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Is It Just Sex?

Why is that the question asked when people hear you are going to through marital problems? I keep talking with people and the most heard question back to me at the end is "Is it just about the sex?"  Why is that?  I don't know how to answer it anymore, not sure if I ever did know how.  It feels greater than any one word in its magnitude.... but how to describe it?  I have read good stories on here about comparing this topic to another form of publically accepted abuse....  (does anyone know how to save stories? I can copy and paste, I was just wondering...)

The question immediately makes me feel like, what an ***!  You are giving this up because you don't feel sexed enough??  Well, I guess when you say it that way....    The question itself belittles the whole topic...  What if people asked, you are leaving just because he hit you once or twice?  You're leaving because she has a few drinks every night?  This public perception of sex is so mind boggling sometimes!  People accept commonly that you should wait for marriage for sex (I know, not everybody does..) , then it doesn't occur to anybody to be outraged when you don't have sex enough when you are married???  Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, ok now you're dead.....   Are people truly that repressed that this makes sense to them? 

And why does it bother me that they ask it that way?  I can be made fun of on a daily basis, and walk away...  I can turn my cheek with the best cheek turners....  but when I am asked this question I feel I have justify my every motive and action for every second of the least 8 years!!  Did you everything you could is another one....  well you can always do more can't you??  You can always give more, or you can always take more.... It seems with this situation you have to get comfortable with quitting, all be it for the your own solid reasons.... but it is still quitting...
Usernametbd Usernametbd 36-40, M 17 Responses Dec 10, 2012

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LIGHT BULB MOMENT! !! !! thank you all when it is missing it is MISSING! ! ! !

Canary and barometer are very accurate!

It is like asking a suffocating man if he is just upset because he is not getting any air.

Yeah very true. I had the same problems with family members being so insensitive. I have decided to stop explaining myself, my husband and my marriage to anyone anymore. When I get a divorce, they will know!

I really like the plumbing analogy! Thanks!

Yes....................it is a small part of marriage but if it is missing, it becomes very noticeable like the lack of running water mentioned in the book.

Screw what other people think. They are not paying your bills.

The absence of sex in a relationship is Just a friendship

username: lack of sex in a relationship is so much more than the lack of insert part a in to slot b. there's a complete disregard for our feelings, needs, desires. and often only the tip of the iceberg: a symptom masking so many other issues in the relationship.

frankly there are people who just will never understand. for those folks, a simple "the lack of sex is just the tip of the iceberg" (IF you feel the need to say anything further) should suffice.

withholding sex is, for many, about control, and not so subtle emotional abuse.

my $0.02, fwiw. ymmv.

This sounds like my inner dialog. My husband had me convinced that I was a terrible person for even wanting to discuss sex. Like I was disrupting a perfectly happy marriage with my desire for sex. Then he missed one of our marriage counseling sessions. Imagine my surprise when the therapist said to me, "Why have you tolerated emotional abuse for this long?" I am just starting to trust my own feelings again.

My wife managed a similar trick with me, even mentioning the subject of our sex life was strongly discouraged and caused serious disruption. I recently talked with a buddy about what had happened in my marriage, I was stunned when he told me of his own situation - and his wife was pulling the same sh1t.

A situation of being abused and you can't even talk or complain about it, it's very controlling and manipulative

Thanks everyone!! Does everyone have "calibrated" friends? What I mean is the friends who you talk to about this or that but never the other thing? Well, I had this conversation with 2 people who are most definitely trusted people , and both have a regard for the topic in their own marriages. I trust them. I think I was frustrated and asking because while I know and feel there is more, much more, to it I sometimes get caught up in the story line...

And I don't mind talking to others about it openly, how else will it get the acceptance it deserves some day??

I get this....I really do. It bothers me too but not as much anymore...I have started using the intimacy thing more now as my reason. People do get that.

It is not about the sex.



If you feel the need to discuss these issues in real life, use this term instead.



There is a profund lack of INTIMACY within my marriage.



That seems to work much better than saying there is a lack of sex.



Everyone seems to understand the lack of intimacy issue.



However, all of this can be avoided if you avoid discussing this issue with too many people, with the exception of a therapist. Because once you let this cat out of the bag most folks feel a need to comment.

If you are going to run your life on the basis of aquaintences uninformed opinion about your circumstances, you are in for a whole world of hurt.

You owe these aquaintences precisely NOTHING, and, whether this discussion about your private life was generated by you, or by them just sticking their oar in, that subject matter ought now be off the agenda with those aquaintences.

If you are in a shithole marriage, everyone who "needs to know" already knows. Such people would number about a handful, no more, who have a demonstrated history with you of support and empathy.

Tread your own path.

wish i could like your comment x1,000. beautifully said.

Yes sex should be the major factor in a relationship. If we wanted to condem ourselves to a life of sexlessness we would of joined a monestry.

Instead most here are condemed to sexlessness by a Refusive Partner. No imput, no consultation just told or sometimes untold that sex for the most part is off the table and out of the marital radar.

Funny thing here though is that these very people who condem us expect us to be loyal, faithful, support them financially, & emotionally, be a babysitter, maid, etc etc.

In my opinion barring any concrete medical issues not unproven complaints that are never chased up than no sex is a deal breaker and most worthy of Divorce.

Stay Strong & good Luck

Hi Username,

I enjoyed reading your post. I imagine for my own situation, when I make the announcement of our divorce, that I will have more than one explaination when people ask why. For some, like those who are very close to me, I will give a heartfelt and serious explaination that will be fair to both me and my W. For others, who are not so close, I don't think they need to know much. For them I will simply say we grew apart. If anyone asked me "are you leaving just because of the sex?"....the answer, if I choose to give it is 'no'....because it's so much more than that. I also think some people are uncomfortable with you for awhile early on after the divorce and don't know what to say....kinda like at a funeral - you will hear people say the dumbest things.

yes...it's definitely a bit of uncomfortability on others' part in the process and wake of a break up. they'll say the most awkward things. take it all with a grain of salt.

It's not a great book, but it's a good book, is 'Hold Me Tight'. It makes a few side comments, that for functional marriages, sex is a small part of the whole, for dysfunctional marriages however, it's a big deal.

For good marriages, I suspect sex is like running water or flushing toilets, it's just there and doesn't seem that much of an issue. So for people who aren't living a sexless marriage it seems like making a big deal out of something small. If you don't have running water and you have human waste running in the streets, you have a better perspective on how important the 'small' stuff is.