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I Didn't Know There Was A Name For It.

I live in a sexless marriage. I didn't know there was a name for it. I'm posting here today more as an entry, into a diary or journal or some such, to make concrete what is in my heart and mind. I guess it is a confession of sorts.

I've been married 21 years. I love my husband so much. I like him too. He's truly a wonderful person.

Somewhat less than I wanted was where we started and we are finally at the point where I guess I have to say I can't bear any more rejection. I am at the sad realization that he does not desire sex or passion with me and he does not desire to desire. I go back and forth between anger and grief. He told me last night that he feels I won't accept the person he has become. He's right - how can I accept that?? How can I accept that a healthy 53 year old man never wants to have sex again? I am attractive, fit, smart, personable. I experience regular reminders that there are plenty of men out there who would be interested in me if I were available. Not much consolation.

No one would understand if I leave this wonderful man. My adult children adore him. My family loves him. I'm so lucky they say. So lucky to have such a wonderful marriage. I keep our secret. I'm so sad and depressed.

This post looks so lame as I write it, but I needed to confess to someone. Even if that is a forum of strangers. Thank you for being here.

sadsecret sadsecret 46-50, F 54 Responses Dec 20, 2012

Your Response



Some medications including antidepressants, when taken for a long time, can cause loss of libido/desire. If he already has low testosterone, this can compound the issue. Have a look at the leaflets accompanying his medication, and check that 'inability to achieve and maintain erection' is not one of the side effects of the medication. If my memory served me right, there are websites online that listed medications that can caused erectile dysfunction.

Your husband's behaviour is typical of some men with libido / erectile problems. I suppose it is the shame attached to being a failure as a man and the inability to get pass this to seek treatment.

My husband is much older than your husband. He has ed and also suffers from childhood trauma (no depression though). Trying to get through to him is like pulling teeth.
I was doing what you are doing, spending hours trying to find solutions. He would try them just to please me, and then gave up and said he felt so humiliated. We have so many fight over this.

One night, we had one of these fights. I was in tears, sobbing and told him honestly, that when he refused me, I could not help but feel rejected by him, it made me feel so insecure and I was not even sure whether he loves me anymore. After that he has a change of heart.

I realised that what I said that night mirrored how he always felt (related to his childhood trauma); he always felt rejected by his family so he can sympathise with me and eventually *get* it.

My advise is to be totally honest with your husband about how you feel.

me also.
I would be blessed if i made love to her once a month. Before we got married we made love at least twice a day and three times a week. now if i get it once a month i am blessed. I love her but i must say i am looking. Haven't found no one yet but if she should come along, i will have to repent.


Your story echos most of those of the ILIAM membership. You say that no one would understand if you leave this wonderful man. They would only not understand if you were not to tell them exactly why you wanted to leave. As soon as you explained the reason why you wanted to leave (nearly) EVERYONE would understand.

Your husband does not desire sex or passion. The only people who may find your decision wanting would be those people who, themselves, did not desire sex and passion.

You are feeling sad and depressed as you keep your secret. Would it be possible to start telling people your secret in an attempt to relieve yourself of some of the burden. At least then you may feel that someone else understood what you are going through and would realize why you can feel depressed in a supposedly perfect marriage.

Have you ever thought that perhaps some of your friends are suffering in the same way and are keeping exactly the same secret from you? Maybe they are the ones who have a husband who want more sex and intimacy than they do and they are experiencing the other side of the secret.


Richard your wrote:-

"Your husband does not desire sex or passion. The only people who may find your decision wanting would be those people who, themselves, did not desire sex and passion."

This is wrong assumption and supporting a selfish attitude that would prevent any chance of recovery of the marriage.

The partner could well have the desire or passion but for reasons such as stress, or physical or mental health problems be going through a period of being unable to show such desires.

The memories could still be there and there could also be love

Trying to put myself in the place of a woman I would prefer a male who cared and loved for me rather than one who just wanted to **** me passionately. What about those selfish males who climax without without sharing with partner?

Where love remains there is always an opportunity to explore other ways to achieve female ****** rather than actual penetration by a penis!

Read my story please!

Just do it! Once upon a time there was a woman who lived at 123 maple st. We are about to shower together, dry off and come to bed butt naked and I will take charge from there.

It is sad, when every things else is good and great except.......well, except the most important thing in marriage. I also have great wife , great kid and near perfect marriage except. Our sex life was and is just like yours, most of it was she reject and some of it was me reject. i never lost my interest in sex but i lost my ability for good erection, between her rejection and my impotence our marriage become as yours. Sexless marriage ruined the happiness but we stayed together because when you weight every things it tipped toward stay together. If you can afford to travel internationally then go and experience some love and come back to your life. At least you can get some outlet without destroying your marriage. If you have an affair locally in the state your marriage will be in danger. I do not know what else to say, it is just sad and hard. Good luck sweetie.

I know the feeling. My wife still enjoys sex but not as often as I do. I'm thinking about finding someone like you to fulfill what missing in both relationship. I dont want to leave my wife but seem like I have more to give.

You should think of yourself before others.

Comunication and honesty is what you need. Ask him if he wants to leave you. If he does not want you , then you don't need him. Life is short and you deserve to be happy and desired. Let him know you want someone that desires you

i can relate to exactly the position your in - me too

i have not been married yet..but your story scare me.....there must be some reason if he doesn't want sex, may be he is stressed. try to talk to him or may be he his living in his own fantasy world where he has started satisfying himself by his own hand...i didn't mean to rude but i think that communication is a key of everything. Though it's not your fault but u can give a shot. let me know if u liked my suggestions...

Been there. Done that. It's irrelevant what anyone else understands. You're the one who is dying inside. You have different needs. It doesn't make either of you wrong. There are plenty of women who would love to have a man around who is a great guy but doesn't want sex. Free him to find one. Free yourself to find what you need. That's just my opinion, though. Your own heart will guide you, if you listen.

Hello sad secret ,
You could always sit and talk with your husband or partner , you should ask him why and make it clear that these are basic needs to be loved .

You should go marriage counseling... because you can't live like that for years!!!
you have to face the problem together with your husband and NOT NEGLECT IT ...

There is a possibility he's addicted to ****. *********** causes so many diverse and large problems. You may not even know he's doing it.

:( i wanted to reply to u, but i just dont have the right words to say to make this all feel better. Im in ur situation only my husband is 41 and im 34. I dont know whether its a phase or not. I love him very much, like im sure u love ur husband. For me, im just hoping for change.

You need to decide whether it is your family who needs to hold on desperately for a false image of your marriage, or you. First, if you love and like your husband, does he likewise love and like you? If so, then he should be willing to openly discuss with you your desires for sex. Are we sure he does not have a physical problem? Diabetes and high blood pressure are sex killers for men. That can be addressed. Perhaps he is low on testosterone - many men are, and a simple medication change may work wonders. But, assuming you clear all physical issues, then it is you that is the issue.

Can you continue to subsume your soul to a dry and barren wasteland of a marriage? It may be great from the outside, but you need some meat on the bones. You have a life here, too. If you can't get him to help with the sex issue, and I mean from a loving and caring spouse who is not a nag, not a total beeotch 24/7, not some drain on him in every way, then you must decide whether sex outside the marriage is worth the bother, or simply divorce. But, living a life where everyone sees him as such a wonderful man, but one you know in your heart of hearts is doing nothing to keep his wife happy, satisfied, and secure, is a life that is a lie. I would not want that.

I suggest counseling for the physical issues, medication if needed. If that does not help, then consider asking him for permission to get your loving elsewhere. If you do this, be prepared that he may want a divorce. If this is what happens, then move on. He is not doing his part to be your man, he is only a roommate. And a selfish roommate, too.

If you divorce, you will be immediately hit in the face with hundreds of available guys who all want sex with you. I recommend you resist for a while, get your life on track, get financially able, get emotionally able, before you head out into the world of dating. Be choosy. There are lots of guys who only want to hit it and go. Maybe that is all you need for a while, but my thought is that since everything happens to the inside of a woman, you will likely become a lot more emotionally involved than you may wish, and get really hurt. Try to keep the shocks to your soul to a minimum!

Good luck! Work on him first, then if that doesn't work, get on your own two feet and leave. You are way too young to spend the rest of your life dreaming of what could be. Take charge of your own life!

Wonderful caring advice :)

I believe loving and caring for another person can mean letting a partner explore feelings that you are unwilling or unable to fulfill.

To give an example I found a woman who really enjoyed and almost climaxed when her hair was pulled quite harshly. She also enjoyed having her nipples pulled far beyond the level of pain acceptable to either woman. Her husband could not achieve her desires and it was certainly not a level of activity that would be liked by my wife,

Think what I am trying to suggest is that there are many ways to fulfill physical sexual needs but what we like to call "warm sex", hugs, cuddles, kisses is the foundation of love and affection. Passion and desire get us together with an opportunity for roots to entwine.

dear sadsecret, i am 29 yrs old, unable to have penetrative sex and disfigured,, but life has given me a blind lover, over 70 yrs old. he cannot have erections as he had prostate cancer, but he cannot get enough cuddles, and loves to pleasure me. he is patient, gentle, funny, and cannot see my blemishes. i say there is room in life for all types of relationships. will he cuddle you? will your hugs just warm his heart? would that be enough

Dear Cliona - glad you have found happiness. Are things as bad as you suggest. The reason I ask is that our new Doctor is blinded and has one eye closed and I have tended to avoid looking him in the face. For me the ice suddenly broke and we had a much warmer relationship once I had committed to full eye contact. I am sure in this case the disfigurement was in the eye of the beholder rather than the person. Could you be stressing the disfigurement too much? ***hugs*** ***hugs*** As I slowly remove my blindfold would you have courage to let me see and feel what you consider the least severe of your "blemishes" and what you think are the most beautiful parts of your body. Imagines stroking and gently teasing your hair - but if you don't have any we would have to find other sensations to explore.....

I am young and have had much to go threw ... I can only imagine how you feel . I to have been married and was at a time in my life were i had so very young been rejected and was so hurt and sad, depressed and blaming myself for the short sexless marriage that i was going threw . I went to him for answers and reasons why i was not what he desired any longer ? why he did not have the passion for me or the need to love me anymore . but still he never told me any straight answers and kept on the same rout , I ended up leaving him and making things better for myself not that this is always the answer for all women in this situation but for me it was the only way to be happy and content again . this was the best decision that i had ever maid till this day and will always be . you have sometimes love yourself enough to make change for the better in you and the well being of yourself and life ... I hope that i could help in anyway possible

Jessica Lopez

It is obvoious you are totally invested in your marraige but is seems to me that your husband is not. His needs are apparently being met and he is apparently content as long as you don't put him on the spot for his short comings. I hate to say this but it seems he simply does not care about your feelings and although I'm sure he loves you, it doesn't seem like he is in love with you. Just as there are different types of love, there are different types of sex. Love and sex are both basic human needs however the type(s) one needs or desires vary greatly with each individual and that is where compatability comes into play. We humans are so complex that our needs and desires can and do change on a regular basis. These changes can happen in a matter of seconds or in a matter of years in conjunction with our moods, perceptions, influences, experiences, etc. as we go through life. We all make choices, we all make mistakes but when one person in a relationship no longer cares it is like strying to start a fire with soggy wood (pun intended). If you can't rekindle the passion he evidently once had for you, it is time for some soul searching and deciding what you will settle for.

I wonder how many of us are out there. My wife and I have been married 21 years. Over time our sex went from 3 times a week to 2 times a month. Now for the past 3 years NOTHING AT ALL. She says she loves me and always wants a kiss when I leave for work but, NO hug and NO touching. Just the mention of sex and her first words are "you are so disgusting". Depressed and don't know what to do.

Boss 429 (bigfordfan) - She is ill, likely depressed, and likely has or is going through menopause. Your age gives it away, and I strongly suggest you consider trading her in for a newer model - at least when it comes to sex. She may be a great woman, but many women lose the desire for sex once their biological function of providing children passes. Then, frankly, biologically they are excess. This is kinda harsh, I know, but true. And it drives her sex drive like you cannot believe. Once the hormones leave her she is more of a eunuch, biologically a female, but sexually devoid of interest. Hormone replacement therapy may be of assistance, but not always. She may simply be past any interest in sex.

Plus, take a look in the mirror. Make sure you are doing what you need to do to be attractive. Get yourself healthy, do some working out, get fit. You may be surprised just how many women are out there who really desire you. But, you have to be worthy of that desire, too. If you are pigged out, messy in your attire, etc., you may need to fix up, clean up. Just saying.

Finally, if the thought of living with this empty shell of a woman is not what you want in the long haul, and you can't get her fixed, can't get yourself fixed, then you must decide - stay or go. For many, the comforts of having her in your life outweigh the pleasures of going. That is fine, if that is what you want. But, if they do not outweigh, then GO. GET UP AND GO. Take control of your life and act. You are in your 50's, and still virile. Either get her permission to have a lover outside the marriage, or get her out of the marriage and get single and GO! Let her have her shell of a life. You need a new life.

Not at all. No mysogyny at all. I love women, all women. But some women just become empty shells once their biological functions are expended. They lose all interest in matters sexual, cuddling, holding each other, even holding hands. I will give you that I may have couched it in better terms - for that, I apologize. But, there is not doubting that once many women are past their child-bearing years, their hormones change and they become nagging beeotches who could care less if people like them or not. I had a wife like that, and many friends whose mothers or wives did the same. They just dry out! Empty like the desert. And angry like a rattlesnake. My wife tried hormone replacement therapy and was actually a normal, fun, happy person. But she could not keep the patch in place, so just gave it up, turning back again into the dry, sad, angry, angry, angry person that I finally divorced. Even her children have abandoned her to her anger.

Thanks (Boss 429) for the carefull observation. Yes medical has a lot to do with it. She is diabetic and has had a Hysterectomy. She has always loved kids and caters a lot to ours even though they have grown. I am in reasonable good shape and still work construction part-time at my age. Have always been clean and well gromed. Age and a little gray aside I still need sex.

Wow...we as a species have made sex such a be-all end-all part of the equation. As a man who was married to a wonderful woman for 33 years, and lived a similar situation throughout it, my heart goes out to you. We finished a very peaceful divorce in October. In my case, I have always been very sexually minded, she was not. It was one of the major issues of our marriage.

Two areas of thought I haven't seen mentioned, either of which could factor in here.
1. It is very common in men for testosterone levels to drop as men hit their 50's and beyond. This can cause a big drop in a man's desire for sex and intimacy. The good news - if a man is willing to go for a blood test, it can be quickly confirmed, and testosterone treatments, if that's the cause, can put things back to normal or even better. I have a couple of friends who totally turned their relationships around.

2. This scenario is what I have experienced. I am now 59, and started seriously studying spirituality about 15 years ago. To make a long story VERY short, about 10 years ago, I had what I guess would be called an epiphany, or holy instant. The name is not important, the result is. In various religions books, God has said that we were created in God's image, with the power to create as God does. That we can root around in the dirt and make (create) babies like the animals do, but that we are given the power to create divinely - in mind. This truth hit me like a rock, and as a result, any attachment to ANY aspect of this physical realm, including sex, has vaporized as if it never existed. My lifetime preoccupation with sex has vanished. Especially the aspect of thinking "If he/she really loved me they would want to have sex with me" - WRONG! I now love people with a depth and clarity I had never known I could experience, and without ANY expectation of anything in return. If anyone had told me life could be like this (and several people had over the years lol) I would have told them they were crazy. Well it can...and it is!

There could be a raft of other reasons in your particular situation, which is why open honest dialog between the two of you is important. As someone who ended up being in the end of a 33 year marriage with a beautiful kind and loving woman over this one area of life that we have blown up to be the be-all end-all of life seems rather silly in hindsight, but it is what it is. One of the beautiful things that has come out of all this is that I am now pursuing my dream and sharing my gift of becoming a life & spiritual coach, sharing knowledge and wisdom to help others find the joy that is already, and can only be discovered within, is not "out there" where we have been mis-taught to look for it. Feel free to check out my list of suggested reading at my site

Be well, be peaceful, be the joy that the creation designed you to be!

is there no chance of him seeking help? There could be an actual problem and thats why he doesnt want sex. A friend of mine lost interest in sex and a few years later went to the doctor for a checkup and found out his testesterone levels were far below normal leading to that and other problems. He's on a supplement now and he's gained all sorts of interests back.

Change is inevitable but then again the changes that you are experiencing has turned you to be unhappy.Everyone wants to have a happy marriage but sometimes there are glitches here and there.In your case, your husband has lost his interest to sex and intimacy.Have you consulted a sexologist before? If you haven't maybe you can drop by and try to discuss the matter with him/her.I believe that there is always solutions to a problem.Be positive and don't make any rash decision.Wish you all the best ;)

You are not alone. Many of us have had or currently are living in similar circumstances.The pain, the loneliness, the emptiness all seem unending. The keeping of "the secret" only adds to the sense of isolation. While the litany of people telling you what an idealistic life you have seems to only fuel a sense of selfishness and deepens the isolation.You eloquently articulate your turmoil, and confusion, while stating your heartfelt desires.....not a lame post at all.Your belief your family, friends, and associates see him as being on something akin to a pedestal may be a bit unfair to them. It is my experience people frequently "go with the flow" and say nothing of their actual perceptions until someone breaks the ice of the "Currier and Ives" facade. No one for sure can say what will happen if and when you speak the truth. I myself have yet to find the courage to do it. I to am fearful of the backlash.I am only a recent member of this site and am not totally clear what I want other than something different in my marriage. I feel myself sliding towards a separation or maybe a divorce, which I do not want (YET). I read the stories of others here who have had affairs and more often than not the shame guilt and remorse seem to only compound an already difficult circumstance. Additionally, I have read the courage and raw heroism it takes for folks to make the move towards a separation. Something which has weighed heavy on my mind is the chorus of people who report how their courage to separate has improved their lives in a huge way.You don't mention accessing "outside help" that is to say medical or marital counseling. In my case my partner refuses to engage in either.I (and many others) am here with and for you. When all is said and done the decision will be yours and yours alone and you will live with that decision. Regardless, frequently "Pain is the price of change." and I am clear at some point "X" I will have had enough pain to force me to change to get out of the pain.

Wanttobedesired73 - You are young and beautiful. Any man would be lucky to have you. You deserve to be loved like a woman, with passion and pleasure, to have his comforts and his loving and his kisses and his stroking. And I know you are Catholic, which limits your leaving this farce of a marriage. So, you must make a decision - do you have another affair? or do you seek an annulment from your church so you can have a real marriage? The pain you are enduring is real, you are human and deserve to be loved, used, played with. These are all simply human needs, not outside the realm of reality. Just simple needs.

I would leave, were I you. I know it is a sin in your faith, but I would leave, get healthy, and find a new lover. Someone who will love you as you are. I am sure there is more to your life than empty spaces with some lump of a man in it.

Wanttobedesired73 - Wow! the age spread in your marriage is an issue! At the same time you were getting married, his hormones were long ago peaked, and actually going down. By the time you were thirty to have an affair, he was 53. Sorry, guys, but by the time we are 53, our hormones are often way down, and our interest in matters sexual may be abated. In any event - you say he was not comfortable with touching you, and all he wanted was penetration. That make sex difficult for you, as most women need a LOT more warm up than "lay back!"

I can understand how your affair must have awakened you. Most affairs are more about the sex than the emotions, and the immediacy makes it fun and exciting! You know you don't have much time to spend together, so you hurry to the lovemaking, leaving behind all the other stuff, like children, rent, bills, etc. And when you do touch, it is often with a man who wants to touch, taste, tease, and please each and every inch of your body. Who wouldn't want that? I would from a woman!

So, you need to decide what to do. If your husband is now in his 60's, and you in your mid thirties or early forties, you are in your prime, and he is in his decline. You deserve a man who will love you, take you to sexual places you have never been, and take care of you there. I am sure there are lots of men who would take on a project like yours - loving you physically and emotionally so that you can sexually be satisfied! Sounds like good work when you can get it!

In any event, either have another affair, or leave, or make a decision to love this man as long as you can and to perhaps train him to love you as you need. But, make a decision! That is the crux of the deal! A decision is so much better than fretting about what to do. I would go to him first and talk frankly about you needing his affections, his love, his caring. Be open to teaching him! But, if he can't do anything about it, I would leave and find a real lover who will stay there and make you his girl! There are lots of men out there - like me - who are seeking sensitive women like you.

"everything is great bar the sex" appears to be your position.

If you are up for a searching examination of that position, to establish its' veracity, it usually collapses under intense examination.

Read on in here. You'll see what I mean.

Tread your own path.

It is a sadsecret..

Okay now this is a message about me. I am the same but i am not marry i am single only had like 2-3 girlfriends never last more than 3 months never went on a date. they all choose me i have never been able to get the girls i want sorry for being like this maybe thats why i understand these guys but i am much younger. Let me just say this when i am living breathing i feel life and death but when i am near my opposite it feels even more as if i am alive and dead. if you read my story i am not sure how will i respond

Mostly this can not be true. i am sorry if i offend anyone
He marry you for you as well as you marry him for him.
There is still time and change.
Its like this If you do not stand up for yourself you can lose your self respect.
I am not blaming you it isn't anyone fault here. Don't take the weight all by yourself
There is no shame of loving your wife and showing it as well as for loving your husband and showing it. not saying to telling it thats your choice.
My parents are going through the same thing and well they are very quite about anything that is themselves.
There were saying that it was a mistake and that they were going to divorce.
They are taking counseling and it isn't really working much for them instead do something you both want to do or set him up for it.
In a relationship works 2 or more ways. you live as equals or one leads the other follows both i describe the yin and yang theme.
The other i mention doesn't matter when i said 2 or more.
by saying leave him or kick him out is like saying if it doesn't work throw it away when nothing really is broken it isn't replace or forgotten or need a fix just a new change a new step that shakes things up keep the fire lit stronger than ever. i am saying this because i see you empathy.
Plus there are a lot of things to try out there for keeping a relationship.
i am sorry to say this but hopefully you two are going through a phase.