So thanks to some of the great advice here on the SM forum of EP, I decided not to wait and talk to my wife about my ongoing concerns.

We did this two nights ago, after she had gotten back from a little trip. As a professional musician, her instrument has not been sounding right and given the delicate and precise nature of it (from the 1860s), there are only a couple of music stores with the expertise to service it in the country, and unfortunately the nearest one to us is 6 hours away by car. So, I told her that I would deal with the kids on Friday and that she should take the day and go get it taken care of. Even booked her a nice hotel on Priceline because I thought if the shop didn't get done in time she'd be driving back in the dark, and 12 hours on the road is a lot for one day.

So she gets back on Saturday night, our boys are ecstatic to see her, as am I, we give each other big hugs, hold hands while we sit outside watching our boys play after dinner, everything seems right in the world.

We get the boys off to bed, and we settle down for our evening chat/snuggle in bed. She tells me how amazing her trip was and how thankful she is to me that I let her do it and get her instrument back in shape. I told her it was nothing, that I'm glad it worked out. All the while I'm caressing her backside, which has always been my way of letting her know i'm in the mood. She looks at me apologetically and says "sorry...was planning on that when I got back, but Aunt Flo is in town". I'm a little taken aback, because we've done it plenty of times (not everything, obviously) when Aunt Flo was in town and it never bothered her before. So, in the spirit of openness and communication that we both agreed to a month ago, I call her on it, at which point she says "well, it's just making me very tired." Which again I found the past Aunt Flo had made her very cranky, but never really all that tired, in fact just before she came home that day she had gone for a hike to the top of the mountain in a national park near where her hotel was by herself, which hardly seems like the behavior of someone who was tuckered out.

At this point, I feel guilty about potentially making an issue out of nothing, but I ask her point blank if there is something else wrong, that although I feel that most things we've been working on in our marriage that we talked about a month ago (not arguing in front of the kids, having open and constant communication, showing other aspects of physical intimacy and affection besides sex) have been going great, but that this was the one area that hadn't improved. She didn't get upset, but insisted that it really was just her being tired and that she would make it up to me, and to trust her and take her at face value.

So I let it drop..the boys both slept great that night, so we all got good sleep for once. Sunday was great, had a wonderful time at Church and then she took my older son to a birthday party while I took my younger son home for a nap and special time with me. Happy full day, but not overly tiring. So, figure after we settle down, should be a pretty sure thing. During snuggle time we chat about the birthday party they were at, and the upcoming week for both of us. I notice that she is holding my hand but keeping the rest of her body away from me, which again is unusual for the past several weeks, we typically spoon during snuggle time. My heart sinks. Finally, she says she should go to bed, gives me a good night kiss (more perfunctory than usual) and turns over.

So I lie awake for a while, a bubbling cauldron of disappointment, despair and confusion. I feel ashamed for wanting it, but at the same time her actions don't mirror previous behavior or promises. I've looked into her eyes many times in the past few days to try to glean some sort of clue about what is going on in her head and can't really come up with anything aside from the fact that she is hiding something. Is she mad at me at confronting her about our SM and other issues and punishing me passive-aggressively? Perhaps. Is she cheating on me with someone else? No...don't think so, none of the warning signs of that are there (no unexplained absences, secretive phone calls/texts/computer use, no unexplained debit card charges or purchases since she lets me do all the finances).

But then I thought...maybe she is attracted to someone else and hasn't acted on it? And then it hit me...maybe it was because she wasn't even aware of that attraction or admitted it to herself? I remember several times she commented how throughout her life women have been attracted to her, how she was propositioned once in high school and several times in college, but she says she never acted on it. We had a good laugh about it at the time, from what I remember she seemed serious about not being interested in relationships with women, but I wasn't really paying all that much attention to her actual reaction at the time.

I have no experience in this area, all the gay people I know at work and through my social circles have known from the beginning, none were closeted and realized this after they were in heterosexual relationships or marriages. Wondering if anyone here on EP has experienced an SM due to their partner being gay, and if so what are the signs and how did you confront them about it?

Also, feel free to offer some other explanation of why my wife would appear to be working hard on all other aspects of our relationship except this one, which I clearly told her was a showstopper for me. It's looking more and more like the "reset sex" we had a month ago was exactly that, and I truly am married to a refuser. Very confused...
ThankfulDude ThankfulDude
41-45, M
10 Responses Aug 18, 2014

On any given occasion there are tons of true and legitimate reasons why someone might not want to have sex. A hike, plus six hour drive, plus period - yeah, she might have really been tired and not feeling keen on sex that night. In a normal relationship a refusal like that wouldn't be a big deal, you might feel disappointed - but it would pass. It's only through the pattern of behaviour over a while and not a single night that we see these things. The pattern here doesn't suggest that she's 'working on it' at all. But I wouldn't get too obsessed over an individual episode.

That isn't to say that I haven't done the same. Still I say step back. You've had The Talk and in the month since she said she'd work on it, it sounds like you've had sex zero times. That's what I'd be more worried about.

That's a good perspective. I am more worried that this episode was an inflection point, and that overall we still haven't done anything about it otherwise.

That's fair enough. It definitely sounds like a continued example of 'not working on it'

Yup...pretty much.

Very well written, thanks.
Why chasing is a very time consuming pastime, and as you know we do need our hobbies to compensate for the lack of an active sex life.
Due to your "opposite work schedules", and different professional social groups, she could be hooking up with someone, or she could be infatuated with someone who has not returned interest at this point. She could also be planning on serving you divorce papers, so that she could move in with the love of her life.
My wife was a member of women's sports teams for the first couple of decades of our marriage, and these sports teams had away tournaments and lesbians who liked to hook up. Certainly in wonder why, I considered if my wife was switching teams.
My wife was off work during sometimes I was working, and there were other times I had a lot of overtime. Male acquaintances would hit on her, and I assumed I knew only a small fraction of those attempts. Certainly I wondered if those opportunities might be THE cause.
However I realized that all that didn't matter, what was important was my relationship with her, and key to that was communication, which in a sexless marriage is far less than good.
You can start by asking a few questions. "Are you mad at me?". "Are you happy?". "What can I do to make things better?"
Now the key thing here is eye contact, body language (less than 10% communication is verbal), and your intuition that tells you your wife is being less than truthful. Don't try this in one big talk, and don't do this when you two are not looking at each other. Instead, when you do have eye contact, ask a question or two and let the conversation flow for a bit, and then wait for another time. This may not give you the why you are chasing, but it will give you the how for your relationship.

Something2talkabout: Was your wife involved in softball? I ask because softball teams are popular with lesbians in my area (and apparently in many areas). In fact many lesbians seem to meet their partners while playing softball. Another sport that seems to attract lots of lesbians is roller derby.

What they really need is women's rugby!!

To answer the question: "Was your wife involved in softball?"
yes she was, but not as much as other sports. Most of these women's sports had quite the number of lesbians, as many of the women (sports liking, whatever orientation) liked to be active year around. They were not in the leagues to hook up with women, none of them had any problems in that area, they were in the leagues to play sports.

Thanks for the thoughts. I definitely have asked her pointedly the happiness and anger questions, and she has given me the answers I want. She is looking at me directly and making eye contact during those Q&A sessions so I think she is being truthful, but I am detecting just something slightly off, so it may be something subconscious. Hopefully things that may come out at therapy.

Prolonged eye contact may not indicate truthfulness.

"People tend to look at people or things that they like and avoid eye contact with people and things they don’t like. Liars must overcome the natural urge to avoid eye contact with their lie target to make themselves believable. Consequently, liars tend to overcompensate by maintaining longer eye contact. This behavior stems from the generally held belief that liars avoid eye contact, a lesson most people learned from their parents.....

"Commonly held beliefs about eye contact and deception convolute our ability to detect deception. Research shows that eye aversion is not a reliable indicator of deception, yet people rely on the commonly held but erroneous belief that liars avoid eye contact. In order to be believed, liars must make deliberate eye contact, which, ironically, is not a dependable cue to detect deception." 201403/how-detect-liar

I play a sport that attracts a lot of lesbians. I shower nude with lesbians after matches, one of my very closest friends is a lesbian and we are very affectionate. And I am also affectionate with a number of my lesbian teammates and, if I know them well, their girlfriends (e.g. hugs, etc). I don't want to sleep with any of them.It's always a possibility somebody is playing for the other team - and I do know of straight women who have occasionally dabbled at post-match or tournaments. But really, I think this is very unlikely in general.

Thanks for the perspective. I'm thinking it's a remote possibility too...most of her friends from her musical circles are also married moms with small kids too, no lesbians that I know of. Seems like if they dominated her social circle and she was spending a lot more time out with them it would be more telling.

That's not necessarily true that if she were lesbian she'd be hanging out with lots of them. For instance, I have lots of lesbian friends and am straight.

There are married moms with kids who are gay. Many of my lesbian friends have been married to men and had kids by their ex husbands. I also know some bisexual women who are married to men and also have monogamous relationships with women.

I've found that people in the arts tend to be more broad minded and flexible about their love arrangements than are people in other professions or who have other avocations.

Yup, very true. She has aunts that are married, so it's definitely not a problem for her. So far though I have no evidence that she is into this so I will just stop speculating until she gives me some reason to believe it is actually happening.

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I don't know if anyone else out there has brought this up yet or not.. But maybe she just isn't in the mood. I am a very affectionate person. I love giving back rubs and caresses to my husband. I love him more than anything... But when it comes to sex. It's just not something I care for. No real reason, just not a favorite past time. I didn't always be this way, but as I get older the drive is going down. Just putting it out there.

Discomfited: Do you turn your husband down frequently because you're not in the mood? Would you not get pleasure from pleasing him? Does it bother you at all that when you reject him, he probably feels hurt and unworthy? If you agree to have sex when you're not in the mood, do you find that you'll get into the mood once you engage in lovemaking? I've read that lots of women erroneously feel they have to get in the mood to make love, but the reality is participating in lovemaking is what gets many people in the mood.

Actually no, in almost all accounts. I have to remind myself he need sex and force myself to perform for him. I don't get aroused. I don't enjoy it. I very rarely reject him but luckily I'm married to a man who never initiates anything. I can take him from start to finish and never feel anything. Some women are like that. It's not that I don't love him, it's that sex just is not important to me. Lucky for him I'm a good performer.

Discomfited: Have you ever talked to a sex therapist or read any books like the following one so you can find out how to experience sexual pleasure:

"For Yourself," By Lonnie Barbach. "For Yourself offers a step-by-step program developed by an acclaimed sex therapist with years of experience in the field. With an emphasis on clear, factual advice, simple, effective exercises, and a warm, reassuring tone, it helps women discover a new world of fulfillment - for themselves. Voted #1 self-help book across over a dozen national surveys totaling 5,000 psychologists by the National Register of health service providers in psychology. "

That's nice of you to try to help us, but we are fine. I was just giving you another view. It's ok to just not like sex.

It may not be OK for your husband that you don't like sex. Most men who aren't narcissists or selfish get a lot of pleasure out of giving pleasure to their partners, especially to a woman whom they love. Just look at the comments by the men refusers here. Getting starfish sex doesn't make them happy.

Perhaps, but given that we used to have such an active life before our kids (and even more so during their incubation) makes me wonder why this would just suddenly disappear. Again, could be hormonal but I can't say for sure since she keeps putting off going to see the OB.

If it bothered her, she'd be running to get help. Seems like she's happily living the life she wants....

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It doesn't matter why she's not having sex with you. Knowing why won't change the fact that you are in a sexless marriage. The why you should be thinking about is why you are willing to stay in a marriage without sex.

you are right in saying the 'why' doesn't change the truth... but we still want to know the truth. Kinda helps moving on or doing something about it. It's like working towards a closure after turning a stone for the gazillionth time.

You can never fully know or understand someone else's why because you did not live their life and do not live in their thoughts and feelings all day. It's funny, but we proclaim we love our spouses yet chasing someone else's why has some selfishness to it. We need to know why for our own comfort even if our spouse doesn't want us to know. That's not meant to be insulting, but it's meant to be eye opening to our own actions in the process. The actions of a refusing spouse explain why, but few choose to see it until they are ready.

I understand the process though because I've been through it. It does take time and there are many great lessons to be learned in the process.

I accept you have a point here, which made me think that my H. for the past 8 years blames his 'getting older' as a reason.
I have not told this to anyone, but I found some sexual stuff he has drawn by clipping photos of women, drawing his penis on it and talking to an ex girlfriend.

I apologized and told him I saw those. He went so angry on me for snooping in his stuff.. and he was right, but I just wanted to know.
And yes.. I still don't know the answer, which wouldn't change the outcome anyway.

And as you pointed out, we claim we love our spouses and yet chase someone else... and I will add to the process by saying, we go thus far to lie to ourselves that is what we want actually... to keep our beloved spouse.

It's crazy what we put ourselves through isn't it.

For me it is because I love our family life with our kids and for the most part our parenting has not suffered due to our issues, if anything it's because we did the typical no-no of putting their needs first before ours, and then did not talk about our mutual wants and expectations. I threw down the gauntlet on that a month ago, so it's a work in progress. I don't think we've had enough time or done enough (i.e. counseling/therapy) yet to throw in the towel and think this is not fixable. So for me it's more about living up to my own realization that I was NOT talking to her about my frustrations and concerns, tackling that head on and if her response is less than satisfactory with my immediate honesty, to go from there.

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I don't see any signs she is cheating with anyone, much less anyone of the same sex. Maybe she just has a low sex drive. It sounds like you have a great marriage otherwise. How often are you having sex and how often do you want to have sex?

Up until we had our "reset sex" about a month ago when I first confronted her with our problems (not just the SM, other things too), about 3-4 times a year. I told her when I talked to her I wanted it at least weekly, obviously tailored if either of us were sick, out of town, etc.

"Also, feel free to offer some other explanation of why my wife would appear to be working hard on all other aspects of our relationship except this one, which I clearly told her was a showstopper for me. "

She works on things that she's willing to change. She doesn't work on sex because she likes not having sex with you.

"I remember several times she commented how throughout her life women have been attracted to her, how she was propositioned once in high school and several times in college, but she says she never acted on it. "

I have several gay friends -- male and female -- who were married to opposite sex partners, and sometimes it even took 2-3 marriages to opposite sex partners before they realized they were gay.

Some people are so ashamed of being gay that they choose to stay in a heterosexual marriage while living a secret gay life.

Still, you can keep chasing your wife's whys, which she is choosing -- and may continue forever -- to not tell you. Or you can take actions under your control to create the life you want. You can't change your wife. You don't control her. You can decide whether it's worth it to stay in the marriage. You can decide to divorce, stay and be celibate, or stay and cheat.

I know everything you say is true. I actually did offer a whole set of options in writing when I confronted her a month ago...this included:

1. Continuing to stay in marriage but a sexless one by agreement
2. Continuing to stay in marriage but being an open marriage (we see other people for sex, but keep it outside the house)
3. We get divorced
4. We stay in marriage bet work on having sex

She thought #1 was stupid, was highly offended by #2, didn't want #3 and said she wanted #4. But I'm not so sure now.

Cheating really isn't an option for me, my body follows my head and heart, can't be in too places at once.

I worry about what #3 will do to my boys, but as many other posts here have said, a broken marriage is already a broken home....better for our boys to live apart with two happy parents than together with one or two miserable ones.

She obviously is not being honest with you. If she wanted 4, she'd be taking action to pursue it. She wants to be married for reasons that are probably selfish and therefore she won't share them with you. She more than likely will tell you she loves you, but her actions say she doesn't love you as a wife loves a husband.

Why would you even propose an open marriage when what you want is to be married to a person whom you love and have sex with? If that's what you want -- and that is what most refused who come to ILIASM want-- the only way you'll likely get that is by divorcing and thereby setting yourself free to have the kind of relationship you want.

Individual therapy also would be important so you don't end up in another dysfunctional relationship.

The offer for an open marriage was really more of a fact finding mission on my part, probably misguided. Needless to say it won't be an option, so to therapy I go.

Interesting that you were kind enough to ask her to open the marriage since it's sexless. When she turned you down on that offer, you're going to therapy (which is very appropriate because you need the support). Meanwhile, she has -- without your permission -- created a sexless marriage, and she's doing nothing to address it.

It is obvious your wife is VERY aware of the situation.

I feel, I have written so much on these boards and I am vary of putting out the comment saying, there is the possibility she was with someone that day.
6 months post baby? That makes me think she might not have been but everyone is different.
Why would one want to WORK on getting sex back??
Doesn't make sense to me. It is either there or not.

Hm, fair enough. I guess I will be extra vigilant...if she was cheating on me I'm sure she would be extraordinarily careful, she knows she has a good financial situation going with me. And she's very smart, so maybe she's found another way to do it, email accounts I don't know about where they send codes, etc. Sure hope not...but then again, we don't run in the same circles because I'm an IT guy and she's a musician, so it's very possible for her to keep any FWB out of sight and out of mind.

I guess I could call the hotel and ask if there was anyone that asked for her room at the front desk or called her room number that night...the card that paid for the hotel room is under my name so I should be able to say something about seeing some unexplained charges.

There are privacy laws. They wouldn't tell you.

Yup...just found that out. Oh well.

Whether or not she's having an affair, she still is showing no interest in having sex with you. She could even be asexual. The bottom line is that you are married to a woman who doesn't want to be a real wife. You can not change her. You can change your life.

Across the past 5 to 6 years, I have tried all of those options, in sequence.
First, we tried "celibacy" - unspoken. She cheated. That's an interesting one in light of your suspicions. Whether or not she "acts" on it, it's kind of that she wants to, isn't it? The notion that the key to satisfaction lies outside of you. What does that mean to you? Whether it's another person, or whether it simply isn't you? At the end of my own Odyssey, I had to decide what it meant to me that my wife didn't want ME, regardless of what she did elsewhere.
If she said she "wanted" #4, what was her game plan to DO it? Did she think it would just happen? Is she making choices that are consistent with that approach? Because tired or no, when you think back to people who you want to have sex with - you make the time when you are tired because it is not an emotionally depletive activity. It's a lovely thing to do before sleeping, or any time really.
It seems from what you've written that she is well aware of the stakes, the options, and that this is IMPORTANT. But she's still unwilling to be intimate with you, knowing that. What does that mean to you?

Very good point...It almost seems to me at this point that my ultimatum was more of a shock to her system to realize that she doesn't want to be with me sexually and has just not figured out how to extricate herself while maintaining her standard of living. She very clearly cannot support herself (or our kids) with her current amount of work, so she may just be biding her time, doing research on our state's alimony and child support laws as well as finding other ways to increase her income. I did notice that she mentioned several auditions coming up for other musical groups in the next several weeks that she had not mentioned before that she wanted to take, which was odd to me because they usually announce those far in advance and they take a lot of preparation to get ready for (usually a month or two).

Dude: You'd be wise to be doing your own research into divorce. Seems like your wife is getting her life in order....

Yup, planning on it...luckily I have a legal assistance program through my work.

Another red flag.
When my wife cheated, the way she gave herself permission - so as to make herself a victim - was that she had felt "broken" and "frigid" in her role with me. She used to sneer, in therapy when she said that, as if I had cast her in that role --something that she had a lot of control over.
So, when opportunity arose and another man, in a position of trust, began to pursue her and she felt something for him, she managed to pretzel-twist her logic into rediscovering her sexuality with someone else, so as to eventually bring it back to me. Except that latter part didn't really happen -she just cut off from me altogether.
Be a supportive husband! Ask her to sign her audition numbers for you, the night before. Drop her off!
Also, please be aware, if you even spoke about opening up, that often seems to be eagerly snatched up as a ticket to cheat. "I thought you were doing it anyway!!" my wife told me. Except I wasn't at the time, and she didn't ask, and the not asking made it not "open".

Here's another take on the options.

HER options are:

1) find a way to meet her spouse's needs. This means DOiNG. Not talking
2) release her spouse from the requirement of monogamy and allow you to meet your own needs elsewhere
3)leave you
4) keep you there. Insist on monogamy (celibacy) and do nothing to meet your needs.

Your options
1)Stay and accept
2) stay and get your needs met elsewhere (with or without her permission)
3) Leave

Yup, good analysis. For her options, she is definitely telling me she is doing 1, but is really doing 4 right now, and maybe secretly planning on 3. She says 2 is not an option and I believe her. For my options, I will only do #1 if she selects option 1, I couldn't do #2 for my own sanity. #3 is my choice for everything else she could select.

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You told her it was a show stopper.

I would say starts the process of bailing on this before your children learn to be the same.

It won't matter what is happening or happened with her.

It's you that needs to deal loved and equally valued.

Certainly is an option, thanks for the opinion. Think I'll see where we're at once we've tried counseling.

Read the stories here. It's fine to try counseling, which can work if BOTH partners are interested in addressing their sexless marriage.

In many situations described in ILIASM, the refuser only goes into counseling to look like they're addressing the problem, but while they may show up in counseling, they don't talk about the sexlessness nor do they take actions that end the sexlessness.

My refuser was like that. He came to counseling late, talked about trivia, and when we went away for a planned weekend in which we'd finally have sex, he -- for the first time in our marriage -- totally stopped speaking to me! Of course, as a result of that, we had no sex.

Yup, that is in my back of my mind as a possibility, but I need to do everything I can to save this, both for myself and my family.

I understand why you're doing it. Just put a deadline on improvements, and don't accept crumbs -- kisses or cuddles -- as meaning that you now have the marriage you want. I've seen that happen here. Some refused get thrilled with crumbs of affection and then feel their sexless marriage has been solved when meanwhile their refuser still is refusing....

I totally agree and will take that to heart...I think it's a little too soon to say that yet, but I will keep up the pressure and it will become readily apparent soon I think.

Metta... just what you said on getting thrilled with crumbs and affection and meanwhile thinking their sexless marriage has been solved... WOW!!!

That is highlight hit of phrase for me today.

Thanks you... many hugs, my metta woman! :))
You you formed my wordless thoughts into words. So well put.

Counseling is a good idea the biggest difficulty is weather or not she'll sign up for dealing with her individual problems.

Usually individual therapy is best and then couples after that.

I tried marriage counseling and I was just being blasted with everything I was doing wrong and would not do this, would not do that, blah blah blah.

My psychologist told me whenever she's just doing the blame game she's not owning her problems in the relationship then it would not help and therefore you're better off not to waste your money.

Consider doing therapy for your own benefit if it turns out that she dives into it you have somewhere to start otherwise you need to go ahead and proceed with learning what it will take to get out of the relationship through legal, managing the division of property, and etc.

sounds like you established some sort of boundary that the lack of intimacy would be a show stopper.

I set a boundary with my now ex. she used to threaten to divorce or separate and I told her if she threatened me with it again that I would grant her wish.

Well she crossed that boundary and I was out the door the next day.

I felt like I had been untrue to myself for so long and that if I was going to set such a firm boundary and then not hold to it then I'm just giving myself away even more.

Being true to myself set me free from such dysfunction.

I loved my wife she just could not love me and she proved it for so long and I gave up on the lies of being happily married.

Thanks for the perspective...I am definitely trying for therapy first. At this point I don't think I'm actually going to tell her it's happening as I'm sure that will set off another set of distractive conversations. Everything I'm sensing now seems to be pointing at she is trying to figure out her exit strategy while ostensibly making it look like she is working on our issues in good faith.

In terms of what? Recognizing that I need therapy, or just how bad things have gotten?

It wasn't really as bad as I thought. I knew that I would not miss my ex just due to the fact she was not participating in the relationship anyway and I spent a lot of my time alone.

Mine was the fear of the money the loss of property , income, stability and etc.

My ex has a sister that's one of the greatest divorce attorneys in the area and I just knew that she would work me over in a court room.

She had moved a way and I still feared it due to all of her connections with attorneys locally here.

I hired the most expensive female attorney in town and she was a real bulldog and there was no way that her attorney was going to get any ground on what they were trying to accomplish that day.

She wanted 2,700 for life and I walked out with everything split in the middle and 750 a month for two years.

I got what I wanted out of the house and the whole reason why she got the $750 was due to she cannot draw on my pension until I reach 55.

Passive aggressive people whenever you put them in this type of position they fight and fortunately I had a stronger fight. She lied in a court room without being a real good liar and it was obvious to all she she could not get pull it off! I had my day in court!and it was fun.

I look back and wonder why did I wait?

It cost me more then it had to and I lost myself over that relationship for over ten years!

Is it really worth worrying and staying in a bad relationship over fear?

No absolutely not!

If it's wrong for you learn why and speak the right path to guide you where you can actually live.

My knowledge if my exes personality, mine as well and the dysfunction that was going on gave me the power to make change for me.

Knowledge is power!

Sorry typo! It's best for you to learn why things are going wrong in your path and make change so you can actually live

Yea her attorney went for the ridiculous in the courtroom. I just had a better attorney and when a judge reads that your being lied to then things don't go well for you.

My attorney expected me to get 1,200 to 1,800 for 9 to 12 years.

Nothing like the judge hitting the gavel on the stand and my attorney getting my attention and slapping a very loud and painful High Five in front of them!

Loved it!

Not to interested in a soul mate. I have not ever been single. My parents encouraged me to marry when I was 18 and after two relationships and loss of property/money I am just not interested in the idea. Maybe some years from now. I do hang out with my neighbor a lot. As a matter of fact she it taking a nice 10 day vacation with me here this month. She is a fun gal and does not crowd me. Were good for each other and I am not willing to change the dynamics of things.

He did not get lucky. He correctly assessed his options, and then he made an excellent exit plan that included getting -- and paying for -- an excellent lawyer.

Oh I tell you I had fun dealing with the divorce! I just wanted out, was going to give it all away and walk away. Fortunately my psychologist had my attention. He convinced me to fight a harder fight. We went in to chambers to hash out possessions and I gave my list to my attorney and she went across the hall and they slashed the **** out of it and when I looked at it I said , Ann I want everything on this list and I will get it! She told me that I probably would spend more in legal fees then what it would be worth. My reply was Ann I don't care! Go over there and tell them what I said because I will be glad to be here all day today and tomorrow if it takes it! Well she rolled her eyes and came back with most of it approved and my reply was either take me seriously or we can keep this going! I got everything and more then what I originally told the ex that I wanted! My anger and resentment was a great aid in dealing with it. My last words to my ex was you are your mothers daughter and if weren't for her teaching you to be narcissistic and so engulfed with passive aggression you would just might be a decent person and that is why you have 80 foot of snake in you instead of intestine and until you **** that thing out you will never be right!

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There is always a real reason they are not interested in sex, and there are and endless number of possibilities. Based on what you've said I'd guess that she feels that since you've had kids she no longer sees sex as being necessary, it's served it's purpose in your relationship and now it's not needed. Don't ask me why I feel that way, I may be totally wrong, it's just a gut feeling after reading your story. I don't normally make predictions but I suspect she will continue to give you sex when she feels pressure to do so but she wont be into it.

Sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you can get some traction with your situation. Just remember, the only person you can change is you, but your changes can influence others.

Thanks brother, that is something that I have considered. Hard to take as she is a wonderful mother, great to talk to about everything else, and if I was in emotional distress about other things she is sure to be there. For instance, I have a schizophrenic mother who never approved of our relationship (was not invited to our wedding) that I have to fly out and deal with every now and then when she goes off her meds, and she's always been very supportive of that, she's cancelled work appointments of her own so she can deal with the kids while I'm off dealing with my mom, and never held that over my head. I know couples that AREN'T in an SM that don't have that kind of support, which is why it breaks me that she can be such a great wife in other areas but not this.

Your wife may be a very nice platonic friend, but since she's not willing to have sex with you or to address your sexless marriage, she's not a good wife. Sex is a normal and expected part of marriage.

Harsh, but looking more and more like the truth. Thanks

I understand. My wife is supportive of me in a number of other ways, including my Parkinson's Disease which isn't easy. But she's failing me in one big way. If she wasn't a great mother and wife a decision to leave would be easy, however much like your situation it's not that easy.

Sorry to hear...if any of this was easy to figure out we wouldn't all be here sharing, right?

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I had a time when I had a crush on someone but did not act on it. However, that would show a sign of depression, absent mindedness and sometimes over excitement.
Once a month is the clue unless there is physically something wrong with your wife, which she probably would have mentioned.

Yeah, don't think she shows any of the signs. Again, I might be overthinking this and it really could be Aunt Flo, perhaps combined with other hormonal issues...she did only stop breastfeeding our youngest son 6 months ago, from what I read the hormonal changes may take up to that long to go away. I've been pressuring her to go see an OB/GYN for quite some time now as she is way overdue (been 2 years since she's been, basically her final postpartum checkup after our younger son was born).

When we had our baby, my H and I were hardly able to wait out the 6 weeks post period. But that was my experience and in yours it might be different.

Actually when my wife was pregnant both times we probably had the best sex life we've had in recent memory...her hormone response was to be in the mood almost all the time, and I admitted to her early in our relationship that I have sort of a pregnancy fetish, so she capitalized on that a lot, even up to a week before delivery both times. And then after that and the 6 weeks post partum, the well dried up...I chalked it up to fatigue for the first 6 months each time (our boys both were terrible sleepers and had really bad reflux)

There are many refused here who are married to spouses who only had sex to have children. In probably most of the situations, that became obvious only after the family had decided that they had enough children.

If you wife's alleged lack of libido bothered her, she'd be going to the doctor without your pressuring her. She'd be as interested in getting help for herself as she was interested in getting her musical instrument fixed.

Time for you to recognize that she is content and happy having a sexless marriage.

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It would be worth if for you to get into individual therapy so you can clarify your thinking and figure out the actions you can take to create a more fulfilling life for yourself. You can't change your wife. Obviously, too, your wife now is sexually averse to you and is not willing to tell you why. You may never know why because it may be to her advantage not to let you know.

For instance, she may have fallen out of love with you, but may be staying married for the sake of the children or because of the comfortable life she enjoys with you. She may have fallen in love with someone else -- whether or not she has acted on that love. She may have been faking sexual pleasure with you for years, but now may be unwilling to continue a charade.

What you wrote here is an example of why individual therapy could be of of help to you. There is nothing wrong with desiring to have sex with your wife. Sex is what makes marriage different from a roommate situation. It also is something that is normal and healthy. Your feeling ashamed of sexually desiring your wife is the result of living with a woman who is acting like something is wrong with you for wanting to make love to the woman whom you vowed to have and to hold, and who made that same vow to you.

" I feel ashamed for wanting it, but at the same time her actions don't mirror previous behavior or promises."

Thanks Mettamomma, your responses as always are well thought out and extremely helpful.

I have considered that she is in it only for our lifestyle and our kids. She gets to pursue her profession which I support wholeheartedly as it is obviously an important part of who she is, but from a purely monetary perspective is completely unnecessary (she is not employed full time, is a freelancer, and I am salaried and make more than 10x her yearly income)

Individual therapy is definitely something I think I need to do this point, as well as other things to make me feel better about myself. I've always prioritized my kids needs and wife's needs above my own, and as a result I am unhappy in other areas. I used to be a swimmer in high school and college and in very good shape, while now I only get to the gym once or twice a week and it shows - I'm about 20 lbs heavier than when I graduated from college. I've been supportive of my wife's marathon running, which she set as a goal after having our second child to get back in shape, and it has worked wonders, she actually is in better shape than when she first met me as a 21 year old.

Also, I have no other interests and hobbies I pursue outside of my wife and kids. My wife has her running, and frankly her work as a musician IS her interest in a lot of ways. For me it was always videogaming, but I limited that since I can only do that once the kids are in bed, and she always pouted about that (she always made fun of it too even when we were dating and married without kids). But, I have to admit that it is a source of enjoyment for me and that I need to do something I like to do, even if it has to be scheduled.

MelancholyDude, yes creating some kind of experiences in real life -- outside of what you do with your wife and kids -- would be important whether or not you choose to stay in the marriage.

I also suggest that you change your name to something that provides a more optimistic view of yourself. How we name ourselves and how we think of ourselves is what we become. For instance, BraverthanIthink used to call herself here Ohtheagony. One name would have left her stuck. The other empowers her to do what she's now doing -- taking giant steps to create a more fulfilling life for herself.

I will definitely think on that...might take me a while given my current mental state :)

Changing your name to something even like MellowMan would help change your mental state.

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