Head of the Class

I've been reading stories and letters in this forum for a couple of weeks now.  At first, I figured I would read and see if I could learn something from others, but from what I've read, I've decided I'm the dean of this school.  I've been faithfully married (at least on my end) for nearly 27 years.  Our personalities are different enough that, like many couples, we have an occasional argument.  Truthfully, blame is split pretty close to 50-50, with one exception.  The exceptions are the arguments about sex.

We met 4 years before we got married.  Those 4 years were spent in college.  Summers apart writing a lot of letters and a weekly phone call.  Things were different in the late 70's, long distance was expensive.  While in school, we were very active sexually.  We tried a lot of things, but nothing very extreme.  It seemed to be a good fit for both of us.  During the first year we were dating, we planned on getting married after graduation.

We married the fall after graduation, moved across the country and began our married life.  Sex was good, but my wife began to 'slow down'.  We had our first child a couple of years into our marriage.  Shortly after our third anniversary, we started talking about having a second baby.  Things had slowed down somewhat by then, but I really couldn't say how often we were having sex.  Probably a couple of times a month.  When we decided to have number 2, my wife was determined to get pregnant that month.  Her joke became, "If you do something 21 days in a row, it becomes habit".  I'm not sure if we got in 21 days in a row or not, but it sure was a whole lot like the first spring we dated!

After she found out that she was pregnant, she stopped cold turkey.  At first, the excuse was that she didn't want to take  a chance on hurting the baby.  Later on, she said she was too uncomfortable to have sex.  After our daughter was born, she was too busy with the two kids.  The abstanance went on about a year and a half.  Finally, we broke the string, but a pattern had been set.  Over the next 10 years we had sex about 15 times.  Nearly 12 years ago, we stopped altogether.  Our 12th celebacy anniversary will be in August and our 27th wedding anniversary will be in September.  Hmm, that's about half.

This situation is horrible for me.  We don't fight about sex hardly anymore because I know I will lose.  She absolutely refuses.  She won't go to counseling because she couldn't talk about this with someone else, she won't talk with a doctor, she won't even talk with me about it anymore, not that it ever did any good anyway.  When I say celebate, I mean that she hasn't touched me below the waist and I'm not allowed to do so little as touch her breasts while she is fully clothed. 

I don't believe that I have read a thought in this forum that I haven't had.  Our two kids are grown and live in their own homes.  She hasn't had a career, our income is provided entirely by me.  We are very close with our kids, but I am so afraid that if I left, our kids would think I was cruel.  I've never cheated on her.  She is the only woman that I have ever had sex with.  This is truely a situation without a solution.

I've been,



Benched Benched
51-55, M
10 Responses Jul 1, 2007

im thinking she is gay............... and got married just to have kids with a guy who could provide the money honey

Three years on and you're still here. And you are willing to live like this for the rest of your life?

do you really think your children wouldnt understand? i have to say that my brother and i are probably both close to your own kids ages and neither one of us would have a problem with our parents getting divorced. i think your kids are grown and they'd want to see you happy. maybe it would be a shock to them at first but if their rational level headed adults then they will adjust. at the same time, they're grown!!! time to start living for yourself. even if they have a problem with it too bad!! you spent the whole of their lives making them happy, i'm sure. time to start making yourself happy. you deserve it.

man... that situation sounds so much like my own, it's scary. the fights. the coldness. the refusal to change. the feeling of endless, hopeless frustration. it's all there at my house, too. thank god it hasn't been 12 years for me -- yet. i wish you the best.

There is no way out of the dilemma that the members of this forum suffer under. If you cheat on your spouse, you are but a low life. I use to compare this to not getting oxygen, but that isn't a fair analogy since clearly you die without oxygen. I have since decided the best comparison is someone who decides they (and their spouse) can live without sex should try solitary confinement for a while. My wife doesn't like this arguement, but she has never been able to tell me why it isn't a valid comparison. Both involve sensory deprevation and create a very lonely feeling. I just wish there was some place a decent, respectable person could go to meet someone for sex. I may be wrong, but I think I would love to have a relationship with someone who had no desire, for whatever reason, to leave their spouse but was being ignored. I know it is very complicated, but I'm not sure a spouse has much to complain about if they are ignoring, and I mean totally ignoring, their spouses needs for years.

Benched I read your story & two lines I had to check to see if it was my own that I was reading in error.<br />
E/thing you say is the same as mine but, we had three kids so the action was frantic for a little longer.<br />
Makes me wonder does our wifes & selfishnesses belong on the same line?<br />
This seems with big apologies to our female members seems to be a recurring theme in all our stories. In other words all we ever were was ***** BANKS to fulfill their need for kids!

Benched, it makes me want to cry. I feel so sorry for you and everyone here. I keep thinking maybe we should all have a meeting someday. You sound like a wonderful guy. It is so unfair when the other person just withdraws something, without expanantion, without trying, and gives you no say in it. I remember someone posting on this board how it would feel to our spouses if we just up and decided that the family was moving to another country, another house, another life, no questions asked, no input from the other...bang...DECISION MADE...TOUGH LUCK...It's so unfair

Benched<br />
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So sorry to read of your situation. I swear the two of us are living the same life. I have been married 22 years. In October, it will be the 10th anniversary of "no sex" (or any contact) with my wife. Like yourself, I have two children. The sex was hot and frequent while trying to have a second child. After pregnancy, it pretty much stopped. Like yourself, no way I could not be around my kids daily. I love them too much! <br />
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I do still bring up the lack of sex issue w/my wife. I'm regularly shut down when I bring it up, but I refuse to keep quiet about what I consider a huge issue between us. <br />
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I understand your affair comments. I've often thought about it, but never pursued it. The biggest issue would be the embarrassment I would cause my kids and family if word got out on the affair. I do miss the closeness with someone. Maybe when they are both out of the house. <br />
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Any way, hang in there pal. I'm with you and wish you all the best.

ElleM -<br />
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I didn't leave because I couldn't imagine not being with my kids every day. I have always been very close with my kids and am still that way today. As far as how I exist with her, if she were willing to have a sexual relationship with me, I would have a fantastic life. Even so, with that being the only hole, it is a huge void in my life. This isn't a life style I would wish on anyone. I never thought I'd feel this way, but if I had the opportunity, I think I would have an affair. I miss the physical closeness so much.

I don't think your kids would think you are cruel if you explained to them why you are leaving. I know that I would be impressed that you lasted so long. Good luck.