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How I Got Here

We dated for 2 years before we got married. I always had a stronger libido than him but it was not a huge difference and we had a healthy sex life. The wedding came a little sooner than it would have otherwise because his visa had expired and he was under threat of deportation, but we discussed it thoroughly and both decided we were ready to take the plunge. We had been living together for about a year.

The sex stopped the day we got married. We didn't consummate our marriage for about 3 weeks but I blamed it on the fact that we had his family from overseas staying with us in our small house. There was no privacy. As soon as his family left he started going out drinking with a friend almost every night. I was miserable and would stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning waiting for him and scream and yell when he got home. He told me that I needed to realize that marriage wasn't going to change him and refused to see that this was a change. He never went out so often when we were dating, and when he did I was usually invited. I should have left him then but I was so ashamed that our marriage had fallen apart so quickly, I thought we could work things out, and I blamed his friend instead of him. Most of my attempts to initiate sex were met with accusations. Couldn't i see how tired he was? Didn't I know he had other things to do? and the occasional If I didn't make such a big deal about sex, maybe he would feel like it.

After a while his friend moved away and things got better. This was the first time of many that I readjusted my idea of what happy was. We were still only having sex about once a month but we we weren't fighting and we were doing things like going to the movies together so I chose to be content. At some point he bought me a dog collar looking necklace and said it turned him on. I was thrilled. However, he wanted me to wear it at inappropriate times like to my friends wedding, and a family Xmas party. When I refused the lack of sex officially became my fault. When I tried to wear it at other times he came back with "You don't like the necklace, you just want sex" and refused me.

Then a miracle happened. My high school boyfriend was in town and contacted me to hang out. Who knew a little competition would inspire my husband. We had sex 5 nights in a row, every night my ex was in town. Unfortunately it stopped the day he left. The result of those 5 nights is that I became pregnant. I was super horny during my pregnancy. The hormones made me feel super womanly and sexy but my husband just could not bring himself to have sex with a pregnant woman, even before I was showing. So at 29 I went for my first year without sex. Once again, I should have left but I thought things would get better after the baby came, and that I needed him to be a father.

We decided that I should stay at home with the baby and my feelings of isolation and loneliness increased. I became deeply depressed and started having fantasies of my husbands death. When I saw a doctor he put me on antidepressants and dismissed my feelings. His exact words were, "You didn't get married because you hate each other, you just need to work through this." My sense of self worth was so damaged that I just believed what the doctor (not a therapist) said about me. When I went back for a checkup after 6 months I said I was still sad. He suggested a therapist and increased the dosage of my meds.

The next few years were just me internalizing responsibility for my situation. My husband came to one marriage counseling session and determined that I was the one with the problem so I should continue on my own. I believed him. I was the one who was unhappy. I was the one unable to cope with my life. He was fine. I worked with my therapist on setting boundaries with my family, getting past obsessive thoughts, and making myself happy. I never mentioned my sex life because the subject still filled me with shame. During this time I learned how to approach my husband about sex. Trying to flirt or flat out asking was met with immediate refusal so I started saying "It's been awhile" during normal conversation. A response of "It hasn't been that long" meant leave him alone. "Yes it has" meant I could pursue it further. We fell into a pattern of 3 or 4 times a year.

A couple years ago I had an episode where I became overcome by a sexual fantasy. I couldn't push it from my head and couldn't focus on all the things I needed to do. I begged my husband for sex. He seemed amused that I was so uncomfortable and relented. I ended up pregnant. The level of his indifference to my feelings became apparent during the pregnancy. I knew better than to ask for sex but needed something. I came to him crying, saying I was lonely and asked him to simply put his arm around me while we were in bed. He told me it was uncomfortable and he couldn't sleep that way. The night I got pregnant was the last time my husband touched me at all and my son is 10 months old.
Maleficent77 Maleficent77 31-35, F 4 Responses Dec 21, 2012

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This is perhaps the saddest story I have read here. It is sad because you have been manipulated into marrying this man so that he could remain in the United States, believing it to be love, and likely refusing to recognize it is so that he could avoid deportation. Along the way, your soul has been drained, you have borne two children, and you are still only the tool by which he remains here in the US.

My advice is that you make a decision - is your health and happiness worth the possible cost of raising the children alone? I say alone because my experience as a divorce attorney is that when you divorce the immigrant, if they get deported, you may never see any financial support, the children may never see the other parent, and there is little you can do about it. If you send your children to the foreign country to visit they may never be returned to you without literally thousands of dollars expenses.

Another thought I have is that knowing your husband is a deadbeat in the bedroom, and apparently cold in your relationship after the first child, why did you not use protection to avoid a second pregnancy? Is it possible you are using your children as a tool yourself to force your husband into some sense of family that he rejects? You really may want to get some therapy from someone who is told the entire story. I may be wrong - and I hope I am - but having unprotected sex with someone who is cold and non-supportive of you and your family smacks of self-defeatism. At the very least, you should protect yourself against future pregnancies.

Of course, there is always simply having an affair with some guy who will satisfy your sexual urges, but since everything happens to the "inside" of a woman, you will likely fall in love with your "backdoor man" and in the process wreck your marriage, lose your children, and be cast out emotionally and physically. Not what I consider a healthy outcome, but it is one solution.

If you can no longer go on with this situation, then leave. You need to take the reins of your life into your own hands and leave. Find a small apartment or other place you can afford, move into it. Get your life settled, and get on your own two feet. Get strong emotionally, physically, and financially before you leap into another relationship. Use the courts to arrange child support from your husband, and be fair with him on child visitation. Do not in spite force him to be deported if he is still subject to deportation. In fact, help him with immigration issues so that he can be in the US to pay for the children he has sired. But, get your own life restarted.

Once you are settled, healthy emotionally and physically, on your own two feet financially, then you should consider other relationships. Find men who are complete and who do not "need" you to stay in the country, or to support them financially, or to help fix them. Find men who are sexually alive - usually not hard to do - and who know how to love you - perhaps harder to find. But, the most important part is to find the right guy who will love you, support you emotionally, support you sexually, and who will love your children. Then, you can find peace.

Thank you for your reply. We have been married for 10 years and he is now a permanent resident. Deportation is no longer an issue. As far as trying to force him into some sense of family, yeah I probably was doing that. The first time I stopped taking birth control we discussed it first and he agreed. The second time, I simply missed the appointment for my shot and never rescheduled. It didn't seem important. I told him but it didn't seem important to him either. Our children are 6 years apart and I got a tubal ligation after the baby was born because I knew I couldn't endure that again. I don't know about dating again. I completely changed who I was trying to get him to love me and probably need to regain my sense of self before anything else. I suppose the thing that kept me around is that he always said he loved me, he still does. He says he thinks we have a good relationship and he doesn't know why I am unhappy.

At least the issue of a new baby is past. Good.

Now, let's look at you. You say he says he loves you. Have you asked him what that means? And I don't mean during a fight. I mean have you ever sat down, asked him what he wants, what he needs? Have you asked yourself the same questions? Perhaps in a quiet moment he would explain why he is not having a sexual relationship with you. Perhaps it is because he "can't have sex with a mother" - some men have that as an issue. Perhaps there is some other woman out there - or a man.

As for "changed who you are" - no, you haven't. You have simply pushed back yourself. EVERYONE does this to an extent in a relationship. Perhaps you need to reassert who you really are. In a loving, gentle way. Perhaps he needs some counseling, as I think you do, too.

And then, there is the obvious - perhaps he just doesn't like sex, doesn't feel all that much interest in being intimate, doesn't want to share his life with you. He may just not be all that into you. Then, you have to decide - keep him for the father to his children? If so, then do you step outside the marriage for the carnal comforts you seek? And if so, do you get his permission first? I can say this - it will lead to a breakdown of the marriage if you step outside to quench your lust. But, that may be what you need - someone who can restore your sense of sexuality. And all the rest in the marriage may be just fine, then.

The only other alternative would be divorce, and that can be painful for all. I strongly urge you to work with him first, do all you can to make him your lover, your friend, your confidant. Make some outside friends, too, so your life is not so empty. But if you depart, make sure you leave with your head held high, not in disgrace from an affair gone bad, etc.

Good luck! You will read in my other posts that I am an advocate for taking control of your own life while you have one to take control of. Do so. With or without him. But, for your sake, and for the sake of your children, who need to see a strong healthy mother and a strong healthy father figure, do so. Either fix what you have or get something new. But, do not linger here longer. You are too valuable.

I would love to read about your future... because this just makes me so angry I'd happily do things to your STBX (I hope) that would land me in jail and him in a hospital, at least....

Fantasizing aside, I think you know what you need to do. I hope you have friends or relatives to help you out of this situation; I hope you've visited a lawyer to make sure you know where you stand WHEN you leave his sorry a&&.

Thanks. I have a lawyer and things are in the works. I plan on writing about how I finally decided to leave because I had become so timid and confused I barely recognized myself. People are going to be shocked because I always hear what a perfect couple we are.

Sorry you're having to deal with this. We're here for you.

Wow, that was a book. Thanks to anyone who read the whole thing. I just wanted to add that this is how I got here, it is not where I am going. My future is 100 times less depressing than this.