Today my husband and I had a very frank conversation about our sex life, our intimacy and our feelings about it. This led into a conversation about compromise, we only had actual sex, twice last year. Mainly due to medical issues that I have. With a husband with a huge sex drive the last year has been very difficult. I love intimacy but due to hormone issues I am very nonchalant about sex, and that has been ruining our relationship. He shuts down without sex and I shut down without non sexual intimacy and respect. So we were both shut down. I felt like the no sex thing was not a big deal and if he truly loved me he would understand. I AM SO SORRY!
I was being very selfish and I see that now. We have come up with some ideas that could work around the medical issues, but it's going to be a trial and error but we are determined to work through it. He felt that I didn't want him because I didn't want sex, I felt he didn't want anything but sex, we were both wrong. After 20 years with this man I wouldnt want to lose him and in a way I had already. But with the communication open again and both of us trying, there is hope! Thank the Lord !!!
WouldIfICould WouldIfICould
36-40, F
3 Responses Jan 9, 2013

You need the care, attention and focus of a surgeon that does (non-elective) trauma surgery. Only it's much harder, because you do not have the patient (your marriage) cut open, sedated and under harsh lamps. Good luck.

Sexlessness is a marriage breaker. If this has been an ongoing problem in your marriage for many years you may well find it is too late to repair it.

In a comment you say he is a liar - about big things as well as small. Do you trust him? It sounds as if your marriage is seriously dysfunctional on a number of levels.

Think very hard about whether this marriage is truly worth saving - or are you just band-aiding a crippled and failing relationship?

If you genuinely believe you want this marriage to work, HEED the words of hl42. He is one of the very few who has managed to revive his marriage successfully. But he is very frank and honest about the HUGE effort that was necessary on both parts (his and his wife's) to achieve that.

Making the decision is just a start. NOW you need to take action. See a doctor about your hormonal levels. Begin individual therapy with a good therapist. Take hl42's advice about reading. (Others can also suggest useful books and resources for you.)

Demonstrate to your husband through your acions that you are serious about this. Good luck.

Well, this is a start, and most importantly you seem to be taking on board your responsibility in this, and taking action.

Do not underestimate both the level of damage that has been done, or the amount of personal work and couple work that is needed. You didn't get to where you are now without some major things not working well, whether that's both your beliefs, skills and patterns or the interaction between them.

And to give you a bit of perspective which may reflect your H's views, I didn't believe a word my W said for a long time, was very angry with her, and did not feel safe until I was clear that she had internalised the pain and had worked to change some of her poisonous beliefs. And it's taken me several YEARS of good behavior and action on her part to regain and reinvent a good (sometimes spectacularly good) relationship.

So, ready yourself for more work, and a sometimes bumpy ride. Not in a bad way, there's an exciting journey to be had here if you can look at it lilke that.

Oh, PS, I have a thing about "compromise" since you mention it, having been through the mill.

In my opinion, most of the time when people are talking compromise, they're referring to simple compromise, positional bargaining with a zero sum. Very unlikely to get you both something good and ecological if there's a gulf - either both of you will be pretty disatisfied, or one of you will be extremely so. There are better ways!

Me and other board members rate the books on principled negotiation which go way beyond petty positional jockying, by focusing on value in your own terms - you have different currencies, by exploring each other's stories, and by having backstops which mean you do not get agreement by giving in. A good starter is the amusingly titled "Getting To Yes" - which is ostensibly about many other things, but was hugely important to me.

Thank you for your reply and input, after 20 years we have hit this spot numerous times and I have gone through the "I'll sacrifice what I want for his happiness" thing and that didn't work. I have tried the "fake it till it's real" method, not good. My husband was/is a habitual liar and not just big things but day to day non important things so the trust issue has been a big problem, but there has been real progress there and I am optimistic. So I understand there is REAL work to be done on both sides, but as long as we take steps forward, I am hopeful and excited to re-connect with someone that used to be my best friend and lover. :)

I wish you luck. I have tried and failed numerous times to find the
Communication in my marriage. If you have managed that I'd say its a huge step in the right direction!