When I first came upon this website barely a month ago, it was as a lark, a momentary sojourn into I knew not what. It has become , as the result of my circle of friends and others a revelation of some import. Thanks to your stories and comments, especially those from the women, have given me an insight into my own marriage and made  me realize how something that started out so right went so terribly wrong. The revelation is  that that it might have been easily prevented had I implemented  some of the things I have learned here.

It has always been known to me that women with few exceptions, have a greater capacity for love. It is an inherent part of their nature. In a man it is not so, it is more more a learned thing. Most men remain little boys while women do not remain little girls. The truth is that in my many years I have met many a 50 year old little boys and have yet to meet  a 50 year old little girl.

I have been  forced here to re-examine  my role in my marriage and in reflecting I can see with the help of you that the degradation of the marraige was a slow process started with little inconsequential things, Merely taking my wife for for granted or not realizing that her fears for the future were hers as well as mine. External  influences , job  losses, business failures,short pockets, heavy travel away from home all played a part but all could have been overcome with a little more tender thoughtfulness and caring on my part. Letting her share more of the burden and troubles with me, I now know I should have allowed us to fight the battle together as one entity.

After an absence of weeks I would come  home and expect to resume a role that was no longer mine. She had managed quite well on her turf and I am sure now felt that I should assimilate slowly back into the family unit rather than seek to assume my role as father and husband. In retrospect, it becomes  very clear just how overbearing I could be.

As the years passed and with financial success well in hand, our future  was secure but the marriage was now one of quiet desperation and loathsome ennui. Never contentious, fortunately, but just a truce of sorts and a cold  passionless relationship. This, as stands here today.

There are countless other incidents of stupid calloused behavior that come flooding back as I write, but they too numerous and time consuming to put down here. Further they would not much add to the fact that on this forum I was forced to acknoweldege that much of what has transpired in my marriage was self induced.

I guess the main purpose, here is to inform,  particularly the young, who place their situations before us here that no one in these sexless marriages are without some blame..That, theyshould always  take stock in what they expect from one another and  to always be attentive to her moods.




zorbas zorbas
56-60, M
15 Responses Feb 12, 2009

@zorba - This is a great post. I have always maintained that both of us contriubted to where we are today.

I feel like I've done everything as well, but I'm sure he does too! Especially now, when I'm pulling away. He travels and loves that. He calls me and tells me he loves me and misses me. He hugs me often - a couple of times a days and kisses me too. He thinks of me all the time. He goes and get groceries for me and he supports us. I only work part time now. <br />
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But it's all done without passion. How can a man give me a massage and have no sexual feelings. I'm 5'7" and 125 lbs! I run and am fit. I modeled when I was young and look a good ten years younger than I am.<br />
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That's not really the point any more. I stayed when I should have left. I decided to do everything, instead of fighting for help. When he looked at me with contempt because I asked him to take the garbage out or mow the lawn, I decided that I would do it myself and not ask him anymore.<br />
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I went home for the summer and he said he missed me, but when I came back he hadn't even looked after the lawn. Weeds were everywhere. So I weeded. <br />
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I have enabled this marriage to go this way. I should have yelled and nagged. Told him repeated that I need physical love and attention. Not accept the fact and see how long before he comes to me. I let this happen.

Zorbas, I respect and admire your introspection. :>

My heart goes out to everyone in this story and everyone in this experience. I believe that talking in my story, and showing it to my wife saved our marriage. For the 1st time in years, we talked from the heart to each other. It wasn't all her fault and it wasn't all my fault. We had both worked hard at ruining our marriage. After deciding that we did actually still love each other, we started trying to fix things. There are some special people here who helped. They know who they are. Nothing is perfect, but things are so much better now. If there is any love left, there is still time. TALK to each other.

Zorbas...if I didn't know better I would think you are my ex husband! :-) There are so many similarities in your post to my own situation. The only difference between you and my ex husband is "he still doesn't get it" while you seem to know what's happened...<br />
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Are you and your wife still together despite the growing apart?

I am truly humbled by this story and these posts. I've just had one of those "ah ha" moments after reading this - I've realised that I've been investing all my energy and consciousness into finding a solution for my sexless problem. I've concentrated on solving the problem through action, rather than contemplating the underlying causes for my dilemma.<br />
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Not that I think that action is a bad thing, but this story has confronted me with the need to think much more deeply (and more honestly) about why my marriage has evolved the way it has. And even more importantly, how have I contributed to its evolution in this format . . . <br />
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Zorbas you never fail to inspire me with your intelligence and your insight, your humility and your soul baring honesty. I am so glad you stumbled on this forum and decided to stay!!<br />
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Thanks to all of you for your comments - so many seeds of wisdom here . . . .

Sheeeez.<br />
I found EP about 5 days ago. I keep reading posts, making the odd observation, and briefly put down my own story. This would have been unthinkable for me probably even a week ago. Now, having started to type here, I'm not sure why I am!!! Suffice to say, I think it is to thank you all. I am glad I stumbled on this, must be Karma !! Some, no, make that a lot of you guys I really feel an affinity with.

OMG, I am reading your posts, all of you, and crying. Amazing how all of us have so much emotion pent up. I am the one that worked over the years to hold the relationship together. I did everything I could muster the courage to do, except for one thing and that was leave. I know that if I had left him years ago, we would have been able to salvage our marriage. Instead I threatening to leave and backed down when he said, " I promise, I will try, things will be better". <BR><BR>So that's my fault, I enabled him to be lifeless, loveless and sexless. I allowed the lack of intimacy in our relationship to overwhelm me and destroy us. <BR><BR>We all deserve a big group hug. I thank God for EP for all of you.

at some point the conversations about your partner's lack of interest cease to be useful or effective, and start to feel like unnecessary shaming to them -- i think that i'm at that point. i'm also in the group of selfless folks, who do everything i can to make things run smoothly. since she's only really ever been with me, she doesn't realize in full it could not be this way, and not knowing, her appreciation is all spoken, not manifest in how she treats me. it's all fine and good to say thank you, and i appreciate what you do, but words don't hold me or make me feel wanted. that is the problem.<br />
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i'm young, i communicate with my partner, and i don't see the problem being resolved. every other facet of our life is strong, but like another poster here said "the blackhole of intimacy" may be too much to overcome.

Scootergirl35 and I do have the same thing in common. I have put every ounce of energy I have and a lot I do not have into my relationship. I have done then anything possible to make changes. When verbal communication broke down, I sent cards and wrote letters, when she needed space I gave it to her. I begged, pleaded, borrowed and stole to give her all the things she wanted and needed. Two years ago she came home after looking at diamond anniversary rings at Christmas and found one she really liked, our anniversary is in January and it was the perfect time to buy it. She asked me to go with her to look at it, my initial thought was a diamond anniversary ring for how she is acting, no way. I went to the store saw the joy in her eyes and how when wearing that ring that she sparkled and radiated far more than those very expensive stones and I could not deny her. I bought the ring without a kiss a hug or even a decent thank you. To me though her face gave off all of those words and emotions that her mouth was not able to say. To make her happy has always been a primary goal for me. Scooter's story is like a page out of my own life. No hugs no kisses and very little attention even just talking did not happen, and I too felt like I was not asking for much. <BR><BR>Just like you Zorbas I too was traveling, I went to graduate school in our home city and traveled there daily or stayed over night with my mother while in classes. I was absent and it was hard for me to plug back into the family after being away. I worked hard at it when I was home. The rigors of a competitive masters program, working part time, and taking care of our child took a great toll on me, and still I labored for our relationship. In the final semester of my graduate school program we were in a class. Graduation was less than a week away, we were all supposed to share about an experience that we were concerned or worried about after graduation. My turn came up, I tried to pass at first but neither the professor or the class would let me. I was like the father figure, the older student that had returned back to school after many years, they depended on my wisdom. So after some comtemplation I muttered these very difficult words. I am simply afraid of the fact that I have been absent from my marriage and family too long, so long in fact that they might not be able to accept me back as a regular participant. My classmates and professor were very encouraging to me as I almost broke down in the class. Now I wonder if that really is the fact. <BR><BR>I do think we can go too far, I am selfless and long suffering. I got it honest from my mother and I saw her go through many of the same things with a highly selfish over indulging man, my father. She too gave of herself tirelessly daily to a man that could not show her he cared and could be as crass and callous as they came. Now I see more clearly, that love, truely love, has no limits or boundaries but needs them in order to make sure you don't loose the most precious gift of all in the process Yourself.

Zorbas-your post brought tears to my eyes--as that is how I lived for 29 years--oh how he and I would try and talk about it and I would get "well, if your that unhappy I'll leave" or "when the boys are 18 I'm outta here" or "I'm as happy as I can be" very safe answers from my DH--I was a very devoted wife/mother for 25 years-always there, never put pressure on him for conversation, intimacy--did talk about it--he'd apologize and say "I have a low libido--sorry" and so much more other than just the lack of intimacy-drinking has always been an issue--I'd mention that--get told "well at least I'm not cheating" we've lived like brother/sister for many years--not to be crude--a periodic "poke" for him works for him---definitely not me--I want more--I deserve more (and quite honestly so does he) <br />
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Zorbas-your post is from the heart--and I agree with you completely--have the young people that post here --heed what you wrote--best wishes to you.

In my case, I disagree - I tried everything I could to keep my marriage alive far, far too long almost to the point of no return for me.<br />
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I tried talking, listening, doing everything I could and although as blehh says everything else was good, he was not interested in me intimately at all. I didn't want to get over that - why should I? I wasn't asking him to do anything that could be considered replusive, he wouldn't even hug me. And so sometimes, one partner does have to shoulder more responsibility for the demise of the relationship even though I did the actual leaving, he could've changed everything!!

Thank you but it is way too late, but my hope is that something that we experienced and later found to be injurious to a relationship will prevent some young couples of doing the same thing.<br />
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To answer your question, no she is not aware of my place here, nor will she ever know, It is a way I can vent in anonymity those things that I would never say outwardly. It would be as I said , to no avail anyway.

I am curious if you have shared or let her read this post? Even if she is unaware of your membership here, that is a post that is longing for the eyes or ears of your loved one. Not only are us guys guilty of all the above at sometime in our lives, we are also guilty of not communicating the depth of feelings that you poured out to us in this post to those that really need to hear it most. A lot of us can show that depth physically in a sexual manner, or through gifts and other things, but words are very important also. Certainly, at this stage in the relationship it might fall on ears that are no longer willing to hear these words, but giving her the chance to make that decision seems to be the right one. Your post is full of reconciliation and a desire to correct what has been missing for all of these years. It just feels natural from where I am that you would say those words to her, or is it way too late?

Agreed, when I told my husband I was leaving and why, he apologized repeatedly and tried to take the blame for how I felt. But I know it's not all his fault. Surely there was more I could have done and truly the only real thing wrong in our relationship is the lack of passion and intimacy. There is no lack of communication in other areas, we have so much fun together, even when we are just home doing nothing. Traveling with him could not be a more pleasurable experience. But as a woman in her late 30's who's always had a strong sexual drive and never experienced someone who simply has none...that lack is a huge black hole to overcome. I still feel somehow that is a shortcoming in me....if everything else is so good, I should have been able to get past the sex thing, but after 10 yrs of hardly any sex at all and none in the last year...I just couldn't.