Iliasssm - Ultimatum For My Sexless Same-sex Marriage - Help

Never posted here before. First of all thank you all for your stories -- finding this gave me the words for what I was going through and some of the courage and self-esteem that I needed to make this drastic step.

I'll try to put just the essential, because so much of what I feel has been said more eloquently elsewhere in this forum, but it's still long, bear with me:

I am a gay man, early 30s, I think I am really quite cute, I stay in good shape, doing sports and going to the gym. Of course tastes differ but there is no particular reason to reject me, and I never lacked boyfriends. Two years ago, I started dating a guy and we practically moved in together in less than a month (I was also feeling REALLY vulnerable after an unpleasant career change -- did it affect my judgment, I now wonder). I had a few qualms about his lifestyle -- so much drinking and partying, not much ambition -- but he was fun and affectionate and a wonderful cook and I just went along with it. He was the exact same age as me and I thought he was hot, definitely the most handsome guy I had dated. Sex was PRETTY GOOD -- not the best of my life -- but it was enough and good enough to keep me going. He initiated it as often as I did. We had sex several times a week which was enough for me, sometimes I even turned him down, imagine! Seems like another lifetime. I had some doubts about some aspects of the relationship but let's stick with the sex part, I don't think all the rest is relevant.

Flash forward to a year later: I suppress my doubts and we actually get married. A lot of it was romance, but there was also the fact that his student visa was running out so if we didn't get married he would have to leave the country (Canada). So we certainly got married out of love, but with a little more urgency and a little faster than we may have otherwise. I started sponsoring him for immigration to Canada, and spousal sponsorship can take a year and a half to complete here.

About six months into the relationship and about six months before the marriage, sex started to dwindle. A little bit at first: he started a tough physical job, we both liked to drink and party so sometimes on the weekends we would be hung over and even though I would still have been be up for sex, he would brush me off saying he felt like crap and he didn't feel like it. I was disappointed but OK. Then during the week we were both tired from work. Again I would have wanted sex but I let it go. The days would just fly by without sex, and suddenly it was once a week or once every two weeks. In parallel, he also seemed less affectionate - fewer hugs, fewer carresses. I was embarrassed to talk about sex directly, but I started insisting that I needed more. I asked him if he was bored or didn't find me attractive anymore. I asked him if he wanted to mix it up, change the way we had sex. He response was absolutely not but that he wanted some things from me, he wanted me to clean more -- even though I work twice as many hours as he does and I pay 2/3 of the rent. But I said I would make an effort to do it, I set up a schedule for myself. But that was the first alarm bell - he's using sex as a kind of ***-for-tat negotiation -- as if he is doing me a favor by having sex with me. So if I don't clean enough, it is OK to withhold sex as a punishment? For me, affection and sex are the basis of the relationship -- our "bad habits" that we can negotiate about should be separate.

The wedding comes and goes. I am making a bit effort to clean and do things he asked and still no sex and no other changes I asked for. So I stop holding up my side of the "changes". I start fighting more, reproaching him. I tell him he is killing me with his rejection, and my anger grows with the weeks of forced abstinence punctuated by once-monthly or twice-monthly, half-hearted sex. I make an extra effort to look good whenever he is around, I dress well, I look good, nothing. I try being sweet, I try getting angry, I try threatening, I try saying nothing. Nothing works. When we are alone he barely even turns to look at me, or talks to me he is just on the computer all the time. If I touch him he says "What are you doing" or has an excuse, either a hangover or tired from work, or saving his energy because he's going to work the next day. All BS excuses I am starting to think. He is constantly belittling and criticizing me, including in front of our friends. When we fight he destroys my stuff and doesn't replace it. If I tell him about things I need in the relationship his answers are like "oh shut up", "**** off", etc. In comparison, if he criticizes something about me I say okay I will try to fix it. I accuse him of playing some kind of passive-aggressive mind game with me but he says no he is just stressed out from work, immigration, etc. Again sounds like excuses to me -- those things were more stressful and less resolved a year ago.

For a long time I felt I couldn't leave because if we separate I am taking away his immigration rights. He would have to leave Canada. I gave him my word after all. But if I sponsor him I am legally responsible for him for three years, if he goes on welfare or something I will be billed. Right now I have a card in my hands and he treats me like garbage, but as soon as the immigration goes through he will have all the power and I will be able to do nothing about it. That scares me.

My psychologist tells me that I have low self-esteem, that I can't stand up for myself. He's right.

Then last week after three more weeks of sexual rejection and fighting, something snapped in me. Maybe reading this forum. I took our pets and I moved out to a friend's house. I texted him and called him every name in the book, told me that I am not his doormat and he has rejected me one too many times. I've been gone a week and we have an appointment with a couple's therapist. I told my spouse that I am not going to stay in a sexless loveless marriage and that I am not going to sponsor him for immigration and be legally responsible for him for years when he treats me like *$ and I get nothing in return. I told him that I was freezing the immigration application (not true, I don't have the guts and it seems too cruel).

So here I am sleeping on an air mattress at a friend's house. My husband is more social than me so a lot of our friends are originally his friends, I was afraid of losing my whole social circle if I leave. But some of our friend's reactions to my action have been surprisingly positive, like "teach him a lesson". Everyone expects us to get back together and I guess I do too.

I feel stronger now, like I could potentially handle it on my own. I feel less shame at disappointing everyone's expectations so soon after the wedding. I don't want to be forced to stay with him for the immigration thing, I have so much resentment over his sexual rejection that I am almost ready to face the option of filing for a divorce and cancelling the application if it doesn't work out.

So we are going to meet with the couples therapist several times in the near two weeks. I have told him and my spouse all this and my question to you is: what do I do in the next two weeks? I told my husband I won't come back unless things change, but I can't stay at my friend's forever. My spouse is shocked by what I have done and let's say he becomes a little nicer and more sexual. How do I know the change is real?If we try to reconcile, how do I do it, should I try and visit him for sex, or have him visit me? Just move back home right away and try it? If I just go back and he starts the rejection again, he'll just dismiss me as being emotional and acting out. But I want a real change or to end it.

I don't know what to do !!! What exactly should I ask for concretely before moving back? What should count as "a real change"? I'm so confused, and scared of the future. I don't want it to end, I don't want to ruin his life, but I don't want to ruin mine either!

Your advice would be much appreciated.

JeanVeux JeanVeux
31-35, M
9 Responses Jan 22, 2013

Just giving this a bump up, in the hope that Jean might give us an update.

As a fellow Canadian, I just want to add this comment:

Please forgive the gender biases in that linked article.

His breaking things is likely a punishment for disobedience for you, not a loss of control. Not certain about that, but breaking your stuff and not replacing it strikes me as another way to control and punish you.
The speed that y'all got together with, too, that's another red flag for a potentially battering spouse.
...You aren't realizing it right now, but you have the whip hand here.
All you have to do is withdraw the sponsorship, and he's gonna be deported...
Though I'd suggest that this might be the primary reason he's currently ONLY emotionally abusing you.

...I suggest you have, not just an exit plan, but a place to flee to if he starts hitting you or being sexually abusive.

Based on the 6th reply, by you, to your comment 2 comments back, you have drilled down to the real reason you haven't dumped this bloke way before now.

"What would people think ????"

Consider these points, if you like.
1 - although this is a big drama to you (and rightly so) you won't find that too many other "people" are staying up nights worrying about it. "People" spend a whole lot less time thinking about us than we think they do.
2 - were you to dump this dude, I bet it will cause great consternation, and speculation about the "why" amongst your nearest and dearest for a little while. You can manage that by telling them first, and "why" if you feel like it eg - "it turned out he was a mooch, and never loved me" might be a general thing you could offer up. There ought not be any more than a handful of people who fit that nearest and dearest criteria.And if they are that nearest and dearest they will be supporting you. (If they don't, then you scrub them from your nearest and dearest list)
Those people a little further out in your orbit can find out on the grapevine. Again, that will cause great consternation and discussion for ...... well, several minutes, mebbe an hour, before more pressing matters - like who will win "Canadian Idol" - become their focus.

If there is one guiding principle to keep in mind here, it is this
(A) - are you prepared to make an informed choice here (to end it) and perhaps be regarded as being a bit of an idiot by "people" for a short time ?
(B) - are you prepared to stay in a dysfunctional situation to bolster up what you think are other peoples perceptions about your marriage and wear the ongoing pain of that. In the full knowledge that as soon as it suits his "me" agenda, this dude is going to drop you like a bad habit.

Your choice.

Choice is a *****, but no-one gets a pass on it.

Tread your own path.

This is painful but maybe I need to hear it. Thank you for your good, honest answers (GibbySan too). I am slowly learning to rebuild my self-esteem enough to make my own choices for me and not for other people. I have survived in this marriage just by not rocking the boat -- but I am losing myself.

Before I give up, I want to confront him. If he fails, I can end it knowing the love is over. But I get so depressed sometimes, I see things so unreasonably dark -- I don't want to live with the doubt that it was salvageable, it was just a bad patch and I gave up too soon. I want to tell him he has one last chance to give me love and sex -- but how???

As pointed out before SEE A LAWYER. Establish how a divorce would shake out in your jurisdiction (and how the residency issue will affect that) and from that information craft an exit strategy, and knock it into do-able shape.

There, is your alternate position, your 'safety net', your 'insurance policy'.

And from that position of strength and certainty you can deliver a meaningful ultimatum. Without a viable alternative, you issue an ultimatum from a position of weakness and uncertainty. Doing the latter, is likely to be a big **** up.

"I want to tell him he has one last chance to give me love and sex -- but how???"

It is one thing to talk to a spouse about how you need more physical affection and sex in a marriage. It's quite another to tell a spouse to love you. You can't make anyone love you and no one can force themselves to love you. It sounds like it was never there. It sounds like what you had (or at least what he HAD for you) was lust- and that has fell away. So now you are left with this fakeness, in it's place, in order for him to be granted citizenship.

As far as being embarrassed (and that's all it is- so please recognize this) in front of friends and family that this isn't working, approach it as something you are PROUD of. Let people know that you went into this with the best intentions, you gave it your all. But that you won't let ANYONE use you and take advantage of you and drain you and neglect you so you are ending this marriage so you can move on and better yourself. If these are your true friends, you will be met with comfort and support.

I'm always feeling like it's sketchy when these visa inspired relationships suddenly turn sour. Maybe because I've heard of this happening SO often that it sends automatic red flags to me. So, even taking that out of the picture, his actions SCREAM selfishness. But adding that into the mix...the whole thing sounds doomed.
My hope for you is that this experience doesn't leave you financially responsible for someone that tricked you. :(

I'm sorry, that should have read "visa inspired marriages."

OK I see that the adultery thing is complicated, I shouldn't have mentioned it. I can investigate that issue of it ever comes up. But for now -- assuming I decide with the couple's therapist that I would be open to trying it again -- what exactly should I ask of him FIRST?

Why would you be interested in 'trying again' a dynamic that had no "we" in it ?
Do you still believe there was - or is - a "we" component to the relationship ? On what evidence would you base that position ?

Well in the beginning it was more "we" -- he was very affectionate, loving, he would give me surprises, making me Mexican desserts, text and call me with romantic messages during the day. He would do things he hated as a compromise for me. I believe that he was in love with me. He used to make more of an effort. It was different then.

This ain't then. This is now.

uh, he was setting a snare and baiting it.......

Maybe I am giving up too soon?
How can I face my colleagues and my parents and tell them I am divorcing so soon after the wedding they came to? I feel like a failure and a disappointment and worse I could never tell them the real reason, that ILIASM

I'd tell 'em, but I'm generally a fount of TMI

"How can I face my colleagues and my parents and tell them I am divorcing so soon after the wedding they came to? "

I think this is really your issue. We ALL make mistakes. Give back presents as you can, make your apologies, and MOVE ON. Don't add mistake on top of mistake!!! YOU WILL PAY TO STAY WITH YOUR MISTAKE

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On what you have revealed, there is no "we" in this dynamic.

Your bloke makes his choices on a basis of "me" and "me" alone. And, that's fair enough when you are on your own with no responsibilties to anyone bar yourself.

It is however poison in a marriage.

However, if he is so keen to continue on a course of "me" thinking, then you should do everything you can to assist him find an environment where this thinking is appropriate.

On his ******* own.

Dump him.

There is no "we" here.

Tread your own path.

Sounds like you have been used.

I liken the 3-year clause, being responsible for your husband's sponsorship, as the same thing as a child. It's extra responsibility you can AVOID by doing what is right for you NOW.

"during that time I'm not supposed to have sex with anyone else during that year or it's still "adultery"...nice."

WTF?? I live in Canada and that's NOT TRUE. Where did you hear that bs? GO SEE A LAWYER.

Oh yeah, your "husband" is a user, he's using you to get into Canada, and it couldn't be plainer if he wrote it in 10 foot letters on your forehead.

Let's say he agrees to "treat you nicer/ have sex with you" now that you've pulled the "divorce/immigration" card on him - you will NEVER know if he's treating you nicer just to get that paperwork done - and you KNOW (well I CAN TELL FROM YOUR STORY 110%) he is going to turn around and DING YOU FOR EVERY PENNY for the following 3 years once the paperwork comes in!!!!

If you listen to CBC you will have heard this EXACT story just a couple weeks ago - straight couple, man marries woman, soon as paper comes in she dumps his a** and he's paying for her for THREE YEARS!!!

Do you have that money to burn????

Go and divorce his sorry a**, find yourself someone who love you for YOU, and move ON with your life.

Thanks for clarifying the adultery bit. I'm also in Canada and was thinking that it sounded antiquated. I wonder if depends on which province one lives?

Just did some research, and according to THIS website, homosexual acts NEVER qualify as "adultery" under Canadian law anyways! Because in Canada, the act of adultery requires the possibility of reproduction:

VERY interesting! And biased, yes? So if I separated from my husband, and have sex with somebody, even if I am using birth control, it would be considered adultery?

I could have misinterpreted the link. It is interesting.

My other research indicates that you can have sex with whomever you choose once separated, it does NOT count towards "divorce based on adultery", but CONSULT A LAWYER IN YOUR JURISDICTION TO BE SURE (IANAL)

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