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Sexless Without Progress

Late 2011, I decided to end our counseling after a dozen sessions. My reasoning, to very surprised wife and therapists, was that we made no progress, mostly (in my opinion) because there was no improvement in our closeness - see my earlier posts here.

I had no expecations whatsoever of what I could expect. It still has not been a good year between us. Can low expectations lead to disappointment?

My wife has withdrawn completely and stopped sleeping in the same bed. No kisses, no touching, on a good day however, she will verbally state that we are a nice couple, but she leaves it at that.

December 2012, it is nice to re-read my past here, nice but not fun! It helps me understand my motive, does it help though?

A few women in my life seem to understand my predicament: give up and accept or keep fighting. Usually this leads to them feeling sorry for me and comforting me. The physical nearness makes me sadder, it tells me what I miss most.

We stopped talking about us about a year ago. Not only makes this her feel uncomfortable, it does not get us physically closer when I just complain. Darn. I am a (very!) successful business person but cannot manage my private life!

I really really appreciate your recommendations comments ramblings. It helps me through and gives me strength.. Several thousand of us, helping each other.

However, I am a bit stuck now. Always thought I would pull through, make it work, "revive her drive". It is terrible for me to admit failure, and funny enough I will not give in yet. I love her so much and I want us to continue together. How to tread the fine line?
manfromamsterdam manfromamsterdam 56-60, M 4 Responses Dec 19, 2012

Your Response


"It is terrible for me to admit failure.” This is quite a recurring pattern with many men here. I would say the problem isn’t really the trouble to admit failure.

You see, you are in a situation which has already become second nature to you. That’s a situation that you know very well, and that you are able to deal with it, you know what to expect (no sex, no intimacy) all the while secretly dreaming and craving for something else.

On the other hand, should you decide to make some changes in your life, there’s absolutely no guarantee that you would be able to turn your life around, so actually far more than the admitting failure for something that originates in the past and has been going on for decades, the main reason for non-action is the fear of change.

In the trade off between something that you know very well and something that is unknown - hence perceived as higher risk or challenging to your way of thinking - preserving the status quo seems to win 10 times out of 9 (no, that’s not a lapsus).

I really enjoyed going through your stories. There’s development there, but it’s like trying to watch a flower blooming. With naked eye!

The big problem that will blind side you, should the stars align in the correct way, when she does wake up and come back to you emotionally and physically, will you be able to cope with it.<br />
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It has been mentioned before and it happened to me kind of, it just struck me that even though I was starting to get what I had so wished for, I just didn't believe in it. Could not accept it as real. <br />
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It isn't so much that you need an apology or an explanation, I doubt anything would be able to justify a refusers (in)action(s) over xx years. But without something similar it can be hard to meet the new them when they get around to demonstrating it.

"It is terrible for me to admit failure"

AGree with mvcmvc below, and if you had asked me throughout the decade of my marriage I would have told you we just have to try harder to make it work...

you CAN burn yourself out with that. Being successful at work, I am sure you realize you cannot do everything yourself - you have people to do different things for you, and some people are very good at one thing but not another.

You just picked the wrong "employee" for the role of "wife". Sure she may make a great "friend" or "admin assistant" or "co-parent", but not "spouse" in your case.

Although I'm sure if you made this mistake in your business you would say "oh yeah, learned something", correct the problem (hire someone new, shuffle people around or lay off), and move on to be more successful, for some reason in our personal lives we say "oh we see it's not working, but we can't let it go!! We MUST fix it OUR WAY!"

Sometimes our own egos keep us stuck. We cannot fix everything.