Platonic Marriage

My husband and I have been married for 14 years.  He is a good, very decent man and my best friend.  I love him completely.  We have two beautiful daughters and have helped each other through many difficult times that have come our way.  The problem is that our physical relationship is non-existent.  We had a very active and active sex life in the beginning.  Things tapered off - so much so that I know exactly when our daughters were conceived.  My youngest was conceived after a night of crying, begging, and pleading for sex.

I have explained to my husband how much he means to me, how important our physical relationship is to me, and how important his physical attention is to my self esteem.  About a year ago, I was, once again, begging for his attention.  He stood at the foot of the bed, looked at me angrily, and said he felt no desire whatsoever.  I have been devastated ever since.  What is strange is he always says he loves me - several times a day.  At home there is no physical contact, yet he always holds my hand in public and occasionally kisses me when we are out with other people.

He is currently taking medication for diabetes and high blood pressure.  Because of these meds, he can't get or maintain any excitement he may feel.  I have asked (okay, begged) him to ask the doctor about an adjustment to his meds or for a prescription for viagra or something similar, but he won't do it.   I feel our physical relationship is so unimportant, that I am so unimportant that he won't even ask for a prescription.

I will never, ever cheat.  But I am so lonesome and dejected, I don't know what to do.  I feel like I am a repulsive monster and will never be touched again like a woman should be touched by the man she loves.  The sadness is overwhelming.  I don't bring it up anymore because it is pointless and only causes strain between us.

Any suggestions for coping?  Thanks!

klp1205 klp1205
12 Responses Feb 20, 2009

I am so sorry to hear you are experiencing so much pain. I can truly empathize with you. I know it is hard, but try not to blame yourself or lose who you are. I am sending hugs and best wishes your way! I am still waiting for things to get better, but hanging in there and hoping for the best. I hope things get better soon!

I am and also in a similar situation. My husband takes meds but not for high bp or diabetes. We have been married 15 years and have 2 children. Sex was NEVER an issue until about 5 years ago. He got addicted to presc<x>ription pain meds after a minor operation. Still, even through the beginning of his addiction, sex was existent. Sometimes we would even at meet home at lunch or wake up at 2am for sex. <br />
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He is on a medication for his addiction now. I's lame, ridiculous, senseless, and stupid, but I can't do a thing about that. I would have much preferred he'd gone to rehab over this. Anyway, that's the issue. The med, he says, makes him have no desire. He knows it is important to me. We've talked about it several times. He said I should ask or just say something. Well, that never works, because before I can even bring it up most of the time, he mentions "not feeling well" or that he has a headache or is tired from work that day. I could ask as he said, but the result is still the same. It's like he takes it as a request to be filled at his convenience. <br />
Should I reallly have to ask or say something? Never had to the first ten years we were married and everything was fine. <br />
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Once my husband asked me during one of our discussions how often we'd have to have sex for me to be happy. I had been upset, bawling, pleading.... I said once a week--(which I don't believe is too much!!) He said ok, and that he could handle that. We didn't have sex that night. Or the next, or the was a week after the discussion. I've been told that I'm a sex addict and I've been made to feel guilty for wanting to have sex with my own husband. <br />
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When we do have sex, it's not because it was my idea. I guess he starts to pity me after a while. I've been hurt SO many times by him over this that I've learned to just keep my mouth shut. I've noticed that my feelings seem like they are changing towards him though. I guess it's just knowing that he has to force himself to be with me.<br />
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I do want to say that I am in love with my husband and that my hurt, anger, and frustration is over this one issue. He is my best friend and I can't cheat. He's an awesome husband and dad. He works very hard to take care of us. <br />
In some ways I really feel like a piece of s**t for even feeling the way I do, but at the same time I just can't imagine going thru the rest of my life feeling like I am his sister instead of his wife.<br />
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What do I do?

I wanted to share an update. My husband has recently gone for a period of time without his meds. He is back on them now and is having a difficult time getting his diabetes and blood pressure under control - it is getting better and he has not missed a day of work. What I wanted to share is this. He asked the doctor for a prescription for ED. She gave him some samples but told him not to try them until his system is back to normal levels. Because of the ED issue, she tested his testosterone levels. Surprisingly, his levels were way below the low end of normal - another medical issue in and of itself. Low testosterone can cause diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and assorted other physical problems. If your man is having trouble, you might want to recommend he get his testosterone levels checked. The doctor can then prescribe treatment for this. We are not at that stage, yet, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that we have found the root of the problem.

Just discovered my husbands Ed for 10+ years was due to toprol ( a beta blocker for high bp). Dr. Switched to a ace inhibitor and erections are starting to come back and sous his desire...we'll see. If anyone else has this problem get off the beta blockers and try something else. Good luck..wish me luck too!

I wish you all the best! I hope things work out in best way!

Honey I'm so sorry. I have no advice but I understand your intense pain. My husband told me much the same thing one night recently and the pain has only grown till I can hardly breathe. We are neither one seeing another person and he is on no medication. I know what it's like to live this way. I refuse to beg him for sex and for the first time I don't know what will happen to us. I pray things become happier for you.

I am so sorry you are hurting this way too! I am sending you a hug and hope things get better for you soon!

Hi TinkerDill. Your question is interesting. Why wouldn't I cheat? We have supported each other through miscarriages, the death of our parents, the loss of jobs, promotions, and life in general. His ex-wife cheated on him while he was on a mission out of country. An ex-girlfriend cheated on him with his supposed best friend. <br />
I think I could actually commit murder and he would support me! If I had a good enough reason, he might even help! Cheating, whether physical or emotional, is a deal breaker. Most importantly, I don't want to be with just anybody just to have sex, I want to be with him. I can't even imagine being with another man. OK, I can imagine it, but if it came down to it, I wouldn't be able to go through with it.

Reflections3 thank you for sharing your experience with me. I know I am not alone. You have my heart and my prayers!

From your story it is clear that your husband is having some mental stress or blockade that only makes him to be indifferent to sexual involvement. Sex is a devine obligation. Unfortunately many of us are thinking it as a shameful act and try to shy away from even to discuss it. Your husband also comes under such category. To certain extent his diabetic state also contribute for his impotency. If he mentally prepares himself to regain his strength he will defenitely achieve it. The most essential thing is he has to have the feeling first. You may persuade him to have a consultation with a psycologist and get rid of his mental block first. If he free himself from the mental block then he can defenitely regain his anxiety over sex again.

I love your disclaimer at the start of your story .. "He is a good, very decent man and my best friend. I love him completely"<br />
At the end you write "The sadness is overwhelming."<br />
This is the double edge sword I am sitting on after 40 years. My husband is a decent man and sometimes can be my best friend and I do love him, but not completely because he won't let me! He also says he has no desire for me and that I am obsessed with sex. because I never stop trying ... I know I am not obsessed, because if I were, I could never survive these dry spells without doing myself in. I don't take much stock in what he thinks these days anyhow... heard it all in 40 years.<br />
He doesn't accept my sexuality and I have to stuff it down inside of myself until it's just squashed bread in the bottom of the grocery bag. I am working on this!<br />
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Your husband has succeeded because you say you "don't bring it (intimacy/sex), up anymore because it is pointless and only causes strain between us." <br />
I always suggest a therapist you can work with and begin the journey in becoming a healthier and happier woman.<br />
One last comment .... you are living my life and my daughter, who will turn 40 this year, knows now what I have been through with her father and is encouraging me to separate from him and have some happiness in my old age. <br />
Blessings Sent to You Tonight

And I can tell you from personal experience that the med's for diabetes and high bp wreck the whole blood-flow design. I found that just prior to the moment of pill-swallowing, I get a window of time when part of the plumbing works! -Maybe his situation is similar? But, of course, he's got to want to he also depressed?

Add 26 years to your marriage and you could be describing my lover's 40 years of wedded "bliss" thankfully w/o the children. His wife has denied him any sort of physical affection for over 25 years, including hand holding. Like your husband my lover takes meds for high blood pressure and gout, both of which make maintaining an erection difficult, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Unlike your husband, my lover wants to have sex with me and we work hard to acheive satisfaction. His wife cant blame meds, just a deep long seated aversion to sex and low self esteem.<br />
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You say you would never cheat. My question is why not? My lover turned to me years ago and never left his wife. But he had an aversion to change. He realizes now that he has wasted so much of his life and he is agonizing right now if he should leave and have at least a few years of a marriage that is what marriage is supposed to be where both partners crave physical intimacy. <br />
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Its really nice that you and your hubby get along so well, but marriage without intimacy is just a piece of paper allowing you to file jointly. <br />
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GO GET A LIFE. CHOOSE LIFE NOT MERELY EXISTENCE! What message are you sending your daughters? Do you think they are unaware that daddy doesn't touch mommy except when he's trying to pass for 'normal' in public?? Is he affectionate with your girls? Or can he be affectionate if the expectation of sex is not there? In any case you need counciling to help you discover that you are worth better than this, and the support to go get it.

Thank you, Frostbear, for your kind words. You are right. I do tend to blame myself and that doesn't make anything better. I just get myself worked up and he doesn't notice. You hang in there, too!

I feel for you klp. I know where you are coming from. I have been married 26 years and the same things with my wife. I have no suggestions unfortunately. I have tried everything from taking as much work around the house away from her to therapists and no solutions. I feel for you and I wish you good luck. The one thing you have to remember is you are still the same person so trust that it isn't you. Got to keep your sanity.