging her or blaming her. Women usually act like this when they feel uncared for, she might even have talked to u already about issues or things u do she doesnt like and maybe u continue to act the same way, showing u dont care about what she feels, hence she has no other choice but to distance herself from u.

My first wife was much as yours is now. She was 25, I was 35. Before we married she was an awesome and inventive lover, very attentive to my needs. She wanted to get married long before I did. One day at lunch she leaned across the table and asked me to marry her! I was flattered, and quite frankly, I had been considering marriage with her anyway. I said YES! We planned an intimate "us" only wedding in Nassau, Bahamas, then returning to Texas. The sex, the intimacy, the closeness was fabulous. I could not believe I had caught such a beautiful (European Victoria's Secret model!) woman who obviously cared more for my pleasures and my comfort than her own - though she was always sure to be totally satisfied. I was in heaven.

We went to the Bahamas, got married standing on the beach with our feet in the water, returned to our hotel and she donned a very stunning swimming suit styled corset set. We had fabulous sex, absolutely crazy incredible. We loved and played for two more days, then had to fly home. On board the plane she pulled me into the bathroom, where we joined the "Mile High" club a couple of times. We got home, I was giddy from loving her. And she refused to touch me - in any way - for the next sixty days.

It turns out that she is a very goal oriented person, and her goals were met. She wanted to get married - she did. She wanted a nice home - my work as an attorney helped there - and she got that. But, once that goal was met, our intimate time went to zero. Sex - what is that? I was so stunned, of course I thought it was something I did to her. But, she was happy, she said. She loved me, she said. Couldn't I see that?

Well, no, I couldn't see it, and I asked her to go to counseling with me. She agreed, but each time we went, if the counselor thought that my request for an hour of "intimate time" per day - not sex, but just talking, sharing our day, etc. - was too much, she would find something wrong with the counselor and we would have to find another. We finally found a very dyke woman counselor who of course agreed with everything my wife said, saying that my request for just an hour per day of friendship and sharing amounted to being "abusive" and "narcissistic", and advising my wife that she was well in her rights to call the police if I requested such "barbaric" things. Of course my wife loved that weird sister of a counselor!

I endured it for almost ten years! In the intervening years we ended up having two sons, and I adopted her daughter from a prior relationship. Sex was never as it had been, but rather a chore to be endured by her. Otherwise, it was a very cold and sterile world. I ended up filing for divorce and never looked back. The children came to live with me.

She has had several marriages since, and all have failed miserably. Each of her ex's since have told me that once she was married, the sex and the intimacy and the pleasures of being in a life with her all dried up. She is a very beautiful, yet very broken woman who will end up all alone. Even her children have rejected her for all intents and purposes due to her being a cold fish.

So, my thoughts are simple - you have one life on this earth. You deserve to have someone who loves you where you actually understand the loving that person is giving you! Your age and hers means she may be having hormone issues and may be going through menopause. That can in large measure be fixed with hormone replacement therapy. But, NO therapy can cure someone who simply wants to have a room mate.

Don't cheat. Do leave. Do find someone who is alive. Do find someone whom you can adore and who will adore you. Don't make your waning days sad and dry and hurt filled. You deserve the rocking chair on the porch that is followed up by rollicking days of love making, intimate sharing, cooking the the nude, or whatever floats your boats. Don't waste another second! Give medical science a chance to fix her if her hormones are a mess, but if she is just a broken toy, get away. She was single for a reason when you met her. Give her that solitude back. Gain your own soul in return!

pullatrainforme outstanding response I am currently experiencing the same in my woman whom I love immensely . I have even gone through the preliminary of asking this woman to be my wife going as far as to buying the engagement ring and have been filled with thoughts of spending my life with this woman. But have found that the euphoria of our relationship the passion the connection turns out to be nothing more than a mirage. Intimacy has gone to once every 10-12 days . I have reflected on this being part of the reason that she has never been married at 50 years old and has for the most part always been alone. The words and message conveyed by you fits so in tune with what I currently see happening with this woman with the exception of us not having crossed the boundary of matrimony. I've tried talking things out with her to let her know where I see this coldness , un-attentiveness, I've suspected that possibly her being per-menopausal could possibly being playing a role in this but that is only my assumption or trying to give her an out for the reason in her lack thereof intimacy or being so disconnected in our relationship. We parted ways once before because of the very same reason and when we came back together I sat down with her to address some of the very same concerns that have reappeared. But she seems to be oblivious to the fact that there is anything wrong in her mind we are fine, everything is alright. I'm now understanding and seeing why in this day and age why so many men are going down that path of dating a younger woman. Because women who hit that certain age mark tend to be frigid, menopausal, hot and cold . But interesting enough after reading the story and your response I'm leaning toward giving her, her solitude back. Thank you for a concise and forthright response. Good to know that I'm not the only one who has experienced this with that woman that they have made their one priority only to find that they are alone or an option when it comes to being in tune with their partner.

pullatrainforme, your words' she was single for a reason' ring a bell for me. I am 36 never married and I have come to terms with it. If someone comes along the way, I fear, I may be like the type of woman you have described, because I've lived alone so many years and I really do not know something different.
If you have time, I would appreciate a comment from you. Thank you

Ffrancesca:

That you see yourself mirrored in my description of my first wife is to me both sad and liberating. Sad, in that the "natural" position of men and women is to bond to someone, loving them in ways that your partner understands as love. Whether that partner is someone of the opposite sex or the same sex is immaterial. What is material is that you are able to empathize with your partner in such a way as you both are giving and receiving the love that you have in a way that your partner is satisfied. Can you do that? Can you open yourself up so that you not only pleasure your partner, but you enjoy and anticipate sharing yourself with them? Do you desire with an inner fire the intimate pleasures of conversation, sharing, and sexual conquest? If not, you need to select those few emotional eunuchs in our society who seek only a room mate, not a lover.

It is liberating to see yourself as you may be because you can actually know whether you should invest yourself into relationships. If you start dating someone and you are not feeling a certain sense of lust and loving when you are with your partner, perhaps this is not the right person for you. Your discretion in selection is the first step to loving the right person. If you are dating someone and find that when you are apart you simply don't really miss their presence, perhaps this is not the person for you. If you do have a sense of separation and a sense of void in your soul, then this person may be worthy of your love and relationship.

Finally, do you even enjoy sexuality? Many of us in this forum are disappointed because we invested ourselves into a relationship with a cold fish. For many of us, menopause has caused the draining of what was an original pool of satisfying sexuality in our partners. In my case, my wife was so goal oriented that she was able to mask her true shallow emotional depth with a masque of what the rest of the world sees as the very signs of a diving depth to the pool of her compassion and empathy. She had all the emotions of Vulcan Spock - but the ability to hide that desert with the lush life we all crave. Is that you? If so, run, don't walk, to a counselor for the emotional lacking, as well as get tested for proper hormones just to rule out that as an issue.

I want you to be happy. If you want a close, loving, and physically as well as emotionally satisfying relationship then leap in with the idea that your partner may actually be correct when they say, "we need more sex", or "what has happened? Our sexual or intimate time is not enough". It may be you. Really. Most men are pigs in the desire for sexual conquest, yet if there is a reasonable amount of intimacy daily coupled with a reasonable amount of sexual contact on a weekly basis, their "complaints" should be seen rather as their desire to spend their love with you.

So, what is reasonable daily intimacy, and what is reasonable weekly sexual contact? It varies for everyone, but at the least, you should be as happy to see your lover as you would be to see your dog when you come home from work! If you see yourself effusing for your dog or your cat, playing with them and calling them all your favorite names for them, and yet responding to your lover with a perfunctory "Hi . . . how was your day?" as you toss aside your coat and keys, well, you are failing as a lover and a friend. If you find yourself more concerned with whether the daily chores were done to your exacting specifications than whether your lover sees you as an open and loving partner, you are failing as a lover and a friend. Do yourself and your partner the humane thing, and put down your relationship like a sick puppy or a broken legged horse.

On the other hand, if you find yourself day dreaming of sexual delights when apart from your lover, you may be worthy of saving what you have and building upon it. If you find yourself lingering in bed in the mornings simply to be in your partner's sheltering love, build. If you find the idea of sneaking up on your partner to deliver to them an incredible display of your earthy sexuality by taking them and ravishing them emotionally and sexually as part of what you want them to do to you, then build. I must say that I have several friends, both male and female, and when they are hungry to please their lover as much as they hunger to be themselves pleased, there are very few complaints in those relationships from either lover.

So, I hope my little discourse has opened up your soul to your true nature, at least a little. You hold within you the keys to whether you will have a warm, sensuous, and complete love life, or whether you may be one of the people who are simply so introverted in their emotional and physical needs that they prove to be a poor lover to another. I pray for you that it is the first, but if it is the second, do yourself a favor and either get some counseling, or be very selective in your partners. If you want more info from me, reply and I will be pleased to share my thoughts with you on or off line.

Thank you for your honest and kind response. I lead a life without a partner never having a normal relationship like the one you have described: being with someone and sharing everyday life. All I ever had is some petty or improper relationships based on lust and sex that never lasted. Probably I was getting too clingy. At first, they were attracted by a beautiful and independent woman (also somehow my physical appearance and behavior send a message of a cold and distant person ) and when she was falling for them, they would lose interest. Generally I am very selective but –I said I feared-because as time goes by I found myself changing. A year ago, after a long time of not having sex, I saw myself thinking this act as a merely release of a physical need so I had sex for sex.
Yes, I want physical intimacy, I want to share things, I want to be with someone that appreciates me and does not regard of less value that which is for granted. The behavior you are describing was never my problem because I have never got that far in a relationship.
If something does not sound right it is probably because English is not my native language. And yes, I await your reply.

If I meet my special one (if there is such a person) I will be happy and appreciative of the fact that he showed up. In some dark corners of my mind, I fear, that I will unconsciously punish him for all the hardships I've been through.

Ffrancesca:

Your language skills are good if English is not your native language. May I ask what is your native language? My first wife was Danish. After marrying her, I traveled to Denmark and some of the other Nordic lands, and I found that many of those people are quite shut off from their emotions. Perhaps it is the cold climate. Perhaps it is a pervading sense that nobody should excel nor should anybody fail. That brings a complete sense of monotony and "close is good enough" to the populace.

Anyway, you are having sex, but not really finding yourself as close or bonded to your partners. Perhaps you are having sex way too early in the relationship. Sad but true, once you have sex with a man he pretty soon stops listening. I personally think it is the fact that most men have an attention span of a gnat - especially after the chase of sexual conquest is satisfied. In reality, men and women are built differently for different tasks. Women are designed to attract a potential mate, to find a mate who not only can but will bring food and shelter to her while she nurses the eventual children along for the first three or four years of age. This is basic biology. She needs monogamy so that the male is not discouraged and simply fails to feed and clothe and shelter her, hence her year round sexual availability.

Men, on the other hand, are designed to spread their genetic material around to as many available females as possible. Biologically, this ensures the maximum number of chances to develop offspring that will survive and maintain populations. I personally believe this accounts for men's short memories - if the female is no longer having sex with a man, he pretty soon forgets her and moves on to the next available female. It also accounts for the number of men who stay for a long time in sexless marriages - "she used to have sex with me so I will stay until we have sex again " kinds of thinking. But, eventually, he sours on a dry and soulless existence, starts looking around for available females, and finally moves on. It is basic biology.

How does this account for your concerns? Well, you describe yourself as a "beautiful and independent" woman. I am sure you are. You are likely well educated and successful, too. And that can make some men feel somewhat threatened. Most men have a sense that they are somehow not good enough to be loved by a beautiful woman. This is often because the woman sees herself as better, smarter, and more successful than the men around her. Then, her very demeanor eventually drives off the men. Of course, if you have invested any part of your heart in that relationship, when he is finally driven off, there goes your heart, too. Do this a few times and pretty soon there is no uncut, un-scarred parts left. You are hurt, that builds a wall, and you finally exclude all but yourself from your world. It is safe but cold there.

And you will definitely punish new men in your life for the "sins" of the prior guys. You can attract them but not keep them with your attitude. The funny part is, that attitude actually attracts men who will naturally want to bail out, so it is self fulfilling.

How to fix it? First, take a clear view of yourself. List your positive attributes and your negative. Be honest with yourself, perhaps for the first time. I am not suggesting you scour your soul for every possible bad deed (or good!), but rather you do a self assessment so you know where you are starting. Do all this in writing, setting up "good" on the left side, and "bad" on the right. Make a list down the page.

Second, turn that list around, and think how the "good" list could actually be bad for you, and how the "bad" list could be good for you. In other words, if you have "beautiful" on the "good" list, do a mental calculation of how being "beautiful" could actually be bad for your relationships. For example, my first wife was very very beautiful. One smile and doors opened and attention magically appeared. But, it was also bad, because she never really had to develop a personality beyond smiling and a flirt. She never had to worry whether she would be wanted or desired because she was so beautiful that people would excuse a world of sins. Likewise, it causes her to have very little empathy for people - she simply cannot see herself as being part of the very people she is supposed to be enamored of. Her relationships with her children are superficial and inappropriate. As she has aged and her "beauty" has somewhat abated she has had to start growing a personality, primitive as it may be.

Finally, sit down with a good friend and share their experiences against your self evaluation. Urge them to be honest, and DO NOT hold it against them if they end up being honest! Instead, use it as a chance to grow. Once you have a feel for who you are today you can start the efforts needed to fix you.

My thoughts are you will want to do the things successful relationships do - such as hold hands, cuddle, talk, and other non-sexual activities a lot. You will want to try sexual activities later, after you have actually gotten to know your partner for a while. You are worth waiting for, I am sure. When you do finally have sex, think of yourself as a wonderful and very sensuous courtesan, almost as though you are being paid to be a fantastic lover. You want to be successful in all your business dealings, so be successful in this one, too. After all, you ARE being paid - paid in love, care and affection, which are infinitely more valuable than are gold, diamonds, and cash. Be the lover your lover has always dreamed of - inventive, caring, lusty. Spend much time on your lover's care and feeding. If you are not getting what you need, TELL him. You need not crush his soul with proclamations such as, "you never do this right", "I'll never *** like this", "is it in?" or "it is so CUTE . . . " But, gentle reminders of "lick me like this, baby", and "slow down so I can enjoy you longer" are always appreciated. Don't be afraid to actually enjoy what you are doing! Many women are afraid that enjoying themselves means they are somehow soulless wanton ******, when in fact, your were created to enjoy sex as a delightful free toy to ease the edges of the grindstones of society.

Each day, make it your mantra to ask, "what can I do today to make him happy?" Also ask, "what can he do for me today to make me happy?" Then, do them! Tell him! Laugh about them! Sharing is what leads to closeness, is what leads to spending your last days in a rocking chair with someone you love and respect.

And finally, guys don't just "show up". They are groomed for their role. Feel free to ask a lot of questions BEFORE the sex starts. You are multi-talented, and you would never make decisions about your business life without exploring all the facts. No reason to think of your sex life and your love life as anything less.

Love her enough to let her go back to her ingrained habits. If she really cared she would recognize your loneliness and would help fix it.

Dear pullatrainforme
Everything you said its true. If at work everything I do prosper, because I plan it meticulously, in that area I am unable to succeed. Yes I have manly qualities. At work I stand up for myself, I don’t hesitate to quarrel with my supervisors, when men colleagues lick them. Unfortunately, I am entirely different regarding men. I see other women of my age, ugly ones too (I know ugliness is subjective) with babies and handsome husbands.
My nice face has helped me only superficially. Yes, I lack the skills to get someone and keep him and I’ ve never known the tricks women usually play. A friend told me recently: You are what someone sees looking you. You are what your words say. There are no second thoughts, no hidden meanings.
I will read your reply again. I’am in there. Thank you very much for your every word and your time.
By the way, I live in an economically depressed Mediterranean country . Who knows, maybe love and closeness soon they will be for me an old dream or a fierce necessity.

Pullatrainforme,are there any men that like assertive women out there?

Ffrancesca: Most men love women who are assertive! I hope you do not think that I am an advocate for dumb, weak women. Men - real men - LOVE assertive women. You need to find them through your work, through health clubs, through church. Men who have their stuff together. Men who know what they want.

The problem is most men are weak, they do not know how to be men anymore. How to say, "Here is the path, come with me as we blaze our own trail." How to say, "No." How to appreciate you for being a real, living woman. You have to be selective and not jump into bed at the first drop of the hat. Then, you have a chance!

Sorry for pestering you.The’ not right away sex’ notion is crucial, and difficult to keep once you …get excited! But at the same time I realize that means you respect yourself and you show the other how you want to be treated.
I feel like a hungry man. If you give a hungry man something to eat how possible is to respond’ no, keep it for later?’
Thank you for all the advice. It is the first time that I really shared my problem with a complete stranger and it is liberating. Thank you for your tidy, well chosen words and thoughts

Ffrancesca: I am sure I would crawl through broken glass to spend an hour with you. A competent, beautiful, and assured woman is the most erotic thing on earth. But, my thought is that it is easier to know what you really want if you don't simply vomit your entire personality out on the first date! There has to be some build up, something else desired, else you risk what you have apparently had in the past - empty relationships based upon sex alone.

Now, please don't get me wrong - if the only relationships you can have are empty and based upon sex alone - BRAVA! It is still better than nothing at all, and even the worst sex is better than the best day at work! But, that has not been the thrust of your questions. Your questions go to the root of many problems in our world societies today - closeness, intimacy, longevity of the relationship. Today, there was a terrible shooting at a school, where an idiot killed his mother and then killed 27 children. Doubtless, he feels more empty and worthless than virtually any other person in the world, and doubtless, much of that vacuum is due to a relationship with his mother lacking closeness, intimacy, and longevity of relationship. So, my thoughts are that those are admirable goals.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime. Let me know if you would like my private e-mail so you can open up more.

Pullatrainforme’ I am sure I would crawl through broken glass to spend an hour with you’
This is not a comment, these are poetry verses! I would like very much your e-mail, but I fear (too many of them) I would eagerly wait for your next reply.
I hope you have got your life back after those ten miserable years with your emotionally sterile wife and you are happy.
You are also the kind of man any woman would like to have being proud to be his wife.
You deserve it.

10 More Responses

You have to accept that marriages do fail. You only get one shot at life so why live it in misery? Your wife seems to know its over but does not have the heart to do anything about it. You have to take control of your life and live the way that you want to live! Every minute that you live in misery is a minute that you can never get back. Counseling only works if both try their best, your wife is not going to do that. Its time for you to make a very difficult decision and stick to your guns.

I understand yout situation . I was in a marriage like that . I tried talking to her and got nowhere. I even fabricated and affair . All she said was that she didn't care as long as she wasn't the one doing it . After 18 months I walked away . It was hard to do cause I loved her but it was something that had to be done .

You should fabricate an affair. The internet gives you the tools. This woman may actually still love you! This "affair" may serve you well no matter what the truth is. If she loves you, it will awaken in her a desire to reclaim your intimacy. If she does not love you, she will use it as an excuse to leave you. If she is using you, she will simply ignore it, or even cooperate with it! Many women experience deep hurt early on in their lives that leaves permanent scars, they respond to the memory of that hurt by denying themselves, and their partners emotional and physical intimacy. They simply don't feel worthy of being loved, or they don't have a "normal" definition of what it is.....

I see this as leaving you potentially responsible for alimony or a disproportionate distribution of assets should she discover the "affair", decide to file for divorce, and tell the court that the marriage was not supportable due to your infidelity! Take it from a family law lawyer - any whiff of an affair usually leads to extended and very expensive legal time. And don't worry - it is almost impossible to convince a judge or jury that the "affair" was just a ruse to get her to be more intimate with you! You will have hung yourself out to dry, IMHO.

Totally agree with pulla. Also, honesty is ALWAYS the best policy - trying to trick someone into bhaving differently is a poor way to approach any serious life problem IMO.

Dishonesty doesn't seem like it would do much to clarify communication and healing.

I hadn't logged in when I tried to submit a reply, and the system erased my entry. No matter -- it had too much glib crap in it anyway. Check this out: www.releasetechnique.com/

This is a compelling, if at first seemingly goofy method for achieving peace in your life. It's easy to be skeptical, and so many people settle -- knowingly or not -- for living a miserable existence that's governed by negativity. This isn't a pseudo-religion and you can get a suitable exposure to it by doing some preambulatory plodding around online before spending any money. I hope that you avail yourself of this. You deserve it, as does your wife. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Move your feet. Peace.

Bill

This is an impossible situation and the wonder is that you have not taken steps to get out of it. Marriage is not necessarily permanent. Please get out and give yourself a chance to make life as you want it.

When I was 60 I got out of a marriage and emigrated, it was the only solution and it worked. I had very little money, took a chance and made the best of it. You must look forward, quit complaining and DO something to further your own ends.

Stop the complaining about how much your wife hurts you. That's not a profitable way to look at the situation. Her actions or non-actions are as they are, she probably has no intention of hurting you, she is just not interested in the kind of life you want to live, and you are hurting yourself by your own expectations of what she should do or be. Give up those expectations, they are almost certainly never going to be met. Make this post on EP your very last complaint, never complain again and simply ACT. Engage a lawyer, get a divorce and remain single for long enough to get used to living on your own, then you will be better able to choose the right woman to marry.

You don't mention children so I assume that it not a problem for you

I second all the above!!

Very good advice. If she has no interest in sharing her life with you, nor yours with her, ditch the *****.

I am VERY in favor of marriage! I love it. But, the pain of her being broken will drown your spirit and you will drown in a sea of self-doubt. Give her the world of solitude she so amply demonstrates she wants.

I am in a marriage rite now just like this one. I couldn't put my name on this story unclaimed it as my own. I truly feel for you! My story is pretty much exactly the same except we sleep in the same bed but sleep is all we do... That and I toss and turn quite a bit while she sleeps soundly... She told me that I should go out and get a prostitute if I want to have sex and just don't tell her about it!! She refuses to go to counseling or therapy because she says it's my problem.. She avoids talking about sex or intimacy she feels it keeping the house clean and taking care of her end of the finances and cooking for me is all she has to do.. We've been married 2 years and I'm about to walk away I'm her and this marriage.. We have grown further and further apart at least from my perspective.. She feels that everything is fine in her eyes... Like I said I truly truly understand and feel for you and  your situation.... Will

Do not walk away. RUN! If you wanted a maid or an accountant I am sure you could find either - or both - for a whole less in the way of emotional debt. Invite her to go do someone else's house cleaning, get your life back, and never look back.

Dear NFY,

I am genuinely sorry if I "hijacked" your thread. I meant no disrespect. This is my first time in a forum like this and I simply wanted to let you know that you weren't alone in your loneliness and that others truly feel your pain. My own story just came pouring out. Please accept my sincere apology.