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If You Ignore Something....

I have been on/off this group for several awhile now, sort-of lurking in the background; reading other stories and learning how to cope but I am feeling the need to write my own story and hopefully get some sage advice.
I am 47, wife is 44, married 22 years and together for 5 years prior to getting married. 5 kids(10-18yrs). Both professional, fit and successful. Our sex life was very quite fulfilling in the beginning but waned over the years when the kids starting arriving. Back in the spring of 2000 my wife pronounced to me that she was “not doing it anymore”, there was no discussion of the issue(s) and to this day I still don’t know why/what caused the change. She has never been comfortable discussing sexual topics and has a really hard time being vulnerable in any sexual activity. In trying to understand and talk about the issue she would get quite agitated and even hostile if I persisted in the conversation. Hence I gave up talking and tried other means to get her to change back to some semblance of her former self. I tried all kinds of things like surprise flowers for no reason, spa days, perfume, lingerie, weekends in the Bahamas, helping around the house, helping more with kids etc etc. While the notions were appreciated verbally and with public demonstrations of affection there was little to no bedroom activity. I couldn’t figure it out. I figure that from 2000 to end of 2007 I was rejected over 1500 times and successful less than 70 times( < once a month). When we did engage it was a very one-sided effort, mechanical and almost obligatory type of encounter. Passionless to say the least. I used to love to perform oral on my wife but this was also no longer allowed, again I don’t understand why she would refuse an activity that gave us both pleasure. As an aside, she has never satisfied me orally, she tried once in 1987. She hated it, said it felt degrading. No attempt since, I even got flavoured condoms once but the answer was always no.
In 2008 I worked in a different part of the country and flew back and forth twice a month and I skyped everyday with her and the kids. In a period of extreme gut wrenching loneliness I let my guard down and succumbed to an affair( please don’t judge me). For a few months of 2008 I had never ever felt more alive!!! I got caught and felt horrible her breaching her trust. I returned home in 2009, left my lover behind and in an effort to fix things. We are currently in counselling however the difficult subject of intimacy and sex has not been broached yet but when we are getting close to discussing the subject I feel the tension rise and the hostility in her posture.
I have been through a plethora of emotions over this, from anger to bitterness to resentment followed by despair and sadness; the only constant being feeling terribly lonely. To combat these I have come to the conclusion that I cannot force her to forgive me, I cannot change her asexual intimacy averse behaviour. The root of my unhappiness was having unmet expectations, once I removed to notion of having expectations I stopped initiating, stopped doing the little things like calling during the day, bringing her breakfast on Sundays etc etc and basically withdrew. Sure there were times when I felt like trying but these usually ended up going badly. There have been a few occasions where I pleasure her manually, with reciprocation being rare. Once, i think it was in 2010, she submitted to my advances only to criticize me halfway through the act for taking longer than the statistical average of 5-7 minutes to reach ******. Needless to say that was a mood killer==insta-limp!
So fast forward to November 2012, I had to go to Paris for a week and while I was there I bought her some really nice things; perfume, chocolate, lingerie(not trashy just nice), champagne for our anniversary. I gave them to her in eager anticipation.....big mistake. I got a humorous card and I haven’t seen the lingerie since, champagne is unopened but the chocolate is all gone now. No intimacy, none at xmas, none at New Years....alas the saga continues!
The problem now is that I no longer desire my wife. She is still attractive, tall thin with nice curves, pretty etc but when I look at her I do not see a sexual being and have no urges whatsoever. I guess the old saying of “if you ignore something long enough it will go away” is true......now what do I do?
Relentlessrejection Relentlessrejection 46-50, M 27 Responses Jan 24, 2013

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Why on earth do you need your wife's forgiveness over and affair? She shut you down and you feel bad? Don't. Her lack of interest in sex is her own problem, funny how she managed to have five kids though. It doesn't matter why she won't or can't have sex with you, she has no right to demand that you can't either. Have another affair and let it be known you are, and don't worry what the kids may or may not find out.


“Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something and it is only such love that can know freedom.” – J. Krishnamurti

“You must love in such a way, that the person you love feels free” – Thich Nhat Hanh

To Relentlessrejection.

Your story entirely mirrors my own (I have been married for nearly 29 years). Don't necessarily believe those who say your wife does not love you etc. She might not - but in all probability she does. It is just that for some reason she has lost all interest in sex.

I know that my wife loves me very much, but she has had a diminishing interest in sex over the years. In the end we went 5 years without sex – then it very briefly came back and then she lost all interest again. Now I have absolutely no desire to be rejected any more times - so towards the end of last year I told her that I will never ask for sex or even raise the issue again. Strangely she seems somewhat perturbed by this from comments that she has made.

You have to accept that it is very unlikely to ever change – however many flowers you buy. As sad as it is, there are only the three standard options.

1/ Put up with it and make the best of your sexless life.

2/ Leave

3/ Stray

I made my decision recently and I am much happier for it. Everyone has to make that decision for themselves and I doubt that there is a right option - as what is right for you might be different for what is right for me.

I can only sympathise with you as I think this is probably the most painful issue that anyone can face.

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She just doesn't want it anymore? You know I can kinda understand it. I'm a girl and I am not always horny, and I feel bad for my guy when he is. Sometimes if we just start making love, I start getting into it.. Other than that I am not sure, Sorry I couldn't help.

Very normal, even typical. Unfortunately, some men cannot reconcile to that perfectly normal form of female sexuality. I am one of them. Best for such men to not marry or pair up with women. Unfortunately, mistakes are made because people do not realize what they need in a partner early enough.

I totally understand how you feel. The last time I was rejected I got up off the bed, walked out of the room and then it hit me. The depression, sadness, knowledge it was truly over. If you can lay next to a man wearing sexy lingerie, spend time rubbing his body trying to arouse him and he cannot even make any effort its over. I didn't really think about it as a deal breaker but it was. Now I look at him and I see a family member, my children's father, and a housemate. I do love him but I no longer feel any attraction for him. Now you make your decision... probably like me you work on your exit plan. Good luck.

Everyone seems to be giving you advice that I am sure you have tried, over and over again. They seem to feel sorry for her, when you are doing all that you can. You deserve a life you want. You take care of her and the kids and this is how she treats you?!!! Screw that. Straight...ask her if she wants to be married to you anymore. If sh hesitates... Leave her! Divorce her! Go get happy. We all deserve happy.

I usually don't take sides, but when i saw your story i felt the need to say this.
I think you and your wife do not have the same view on the importance of sex in a relationship.
Either she doesn't like sex , or she doesn't like sex with you. Either way, you lose.
For her to say that she is not "doing it anymore ", is a huge problem.
She cannot claim to love you and say this at the same time.
If she had reason to not want sex with you she should have said so.
I know what it's like to lose interest after kids , but this is a far more serious issue.
You cannot shut the door on sex ,at your partners expense ,if you love them !

I do not judge you at all for going out of the marriage. Sex is not everything but in a marriage it is something. The older a couple gets sexual desires do tend to decrease but not disappear. As a man the lack of effection in your marriage from the woman you love left you to probably feel insacure and blame yourself. Turning to another woman was expected. I'm 32 and a female. Tell the couselor exactly what you said here. More importantly tell your wife how you feel. If you have to do it on a daily basis. Don't pressure her bc that is a turn off if a man wants sex constantly. Let her no your not happy without it that she is beautiful and making love to her u enjoy. HORMONES play big part in women my mother went through menapaus and didn't sllep with my dad for 2 years nothing at all just stoped.

"Don't pressure her bc that is a turn off if a man wants sex constantly." Righto. Meanwhile, "it is a turn off if anyone refuses sex constantly". So they are all done.

I wonder whether your wife doesn't want to have sex with you because of the way she thinks about sex in regards to power. You said she said that doesn't like to feel vulnerable during sex and that she found giving oral sex degrading. Maybe she feels that sex makes her less powerful, or even powerless. <br />
Clearly, talking about sex is a touchy issue for her. So maybe instead of talking about sex directly, why not try talking about power and control in the relationship (for now, I would say do this during therapy only)? Not in regards to sex in particular at first, but just in general.<br />
Also, it seems that pregnancy can be a very traumatic experience for many women. Maybe that's another possible reason why she doesn't want to have sex anymore. Perhaps she has come to view sex negatively overtime because of its relationship with pregnancy and its associated stress.<br />
I can only imagine how frustrated you must be, but just keep remembering that people often do things for deep-seated reasons, not because they're simply bad or because they just don't care about you. Remember you had an affair because you were lonely, not because you were an *******. Remember how you didn't want to be judged. So refusing sex is probably just as complex for your wife too!<br />
Anyway, I hope things work out for the best for you, your wife, and your family. Good luck :)

I wonder ...Maybe ... So maybe ... Perhaps ...

Guessing really doesn't help in SM, and being lonely is not a deep-seated reason, it's a right in your face one. Instead in counseling get to the crux, and she what she has to say, if anything. It might not be much, since often the refuser not only refuses sex, but refuses to talk directly about it.

Hi there, thequietgirl. I like ur input. I think that relentlessrejection should focus on other bonding aspects of marital life and forget the sex for the mean time. In spite of the difficulty, in spite of how she turns you down, show her that love can be directed through very many means other than sex. I am not saying that you should kill your sexual life. Rather try to understand her all of a sudden aversion, discuss, but keep far from sex discussions since it makes her touchy. She wants to tell you something, you need to be patient enough to listen. If you focus your energy on wanting sex, you may be confirming her thoughts that you have been using her for your perversions and pleasure (if she bears such). 2000 till date is a long time, I know. But remain patient. You are almost there, without knowing it. For now other areas of bonding should be explored, not with the thought of having sex as the answer (she may be thinking that your affectionate efforts to her is for you to get her to bed). Ensure that you show her that love in marital life is very wholesome and that sex, even though very vital, is an offshoot of this married love.
Above all, you may speak to a therapist about this, it may work out. But you can't leave out God from your situation. Your wife loves you, if she didn't when you had an affair she would have left you. Ask God to help you penetrate your wife's heart. God is love and love is the only means to the destruction of this seeming rock in your marriage. Turn to God.
God bless you... Good luck.

cos12sine, I really want to believe in the "there" of "You are almost there, without knowing it", but what is it? Does his wife, after 13 years of being sexual averse, become intimate again? Has this ever happened? Or does he give up on sex? What is there?

Something2talkabout, it has happened and still happens. He should not give up on sex, for it was meant to be enjoyed and that is why the Creator added pleasure to it. He should crave for it, but he must realise that his wife needs tending, warm tending. Give up on sex? No. But cater to the sudden reaction of his wife to sex? Yes. If she is aversive, why shouldn't he first find out the cause that led to this effect. Sex is built on love and not lust. She'll blossom with love.
As I said before it happens and still does.

How much time should he cater to his wife's sexual aversion, and take trying to find out the cause, 1 year, 10 years, 13 years, 27 years, until he dies? He really seems to "almost nowhere, without knowing it" and needs to move on.

You think he should move on. It may sound absurd, totally crazy, but love is worth it. Love has led many people to their death. Even if he takes him to death, he should stick at it. All he needs is to show her love, for 1yr, 10yrs, 13yrs and even till the death.

I disagree cos12sine... Love is definitely worth trying for, but not dying for. Living in a SM is more difficult, lonely, and heartbreaking than you'll hopefully never know. When a spouse is rejected, neglected, and dejected for so many years they become emotionally and mentally drained, and physically ill. The stress and grief over this situation becomes to much to bear. Sometimes leaving is the only option for self preservation.

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If you are going to couples counseling with her, I would bring up the sex issue, you have every right to. There were 2 thoughts that came to me while reading your story, 1. I wonder if she has ever had sexual abuse in childhood (sounds like the no sex happened after most of your children were born-her duty was done &amp; so was she, also it can be common for childhood traumas to resurface after having children-really don't know why) &amp; 2. Perhaps your wife needs to talk to her primary Dr., sounds like she may have either hormonal issues going on or need antidepressant medications. After having children, the chemical make-up can be different. I am not saying this is the problem, but it is one issue to be investigated. Even if either one/or both of these issues was the problems it still bears resentment that she hasn't been more forthcoming about it.
I myself had abuse during childhood that resurfaced in a HUGE way after I had my daughter. My anger went from 0 to 60 in less than 2 seconds &amp; I talked really nasty to those closest to me. Finally, when I could feel myself wanting to get violent--thankfully never with my duaghter (would rather slap the faces of my mother &amp; husband--really @ times had to sit on my hands to keep from doing just that) I sought out professional help, which is where I found out that the abuse I had during childhood was manifesting now in adulthood (which might me happening with your wife?). Through it all though I never withheld intimacy from my husband (although he always has from me &amp; I have no idea what his problem is), so I understand your resentment for a person who might be refusing true help. Hope some of this might help. Take care &amp; God Bless :)

Well I imagine if you drilled way down you'd find she does not want to be married to you or is so self involved at this point that her rule set - is such that you do not want to be married to her.

So you can go through the long agony of dragging truth out of her or go directly to an attorney and sort of short cut getting the bottom line out on the table in divorce proceedings.

"......now what do I do?" Miracle is not going to happen...very unfortunately.... Accept and stay, stay and cheat or go separate way ... You have the same choices as everybody else here...

Have you both spent time together? Even gone to dinner? Do you talk to each other? My husband and I have been together for 20 years. We are very different when it comes to affection. I am at one scale and him at another. It makes it hard when we want to love make. I have tried to explain to him how it is. But he is not affectionate at all! I have finally accepted that! We have had argument over the years, but that is how he is made. He loves me but cannot show it in the way I would that's all. I know that this must be reallly hard on you. But I have to give you credit for staying with your wife. Is it a time of life she is going through? You and HER will have to start doing things together and some really hard councelling for this to work. Don't forget two must tango to make it work! I hope for you that she will dance this dance for you for you to get your wife back like once before!

Just stop accepting it, it doesn't have to be that way, that's just roomates, I don't know why women think that kind of arrangement is ok but apparently a lot of them do. Wow, good luck.

When I broke the news of mutually assured refusal to my spouse, she blamed it on my ego. So I replied that I quite like my ego and she should get to like it too: it protected her from spousal rape all these years.

Interesting that noone has mentioned what might happen to your kids.
I am in a similar situation and the ONLY thing that keeps me from leaving or finding friends with benefits is my 14 year old son.
Also find it interesting that most of the folks talking here are in their 40's and early 50's.

I didn't say anything about the kids because kids are resilient AND they need an example of a healthy family environment more than they need an example of a "how to pretend we are healthy" family environment. Read my story "Leaving for the Kids" and Bazzar's story "You can pay now - the kids will pay later" to learn what most of us who have left and seen after the fact realize now about how it impacted our kids to be in for so long. There is a faction here that stays for the kids. Some of them though stay for the kids, finances, social pressure and they just aren't ready but they SAY they are staying for the kids because it's acceptable nowadays to sacrifice for your children and when people question that, well, then they must not have children or must not be good parents. The truth is that sometimes setting a good example for your children MEANS leaving the marriage. You want them to be able to acknowledge and fix when they make mistakes without subjecting themselves to years of pain and hitting their heads against a brick wall... right? Show them how.

This is the issue that troubles me the most. Thx for your thoughts

Hi Spaceboyz, I would never want my children to model our dysfunctional relationship... My heart would break if they ended up in a situation like this. My mindset at first was to stay for the kids, but I do see the impact that having a negative, intimacy adverse father is having on them. It's time to teach them that this is not normal or acceptable.

I hope you don't mind a woman chimeing in on this, but my husband and I are in the same sittuation. I was recently diagnosed with pre-menopause. My hubby says its all in my head, but I can't explain or get him to understand, like your spouse perhaps, intimacy doesn't exist anymore. Don't get me wrong I do love him, and can't imagine life without him, I just don't want sex. Have compromised with hubby, and told him that I am ok with an open marriage. I know its crazy, and can cause more trouble for marriage, but he needs to, and I understand that.

I guess the OP's wife was "pre-menopausal" all these years...

I've heard this almost line for line, including it's ok to see other people but I aint buying what she's selling, I told her oh I'll see other people alright, forever, that's how I'll see them, good luck being single, later bye.

When she told me she was ok with me sleeping with other women I called her bluff I said great, love to, but I want a divorce first so get your *** in gear and get one now so I can have some sex.

Women hit this age and I feel for them I do, they are confused but they toss a grenade into your entire families life and then are like what? What did I do?

My advice to anyone else who's wife is going through this would be to run if you're able, if not start drinking, if you can't do that just jump.

I'm only semi kidding.

"I was recently diagnosed with pre-menopause" It is not an illness, just a stage of woman's life... Does not mean the end of sex... Lack of libido probably can be helped with hormones... If you do not want sex as such, but you still love your husband, sure you know how to please him... Don't you want to watch his pleasure and feel how he enjoy ... for instance fantastic BJ from you, concentrating purely on his pleasure and being happy with this ultimate moments of truly close intimacy? Or is it just- I am off forever, go and **** anything and anybody, I am OK if you don't bother me any more? Just very interested, I guess I am either in the same stage life as you or about to be in at any seconds, but I actually have more sexual desire than any other time of my life and the best sex ever, though not with the husband... but I am absolutely petrified of thinking I will wake up one day and all gone...

I am reading Menopause For Dummies and they advice to have as much sex as possible to relieve any possible negative symptoms of Menopause...not the opposite... It make great sense to me...

My GF is pre-menopausal, and gloriously frisky.
I think menopause is really a hormonal toss-up, some women lose libido, while others gain it.
I however know if I start to lose my sex drive at any point, I'm going to the doctor and getting testosterone patches.
I like sex too much.

(I am female, BTW)

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-----"......now what do I do?"

You would be wise to get a contingency plan in place - to include getting information about how a divorce would go in your jurisdiction - you are at elevated risk for that to happen in the future.

The marriage reads dead in the intimate realm (or perhaps never was that hot for her in the intimate department from your description). Now, you might consider admitting that it is done and start living that way.

Nothing is going to change here unless you take some sort of action.

And the particular action you take is going to depend on a number of factors - your circumstances, personality, etc.

But one thing does read certain - the marriage, as your perception and experience of it was a long time ago - is over.

You're lucky you don't feel attracted to her anymore. Remember how much worse it was when you wanted just her? So much more painful. I have come to the conclusion that most of us just soldier on.

Yes, no matter which way the marriage goes, it is a blessing to not feel attracted to her any more.

You have passed the stage of desperately trying to improve the situation and transitioned into disinterested counter-refusal. Years of rejection will do that to a person. Hello....

Sorry to be crude (!) but I refer to this as a 'polishing the turd' process. Eventually you realise it simply cannot be fixed, you cannot change a deeply sexually repressed person into a pro-sex person, it is not in their DNA. I have also tried everything and beyond with my husband. I thoroughly admire your Herculian attempts to create desire (weekends in Bahamas? Sulking jealously...). The benefit of being on this site is that you truly see your own reality and there are only all the painful options left - stay, cheat, leave. I have opted to stay, with the self-admission that I may have to cheat in order to tolerate the staying. Good luck to you whichever route you decide to pursue.

I am in much the same situation. You have my sympathy. Is your wife on anti depressants by any chance? They have a huge side effect causing loss of libido.

The antidepressants I'm on have not flattened my libido at all... If it had, maybe I would be better matched for my refusing husband. If she cares to resolve your differences there are other meds she can try that won't decrease her sex drive, she just has to ask her doctor.

Basic Mismatch. Wrote a story about this a while back. Take a gander at it, I think it fits your situation.

In the long run your wife is done having sex with you. The only thing you need to be asking is "Is this a dealbreaker for me?" If so, you have to do something: leave or outsource. If not, you have to do something else: reach acceptance.

Have you thought that maybe she doesn't want you in that way is because she may be having an affair in you? Or she just isn't attracted to you any more? Idk. I'm sorry for you either way.

Sometimes these stories are hard to read because I want to find a shred of hope. I can promise you, every story I read.. I'm looking for some clue that stands out to make me yell "It could work out!"
Unfortunately, I just don't see it working out well, for you, if you choose to remain in this marriage. Or, at least not even improve (if ever) for many more years since she can't even get close to the very mention of sex in therapy.
Lack of intimacy and sex is a deal breaker for me but something that comes before that in terms of deal breakers is communication. How can you hope to restore a situation when the situation cannot be addressed?
Shouldn't a marriage be THE safe place for any and all commication? And I do mean any. Not being able to talk to her about this is just as bad as not getting affection/sex in the first place.

Also, please forgive my horrid spelling and typos even though my only excuse is that I'm not proof reading. (But I do keep meaning to...) :p

It is better that you type unabashedly and forget the rules (reference spelling). I agree that no intimacy and sex is a deal breaker but there is so much more going on than that and when you focus on that then the mate takes it as "my" problem. I agree I want more communication but I have a passive aggressive. Her personality is to avoid talking or letting me know what would fix the problem. Very strange behavior not familiar to my kind. I like to hash it out and she thinks hashing it out is disruptive. I hope your man is not perking up just cuz you have shown a willingness to leave. It is hard to keep the peace and deal with the real issues

Thank you and I agree it is hard to keep the peace. I did ask my husband to take some time and think about whether or not he is really in love with me or just wanting me to stick around because it's comfortable and convenient. I have told him I would be a whole lot less bitter if he decides that he's not really into us anymore, than if I found out it was all fake in order to keep me from leaving. He does insist that he's sorry for his mistakes and wants to make us happy again but I do hope that he is taking my advice and really doing some soul searching, too.

"I got caught and felt horrible her breaching her trust"<br />
...She's been breaching your trust for 12 years.<br />
You trusted her to think of your happiness, instead she's been very content to think only of her own.<br />
Dude, I think it's totally dead, and you're walking around carrying the carcass of the marriage.<br />
I'm very sorry to say that, but that's my honest take.

I wish their was an unlike button for lolha and hylierandom's comments, not that I don't agree 100%, it is just hard to press "like" for something that is so sad and rings true for me as well.
I would recommend seeing the counsellor one on one and fill them in on the missing pieces. I bet it would help them to help you, if they knew all the facts. They could give you the tools and support to move forward - with or without your wife.
I just realised in December that I have been performing CPR on my dying marriage for years. It's time to pull the plug - and believe me, I know it's not as easy as it sounds.
((((hugs))) to you RR

...There's a lot of collective heartbreak in this group. :(

Group hug!

It seems pretty clear that your wife is done having sex with you. Don't over think it, you did everything you could, you bought gifts, tried everything, even did therapy.It sounds like you have the classic choice here of (a) live without sex, (b) cheat (and eventually get caught and kicked out), (c) asking to have an open marriage, or (d) get a divorce, hopefully an amicable one. You might want to consider (d) upfront, because typically, if you read the stories here, route c never happens and routs a and b end up taking the marriage in a downwards spiral, resulting in divorce (d) anyway, but with lots of bad blood.Good luck to you! None of the choices are great, but you have been put in this unfortunate situation, it is not your doing, and you just need to make the best of it. Stay calm, stay rational.

I can think of 2 cases on here that went the (c) route, so it could be possible... for my part, I did ask for (c) initially, but then I decided I didn't want to live that way myself - and opted instead for (d).

I asked for (c), she said, and I quote "If it comes to that, it would be better if we went our own separate ways."
...When she revealed that she'd never wanted to be physically sexual with anyone in her life, I realized that she was asexual. That meant I was never going to be happy being monogamous with her; and I was grossing her out once a week for no good reason.
...I think my STBX ought to find another argumentative asexual.

This is the horrible reality of continuous rejection from our significant others. We eventually lose all desire for them. Whether that desire can be reignited is a very individual process.


You mentioned that you are already in counseling, but talk of intimacy and sex makes her very tense. Perhaps it is time to think about what your deal breakers are? If she is content with the (in)frequency of sex and you are not, and you don't see any forthcoming middle ground, you have some very serious decisions to make.