"The Talk"

For several years after our marriage became sexless (and that is TOTALLY without any sexual contact of any sort - ever) I tried to persuade my husband to seek counselling, seek medical treatment, whatever.

I cajoled, begged, pleaded, threatened, threw tantrums (NOT my finest moments!!) and generally did anything and everything I could to turn the situation around.

I tried leaving him in peace, hoping things would change - they didn't.

I tried being extra loving and supportive - that didn't work either.

I tried being extra sexy and only succeeded in embarassing him and myself - to no avail.

So for several years now (about 4-5?) I have just not mentioned it and have "accepted" the situation.  But joining this forum has helped me so much I decided to try again, and this time to approach the matter in a much more objective manner.

So we had a very painful and sad "talk".  Has it accomplished anything?  I think he is a little more aware of how much I am affected by the whole situation, but there is definitely NO way it is going to change.

He confirmed what I've thought for a while - his asthma makes it difficult for him to have intercourse without suffering breathlessness.  This is a deterrent.  I accept that.

For the first time ever, I asked about other sexual acts - I said that our sex lives didn't have to include intercourse if that was too difficult - that there were many other ways we could pleasure each other.  (Note: we USED to do these things when we were first together.)

His response?  embarrassed silence.  I told him how hurt I am by the fact that he shrinks from my physical touch, and he just said "sorry" - but can't (apparently) do anything about it.

He asked me if I realy wanted sex (??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!) or if I was just seeking intimacy.  I replied that both were important to me - but I found it hard to feel intimate with someone who sleeps in another room and flinches if I touch him.

It is quite clear to me now that being loving friends (which we certainly are) is enough for him.  He cried and said he didn't want me to leave him.  I've told him I won't leave him - and I won't.

So now I REALLY know it will never change.  There is nothing I can do to make the situation better.

 

enna30 enna30
56-60, F
16 Responses Feb 8, 2009

Dear Enna,<br />
<br />
My heart goes out to you. You are certainly not alone in your marriage. I have learned through this site just how many spouses are living in daily pain, questioning what went wrong, blaming themselves, searching for solutions, or constantly bringing the subject up in hopes of some type of solution or common ground.<br />
<br />
Well, well..............here's my input, for what it is worth! Each partnership is different; however, I've learned that most no-sex spouses don't want to discuss the matter. And, when approached about the subject, this only results in resentment on the offender's part and more frustration on the victim's part. <br />
<br />
After almost two years of blaming myself, gaining weight, letting myself care about nothing and most of all myself, and falling deeper and deeper into depression........I awakened one day to discover myself again. <br />
<br />
I remembered I did have self-worth, despite what I was feeling. So, a dear friend convinced me that I was an attractive female, encouraged me to start working out and lose the weight, and the rest is history.<br />
<br />
I forget how much I have lost in total now, but it's as if I could walk back into my college life and no one would notice anything different! ha! (Well, except for a little age differences...........hee hee hee) I grew my hair longer, I weigh what I did before I had a child and in college, and interestingly enough, I observe that other men do notice me.<br />
<br />
Now, I'm certainly no model. Far from it; however, the point is that I feel sexy now -- despite not having sex. I have a friendly, caring relationship with my spouse. His "love language" is by doing actions of kindness. He's the nicest person. He is committed and loyal. He just has difficulty showing love and specifically passion and intimacy. <br />
<br />
So, my advice? I watch tons of romantic movies, fantasize all of the time, and yes, want to "throw up" if I see a truly in love couple who can't keep their hands off each other! ha! <br />
<br />
But, I'm a romantic at heart, so I still wish for other couples everywhere to rush home from work, the guy to grab his wife, tell her he wants nothing better than to make love to her, and then carry her off to bed where they make passionate love! <br />
<br />
Although my own life my look so far from that, things could be worse. I live with a man who treats me well, I now eat so much better, exercise regularly, and have never felt better about the way I look. I can't seem to motivate anyone else in my family to exercise; however, I have to concentrate on myself first, for once in my life. <br />
<br />
Good luck in your life, make sure to take care of yourself and find something to make you smile! <br />
<br />
Take care & know that your pain is understood .............personally.

Dear Enna,<br />
<br />
My heart goes out to you. You are certainly not alone in your marriage. I have learned through this site just how many spouses are living in daily pain, questioning what went wrong, blaming themselves, searching for solutions, or constantly bringing the subject up in hopes of some type of solution or common ground.<br />
<br />
Well, well..............here's my input, for what it is worth! Each partnership is different; however, I've learned that most no-sex spouses don't want to discuss the matter. And, when approached about the subject, this only results in resentment on the offender's part and more frustration on the victim's part. <br />
<br />
After almost two years of blaming myself, gaining weight, letting myself care about nothing and most of all myself, and falling deeper and deeper into depression........I awakened one day to discover myself again. <br />
<br />
I remembered I did have self-worth, despite what I was feeling. So, a dear friend convinced me that I was an attractive female, encouraged me to start working out and lose the weight, and the rest is history.<br />
<br />
I forget how much I have lost in total now, but it's as if I could walk back into my college life and no one would notice anything different! ha! (Well, except for a little age differences...........hee hee hee) I grew my hair longer, I weigh what I did before I had a child and in college, and interestingly enough, I observe that other men do notice me.<br />
<br />
Now, I'm certainly no model. Far from it; however, the point is that I feel sexy now -- despite not having sex. I have a friendly, caring relationship with my spouse. His "love language" is by doing actions of kindness. He's the nicest person. He is committed and loyal. He just has difficulty showing love and specifically passion and intimacy. <br />
<br />
So, my advice? I watch tons of romantic movies, fantasize all of the time, and yes, want to "throw up" if I see a truly in love couple who can't keep their hands off each other! ha! <br />
<br />
But, I'm a romantic at heart, so I still wish for other couples everywhere to rush home from work, the guy to grab his wife, tell her he wants nothing better than to make love to her, and then carry her off to bed where they make passionate love! <br />
<br />
Although my own life my look so far from that, things could be worse. I live with a man who treats me well, I now eat so much better, exercise regularly, and have never felt better about the way I look. I can't seem to motivate anyone else in my family to exercise; however, I have to concentrate on myself first, for once in my life. <br />
<br />
Good luck in your life, make sure to take care of yourself and find something to make you smile! <br />
<br />
Take care & know that your pain is understood .............personally.

Dear KFC . . . <br />
. . . and I would say it takes real courage to go!! I am a HUGE fan of your's - your resolution, your courage and your wisdom shine through your posts.<br />
<br />
Strangely, I have envied YOU your courage in making a new life for yourself! What dpo they say? The grass is always greener oon the other side of the fence??!!!!<br />
<br />
My reality is that this man really needs me - I know that sounds very conceited but there are many reasons why my leaving him wold devastate him.<br />
<br />
And I need him in so many ways and these needs ARE being met. It is simply the intimacy need and the need for sex (admittedly pretty BIG ones!) that are not being met.<br />
<br />
So my resolution is to try and meet the sexual needs externally and to stay with him. The need for intimacy is much more difficult to solve . . . <br />
<br />
May the Force be with us both!!

Dear Enna: Admittedly, I read your story yesterday and felt a twinge of jealousy, and couldn't respond. So many times I have wanted to just go back to the man I love and married and not listen to everyone or anyone else. When he has said to me I want us to have a future together, he breaks my heart and it takes every ounce of courage and strength I have to keep moving forward, when God knows I want to be with him sometimes even if it means sacrificing my own needs and happiness.<br />
<br />
But for today, I accept that I have left my sexless marriage. That I am separated from my husband the man that I love and want to be with, but just can't right now, and probably not ever.<br />
<br />
I admire you Enna. It takes real courage to stay. Hugs.

enna,<br />
Your story sounds so much like mine, except for the asthma. I hope you will find some peace, somehow.

You are far more controlled and diplomatic than I.<br />
Geez only 5 months for me now and explained to my wife this morning that I'm not sure I can guarantee the physical safety of those around me much longer.<br />
I didn't mean her or the child, but the first a-hole that looks at me the wrong way.<br />
I've been hitting the gym hard thinking it it's a good way to channel the energy, but building muscle creates more testosterone and that only makes me want to **** or fight.<br />
Maybe should I just let myself go and turn into a fat, frigid, old man like most of these poor women's hubbys.

Gott Bless you I hope that fire is not comming your way..<br />
I know what I would do if it was my husband but that isnt for alle people so good luck .....<br />
lea

I cannot express how much comfort and support I get from EPers. Bless each one of you! <br />
<br />
I guess I already knew what the outcome of "the talk" would be but I felt compelled to try one last time for a resolution - at least, of sorts.<br />
<br />
As many of you know it is over 12 years since I had sex with my husband and it was only occassional and sporadic for 5 years before that.<br />
<br />
But as some of you have commented (and I know the situation is true for many of us here) there are often reasons why we choose to stay instead of leaving. <br />
<br />
I WILL stay with him and I won't divorce him. He is my best friend, the person I love most in the world (next to my kids) and an integral part of my life and my family in every way.<br />
<br />
Furthermore, I know that he would be devastated without me. I know that sounds vain and big headed, but it is true - and he confirmed it at the talk. <br />
<br />
But today I look at my fellow Australians undergoing the worst natural disaster this nation has EVER known - the Victorian budhfires (some deliberately lit) and I know my problems are totally insignificant in the scheme of things.<br />
<br />
Please pray for all Australians affected by the bushfires.

enna30....As usual you have shown the compassion , wit and style that is so evident in your comments here on the forum. The very fact that you share with us your wish to love and honor a comitment in spite of the difficulties you are suffering through is laudable. It makes me wonder if I ever had the stamina or patience to do what you continue to do in your relationship to keep it alive.<br />
<br />
Self sacrifice in me , has its limits and that was exhausted long ago and I have forgotten what it muct be like to seek from another what they are not prepared to return in kind. It takes a great deal of strength to expose yourself to overt rejection again and I really admire you for trying.<br />
<br />
A normal life span is about 24,837 days of which one sleeps fully one third. Consider work days another one quarter of that and perhaps you have 10,000 days to fill with happiness and contentment. They go by so fast that is seems foolish to waste any of them in unhappy circumstances. The fact that you continue to try in your marriage makes you unique in my mind.<br />
<br />
Selfishly I have tried to use my days seeking and sometimes finding contentment and some joy and will do so as long as I can. without hurting anyone in the process.

A big hug for you enna.

enna

If I can be of any help to you let me know.

wow Enna - sounds like me all over again. I got out but I want to warn you the longer you stay, the more damage you have to sort out later. I got divorced almost a year ago and have had sex (for the first time in 8 years) shortly after, it only served to screw me up more than I already was. Your story could be mine or any of a dozen people but you have to decide for yourself how long you're going to let this carry on - I do believe that there is a point of no return when we simply can't function on an intimate level after living so many abnormal years. The silence is tough isn't it? It has a tangible quality to it. Sending you love. J

Enna.. that conversation sounds very familiar. I've had it with my husband repeatedly...and when I finally told him I'm leaving..he said he didn't realize the sex was THAT important to me. I send you many many hugs and lots of love and support.

My parants were like this ...for many years ...loved each other but not so much as a kiss ...finly she found some one who did kiss her ....that was it she left ...i dont blaim her at all ....your needs are important, maybe not to him ... but to your self ....you have lost 5 years of happyness .....is it going to be the rest of your life?.....i cant see how you stand it ....my husband is 25 years older then I ...und he trys ...to make sure im satisfied ...in alle ways ...not just sex ...but every thing ..i just cant see how some one kan say they love you ...und continue to make you live in hell ...with no regard to your feelings ...i just cant think of any thing that would hurt me like the total disregard ...of your compleat woman hood. I some time feel like i am not what i could be ....but i would take this as a slap in the face

You must be exhausted.<br />
<br />
Sending you a hug.