Learning To Let Go...

I have been in a sexless marriage for the better part of a decade. For a long time I entertained the notion that it could change for the better. At this point though, I've given up hope of ever resurrecting a sex life even close to what it once was. I'm trying to accept and work with that.

The thing about it is, apart from the lack of sex, or even intimacy, my wife and I have a very good relationship. We are kindred spirits, we share a vision, we have worked hard to achieve a shared goal. We have many, many good things in our shared lives. Sex just isn't one of those things.

So this is me trying to break out of the denial phase and move into the acceptance phase. It's tough. I try not to be resentful, angry, or depressed, but I am sometimes. I have no interest in stepping outside of my marriage, and I don't want to make my wife do something she doesn't really want to do.

I actually think it will be easier for me emotionally to accept the demise of our sex life, than it has been to keep hoping it will return. That roller coaster of hope, expectation, and then crushing rejection, is almost too much to bear.
buzzedbee buzzedbee
36-40, M
8 Responses Jan 22, 2013

Your story is so heart felt and honest and mirrors mine as well. I have no desire to step outside my marriage either. I'm also trying desperately to find ways to accept that my husband no longer wants any form of intimacy. We are good friends but like u I find myself depressed, resentful and angry. Learning to accept this when you love your spouse so much is one the hardest sacrifices. I did NOT expect this nor EVER wanted this! But like u said the dollar coaster of hope, expectation and then crushing rejection... dude you are so right on....

SpaceBoyz: GLAD to hear you found a problem and the both of you are working on it....hope it helps both of you a tonne.

I am in your exact same situation and would be VERY interested in hearing what you decide to do. I've been married for 22 years now and have had no kissing and very little sex over those 22 years. All this time I thought my wife didn't find me attractive which always puzzled me (why'd she marry me) .
Found out a few months back she had been raped at a "study session" when she was 19. That explains everything, but doesn't fix anything. She and I are in therapy now hoping to get some intimacy going, but I'm not terribly hopeful. Don't want to abandon her and my son, but sure would love to have a sex life while the plumbing still works.

It sounds like your situation could be good IF your wife was OK with you having sex with other another woman. Otherwise....????...

Thanks for the perspective. That's the same conclusion I keep comming to myself ... Guess I'm going to give therapy time to work, then go from there.

Thanks for the feedback all, I really appreciate it.

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

It is very hard to bust out of that loop - particularly whilst you remain in the toxic environment wher more rubbish is accruing every day.

I'd invite you to do this.

Have a searching and honest look at your relationship. Re-visit all the choices that have come up over the journey that have involved a "we" choice. Start with the cessation of sexual expression. Was that a "we" decision that you negotiated together, came to a consensus about and agreed ? Or was it "me" thinking on his part where he just did what he liked and you didn't get a vote even ?
Think it through. Was the having kids a "we" call, or a "me" call ? Where you live ? Where you holiday ? Who your friends are ? Who controls the money ? Who does their right whack of domestic duties ?

Think these (plus whatever else you would like to add in) things through.

Invariably, you will discover that there is actually no "we" in your situation at all. Only "me". And the "me" ain't YOU.

This realisation might assist you take the first step in busting out of the dysfunctional loop.

Tread your own path.

I "accepted" a sexless marriage about 10 years ago. And here I am today in the midst of... well, I'm not sure. I'm confused, hurt, unhappy, depressed, lonely, angry, and desperate for touch and attention, etc.

Acceptance, to me, is short-lived, intolerable. I have decided to "unaccept" it. I don't know if the marriage can be redefined or not. It's going to be messy, but it's worth a brighter future.

Rethink lolha's question: "will you ever be fully happy with this decision?"

Accepting a sexless marriage is your choice but please don't make it lightly. Think of what you're really giving up. If you want to do that, yes, I imagine it's a hard thing to greive. Personally, I was never willing to give it up because it meant to much to me.
Really give yourself a complete self assessment and ask yourself if by accepting this, you are really doing it because you want to be with her and she wants to be with you? Or only because you *think* it might be easier?
I wish you luck and happiness in any choice you make. But please, consider... will you ever be fully happy with this decision?

Believe me I'm not making this decision lightly. This is something I have been thinking about and working on for years; I mean really wrestling with it to the point where it has been making me extremely unhappy. I think the expectation and hope of sex, followed by the perceived rejection, is the most damaging part, and I think I can soothe some of that damage by giving up the expectation. That's my thinking anyway...

Doesn't seem to be working too well.