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Medical Or Mental Issues?

For years after our third child my wife has had nothing but numerous medical problems. She had all types of problems with the plumbing and has procedure after procedure at least every year or two. Thermoplasty, hysterectomy and most recently a sling in the front for the bladder and a sling in the back for a rectocele. In between these different surgeries was neck surgery for her back, countless doctor visits for so many things I have forgotten some of them.

Since the last child our sex life has been dramatically less and less as time goes on. My princess is 14 now. I have tried being understanding, reading books, took her to different doctors for different opinions, therapist, marriage therapist and tomorrow I am even sending her to a hypnotist as a final effort.

We have been through different pills for hormone replacement but she is allergic to both the natural and genetic forms of all of them. She has tried different medications both all natural and prescribed. A few years back I actually began keeping track of when we were together intimately. Last few years I could count them on one hand each year and didn't use all of the fingers on one hand last year.

I began making a game out of it to keep myself sane. I would bet myself what the excuse would be for the day, too tired, sleepy, hurting from things she had done during the day, cramping, medications not agreeing with her, full from dinner or just simply not in the mood. I would keep track of the excuses and got to the point I was making odds on what it would be that night.

I work an extremely stressful job in law enforcement. I work the streets, train rookies on the streets, teach at the academy, active in the honor guard, speak to different community groups throughout the area and on top of that I am in charge of one of the largest police employee groups in the state.

I have somehow always made time for her and the children. I have spoken with her parents and keep being told by them to be patient. I don't know how many years of patience I can have. I understand the medical problems she has and have suggested other ways of us being together without going near her plumbing problems below the waist.

I am the handyman type and fill my time at home working on various projects around the house with remodeling. I helps me keep my mind off of my problems by concentrating of the project. I have buried myself in work in the same manner. I find myself now avoiding being around her so I won't have desires come to the surface. I have a roommate, not a wife. Yes, I have tried different things to spark her up.

I have taken her away for the weekend to a bed and breakfast, bring her flowers and have discussed the issue with her countless times. Nothing changes and she still won't touch me. I am still in the same shape as when we were married 24 years ago.

I have stopped trying because it hurts too much being constantly rejected. I still love her but it hurts too much to be around her and be rebuffed. I have even tried finding medications that would get rid of my libido so it wouldn't be an issue but have found nothing.

She is going to a hypnotist tomorrow and I am hopeful but at this point it is a last ditch effort. If this doesn't work I am out of options and ideas.

Does anyone have some advice or maybe another solution?
Dep4300 Dep4300 41-45, M 12 Responses Feb 10, 2013

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I guess the problem is taking that leap after 24 years and starting over again. The other issue is I want to be closely involved with my youngest child to make sure she keeps down the right path. My in laws are extremely aware of the problem and I am getting pressure from them about what leaving will do to the youngest one. I sent a message to my mother in law today and asked her for a suggestion since I have taken to 3 doctors with two of those being specialist, a therapist and finally a hypnotist. I have followed all of the advice of each me of them and she has done all of the procedures and nothing has changed. I am getting to the point I don't want to come home because it gets more depressing.

I took one of those online tests and it said I am suffering from severe depression and need to seek help immediately. I know where the depression is coming from but resolving that will makes things worse for the child still at home. It is like walking around like a zombie doing what I can to avoid her because I don't want to slip and say something hurtful to her. With the way she acts it is as though she has no clue although I have explained it many times.

A theory for you.
If you did not live under the same roof as your kid, would you not still be able to be a fully engaged and loving guiding father ? Would you not have equal time with her as her mother ? Would you not be able to be as good a parent as you ever were ??

Incidently, dysfunctional marriages **** with your head, get you thinking weird ****, get you making uninformed choices that feed back into the loop.
It would be far nore surprising to find that you are NOT having situational depression than it is to hear that you probably are. Get to your Doc's. You need to be at your best to handle all this ****.

ok..so I have just had this conversation with my I guess boyfriend lover what have you..about how he has me but he continues to be with her ..and how he said he was tired of it six months ago..I am getting the point of frustration with him..he says he loves me ,,, he says things really are over with them and that they havent had sex since 2008....so how long do you keep going..btw she is ten year younger than I am and she has gotten so heavy he has to do a lot of her grooming for her..he makes her food what ever she wants , is the stay at home and often the only caring parent of their six year old, she undermines him , she buys things for her family and ignores him, yet he continues to be with her ..so how far is reasonable to let this type of relationship go on...mine with him and his with her?
In his case i would definitely say he is co dependent ...there was this picture of them out to eat and I swear i am not making this up her hands were moving so quickly to the food they were blurred..
I suppose you could start having sex with someone else but then where do you go from there? It isnt an answer that is for sure, do you just decide that part of my life the sexual part is over? And I know it isnt just the sex..sex is a sign of so much more..so where does one ge from there ..sorry not helping mostly venting and letting you know there are others out there..

Hi dep -

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm in a similar situation in that my wife has some physical and emotional issues that are linked to her libido - not anything like what your wife is gong through - but ultimately, it doesn't really matter, does it. The fact is, I can't fix it - and it sounds like you can't either. So we're left with a few options: 1. live with it and forego physical intimacy, 2. live with it and find physical intimacy somewhere else, 3. leave. That's it - those are the choices. Not pleasant - not fun - but that's reality.

To paraphrase brother Bazz: you're going to have to walk your own path on this one - I'm still making my choice. You're in the right place, tho - many here have been through it, or are going through it now - so you'll find a lot of support. Best of luck.

I have two stories for you. One is mine, the other is my friends. We both got married to our spouses in 2002, celebrated each other's weddings. Both our spouses had serious medical issues, both relating to brain injury/brain illness. Both became good friends with each other.

My friend's spouse had his first brain tumour prior to their wedding. After she helped nurse him back to (quasi) health, they married and lived together until his death from complications from the third brain tumour, a decade later. They were physically joined until his last breath. They were into each other physically at each step of the way, as much as was possible; what wasn't possible, they found other ways to compensate.

As for my spouse, I knew he had physical disabilities from our first date, but we had so much chemistry and I felt so at home, I didn't even notice his physical limitations - they did not matter to me at all. But what I didn't realize, was the psychological disabilities - the years of abuse he witnessed growing up; the passive-aggressive nature of his personality that just got worse as his chronic pain increased; his inability to deal with any stress whatsoever; and his tendency to withhold sex whenever ANYTHING happened - ANYTHING. There was ALWAYS an excuse.

When I finally told my friend above, who had recently lost her spouse, that I was leaving my spouse - I told her with huge guilt in my heart, feeling sure she would ream me out, and with good cause.

She surprised me - she said if her spouse had acted like mine did - and early on in the relationship he had - if that had continued at ALL, she would have left him too.

She was lucky in that her spouse, although initially resentful and angry at his diagnosis, was able to put it aside and be a loving spouse, whereas mine took out his anger and resentment at his physical illness on me.

This is very long, but just to say, having an illness does NOT give anyone a pass on being loving to the best of their ability. They do NOT have the right to drag YOU down with them. As you work to lift them up, they have to be working too, being cognizant of your feelings and needs.

Thanks Zsu... I appreciate your comments. It's a truth I'm trying to accept: where there is love, love is reciprocated. It's a very painful realization that I gave my love, my everything, to a vacuum.

She is intimacy averse to you for either physical and / or mental reasons.

But either way, she IS intimacy averse to you - and it is THAT fact, and that fact alone that needs to drive your response to the situation.

Her physical issues are beyond your pay grade. YOU can't fix her. Likewise her behaviour. That's something only she can attempt to fix. And, these things might simply NOT be fixable. If I read your story right it has not proved to be fixable in 14 years so it is pretty difficult to see why year 15 is likely to be much different.

Good luck with the hypnotist, but there is one solution you haven't yet tried. It is a drastic and difficult solution, and also starts with "D". An unpleasant option, likely an option you - like everyone - would be extremely reticent to take. But it IS an option.

Tread your own path.

Sometimes there are just problems to which there are no solutions, at least ones that you would find palatable.

Your wife sounds like a physical train wreck to be honest and given that very simple fact I would be surprised if her physical self-esteem was not in the sewers, to say nothing about any physical discomfort or pain.

On top of that you sound like a project oriented guy, a solution-oriented guy and it sounds as if you are treating your wife as a project to which you are seeking a solution, a fix. That probably seems eminently practicable to you and a very logical way of dealing with things, dealing with the tangible, rather than the ephemeral. However, that omission may be a tactical error, if it is happening. Your wife's take on it will be that her trouble is a problem for you that has to be fixed for your sake, more than hers. If that happens then she will instinctively feel alienated, like a biological machine that just needs fixed.

As it is, you ask whether it is physical or mental. Well, it is clearly both. How could it not be, given the circumstances? Where and when it gets really complicated is when it becomes mental only, independent of any physical component and it may well be that is where you both are right now.

It might help you a bit if you can imagine yourself being in a similar situation, with Pyronie's, ED, an hernia in your groin, back pain that is constantly nagging away at you, and a constant need to pee all hours of the day or night, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

I would warn you that not everyone can do empathising. Some definitely have a stronger instinct for it than others. They tend to be more passionate, more impulsive, more irrational at times, to those who do not have the same affinity. And also, understanding is not the same as empathy. Empathy is being able to live out the experience psychologically as others with the same sort of mental anguish and pain. I can't do it. I am pretty good at understanding, at interpreting, at observing and noting others' behaviour but that is no way the same as being a true empath.

I would add that there is no right or wrong in that. Being empathetic can be a handicap at times as well as a strength. As is always the case, a balance is what is ideal but with a personality trait like this, given it's very nature, it tends to be all or nothing.

As far as what you do, well there simply is no easy answer as you readily recognise. Your wife's problems, at least physically, are very real, and dealing with that is a moral predicament for you in a way that if the situation was merely one of attitude or behaviour it wouldn't be.

All I can suggest that it is not always inevitable that couples facing the sort of fate that has conspired against you both have to stay together. In principle, there may well be circumstances where it might be better for both partners if they split without recrimination. For example, it could take a lot of pressure off the disabled partner.

I hope that you find YOUR way of dealing with it. Of course I can understand but not empathize.

She will talk about it but there is always an excuse or reason not to. Things like there is someone in the house, I just woke up, I already took my medication to help me sleep, etc.

When they don't want to talk about it, you know there will be no action to solve this problem, not now, not in a few months, not in a few years, not in decades. As Savage would say, do what you need to do to stay sane.

It would be one thing if she was willing to try other things but given her attitude you have no obligation to continue the charade of marriage I am sorry to say.

She didn't have a reply and just looked away. She has even stated there are other ways but it is all talk.

When you "have suggested other ways of us being together" what is her reply?

Find someone who actually WANTS to have sex with you. You sound like a great guy that a lot of women would kill to have.