Standing On a Cliff

So here I stand, on the edge of a cliff.  Afraid to jump and afraid to step back.  Paralyzed by my own fear, doubt and insecurity and the big G word GUILT!

For those of you who don't "know" me, I lived in a sexless marriage (less than 10X's per year. . . LOL) for 12.5 years.  My husband and I are now separated.  I still consider myself among the "I live in a sexless marriage group" because even though I have parted with my husband I have not completely disconnected.  Oh I have tried the limited contact thing, not seeing him, not speaking to him, hoping out of sight out of mind, but he pulls at my heart like nothing I have ever felt in life.  I keep hearing love is a choice.  To love someone is a choice.  Well I chose not to love him any more,  hmmm then why do I still love him?

I don't want to go back to my unhappy life.  But I would love to go back to a happy one with him.  Am I still in the fantasy of what I want to be my reality.  Can I, should I, will I give up the dream?

If I go back, will IT be different?  Notice I didn't say he.  I don't believe in my heart he can be all that different, but I do believe in my heart that he loves me, the best way he knows how.  Will that be enough in the end??????  I don't have that crystal ball, does anyone on this site?  What does my gut tell me?  Hmmm, it's telling me to follow my heart and go back to the man I love and keep trying to make it work; but. . .

FEAR then takes over and says, what do I do, if I give it my all again and he decides he doesn't want me again?  What if no matter how hard we try, that emptiness won't leave me?  What do I fill that with?  Not another man, been there, done that.  I will not be a cheating wife living under the same roof with my husband.  (I am not judging, I just found that didn't work for me).

So here I stand, on the edge.  Paralyzed by my own Fear, Doubt and Insecurity.

kungfuchic kungfuchic
46-50, F
37 Responses Feb 18, 2009

KFC-<br />
<br />
My apologies. That was a typo. <br />
<br />
What I meant was that you appeared mentally and physically strong.<br />
<br />
My wife is also a fitness expert, so it was hard to fathom a woman who didn't have both of those attributes.<br />
<br />
I intended to say you appear mentally and physically.<br />
strong.

Oh, by the way, I am a little insulted by the comment about my Avatar. I consider myself a very strong person. <BR><BR>I am a woman bodybuilder and I have competed and anyone who has lived through that knows there is a certain amount of mental discipline required to get through it.<BR><BR>Love is complicated, for me any way, it has nothing to do with my emotional or mental strength and certainly not my physical strength. <BR><BR>Also I read on your post that you think ALL men have a trigger that a real experienced woman could find and turn on. Will, I think when someone is shut down or asexual, there is no trigger. I blamed myself for years for not being what he wanted. Not to toot my own horn, but I am very attractive. I take great care of myself. I am anal about personal hygiene. <BR><BR>You want his take, here it is: He was afraid his whole life, not just with me, of getting close to anyone. Fear of failure has ruined him and his life. He knew he was rejecting me, but his fear would not allow him to change.<BR><BR>He is a good person and I know he loves me, the best way he can. If that way does not fulfull me and makes me feel bad about myself, then it is not a healthy relationship for either of us.<BR><BR>Okay, I'm done.

Dear Will: Okay, let me see if I can explain this in a way that simplifies, and I think I not only speak for myself, but for my brothers and sisters here on the "sexless marriage" thread.<br />
<br />
First, I think you are missing the point, so let me explain.<br />
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When two people get married, they promise to love, honor, respect, blah, blah. They love each other and marry each other because they love, they are in love, they respect, they want to share a life, a home, a family, a bed. They want all the things that "represent" the word marriage. <br />
<br />
I am a very passionate, very affectionate person. Yes, I love sex, but more importantly, I like to be affectionate, I like to give love and feel love. I like to be held and told I am beautiful in the eyes of my beloved. I like the feeling of being wanted and touched like a woman. If you had read any of my other stories, you would see that my husband never showed any of those things toward me. I never had the pleasure of stepping out of shower and having my husband grab me and kiss me and tell me how beautiful I am. I never experienced the pleasure of staying in bed on a rainy day with the man that I love, not necessarily for sex, but just to cuddle and love each other. I never knew what it was like to lay with him on the couch watching movies, our bodies intertwined. If I was lucky, I got my hand held occassionally. I never knew what it was like to have sexual banter, laughing, teasing with my beloved. So you see Will I so desperately needed those things in my life and he did not. Do I love and accept him? Yes. Do I think he's a ***** because he can't give me those things, No, I do not. But I am mature enough and strong enough to recognize that without those things in my life, I felt very alone in my marriage. And Will, I will not be a cheating wife.<br />
<br />
I don't want to live in a marriage with "my brother" or "my father". I want a lover, a husband, a friend, a partner. <br />
<br />
I don't know what type of relationship you and your wife have, and it's none of my business, but intimacy, no not the act of sex, is something two people who love each other share. If intimacy is missing, then there is a huge gaping hole in the relationship. Holes can be filled with other things and other people, but when you truly love someone, it becomes painful to not be "with" them.<br />
<br />
I hope that gives you a lttle better perspective.

Ok, let's start over.<br />
<br />
KFC- I've reread your post again, my initial response, and the others who have responded.<br />
<br />
If my tally is correct you have 2 who say go back (Me and Funn55), the rest say don’t (not sure how many as there are multiple posts but I would say more than 10).<br />
<br />
You also asked me to take out my ego because there might be an interesting story behind it.<br />
<br />
Well ok, here goes…<br />
<br />
Wait.<br />
<br />
I think that would be rude to tell my story on your thread.<br />
<br />
I’ll start another one and tell it there. I’ll call it: "Will Powers Story in response to KungFuChic’s" (or something like that).<br />
<br />
However, let’s talk about your challenge again because I’ve gleaned some new insights.<br />
<br />
I think your solution may be in what you’re already doing because as it was mentioned in another post you have say (or a choice) in any direction you want your life to take. That means loving someone is also a choice.<br />
<br />
Perhaps we're not clear on the concept of Love. So let’s review again.<br />
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Love does not equal sex. That’s it. No need to get any more complicated than that.<br />
<br />
(I’m not going to debate Love semantics on this post either, let’s talk about it on another post. I’ll start one.)<br />
<br />
To me, if your husband were injured in a car accident and lost all functionality of his lower extremities, wouldn’t that be the equivalent of your sex life now?<br />
<br />
Wait, no it would be worse because all sex with him would be impossible. Would you feel guiltier about leaving him then? Or would you feel more committed to stay?<br />
<br />
That’s my whole point – don’t base your decision on sex – it’s like building your foundation on sand.<br />
<br />
What I find so ironic is that this is normally a guy’s m.o. – women were always too clever to let sex be the deal-breaker.<br />
<br />
So I repeat if you love this man, be there for him as you would any person you Love (mother, brother, sister, etc).<br />
<br />
Perhaps you can make certain arrangements where you two live in the same house, but share separate beds. Perhaps you two can agree on having a new exciting sex partner for you. Perhaps, you could learn to not be as sexual.<br />
<br />
See, I've given you three possible solutions because I 'believed' there was a solution. <br />
<br />
You're stated in the original post that you feel 'paralyzed.'<br />
<br />
Doesn't that mean 'unable to move or do anything'? <br />
<br />
Even in your own mind you're saying that you can't do anything. It means you're powerless. (Tell me, if I'm missing something here.)<br />
<br />
The ambivalence I had was due to your picture (avatar). I saw a woman who physically looked powerful but mentally seems weak. <br />
<br />
That cannot be because my wife 'is' a body builder and her mental game is off the charts. From her affiliation with other fitness experts like Monica Brandt-Peckham, Katie Uter, and Tanji Johnson (American Gladiator) the same holds true - because I've seen it - there is nothing 'weak' in these ladies mental game. <br />
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I'm not saying she (my wife) doesn't have bad days, they just don’t last long.<br />
<br />
But even if that pix isn't you - your alias (KungFuChic) and the avatar would leave one to believe you are powerful. And I feel that you are.<br />
<br />
My answers are simple because I don't believe the problem is complex. Humans are good at making simple things sophisticated.<br />
<br />
I say the real answer is in your statements:<br />
<br />
1. You say you've left (moved out) but from what it sounds like he's still close by.<br />
<br />
2. You say you've left but you still love him.<br />
<br />
3. You say you've left but are (separated) not divorced.<br />
<br />
That doesn't sound like 'left' to me that sounds like 'still in it.'<br />
<br />
So if you’re still in it, work with what you have. <br />
<br />
I gave you 3 solutions but since you’re more intimate with the challenge you could probably come up with several more.<br />
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For the record, you’ll never hear me advise someone to give up their love for something fleeting.<br />
<br />
Sex is fleeting.<br />
<br />
Once you read my story you’ll see what I mean.<br />
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So, as I said originally, stay and love him since it seems you already do; especially since you know he loves you too)<br />
<br />
Leave if you don't Love him. <br />
<br />
Simple.<br />
<br />
P.s. I would love to hear your guy's take.

KFC you said it! Cool answer.<br />
<br />
Will, if you just tried to put yourself in our shoes, you would see the situation so much more clearly.<br />
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By trying to tell people what they "ought" to do, you are antagonising many people. It is a male trait (and not a bad one) to try and "fix" things.<br />
<br />
But the problems on this forum cannot be "fixed" by an application of self discipline and determination.<br />
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I defy anyone who knows me and how I feel about sex to criticise my self discipline and determination to fix my marriage by going without sex for nearly 13 years. What greater sign do you want that these methods don't work??<br />
<br />
<br />
I can only say that I wish your answers really DID work! I for one would do anything to save my marriage - except agree to live without sex for the rest of my life.

very well-put, kfc.

People: Can't we all get along. We may not all agree, but really, this isn't the place to be mean, cruel or insensitive.<br />
<br />
Yes Will, you and I spoke offline. I think you are very vague in your delivery and not buying into a lot of your views. Do I think we are "masters of our own domain" yes, I always have. Do I believe in pulling ourselves up and not being a victim, yes, I do, and always have. Unfortunately, when matters of the heart are involved, it get's a little dicey. In addition, there are complexities in everyones own situation co-dependence, sexual abuse, medical issues. So much plays a factor in everyday life with a spouse or partner.<br />
<br />
Now, most of us here on the sexless marriage site, are true sufferers, long term. Every marriage I am sure goes through it's difficulties, couples at some point during the relationship go through a dry spell. most of the time, if a couple has a strong foundation and a desire to heal their marriage they can work through anything. But when one partner has no desire and the other finds themselves year after year, carrying the burdens of the marriage alone, then yes something has to change.<br />
<br />
I don't have the answers, if I did, I would be home with my husband making a go of it. But there were things that got thrown into the mix that complicate. Brief Summary 1) hubby is "uncomfortable with sex 2) we never had a normal sexual loving relationship 3) I missed the closeness and intimacy of being in a loving relationship for the past 12 years of my life 4) I had an affair.<br />
<br />
So you see it's not cut and dry. Husband and wife are happy, one day hubby stops making love to wife, wife gets depressed, they go to therapy. Wife accepts that hubby doesn't want to have sex and they live happily ever after. Pleeeeaaaaaseee! <br />
<br />
Yes, acceptance is huge. I love and accept my husband for everything that he is. It doesn't mean that I can live without love and intimacy in my life. It's that simple. It has nothing to do with bashing him about what he is not doing, it's about doing the right thing that allows both of us to live a happy life. After all, you only have one.

Awww Enna, I thought we were friends.<br />
<br />
If we were all talking about alcohol, and I said this is how I got over my alcoholism, would I be accepted in this group?<br />
<br />
Isn't 'how' I got over alcohol an experience?<br />
<br />
Even now I can accept you suggesting I have control issues, but only the challenges in my life regarding it would be cause for me to explore solutions.<br />
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Short version: I don't have control issues.<br />
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I thought you were on my side when you asked me to explain my views. You were offended but you didn't ridicule my views. Thanks for that. However, Lebowski did and did it in such a way that really annoyed me.<br />
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Tell ya what, instead of "Will Powers Advice", why not "Was Will Powers provoked?"<br />
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Being called a fool is a very offensive. Do you think not? <br />
<br />
Wouldn't you agree I had a right to counter?

Thanks James!! ;)

Enna,<br />
<br />
You're so funny. LOL<br />
<br />
james

I too am disturbed by the way people who are NOT in sexless marriages feel free to "lecture" to those of us who are.<br />
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Whilst I agree with the concept of EP as an open forum where anyone can comment on anything, I do find that those who think they have "all the answers" are invariably NOT part of the experience group.<br />
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If you aren't part of a group (regardless of which group it is), you should take EXTRA care with how you respond to posts, IMHO. For example: I would not presume to advise someone who suffered from an eating disorder what to do - and I certainly wouldn't say things like "you are pathetic" and "you choose to be a victim"!!!!!!<br />
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WillPowers, you strike me as a bully and someone who has control issues.<br />
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Why don't you set up an Experience called "Will Powers Advice" and then just lecture to everyone who joins that group? That might save the rest of us from your rants.

this is the last time i'll respond. who says i'm not in the game? what is the game? i hate tired, worn-out cliches, as if they are somehow, despite their over-generalizations and over-simplifications, supposed to apply to particular situations. i'm not a victim, and, if i am, i am a victim only to myself. when you deal with depression and anxiety, there is no just "snapping out of it" by "taking ownership of your life" -- whatever the hell that means. as far as taking steps towards recovering, i'm doing everything that i can. <br />
<br />
when you love someone that can't necessarily love you back the way that you need or want, the solutions aren't easy, and the emotions that come with that are not easily placed, overcome, or settled. you can try to trick your mind all you like with trite "self-help" dr. phil bs, but that only works for a time and it only works if you can believe in it -- i can't. in other words, these are problems that have no simple answers, and they come with decisions that will have no easy aftermath, regardless of the choice. you want to condescend to people here, and pretend that all they have to do is "take ownership of their lives" -- i don't appreciate it b/c i've experienced the pain and the complexity of the situation. that pain and these emotions have a dignity that you undermine with your flippant solutions and half-baked, arm chair philosophy. your reaction doesn't come from a place of understanding, but, instead, it comes from a source of pretension. <br />
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i'm sorry to kfc that i've managed to start a fight in her thread -- it won't happen again.

Start by taking ownership of your life.<br />
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Do something that makes you feel good and someone else feel good.<br />
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Get in the game - make someone laugh, make someone feel loved. Participate in life.<br />
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I don't know you but even now you seem intent on being a victim. Do you really care that much about me? Do you love me? If not, then why insinuate an insult.<br />
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If someone doesn't care if you lived or died they won't even waste time on insults - they just ignore you.<br />
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Perhaps I should try that regarding you.<br />
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I talked to KFC offline, regarding what I felt she should do. It's just my opinion - that's all. I'm only writing this in hopes she understands she does have power.<br />
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She could change her reality right now if she wanted to. Can you do that?

so, wait, i'm "too far gone," so how am i supposed to heal? <br />
<br />
ignorant can be an insult, unless you use it appropriately.

Lebowski28-<br />
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Who wants to grow roots in misery? If you're saying I'm a tourist because I choose power over powerlessness, then you're right.<br />
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You're too far gone. You don't want help - you want the wound.<br />
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If you are a student of life (which you indirectly claim to be thru suffering) you know that everything that seems bad has an ending. For example, when it stops raining, doesn't the sun usually come back out? Didn't Bush fulfill his term? Now that Venezuelan fellow (Chavez), that's another thing. :-)<br />
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Why are you prolonging your healing? By design, healing starts immediately.<br />
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If I cut my hand right now, it'll bleed for a few minutes, then something miraculous happens...it stops.<br />
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I'm not a theorist on religion, but whomever made me wanted that to happen. So do you think the same entity that created you meant for you to suffer forever? Dude, C'mon. Why are you still picking at the wound?<br />
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I just won't buy that, and I won't do it!<br />
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I believe that just like the rain, this Recession will be over. I also believe I'm way too powerful to let rejection level me for extended periods of time. <br />
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In the meantime though, I'm going to do what I do naturally - get over it quickly. <br />
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We don't have to get philosophical, throw insults or judge for you to realize this, right?

"fool" is a harsh term, so i'll retract that -- ignorant is a more appropriate word in this case b/c you (willpowers and fun55) don't understand the experience; that was the other option besides "asexual" if you would read my post (btw, asexual is not a derogatory term, at least not for asexuals). <br />
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also, willpowers, no i'm not pathetic. it's taken some months in therapy, antidepressant medication, and passing through alcoholism to realize this, and if you truly understood the pain of the type of rejection that we who SHARE this experience endure, then you would realize how hurtful a term "pathetic" can be to a person dealing with the ramifications of this experience. "fool" is a garden variety insult, but this experience makes you feel pathetic, reduced, ashamed, belittled, and worthless -- so, it's beyond insulting and is more like mean-spirited.<br />
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my problem is that there are "tourists" here, who don't understand the experience b/c they either don't need sex, affection or intimacy, or have enough of it already, but they come here anyway to dispense with advice rather flippantly. i don't appreciate "tourists" in my emotional pain, and i take trite advice as an insult b/c too often it is an over-simplified solution to a complex problem. others on here who experience what i experience are not tourists, they live in the same place, and they know what that means.

I wish that someone had a perfect answer for you but unfourtunately I don't think there is one. I sypathize with you because I to love my husband and wonder if love is enough. I also understand the ones who say jump! Everyone has limits and I know deep in their hearts they need to feel they did the right thing we all do! but again this will not happen the answer is that grey area in the world, The black and white area does not exit when it comes to love relationship etc. All I do know is that when you do finally make tha decision do it for yourself ou deserve to be happy even if it makes others unhappy believe that it is right and then don't look back<br />
True love doesn't have a happy ending, because true love never ends. Letting go is one way of saying I love you.<br />
-- Author Unknown

Whattup Whuttup12-<br />
<br />
Let me reply to your response first.<br />
<br />
If you don't know anything about me why would you use terms like 'fool (Lebowski)' or 'crap(you)'? <br />
<br />
Aren't those terms offensive? I think they are - especially since my original post was not targeted to either of you. <br />
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KFC and I spoke earlier (and at length) so I would have expected to hear something contradictory from her but not you guys. But hey, if you can dish it be prepared to take it too.<br />
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Regarding DNA, the natural flow of life is to get rid of everything weak - it's called survival of the fittest. You've heard of that, right? I mean we don't have to get into Darwin's Origin of Species do we?<br />
<br />
So, wouldn't it stand to reason that everyone (including you) who is alive right now has superior genes?<br />
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Of course it does.<br />
<br />
We all are condensed versions of the best of our ancestors. Thru the eons we have gotten stronger, faster, and more resilient. Our ancestors withstood diseases, wars, famine, drought, slavery, etc, and they passed that DNA to us. That means the ones that survived were studs, not punks. If they were punks, Nature would have made certain they didn't stick around, and I'd be addressing this response to someone else besides you.<br />
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So if these studs were faced with 'Living in a Sexless Marriage' do you seriously think they would be losing sleep, going into depression, turning to alcohol, or anything that was synonymous with “I am powerless?” Hell No!<br />
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And you know what, just for the record, I am married and for a minute I thought I was in a sexless relationship. However, I did something about it. I got thru it. Which is what I'm trying to get KFC to realize. Why? Because I think it's a disgrace to 'my' heritage to be 'downed' by something so within my ability to change. <br />
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Tell ya what, if you disagree with anything in this response email me and we can talk offline. However, if you took my first response as an affront to your heritage - please forgive me.<br />
<br />
Another thing.<br />
<br />
Your reference to teenagers implied ********** which I took as a digg because I do have a teen-aged daughter. Let me just say, don't do that again.<br />
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Regarding Love, can you guess what is the hardest language to learn? It's English. (I'm not making this up.) Do you know why? It's because of the multiple meanings of the same word (i.e. wind up versus the wind blows). <br />
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The reason most are confused by Love is because of the multiple meanings. <br />
<br />
I too was confused at one time. <br />
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Haven't you heard of the phrases or words, I Love you but I'm not in Love with you, Lover (implies sex), Loved-one, LoveJones, Lovelorn, LoveyDovey, MotherlyLove, the list is endless. And let's not get into the songs written about Love – we'd be here all night.<br />
<br />
But don't just take my word for it, do your own test.<br />
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Write on a sheet of paper a one-word definition of Love and get 5 of your friends to write their one word definitions. <br />
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Watch. You'll get 5 different answers.<br />
<br />
But here's a trick, do you know how to find the real definition of a word? Find it's opposite.<br />
<br />
So what's the opposite of Love? Hate? If I don't love you does it mean I hate you?<br />
<br />
Of course not.<br />
<br />
But what do you always see when Love is absent in someone's life. You see rejection, indifference, apathy, disregard, dismissal... This list is endless too. <br />
<br />
The purpose of this was not for semantics. <br />
<br />
However, ask yourself this, if you really love someone doesn't it mean Acceptance? Doesn't it mean you'd do something if they were about to be harmed? Doesn't it mean you care? Or, as I said before, give a damn?<br />
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Don't tell me I haven't experienced it, either. <br />
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I wanted to leave my wife because I took her 'lack' or disinterest in sex, personally. I almost stopped loving her because I thought love equaled sex but it does not.<br />
<br />
When you begin to realize that you'll be amazed how quickly your relationship starts to turnaround.

KFC,<br />
<br />
I, too, am sitting on the fence and understand the overwhelming internal conflict. How to leave a wonderful person in many respects but not a 'husband', a lover (but physically and otherwise capable). <br />
<br />
Have no answers. We each must be guided by our own values, priorities, conscience. But, be true to yourself. Many of the 'rules' are outdated for current society and many many have been remaking terms of such. There are umpteen ways of recreating relationships. <br />
<br />
I have read your many posts and know that you have thought, read, contemplated, and worried on this topic. So rather than advice I offer you my empathy and my ear. I know and I live with the difficulty, pain and struggle of leaving a bad marriage with a good person. <br />
<br />
The internal struggle is a measure of your own pain with how best to proceed. A wise person told me that sometimes you just need to wait and you'll know that when the time comes for action. I find this advice frustrating since I have not the realization that now is the time ... but share it nonetheless. <br />
<br />
Hugs and Love

Oh my goodness! Will Powers - you are SUCH an angry person! I think you owe Lebowski an apology for that rant! Being personal in your criticism is totally unacceptable.<br />
<br />
Maybe you can clarify my confusion??<br />
<br />
What do you mean by love does not equal sex? Of course it doesn't - but in a married relationship sex is part of the whole package. This is sanctioned by both church and state. Failing to have sex with a willing spouse is a failure to meet the marriage contract - or do you not agree?? <br />
<br />
What is this "solution" you speak of?? Please explain.<br />
<br />
I am totally in support of Lebowski, Autimom, Whaddup and Sliderule on this one. But I would like to hear you explain your views with clarity so I can understand them.<br />
<br />
But be aware that I will report you to EP in a bl<x>ink of an eye if you take an abusive tone in your reply.

People who are black have tough DNA, huh? lol <br />
<br />
What kind of DNA do white people have? I'm half Native American, I'm curious what that means. Please enlighten me. <br />
<br />
Like Autimom said, unless you've lived through a sexless marriage, you probably can't know what it's like. <br />
<br />
And you think there's only one form of love and that it's a choice? The way you love your friends is the way you love your dad is the way you love your lover? What a load of crap. If you think all love is the same then I would fear what would happen if you had an attractive teenage daughter.

Interesting, Lebowski28-<br />
<br />
A fool, am I?<br />
<br />
How do you know that? Did I date your Mom?<br />
<br />
You're pathetic but you already know that. Don't you?<br />
<br />
If you had read my post then you'd know I'm not telling her to stay nor am I telling her to leave. I'm telling her there is a solution if she'd stop placing limits on what's her life has to be.<br />
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I'm also telling her to stop listening to your sorry-a$$ because she has enough crutches already.<br />
<br />
As near as I can tell, she's a black woman. To me, that means her DNA is infused with people who knew how to work thru difficult times and problems. Her ancestors would laugh at her if they knew she was trippin on something so trivial.<br />
<br />
She has to lose her husband because he can't have sex with her?<br />
<br />
Well, what if he left her because she didn’t know how to cook? <br />
<br />
Would it be better if he were injured in a car accident, paralyzed from the waist down, and unable to have sex?<br />
<br />
Would it be easier to justify staying with a man she loves then?<br />
<br />
I mean she did vow in sickness and in health. You did say you believe in depression didn't you? Well, how do you know her man's not depressed? Did you meet him?<br />
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No but you're quick to label because that's what ignorant people do.<br />
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Here's a fact we both know: She would not hang-out with your punk-a$$ in real-life, because you have no spine.<br />
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Oh, and since you're a genius, why don't you enlighten us on the various forms of Love. But don't use someone else's info, come up with your own theory - that's if your brain can think on its own.<br />
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Challenge: Show me in Nature where there are various forms of Love. Newsflash: You won't find it because there are none. Just one: You give a damn.<br />
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When you love someone you do, when you don't love someone you don't.<br />
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10-1 you don’t have love in your life – you don’t know what it means – so you don’t know how to give it - probably why you're depressed.

Lebowski28.....I am nodding so hard my head might fall off. YES! Everything you wrote is so very true.<br />
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I agree...if you aren't in the situation, or you haven't been, you can't possibly understand. <br />
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Staying too long in a marriage that you know isn't "right" especially when the part that is so wrong is the fact that your spouse withholds sex/intimacy/affection can never work if you care about your own happiness and well being. It leads to a crushing of your soul, and a slow death of everything you ever were. It changes you, maybe forever. I don't know yet, I've only been "free" three months. <br />
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Eventually KFC, this "love" you feel for him will change into other feelings. Explore those feelings closer, and you may find it isn't really love. It may be more accurate that your feelings are guilt, or simply that you have shared so much of your life and experiences with him over the last several years. <br />
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It is so hard to let go. I do know.

it amazes me that people who either a) do not share this experience or b) are undoubtedly asexual come here to dispense advice to those who are truly struggling with this experience. to the couple of posters on here who clearly don't understand, read through a hefty selection of stories on here so that you understand the devastating effects that your partner's rejection can have on your physica and mental well-being. serious depression, alcoholism, ******** self-esteem are some of the side effects of this. so the quaint and over-simplified platitudes need to be checked at the door.<br />
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and to the fool who is comparing love of one's "brother" or blood family member to that of your partner, you are aware that there are different types of love, correct? something tells me these "stay together at all costs" folks are most likely evangelical christians, whose backwards views of sexuality, intimacy, and gender equality have done as much to create problems in relationships as they have ever done in resolving such problems.

As I think about this, I think about where I might have been if I had left my wife at year 11 instead of year 22. I would still have loved her even though I probably could have seen that the marriage was in serious trouble. By staying those extra years, the main effect was that I had everything love-like and even friend-like in the marriage wither, until it was almost easy to make the decision to leave. I'd tried and tried without significant result, until I had nothing left to give.<br />
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I don't think I'd want to recommend going there.

I won't presume to know enough about your situation to advise you, but I will say that whoever keeps telling you love is a choice is completely wrong.

Awww, I feel for you :-( I don't know what to say, other than what I would do if I were you. If in my heart I would feel that there is still a chance, I would go back and try....one last time. <br />
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Is there still a chance with you guys? People don't really change unless they want to and work hard at it, you know that right? <br />
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You sound like you still love him. Does he love you back? You must know that. If he doesn't, your choice should be an easy one...don't go back. <br />
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Kind of a side subject - imo Love is NOT a choice. Respect, empathy, kindness, etc...yeah these are choices. You either love someone or you don't, no matter how hard you try either way.

KFC-<br />
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Great convo earlier, huh?<br />
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Here's the problem with all of your answers/replies so far...<br />
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Love does not equal sex!<br />
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And please, let's not get into the fallacy that there are different kinds of love - cuz that's just so 90s.<br />
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Love is an absolute - it's really a binary decision - you either love him or you don't.<br />
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You keep equating marriage = sex = love. But all of you know in your hearts that that's simply not true.<br />
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Ask yourself if you love your brother. If you do it's because you choose to, but you don't have to sleep with him or marry him to know that right?<br />
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You know what I find amazing? People limit themselves by their thoughts.<br />
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I challenge you to design your perfect life - if that includes your husband - then you already know what your answer is.<br />
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Show that man that he has a someone who has his back, show him that you accept him, show him that you don't care about his faults - Love him - only if you really do that is.

kfc, as much as you love him, the sheer possibility that it could happen all over again is a good reason not to go back. while this could happen with anyone, you know very well that it did happen with your partner, and that makes it all the more likely. <br />
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love isn't a choice when it is real -- it will pierce you against your will, and compell you whether you want it to or not. you can choose what you do about it, but you can't shut it off. love isn't always enough either. these are the tough decisions that have no easy answers. good luck to you whatever decision you make. just know, like any other person who has suffered this experience, that you deserve a chance at happiness.

Hello, ive been in your same shoes. BUt see, i did go back. No, he didnt change, nothing change. One thing is for sure at least i gave my heart a secong chance and I was'nt left with the question what if? What if i had try it one more time and it had work? Well you'll never know unless you try.

I wouldn't want to comment on the differences between men and women emotionally, but it wasn't enough for you before. What has changed to make you think that it might be now? If there is something, that's one thing...but if nothing has changed since you left, haven't you given him enough chances already?

sweetie, i understand your fear all to well, but don't go back. there is someone else out there that deserves the love you have to offer. you are a beautiful strong woman.

I am afraid that auto mom is correct. You cannot stay in limbo forever.<br />
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I feel for you and have always maintained that these situations are so much more difficult for women. They love so much deeper , longer and stronger then men.<br />
I honestly believe.<br />
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I have made decision over the years in both combat and business , that were good and bad , but all instinctive, fearful of consequence but relatively emotionless. I couldn't deal at the emotional level that you are at presently and although completely empathetic I don't fully grasp it.<br />
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I would simply sever all and try for something less ruinous to my sense of self worth. Love can build but it sure can destroy as well.<br />
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I care about you and hope that all will be well for you in the end.

Dear KFC,<br />
I've been in your shoes before - for different reasons, but the feelings are similar.<br />
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In my case (at that time) I was separating from my first husband. I was alone with 2 young children to care for. I was lonely. I was feeling very scared of the future. My self esteem was low. I tought it might be better to put up with "the devil you know" than the "devil you don't know". <br />
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Thank goodness I didn't go back! This is a temporary phase and almost everyone I know who leaves a marriage goes through this phase.<br />
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Please pease please - hold fast to your resolution and DO NOT go back. This phase will pass. At present it seems like a better option to go back to known misery than to face an unknown future - but truly you will surely regret it.<br />
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Your answer lies in your own words:<br />
Notice I didn't say he. I don't believe in my heart he can be all that different,. . . <br />
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Stay strong. Visit us often to have your strength bolstered. LOOK for a new beginning - make new friends; start new enterprises; and soon you will KNOW you have done the righ thing.<br />
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Fear is aralysing, but please believe the old saying which says "You have nothing to fear but fear itself".<br />
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Thinking of you and sending you strength to keep on keeping on . . . .

KFC~<br />
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I haven't left yet so I don't know what to say except this is what I am fighting now. I feel paralyzed because I don't have a crystal ball either. However, I have a Magic 8 Ball and I'm going to ask it now: "Should KFC go back?" Here it goes... It says "Outlook not so good." I can't say the Magic 8 Ball has *the* answer but there's an answer...for all the good it will do you!<br />
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(On the serious side, autimom is probably right for both of us.)<br />
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Princess

Jump. I promise it is the only way. Just do it. He will never be able to make you happy.

Hey KFchic, <br />
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I totally understand, being in the preliminary part of the separating process.<br />
I wonder, is it possible that you are getting lonely? You were after all, in your marriage a long long time, so is it posibly just the human contact missing from your life?<br />
You know that you will find what you are looking for, if you stay the course.<br />
You also know if your ex can/will change or not. Will he change enough to make you happy, and fufilled, and, can you trust again? To me, that is the big one, the trust, you may actually jeopordize the relationship because you are unable to trust, and without trust, there is no love.<br />
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I hope that helps more than hinders....