Its Been A Year

Its been a year since I was here last looking for advice. At that time we thought I might have a problem with sex addiction, so I went to counselling and a support group. Been sober, i.e. no **** or ************, a year next month. The health issues I faced that likely triggered my addiction are long over. However, that still doesn't do anything for my sexless marriage.

We have sex about every 3 months. It has been like this more or less for the past 8 years. I have tried being the best husband I can be. A few years back she agreed to schedule sex for one night a week, and it happened about 1/2 the time, but then she said it caused her too much stress and anxiety, that stopped. We have a good relationship and are partners in everyway but the one. It isn't that she is a typical refuser, only that she never really thinks about sex or is interested in it. Once in the action, she is great, but all the stars have to align to get her there. She generally doesn't like to be touched, so there is no cuddling or handholding except on occasion about as frequent as sex. In short, I spend most days in a sever shortage of physical touch of any sort. I would be happy cuddling on the couch and sex daily, but would be fine if it happened a few times a week. We had an open marriage that I never took advantage of till last year, when she said she wanted to change to rules to just us. I still wouldn't want to be with anyone else, but now the fact that it isnt an option to take an outside lover to help with the lack of physical intimacy is just saddening. At least I used to know that there was a possible outlet if I needed, now that outlet is closed.

My wife has OCD and anxiety, and takes drugs for that. I have come to the conclusion that the end of any real activity in our sexlife happened about the time she switched meds about 9 years ago, we have been together about 14, but her life would be unmanagable without them. We also have a daughter in elementary school and I really am happy with my marriage in all other ways, so am not interested in divorce. However, what I am to do? Do I spend the next 30 years dying inside just because my SO isn't able to find passion for the physical part of the relationship? Likely I will develop a ton of resentment. I have developed some already, but its not anything that gets in the way. Do I take a meaningless outside sex partner? If she ever found out, it would kill her and I am not interested in sneaking around. Do I go back to **** and ************, because lets face it, its the only good thing that's been happening to be physically for years and years. Do I just say screw it and get a divorce that I don't want from a person I truly love and break up a family that works on so many fronts, injuring my child for life in the process? Seems more selfish than I am willing to be. I spent a number of years trying to get away from being a selfish *****, and don't really want to be that guy. Do I have a conversation about polyamory and try to go down that road? Good lord, how complicated a life can I create for myself. Do we do counselling, again? It seems like we can't find a good one, being in the bible belt. And it takes tons of time we just don't have.

We have talked a number of times about this and she is aware of the situation. I am not the most communicative person, and she has made allowances for that, so it just seems she is content for me making allowances for her lack of need for physicality. It is almost at the point that bringing it up ****** her off.

So what do I do? Seems like a no win no matter what. If you were in this situation what would you do? Is there a solution I haven't thought of? Getting her to agree to me having an ecsort over every couple of weeks? She already told me to get a massage a few times a week if that would help with the physical contact. Really, anything is on the table. We are both highly educated and not your typical couple.
doriangre doriangre
41-45, M
9 Responses Jan 6, 2013

Doriangre. No ones deserves a sexless life. For men, years when you can explore, have fun, a fulfilled sex life are LIMITED, never forget. After 45 it just starts going down in terms of testosterone and libido so hurry up.
Cheating is not a sin, sins do not exist if you hurt no one. My sincere advice; cut the **** (even if great) and go get a girlfriend / lover/ prostitute and have good and often sex. you can NOT and should NOT stay in that situation.

I agree with Enna30 in that she seems to be the one directing all of the suggestions for solution in her favor. Has she ever admitted her faults in contributing to a happy relationship? Maybe you need to do some suggesting to her, with strong, stern conviction. Have you opened up like you have here on this site to your wife? Brutally honest? I wish my husband had. I am in the refuser's seat and denied and rejected my husband for most of 24yrs of our 27 yr marriage. We had relations more than some I've read about on here, like at a minimum of 2 x a month + some. I guess I put this in here to make my self not sound so bad especially in this particular group. My husband has 3 x a day need and it's his number one need. So it was pretty much sexless and so frustrating for him. We seemed to click and function in life on all other cylinders.

You might go to my profile page and read some of my 1st story Refusing remorseful wife I think I make mention of several flaws of mine and suggestions to the refuser. I don't know if you can talk to your wife about this sometimes I wish the refuser could read my story. If they really love their spouse they will change and they need to realize how very real this need is just like food or oxygen. I never thought of it in this way. A couple of quick suggestions, I was really low, low in testosterone and got testosterone cream and it has made all the difference to me in sexual desire and arousal. I was mental about sex and my perceptions of sex. There is a book called His Needs, Her Needs, How to Affair Proof Your Marriage. I have start listening to self hypnosis CD by Karen Gless, she's a sex therapist, RN, etc and this just may help me too with my negative thoughts from childhood about sex. Just started so I don't know yet. You can google her name and read up on it. There are supplements to help with desire my dr. suggested DHEA 50 mg, there is L-Arginine, Dr. Oz's web site list several too. I wish I had recognized the seriousness of my actions sooner and the importance of intimacy in our marriage and gotten the help I have since gotten. Maybe way to late! I'm not sure what issues your wife has, but it would be worth it for her to look in the mirror and you too and admit your shortcoming in your marriage and then do something about it and I mean for life. There's all kinds of help out there! I'm still learning and hoping that my situation will heal. I am passionate about this subject from a reformed refuser's experience so I tend to rattle on and share too much. You sound like you love your wife and you want to fix your problems I hope she can admit her faults too and also truly realize what this means to you and the importance of it. Not just for you, but her life will be enriched too. God Bless Your Marriage and lead you to true happiness.

You have been a member of this group for far too long and should know better. Everything is great bar the sex. Are you kidding? That is a newbie talking and a newbie here you are not.

Your story reads like she makes all the choices and you accept them under the pretense of we.

She probably decided that she needs breathing space so she made up the idea that you need counselling for sex addiction. You bought that and sought therapy. Now that this excuse has expired and no loger viable to her she decided that you need an open marriage. Just taking a stab in the dark here but all probability suggests that she had someone else in mind and wanted to have a half legit excuse to bonk him with a free pass from you. You provided the free pass than later down the track she decides that open marriage must end. Back to just us.

This smells like fuc..k buddy and her ended their relationship for whatever reason and now that she has no one to screw you cant either.

Finally stop putting yourself down you are in a dysfunctional marriage and that stuffs up your head and thinking. She has you convinced that it is all you and she makes allowances for your weaknesses.

You are wrong here. It is you that has made to many allowances for her. Stop thinking of her for a change and start looking after YOU.

I strongly suggest you read up here and read up good.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

Yes, trying to find a non-Christian based counceler is nearly impossible here. However, like all repressed areas, finding swinging parties and an active poly social scene isn't.

No, I'm not sure what I am looking for. A couples retreat maybe? A doctor who specializes in drug induced low libido? if it were just a question of stay, outsource, or go, I am sure I could sort that out. What I am looking for is a way to solve our problems, as that's what I really want. So, I am taking creative suggestions. Really creative suggestions. Is there a relationship whisperer you can pay to move into your house for a couple months like a nanny for your marriage? I would take anything at this point, nothing is out of the relm of possible. For those who had a similar situation, what fixed it? Do you think it is even fixable?

"Is there a relationship whisperer you can pay to move into your house for a couple months like a nanny for your marriage?" Santa Claus is not real...unfortunately... You hope that something miracle happen and your wife suddenly turn into somebody completely different... Sorry, coke just never been there...http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Live-In-A-Sexless-Marriage/2717600

Good comment Moon!

Like ++++ Moon!

You might want to contact Marlene Winell. She's a non-relgious counselor who might know someone in your area that handles your marital issues.

FYI, you're probably not a sex-addict, but a normal horny dude.

1 More Response

Bazzar - I never really fit in at the support groups, so I am not sure i had an addiction. Although I was single minded about sex, left work to come home and **********, was trolling adult friend finder, etc. - so it was interfering in my life. However, I did have a dibilitating mystery illness at the time that caused me to have to eventually stop working, so I think that was the primary cause. I am healthy now and working again, so I don't expect it to return and I know what to look for. However, getting my obsessive thought patterns under control did nothing to lessen my libido, which is quite high, or my need for human contact, which is something I feel is needed just to be a happy well adjusted human.

I honestly don't know what to do here. Sucking it up isn't really an option. The sadness that comes from being continually lonely eats at all of you, from your energy to self esteem to overall self-worth.

I think you are missing the point of Baz's comment. He is pointing out to you that your wife is the one suggesting solutions - and all the solutions simply bolster HER choices, not your's.

So "we" decided you had a **** problem that was worth wasting a years therapy on.

Are you sure it wasn't "her" deciding you had a **** problem, and treatment for that would keep you in your place for a year ?

And "we" decided to have an open marriage.

Are you sure it wasn't her deciding to dangle this carrot in front of you whilst being pretty sure you wouldn't do it anyway ?

And "we" decided to halt the open marriage status.

Are you sure that that wasn't because she thought you might actually have a crack ?

There is no "we" in your relationship. Just you, and just her. But she is quite a few steps ahead of you, and can still sell you on concepts dressed up as being in the interests of "we", when in fact they are just in the interests of "her".

Dysfunctional marriages **** with your head, get you thinking weird ****, get you making uninformed choices that feed back into the loop.

You have been, and are being, played like a piano. And there seems no evidence of anything happening to stop it, short of you severely challenging your thinking.

Tread your own path.

Do I understand correctly that you had an open marriage until just before the very moment that you wanted to take advantage of that option? What else in your partnership has this just-in-time quality? I would bet quite a bit.

"She already told me to get a massage a few times a week if that would help with the physical contact."
I can understand lack of a sex drive...but when you add this on top of it? That's just cold.
She can't even be bothered to touch you.

"I really am happy with my marriage in all other ways, so am not interested in divorce. I am not interested in sneaking around. However, what I am to do? Do I spend the next 30 years dying inside just because my SO isn't able to find passion for the physical part of the relationship?"


Yep, apparently so, since you've closed the door on divorce and a secret affair, and she's closed the door on an open marriage.


You have a lot of soul searching to do I suppose.