Sexless and Hating It

So. Where to begin. I am a guy you have seen a thousand times, in the Wal-Mart, in the grocery store, driving down the road.

I'm 56 years old. My wife and I have been married for more than 30 years. She's still an attractive woman at 55, a wonderful woman who I love very much.

We haven't had sex in more than three years. I remember the last time: It was in late 2003, at a hotel during a weekend outing. I enjoyed it and I thought she did. Little did I know it would be the last time.

Why? You ask. What was the problem? If I knew the answer, I wouldn't be sitting here drinking warm beer and typing about my troubles. I'd have a book deal and be the toast of the talk shows -- Oprah, Jenny Jones, Dr. Phil. They'd all be after me.

But I don't know the answer. And believe me, I've thought a lot about it.

She is no help. I've asked. She becomes vague and evasive, and, when pressed, defensive and angry.

"Why don't you want me any more?" I ask. "It's not you, it's me," she says. How many times have I heard that?

"What about you?" I ask. "I don't know. I just don't enjoy anything anymore."

"Do you think a sex therapist could help us?" "I don't know. I doubt it," she says.

"If I went to counseling, would you come with me?" "You might not like what the counselor tells you," she warns.

"Maybe not," I say, "but at least I might get some answers. I can't find them on my own." "Do whatever you think," she says.

We've had this conversation, or variations of it, several times. Sometimes, when I press her, she says "Do you think sex is the only thing that matters in a marriage?" No, I tell her, but it's one thing that matters. She has no reply and usually leaves the room at this point.

Not that our sex life was anything great before it ended. We had reached the point where we did it maybe half a dozen times a year. She never initiated it. It was always me. Rejection hurts, so I tried less and less. And when we did have sex, she sometimes let on like she was just doing it to appease me. No man wants to be a charity case in the bedroom.

I feel like I've spent a hundred years trying to figure out what went wrong. She has never thought I was considerate enough of her and her needs. I thought I was, but clearly I was not. She always thought I gave too much attention to my job and not enough to her. And for the past few years I have worked crappy hours, so we're apart a lot, and she has always hated that.

I want to make the most of the limited time we do have together, but that doesn't seem to be enough.

So, here I am. This is my punishment for not giving her the life she wanted. No sex in my marriage, nor any prospects of it. I have not gone to counseling. I wonder if it would do any good to go alone, and she has made it clear she does not want to go.

Affair? No. I made a solemn vow on our wedding day, and it was "till death do us part," not "for as long as she puts out." Besides, I know how much it would hurt her -- something I do not want to risk.

update--7/5/07

Hi everybody. Thanks for the comments ... I do appreciate them. It's good to tell somebody what's on your mind, even they are people you've never met. Sexless marriage isn't exactly the sort of thing a guy chats about around the water cooler, is it? To those who are experiencing sexless marriage, all  I can say is, you're still you. Like yourself for who you are. It's what keeps me going.

TheDrifter TheDrifter
56-60, M
23 Responses Jun 8, 2007

She broke the vow, not you. Don't use your sacred vow as a copout. It's over.

Well I think you should get a makeover and put very expensive aftershave on. Take her out to where other women are single and partnered let her see their reactions to you. A little threat, jealousy, can make a woman WAKE UP. Buy her flowers woo her court her a little and see if she doesn't start falling in love with you again. I think your great and have worked hard and she should appreciate you but also don't forget shes a girl inside. Let me know how you get on. Big encouragement kisses and hugs to you.

Hello, You sure do have courage! I no exactly what you are going through. My husband and I have been together for 30 years; since we were teenagers. I concider myself somewhat attractive and my husband is too. Good hard working Americans, my husband and I have not had sex since 2000. We are also married. I adore him and wash up the ground he walks on, I have never cheated, I have no little children, our son is an adult and going to college to become a Police Officer! So, my dilema is no sex! It kills me that he won't go get checked out. We face many problems, we have no medical coverage, my husband has worked hard his whole life and provided well for his family and then some. It kills me to think "does he love me enough to go or not" I don't no how long I can go without sex, I respect and love my husband too. But, I need affection, I haven't had sex in 8 years and I am a young looking 43 year old woman. What do I do? I cannot imagine hurting my hubby, i would die first. But, I don't no what to do. I do everything !!!!!!! to help him, but nothing is happening. Sometimes I cry, because I no, I probably will go the rest of my life, without having sex and it is killing me! What do I do?

Drifter - <br />
I identify with your story more than you can possibly know. My side of the story would be from the wife's point of view though. Maybe - we can help each other figure out our spouses reasons for what they think and what they do - or don't do in this case. <br />
<br />
PLEASE - stick to your intuition. Keep listening to that voice inside telling you NOT to have an affair. It is the very best choice you can make - especially since you say you still love your wife. <br />
<br />
An affair won't really help, in fact it will only add to your stress. It's a temporary fix to only one part of the larger problem. Anyone who says otherwise is truly fooling themselves. An affair isn't the answer to your problem on ANY level. I highly commend you for staying true to your own beliefs. <br />
<br />
If you'd like to talk more, I would like that as well. Our circumstances may be a little different, but many things you wrote sound like my marriage exactly.

Im 36 and she's 32. In our case I AM the one withholding sex. The reason: I am hurt, she's insulted me by yelling pretty demeaning sexual related stuff (she later apologized and begged me on her knees to forgive her; nope, I will have none of it) We have two young children so leaving her is not an option. We sleep in separate and I love it! We haven't had sex for months and I have no plans to initiate it. After what we've been thru, I doubt that I still love her. I care for her very mucho but I feel that I have fallen out of love. Lately we get along just fine and I think that not having sex gives me a sense of control. We go out as a family, eat 2gether, play 2gether but at night I go to my room and sleep like a baby. I feel that our quality of life h improved and we do not argue as much. The problem is that I miss sex and I do not have the guts to have an affair. So, for the time being, I plan to ride it for as long as I can.

Horny 60 - she hates *** oozing out of her? That's one of the nicest parts. We get to remember what happened the night before. I love it.

I feel for all of you. I don't know how I'm going to handle never having sex again. I really don't. And I'm sick to death of women who tell me, "Get a vibrator". I feel sorry for any woman who honestly feels a vibrator is a suitable substitute for a man. It's not about *******; it's about the bonding, his scent, the feel of his body -- so many things. And I have a very high sex drive.

Thanks, everyone, for you comments. Kimby, I learned long ago that silence is the only peaceful, if unsatisfying, way to deal with this. We're able to talk about most anything else, but not this. <br />
<br />
As for romancing her, I've tried. Doesn't work. If she loves sex, I have a hard time believing it. I was never one of those guys who humps the daylights out of a woman for two minutes and then rolls off of her and goes to sleep. I always tried to make sure she had her pleasure, and she always seemed to enjoy it. Maybe she was faking it, I don't know now. I think her resentment of me outside the bedroom is what doomed our sex life. For that I guess I can only thank myself. Whatever was there is gone now, and I don't think it will come back.<br />
<br />
And yes, there are plenty of us guys over 50 out here who still enjoy sex. Plenty of women, too, if what I read here is any indication. So there are opportunities for affairs out there. Wouldn't be that hard to find one, probably, but I can't bring myself to go looking. If an affair found me, I'm not sure what I'd do. I'd like to think I'd say no, but I can't guarantee that anymore.<br />
<br />
You live your whole life trying to do what's right, be a faithful husband and partner, a good father, etc., and then you end up like me. Lonelyinlove, your story sounds kind of like mine. Contrary to what your wife says, I don't think you're the one who has all the problems. Sounds like she has some hangups she refuses to acknowledge. As for pointing out your faults, that's pretty sad. I have to say I'm thankful that my wife doesn't really do that, although I have no shortage of faults she could point out if she chose to. Usually we get along great -- in every room of the house but one.<br />
<br />
To those who are very young and experiencing sexless marriages, I can only say this: It is unlikely to get better over time. The frustration will get worse. Think seriously about cutting your losses and finding someone else. My wife and I have been together for more than 30 years, and after that many years there are more reasons for me to stay than to go. The frustration now is simply a part of life, but that doesn't make it any less painful. Think twice before you let it become a permanent part of your life.

hello drifter<br />
how could you lived your life with no sex, im not saying your all life because you have more to go, but 30 years is a long time<br />
i am 30 years old and live in a sexless relationship<br />
and i want to say im very very frustreated<br />
i dont know what to do, i dont know what can help<br />
i love him and he says he loves me but we cant have sex <br />
my story is a long story but i can only say that i feel like im diying inside just becouse its si hard to live like this<br />
i dont even have who to talk to, i guess thats why im doing this<br />
just to at least let it out......

Hi Thedrifter,<br />
<br />
I feel for you. I am going through a very similar situation. I have not been married for as many years as you have. I am only 31 years old and rarely have sex once a month. My wife keeps telling me that all I think about is sex and nothing else is important to me. I have tried numerous times to tell her that I do enjoy sex and it is one of the components of a marriage. However she tells me she does not feel the need for it anymore and that she just does not feel like it and that I am oversexed. I have been relegating to ************ as my only source of sexual pleasure! I can't cheat, I am not built for it. I have been a good husband - I do have my faults which I am told of everyday and night by my wife. I have become extremely frustrated and angry that it consumes me sometimes. We both earn a very decent living but the house is hers and she has on many occassion told me that if I dont like the situation I should leave. We have been married for 4 years and been together for 8 ( the 4 years before we were married the sex life was really good - sex 5 times a day on vacation, many times initiated by her). I am myself are at a very sad juncture of my life and hope that you and I both can sort this out. One last thing when I talk to my wife about therapists she laughs saying that I am the one with all the problems and blames me for not buying her a bigger house. My comments turned out to be a bit more of a vent rather than help. The advice I can offer you is the same advice that I follow - hang in there. I too get a lot of attention from women but never act on it.

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED HAVING AN AFFAIR?<br />
<br />
I am in a sexless marriage, too. It's comforting to know that I am not the only one, and that men over 50 still want sex! Drifter, your wife doesn't know how lucky she is! There is a book called The Sex Starved Marriage you might want to read. <br />
<br />
I have explored all the possible reasons for my husband's lack of desire -- drinking (he's stopped), medications (yes, a problem, but he has Elevil in the med cabinet), time (we have time), attraction to me (I'm healthy, pretty, loving, and sensuous), etc. I have talked to him many, many times in a non-threatening way. I have begged him, cried, etc. <br />
<br />
A couple of months ago, out of the blue, a lover from 25 years ago emailed me. We met for coffee and the flame reignited. I'm now in the midst of a passionate, caring, sensual affair with this man. We manage to see each other about 2x a week, and I feel reawakend and alive. I do not feel guilty one bit about it. I'm getting what I need, what my husband has refused to give me. He could have gone to counseling, but he refused. He could go to the doctor to try different meds, but he refused. He could talk more openly about it, but he refused. <br />
<br />
We have a young son, so divorce right now is not an option for me. I feel bad lying about where I'm going, but I don't feel bad about making love with someone who cares deeply about me, who desires me like crazy, and with whom I can share the emotional and physical closeness that I have been deprived of for so many years.<br />
<br />
When I picture the reaction from my husband if he ever finds out about my lover, I would tell him, "You made the decision to deprive me and I made the decision not to be deprived any longer. What the hell did you expect????"

No man wants to be a charity case in the bedroom.<br />
-I'll take whatever I can get. My wife decided to try a new tactic to drive me off. She'd have sex, but she would just lay there, completely unresponsive. Sadly, this lasted less than a week. I kept coming back for more. She went completely frigid again. Where is sexual charity when you need it?<br />
<br />
Legalize Prostitution! (that will look great next to the Choose Life! bumper sticker on the minivan)

wow...how very sad. but I have been on both sides of this issue. women get turned off by many complicated reasons, and the greatest is not what you think. she loves sex, believe me. but at some point in your relationship, it became mechanical and disconnected. she needs connenction, and the only way you can do that - if you still can, if it's not too late - it's to romance her. this is so tricky. You can always buy a book about "what women want in bed" to guide you...but accept that there's no guaranty now. this happens a lot with time, because men find other things to prioritize - as you admitted, your job. this kills romance. for "bouncy": your man may be depressed...or impotent. is he on any medicines or does he drink/use drugs? also, how your relationship started says a lot about what is happening...was it hot and heavy in the begining? It's never good to start too fast or too hard. it burns up too fast. but it sounds as if your man is going through something...good luck to all of you.

I just dont understand .....I am a 60 year old women who would love to have a relationship.. These women who cant love back needs their heads examined.. Im sure we all have our problems but at least try to fix them.. There are times in a marriage when its just time to say good bye. But if you all can live the rest of your lives with no sex in the bedroom, then good luck..

I know where you are coming from and I am 31 my man is 38 and he just no longer seems interested. I get more compliments and attention from strangers. I can not get him to hold me love on me or anything anymore.....and I am tired of the rejection so now when he does come around I am completely turned off...... I have no advice to give except this....the more you say about it the worse it gets , so I say nothing....good luck hun

SweetDesire, the sleeping arrangements at our house also have been a touchy point at times. I have suggested that I might as well sleep in another room -- to which the Mrs' response has always been a firm, if puzzled "no." I guess she likes me in bed with her, so long as I behave myself. <br />
That is one of the most maddening things -- her apparent bewilderment about why our lack of a sex life is even an issue. <br />
<br />
Our marriage, like yours, looks great from the outside. I have so far kept my frustrations in the bedroom from spilling over into public view. Another member here, in a similar situation, told me she has become a very good actress. That's how I look at it, masking the unhappiness.<br />
<br />
It's easy to say "why don't you just go find somebody else?" Doing it is quite another matter. Besides all the ethical implications, affairs come with their own emotional baggage, a big can of worms I just don't care to open. Or maybe I'm not desperate enough, or bold enough, yet.<br />
<br />
I do believe that people find ways out of their pain, and I hope that you will find yours. Best wishes...

Armadillo, thanks for the encouragement! :-)

Where do our partners learn all the excuses ans snappy comebacks - Its unreal --sounds like my wife <br />
<br />
hang in there

Lordy, you did an amazing job of nailing all the excuses, and in the right order! The veiled threat "you might not like what the counselor says...". It's all so childish and stoopid, it would be funny, except for the unbelievable emotional pain. I think your "noble" actions are misplaced, but if you honestly believe filling the martyr role is what you need to do, none of us will be able to talk you out of it. Pity. As for me? I don't think I'll be doing my kids any favors by setting an example as a doormat for a partner that apparently has no clue about the inherent evil of their actions.

I too am 59yrs & in a sexless marriage for many yrs.Sexless not so much as in not ******* but am made feel a charity case in our bedroom. She is in the best of health so that is not an excuse. We had what i thought was a good sex life until our family was complete 20yrs ago.<br />
Then she found every excuse not to do "it".I was constantly having to relieve myself but when the pressure built up I would beg her to let me "come" . " Put it in & be quick" she would say as she guided me inside her on her side turned away from me.I would beg her to move her *** a little but to no avail. I would come as quick as possible & she sensing my thrust would withdraw prior to me finishing. She says that she hates "***" oozing out of her in the am at work. What a pathetic excuse!!.<br />
We get on very well in every way but I cant help feeling very resentful towards her now.

So Drifter, Just how long have you been following me around? Your story is nearly identical except I'm 55<br />
and the last time was in 2004. Almost 27 years now and i'm still wondering where the hell things are going. I'm the first to admit I'm not the easiest guy to live with, but last I checked, my faults are pretty minor. She's just quit a job she hated, so maybe that will help. I have my doubts, though. It will just give her something else to worry about. My youngest leaves for college soon. That should be interesting. When the girl is gone and it's just the two of us i'm not optimistic midWest winters will be any warmer than they have been. When college is behind us, the boat will be sailing. Thanks for the opportuntiy to vent a bit.

I feel your pain brother. Been there and going through it and my wife is only 33! Worst of mine is all too often she acts like nothing is wrong.

I am sorry- You say she was never into lots of sex right? But at least she gave some to you. Try to convince her to go to a therapist, a more than 30 years marriage is too much to throw to the towel, and you should definitely try. First, in this case I think she is the low libido partner and second,maybe she has reached the age she is not into sex any more (I dont know menopause meds, hormonal changes). So tenderly but firmly tell her you understand it is not you or either her but you need this changing and ask if she would consider a therapist. then do not insist. Tell to her that she is right in being angry with you for the reason you had to be away from her so much because of your work. Show empathy. Tell her that if you did work so much at the time it was because you thought it would benefit both of you and you did it for the family but you now know time spent with the family is precious bla bla bla. Tell her you are sorry, you would like to go back on time if you could but you neither she can. If she still says no say you are going to one therapist to learn more about yourself and what you did wrong. Look for resources in amazon about sexless marriages, in some cases I do think there is nothing to do but I think your case is not like that. Best luck