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25 Years Of Rejection

How many times can you make advances only to be rejected before this begins to build resentment and impact your own self-image as being worth loving and being desirable? I cannot say but in know it began happening to me more years ago than I can count and would have destroyed me had I been any less strong or perhaps we are stronger than we realize.

Ironically one of the motivating factors for marriage was that my wife was far more sexual and responsive than any other woman I had dated and I did not want the situation that I saw as far too common in the marriages I knew of – couples who were barely sexual if at all after a few years of marriage. Now 25 years and 4 kids into a marriage we find ourselves not sexless but close and the joke is on me.

Only in the last few years has it gradually dawned on me the tremendous amount of anger and resentment I had been harboring for my spouse for the seemingly endless number of nights I had made sexual or romantic gestures only to retreat lonely and rejected to my side of the bed. My spouse it should be noted is not evil or vindictive but she never seemed to have energy or interest in recreational sex although otherwise the relationships seemed fine.

I the past 6 or so years has she been diagnosed with significant hormone disorders impacting adrenal function, thyroid, and all the sex hormones. She has been working with one of the leading experts in the field supplementing the missing hormones but because her body is never the same month to month or even day to day the results are very hit and miss. She still lacks energy and her messed up hormone levels make her very prone to yeast infections and irregular periods with often very short cycles. There may be once or twice a month she is actually interested if not infected and then I find I resent that I am supposed to be responsive during her rare windows of sexual availability.

We had argued and fought about this issue our entire married life and were we not so well matched in every other area I suspect we would never have survived this long. Any enter the diagnosis which for me was a HUGE help. I could now blame her disease not her personally for the rejections and I could now see that she simply could not and would not ever be able to be a real sexual partner to me. She would do what she could but the idea that she would be able to meet my needs was now firmly off the table.

So I began looking at the moral ethical issues. How are such situations resolved? She had suggested some time prior that if she was unable to meet my needs I would simple need to look outside the marriage and she would not object. I looking back at history I realized that one wife one man was rarely the pattern and has only been usual in western societies from the time of the Romans but has no real basis, Everyone else from Biblical characters to American Indians allowed multiple partners. So while morally out of step with current society such situations were most decidedly not unusual or abnormal. So I left myself open to the idea

Then months later I finally meet someone who has the potential or being a perfect stop - gap partner. She wants an ongoing sexual relationship with an older man which I am, does not want me to marry me – in fact knows I would be unsuitable as she wants kids years down the road and I am fixed. She knows I am married and sees herself as no threat to the marriage and says so bluntly.

So now you see where things are however, when I suggest I would like to follow her advice and outsource the sexual demands that she cannot meet due to illness etc. Now she is pissed and wants to try and meet them. WTF!

I told my wife bluntly PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. The only way I have been able to forgive the rejections of more than 20 years is to blame your disease and if you suddenly are able to be more sexual then I know that you rejected me all these years because you wanted to, not because you couldn’t and I not think I could handle that.

I understand that to allow this she must accept to a degree the idea that sexually she is a failure and I understand competitiveness between women so perhaps I am nuts. You would think it would come as a relief to deal with this source of conflict and have it gone. I think If I lost my sex drive she would be happy and content but to have me find any satisfaction with someone else then is unacceptable even if she has little to no interest. I would never turn her down for the new woman – she would always remain my wife and first priority as she has all these years. It is not as if I am doing the other girl in front of her etc. However I reach the point in life where I need to be sexually desired by someone and it seems most unlikely that my wife can do that. She told me I thought if you felt loved you wouldn’t miss the sex. I told her I feel loved when I am desired and wanted which usually ends in sex. I have a hard time feeling loved when I an important aspect of my being is ignored. It is heartbreaking in every aspect and on every side.

Has anyone ever successfully openly juggled two women and kept things working for both? People have discreet affairs and do so successfully; however you want to define successful in the context of an affair which means there is some type of marriage failure involved.

Maybe I should just give up the idea of ever being loved sexually again. I do love my partner no matter how bitter I feel about the sexual rejections. We do not want to end the marriage we both agree on that but the stress of this unresolved issue is taking a toll. She has found contemplating the reality different than making the suggestion. How long can out situation continue without something giving I do not know.
thomascan thomascan 46-50 11 Responses Feb 1, 2013

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I feel for you. I am trying to figure out what to do in sexless marriage as well. I don't feel completely loved without physical intimacy. However, a little human psychology will tell you that letting her know you are getting sex outside the marriage is going to open up a whole buried level of feelings. One of them may be a sense of competition. There are also insecurity, personal failure, loss of self-esteem, and plain, old jealousy. You have to also remember that the hormone therapy she is getting will make her much more emotionally connected to this issue. Being discreet is essential. If you love her, guard her feelings. Don't punish her by telling her you are turning others for this kind of fulfillment. The bitterness is the real killer. I told my partner of 17 years how depressed and hurt and sad I was that there was no sex. We argued and fought and talked, and I tried to come to terms with it the fact that my sex life might be over. Thought I did somewhat, but I know the bitterness is still not completely resolved. But here was the kicker: she had a complete melt-down about being a worthless individual one day after a minor spat about something unrelated. She came apart at the seams, so to speak. Scared me immensely. My outpouring and total honesty really put a huge dangerous dent in her self-esteem. People end up in odd situations. We change over time. Complete sharing has its dangers, because at some level, we are all fragile. So do give her the benefit of the doubt and be kind.

Your story is in many ways similar to mine, in that my wife has some health issues related to energy, libido, etc. But also like you, my wife was essentially a refuser for a number of years before the physical problems and the diagnosis - and I'm finding it is very important to remember that fact now that I'm starting to take charge of my own destiny, so to speak.

The turning point for me was when I came to realize that, from my wife's point of view, while her physical issues were OUR problem, the lack of physical intimacy in our marriage was relegated to being MY problem to deal with on my own. And as Bazz and others state so elegantly all over this site, that kind of thinking is not what a marriage of equals is all about.

Sure, you have sympathy for your wife's physical situation - you're a nice person, so why wouldn't you? But where is her sympathy for your situation?

I realize you and your wife are currently sorting out the "outsourcing" scenario - and that she is attempting to step up and meet your needs. Only you can decide whether this is going to be enough for you - so remember to pay attention to her actions, not just her words. In my case, my wife has always been all talk (around sex, anyway) - but I haven't committed to making my move yet - still gathering my strength and digesting all the new information.

Change takes time, brother - but there are a lot of people and here who have been there - so you're in the right place.

I am sick that she (wife) is NOW willing to tend to your needs and desires. I am dealing with my sexless marriage at 38 yrs old for 5 yrs now and I swear to the heavens, if I found out it wasn't his heart condition that was the issue, I would be gone so fast the room would spin. To CHOOSE to hurt someone you supposedly love and who has stood by you for all these years, disregard their needs and feelings, that is unacceptable, hateful and truly narcissistic. It is sick and awful and devastating to learn. If that is what you just found out, leave. I mean it. She choose to keep you miserable and hurt you. CHOOSE IT. You deserve better. Otherwise, be a gentlemen and have a discreet affair.

She has realized fast that this is wishful thinking on her part. She has not ability to do more than try for few days before she would eb exhausted and unable to continue. As she says, I wish I has treasured it more and made sex more of my priority when I felt better but you always thyink you can do it and now I can't and I hate to admit being a failure in this area

It's a ****** position that you both find yourself in and doubly difficult for either of you to see a clear way ahead.

I would gently propose to you that you take a figurative step back from the immediacy of the turmoil for the moment and consider it from another perspective. Let's say, for theoretical purposes, that the boot was on the other foot, and for health reasons you were unable to perform, for say, reasons of ED. Would thinking about things like that add any dimension to your reflection on your experiences?

I know this is going to sound like a crazy suggestion, but I make it only to suggest that there may be different, more accommodating ways of thinking your way clear through these issues. Let's say, purely theoretically, that you were to suggest to your wife that in the interim that you both try to accommodate this concern of hers about competition from this other woman. This woman has said to you that she isn't interested in you long term but your wife is, albeit it for ulterior motives. What if your wife continues to be your wife and this other woman is your mistress? Either your mistress is your sexual partner or they both are. They don't have to be in competition. One has already said she is not interested in that sort of competition, so the other is seeing herself in a competition that simply does not exist. In theory, if nothing else, that could be the opportunity for your wife to relieve some of the pressure that the situation imposes on her and it gives you both a welcome breathing space to see whether the relationship between you can be salvaged. Let's face it. this potential affair is not going to be the make or break of your marriage. If your wife steps back and looks at things rationally even she must know that. You haven't been seeing this woman for the last twenty years, so that isn't the cause of your marriage breakdown. Even she has to ultimately accept that.

I appreciate that this scenario may seem completely ridiculous and it may well be just that but all it has to do, in the end of the day, is work for you, her and her. Short-term or long-term. I am pretty sure that none of you would be breaking any new ground and that it has all been done before and will happen again. You need a solution, any solution, that works for you and your partner and to hell with what the rest of the world may think about it.

I apologise if the suggestion offends any moral sensitivities.

I think this is the solution we are moving towards she remains as alwasy my first priority and love but a mistress to meet my needs discreetly without anyone but the three of us involved knowing is what we are headed towards after some days of thinking and discussion.

"Outsourcing Your Needs" should be the very next story you read in here then. It is a comprehensive examination of the cheating / fwb / girlfriend / mistress option covering the up and downsides of that potential option.

OMG I so feel ur pain an know exactly how you are feeling I've got no advice because I'm in the same boat and sexually frustrated just doesn't help.

Here's my question--and I say this AS A WIFE, even if she couldn't perform sexually because of her vaginal issues, what's wrong with her damn mouth? Or her hand? She couldn't give you a "handie" every week or so? Even if she just did a little something once a week, that would be sex four time a month, and that would be 48 times a year that you would have sex. It may not sound like a lot, but it would be SOMETHING.

It makes me sick that now all of a sudden she wants to put out. If you were my brother or something like that, I would be like, "Nope, too late." She just wants to keep a relationship that she is "comfortable" in. She has been FAILING you as a spouse for 20 years. She's not about to change her ways. She will just put out for a couple of weeks and then find a way to stop putting out again. Failing to perform your sexual duty as a spouse is perfectly legal grounds to divorce someone in this country. I say cut the line, man. Cut the line and find another woman that you will be compatible with as well.

It sorta sounds like you want the affair regardless, at this point, even if your wife were to "get better." I get it, you're resentful. It happens in sexless marriages. But here's the issue...you say you and your wife aren't that well matched anyway so likely the affair is going to bring about more bitterness and hatefulness in your marriage. IMO, it would be better to divorce if you want to pursue other people because I see nothing but horrible fights if you do stay and try to get her approval for the affair.

If she is genuinely having all those infections, I'm not sure how she can step up to the plate and have more sex unless she goes back to her doctor and fights this vigilantly.
Here's my problem with you stepping out. It would be one thing if she is just a refuser. Is she? but quite another if you think she's honestly holding back sexually because of her health. I could go without sex if I knew it was because my husband -couldn't- perform physically. If he were still affectionate and loving. What I cannot tolerate is withholding sex and affection..just because.
So you need to figure out what the deal is here.

"She knows I am married and sees herself as no threat to the marriage and says so bluntly."

Be careful here, a strong emotional connection usually occurs, and does become an issue. At worse you could become a piano for two players.

I feel for you man. I am trying to prevent my relationship from going further Down this path. Good luck!

<p>You have been, and still are, being played like a piano.</p><p>You have been led to believe that there is a "we" imperative in your marriage when everything in this story suggests there isn't. There is only "me" (her).</p><p>Look backwards just a bit. In marital matters that nominally require joint "we" agreements - such as sex, kids, where you live, who is welcome in the house, who's family you spend Xmas at, what movies you go to, who you socialise with (add in whatever else you can think of that nominally requires "we" agreement).</p><p>I am sure that in such cases, you, as a caring husband, put her interests to the fore. Is this reciprocal ? Does she put YOUR interests to the fore ? Ever ?</p><p>Or do YOUR interests get torpedoed or "unagreed" like that circus you describe where she says "sure, go out and screw someone else. That'll be fine" and agrees with the concept - until it looks like happening, at which time it is promptly "unagreed".</p><p>I put it to you that your position that "everything is great bar the sex" is a position situated on sand. That everything is NOT great, PLUS there is no sex.</p><p>I suggest that your marriage is every bit as dysfunctional as is seen on these pages.</p><p>And, that you are faced with the same two options as everyone else here.<br />
1 - continue living in an inauthentic "we"<br />
2 - to embrace the authentic YOU - a process that will move you forward to a greatly enhanced life, (and a process that your marriage probably will not survive, unless it has a genuine "we" in play).</p><p>Tread your own path.</p>

I'd simply note that (as I read it) his missus was a refuser for 19 years by her own choice, THEN came a solid reason** for 6 years.
And, with the winds of change coming, she decided then that the hitherto "solid reason"** is worth trying to overcome.
My reading of the story is that this situation has been like this from the get go.
Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what the OP has to say about whether he reckons there is a genuine "we" in play here.

Hi shame I really feel for u.