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I read all the posts in this group and wonder why? Why did all these marriages come to this place? I know why mine has... primarily because it started for the wrong reason. Not for love... not for desire to be one with my husband, but for fear. Fear of rejection, fear of being disowned, fear of my inability to raise a child on my own. I felt I had no other option. Hoping that I would "fall in love"... trusting that the "happily ever after" would come to pass... I said "I DO".  Twenty-four years later.... 15 yrs of that completely void of any physical relationship I understand why I am here.

We sat at a bar having dinner New Year's Eve, on the corner, purposefully, hoping to somehow engage in conversation. I watched as couples chatted and laughed. I would look up at him occasionally to see if maybe he would have something to say, he awkwardly smiled back. I did however, find out that the bartender was moving to Chicago to live in her uncle's house while he travels out of the country for 2 years. Anyway, I wondered, would the others at the bar that night, end up like us? Is it just the way things are? After years together, there are no more words, no real need for affection, or intimacy. Is what I live the "NORM"?

Coming to this group, and reading the sad stories of people who live in relationships very similar to mine, I wonder. WHY? Why and how do people who started out "in love"....the"right way", end up just like me. Then I wonder is a successful, loving, intimate marriage even really possible? Perhaps I should just resign myself to this lonely unsatisfied lifestyle. Perhaps this is all there is... I should just keep smiling and be happy in spite of it all. 

ExistsinHOPE ExistsinHOPE 51-55, F 5 Responses Jan 6, 2013

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For every person here there is a "why". Most of us don't know what it is - despite our most fervent efforts to find out the cause of our sexless marriages. Very few of our spouses can give us a true answer either - because in many cases they too do not know "why" they are the way they are.

The Refused spouse blames her/himself; seeks answers; argues, begs, pleads, cajoles and threatens the refusing spouse. The Refused spouse tries doing more, doing less; tries being seductive; offers ideas to "spice" things up in case the problem is boredom. . .

The Refused spouse loses her/his temper with the refusing spouse and threatens to have an affair, leave the marriage and / or "out" their spouse to thers . . .

The Refused spouse walks around on egg-shells, very carefully AVOIDING any hint of sex or sexual things (Don't want to frightn him/her!). The Refused spouse goes out of her/his way to do nice things for her/his spouse - take on most of the chores, care for the kids, bring home gifts, endeavour to bring about World Peace!

The Refused Spouse decides to accept that this is her/his lot in life. After all, "everything is perfect bar the sex", right?!! She/he throws herself into work, hobbies. doing things for the kids, gardening, helping at school, attending Church . . .

She/he spends too much time on the Net, drinks more than she/he should, seeks out old beaus or girlfriends on FaceBook, wonders about picking up someone in a bar "just for sex" . . . .

The Refused Spouse EVENTUALLY realises (some quicker than others!) that this is a No-Win situation. Not World Peace, date nights or ********** will resolve the problem.
Not doing more laundry, taking on the bulk of the child care or keeping the garden in award winning condition. Not losing thirty pounds, having a face lift or getting a six pack . . . Not buying her/him a new car, going for a round-the-world holiday, buying her diamonds, buying him the Harley he has always wanted . . .

Extrapolating from this hard won knowledge comes the inevitable question:
Do I stay? Do I out-source? Do I leave? Is the grass greener? Am I "too damaged" to have a really good relationship? How can I hurt this person I love? What about "the kids"??

As others have said: this becomes YOUR choice. Some of us stay. Some of us leave. Only YOU can know the right answer for you. Does it help to know that I've never read a story here saying "I wish I had STAYED in my sexless marriage!"?? But I've read lots of stories saying how GREAT it has been (after getting through the hard parts and the pain) after LEAVING a sexless marriage.

I feel like soulmates to many of you. From a males point of view - I spent years living just as described above - trying to do more. Whatever my wife did/does it is always more stressful than what I do. Seventeen years ago I changed not my job, but career. More than doubled my income so my wife could stay home and raise our son. Within a few short months I started getting calls - "whatever you're doing it can't be as bad..." Then I started doing more things around the house - instead of appreciation it was - you should have done it this way or it was simply totally ignored.

But this is a group about sexless marriages. I'm sure you can all get the connection. If day to day life is this disconnected - it is extremely hard to then become intimate with your spouse. In my marriage - any intimacy occurred because I initiated it. That was a 50/50 situation - half the time any initiative would be rebuffed. The other half - was more of going through the motions.

Four years ago life for my became very complex. On a business trip a woman overtly flirted with me. We laughed, we were with a group in a large limo so it was mainly just laughing, then perhaps drinking a bit too much. I enjoyed the moment and didn't think much about it as I left for the airport the next day. While I was standing in the ticketing line - she called me. My obviously paused response resulted in her saying - did I surprise you/are you upset that I called?

Well this led to a protracted email relationship. Messages gradually becoming more sexually oriented. Ultimately we reconnected. The affair went on for about two years. It was a very intense, very physical but also very emotional relationship. We each felt that we had "met our match/mate". I never knew anyone before that I could be so open with. We discussed everything. That openness invariably led to intimacy.

When my wife found out - well you can imagine. But the one thing I kept coming back to - was this was someone I could talk with. As exisinhope said - her communication with her husband has broken down - they generally don't talk. My relationship is identical. If we do talk, we don't get into arguments - but she takes the opposite position of whatever I say. So it is like a debate rather than a personal conversation. I don't know about everyone else, but it is very hard to evolve from an intense debate to intimacy.

When I said my life got complicated - I meant - how does one put the genie back in the bottle? Better to have known love and fulfillment and lost it than never had had it. What I'm struggling with is - "that is no longer enough".

I suspect the answer is quite obvious - but as someone said - how do you overcome fear - fear of change. (That is my problem, not my wife's.)

It is most helpful to share - I do appreciate this forum.

The why chasing will really fuc..k with your head and you will spend endless of hours contemplating it but If you really want to go chasing the why well here goes, maybe the love has died, maybe there is built up resentment, maybe someone else has come along in either partners life, maybe you have put on weight etc etc.

The list goes on and on. I understand how hard it is especially if there are children involved but to keep smiling and put up with it all is really limiting yourself to a life of misery.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

Finding and making the changes that make us happy requires us to overcome fear. Fear of losing something even if it is no good, fear of never getting even though we never will anyway if we continue down the same path, fear of breaking convention even if it is the best answer to or problems.
Other people's opinions don't matter and usually aren't going to be what we assume them to be anyway.. There is more love in the world than we perceive if we just take off the blinders of fear.

-----" I should just keep smiling and be happy in spite of it all."

STOP "shoulding" all over yourself. On Dec 30, in you confession, you said you wanted a divorce, that you want out.

So you ARE thinking outside that limited "should" box.

No one invested in keeping you in place (that might be the husband or might not be) is going to help you get to that place. You will have to start the process on your own.

However, you can enlist help from those can help you get answers as to how to craft a plan - a divorce lawyer for instance.

You need an alternate life plan (or two or three). And until such time as you have that plan you will remain in place.

The journey towards living that higher quality of life demands intestinal fortitude that some people do not have. You have to decide whether you have the guts to go forward.

And remember, nothing is free. You will pay a cost for this.

But aren't you paying a high price already by staying with the status quo?

Since you are goona pay one way or the other, may as well get what you want for the price it is already exacting.

A better life might be worth the cost.

If you believe that "this is all there is", then you are totally correct - for you.

However - living in a dysfunctional marriage ***** with your head, gets you thinking weird ****, gets you making uninformed choices that feed straight back into the dysfunctional loop you are in.

For this reason - situationally distorted thinking - you might care to revisit your position that "this is all there is", for it is quite possible that you are as wrong as wrong can be.

Alternatively, you might be taking this position as an "out". By accepting the proposition that "this is all there is" you are excusing yourself from life, and the obligation of choice. Fact is, no-one gets a pass on choice. No-one.

See, it is possible that whatever factors resulted in your marriage turning into a shithole were beyond your control - but you fully and 100% own your choice, and the consequences there-of, to stay in such a situation. You don't get a pass on choice. Nobody does.

All of us, knowingly or not, willingly or not, whether we like it or not, are engaged in the business of choice - and no-one gets a pass. That is an immutable life law.

It is choice that is holding you in your situation, and it is choice that could get you out, and take you to a greatly enhanced life.

Your choice where you go from here.

Tread your own path.

Thanks Bazzar.... I needed that.