Frustrated Because of No Physical Intimacy In My Marriage

My husband and I have been married for 8 years, and don't have any children. He's a great guy in every way except our private life. For several years he's had diabetes and started having ED soon after we were married - but I think he already had it in a small measure even before we met. My sex drive is pretty high but he has no interest or desire at all and it's been years since we've had any kind of physical contact at all. I would be happy if we had some sort of intimacy at least once a week, or at least a few times a month..... actually I'd be happy if we had Something, Anything! Even just holding and cuddling would be great, but he doesn't like any of that. I really miss the physical affection - like hugs, touching each other, kissing (I haven't had a real kiss for years....), and the whole experience and sensation of being close to a person you're in love with.

Looking at us, no one suspects that we have any problems. I have girlfriends but I find it hard to confide about this to them. In many ways my husband and I have a good relationship - we like each other a lot, share interests and do things together. There are so many things that I love about our life but sex is a big part of married life, and it is a big deal for me. I understand that its hard for him to function, what with the diabetes and the meds. And it cannot possibly be cured so its not going to go away. But I also think that there are options and that its very unfair on his part to ignore me and not do anything. Sometimes I think that I'm being selfish in having so much and still wanting this one thing he can't give me, but I'm really desperate.

There are a lot of responses here and on some other sites for problems like this but I don't know if any of it will really make a difference. I'm quite certain that my husband won't change. I used to try to talk to him till a few years back but he just avoided the whole issue altogether and wanted both of us to go on as if there's nothing wrong - which is what I've been doing till now. But not having any sex is now bothering me to such an extent that I think of it all the time; almost to the point of being obsessed with it. Divorce is not an option;  an affair may be.....

shykitte shykitte
46-50, F
20 Responses Mar 5, 2009

Thank you for sharing. I know exactly what you are feeling. Giving you a cyber hug and kiss on your neck.

Thank you, it's much appreciated! ☺️

My pleasure :)

Intimacy in marriage is not too much to ask for............Shouldn't even have to ask !!!

Sadly, marriage seems to be the last place to find it though.

So true Shyone

Wow girl you wrote this just a few months after I showed up here. Back then I was Fyayldt and I stayed that way for almost two years until I morphed into WarriorPoett. I get what you are saying and I understand about physical disability most thoroughly but the truth is as you say there are ways and means of getting the job done if you have the proper motivation and he is definitely lacking in that department.

But ED often causes men to completely shut down sexually because they have lost all confidence in themselves. But there are remedies available men can get implants that allow them to have sex there is one that has an inflatable insert that makes everything quite usable and other types as well. But he would have to see a specialist to get it done right and he would also have to man up and accept responsibility.

Maybe that's not practical for your situation no one knows that but you and him. But you certainly have my sympathy and if you need someone to talk to then message me. I wrote a book called Sexless Marriages & Other Relationship Disasters back in 2010 it has been reissued several times and is now in it's fourth edition so I have done years of research on this subject.

As you know I also have my own set of experiences. But anyway I hope someday that you do find a way to be happier.

I saw your book - and the other books. When I have some pocket money, you shall have coffee money, lol.

My husband is a good person. I do love him. Like you said, he's completely shut down sexually. Someone else told me that years ago as well.

But we're good friends and we have great camaraderie so living with him is not unbearable. I am happy in a lot of ways. There are times where I miss having a love of my life, but I try not to think about it. It was never how I envisioned myself living, because I'm deeply giving and capable of a long lasting intense and passionate love. Your poetry made me cry - because so much of it resonated with my own life.

We don't have kids but when my nieces and nephews visit, I get very clingy to them just for human contact - and not getting any, I guess. 😕

I don't think the implants would be practical. It would mean surgery and we foot our own health insurance which I doubt will cover that. Besides that, he has 5 cardiac stents and surgery might not be safe; I definitely don't want to endanger his life for anything.

I don't need sympathy but it's good to vent to a friend. Most of the advice I see on EP is to leave, but that's not a choice for me. I haven't said much on EP lately because I feel like everyone would be berating him and questioning me on staying. But I can't leave, the cost would be way too high.

Somehow I understand what your saying perfectly. I complain about my wife mostly from frustration I think she's not the archetype evil refuser tying me to a chair and beating me with a whip or something. She's just so passive most of the time it's a lot like being alone. She doesn't have much of a sense of humor but in spite of that I still keep her entertained. I'm a bit of a whack job I suppose but it's kind of like I have ADD on steroids. I jump from one thing to another very quickly and she seems to find that somewhat entertaining even though she is mystified by my thought process.

I get it that your husband has issues and health can certainly play a role but the basic problem for both of us seems to be that these people we are married too just don't care about whether we are happy or not. There are lots of ways to accomplish sexual satisfaction without even involving a penis but that requires imagination and from years of observation it appears to me that perhaps that is one key factor in sexless marriages these people cannot imagine anything outside themselves so they don't have a clue about what someone else might need or want. Even telling them directly has little effect because they don't take such things seriously.

I'm pretty much stuck where I am by several factors finances is one issue and my health is a big issue as well. I have a whole back full of steel rods and nerve damage too that makes moving around difficult not impossible just difficult. It also doesn't help that I don't get enough exercise but otherwise I don't have too much to complain about. It just bothers me because I can't do a lot of the things that I enjoyed before.


At one point I tried to talk to my husband about just holding me and maybe kissing me while I played with myself. I just wanted supportive affection and intimacy, even if not actual intercourse. But he just stayed silent and never did anything. Tried all my womanly wiles on him too, like pretending I needed help with a bra or asking him to check out a spot on my back - but none of it worked. He doesn't make physical contact at all. I don't think it's diabetes but some deep rooted thing combined with him shutting down sexually. His family - mom and siblings were like that too - they don't hug or like physical contact. But his dad was different. He liked to touch and hug and was still naughty minded at 87 when he passed away.

Did you read my reply to you on one of your posts that my first marriage was sexless too? After getting out of that one, the first thing I asked when I met my husband was if he liked sex. I told him about my first marriage and how important it was for me to have physical intimacy; and his reply was,"yes, of course!" But..... it's been totally sexless for the 13 of the 15 years we've been married.

So yes, you're absolutely right about them not having a clue and not taking things seriously. I'm so sorry about your being stuck and having those health issues. I work in the medical field so I understand how difficult it is.

Aha! I thought you might be a medical person. Your communication style is very clear and expressive. I empathize with you it's frustrating to the point of madness trying to get these dead heads to even notice we are alive. We used to call them Dead eyed Zombies among other things and that seems to be a fairly accurate description.

I think what has really hurt the most is that there is just no fun anymore the silly play that makes life so much easier is missing with these people. I have accused them of lacking imagination and I'm pretty sure that is a major component in why they turn into sexless doorknobs. It took me a very long time to give up trying I'm a touchy feely sort and that aggravated my wife no end because I would grab anything that got close enough. But what is really stupid about that is that when I had pretty much stopped trying then she complained because I wasn't doing that anymore. Dang people make up your minds. I think she liked the attention but just never wanted it to go any farther.

Well in a way being crippled up has given me several opportunities that I would never have had otherwise so it kind of balances out on the cosmic karma scale. I love to read and I've had plenty of time for that. I also love to investigate things that interest me and the Internet opened a whole world to me. I've met interesting people and done some really fun things. Ask me sometime about The Conwenchion in Dallas where my fan club WarriorPoett's Lusty Wenches got together for three days at a four star hotel and partied. Oddly enough there were even some male Wenches. Well maybe they should have been called something else I think we decided they were Knights.

There used to be a couple of very strange threads on here about our exploits. Stories about spanking wenches and other dastardly deeds. That's where the Bad Boys and the Bad Girls originated we teased each other unmercifully. But actually meeting some of the people was fantastic. I still maintain a mailing list for the Wenches and whenever I happen to write a new poem or story I send them a copy just for fun. It doesn't help book sales but that's not really what it's all about anyway. It's about having fun and fun is well worth the effort.

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I just ran across this post and noticed that it's very old. How did things turn out? You are way too young to give up being intimate if it's something that is important to you.

Thank you for writing. Things are still the same. I guess I've accepted that they won't change. For me, leaving him is not an option; not because I can't do it, but because I've considered a lot of factors and decided it's not what I want.

That having said, I've been trying to outsource and find a friend in a similar situation, but it's not easy. I did meet someone who would have been great, but he lives far away so that didn't work.

yes, outsourcing or taking matters into your own hands is the only way .

Wow, this thread is old and somehow revived. So hopefully this is still being read.

His problem is not ED. He still has fingers and a tongue. He can buy sex toys. The problem is he has no desire. Have you been to a urologist and checked whether his testosterone is low? I'm predicting it is.

The bigger problem for him is having diabetes. This is an extremely mean disease that will take his life away from him one cruel step at a time. And the thing is that it can be cured pretty easily without drugs, yet no one ever seems to care about doing the necessary things. The main thing is to get starch out of the diet. Go high fat, moderate protein. Eat lots of vegetables, which have nutrition but not much sugar. Get about one cup of fruit in morning and one cup at night, made up of just fruits that have simple sugars glucose and fructose and avoid fruits with much sucrose. Good fruits would be blueberries and blackberries for example. Bad fruits would be bananas and mangoes. Avoid all table sugar. Any sweetener required get from pure honey (which is mostly simple sugars). The most important thing is no starch: no rice, no bread, no potato, no wheat, no corn. Avoid table sugar sucrose.

Do those things and blood sugar will drop pretty rapidly. After blood sugar is held below 90 for a while, insulin will normalize. Then after about six months I am guessing the ED will improve as well.

Is he not doing much of anything to change his outcome?

Yes, the problem is that he has low testosterone levels, which is a side effect of the meds he takes. And he has been doing those things you described. He hardly eats carbs, has oats with fruits (and yes, blueberries) and nuts. His diet is mostly protocol He exercises regularly.

So to answer you, yes, he has been doing a lot to combat this disease, for over 15 years. He has more willpower than anyone I know. But it is a reality that we have to live with. It's not so easily cured or fixed, and it's with him for life.

Oats are starch. If he has the kind of willpower you suggest, have him read up on Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and go one step further and only eat fruits that contain very little sucrose. Blueberries and blackberries are great for that. Many fruits like bananas have lots of sucrose. Honey is okay in moderation.

I am prediabetic typically showing around 115 average glucose when I am eating starches. Off of starches entirely my blood sugar goes to 70 and stays under 85 consistently.

The problem is the starches like oats don't digest quickly and just keep feeding sugar to the system. If he lacks sucrase enzyme in the guy sucrose sugar won't digest well and he gets a slow trickle of that as well. What the SCD diet does is to raise sugar quickly because it only uses simple monosaccharides glucose and fructose and tries to avoid any more complex sugars that require enzymes to digest.

I have seen this do miracles to people, but it requires an ungodly steel-like will to study the diet, understand it, and implement it.

True, but his doctors recommend that he eat oats, which is low glycemic, good for keeping his LDL cholesterol levels low. And yeh, they explained about the fructose-glucose versus the sucrose thing too.

In any case, I don't know if things are not going to change just because he stops eating oats or not. And every person's physiology is different. But I'll recommend the SCD to him and let him decide.

All you can do is test, then record the result. You are right physiology is different, but remember that this disease is mostly about insulin resistance. If you stop the body from constant barrages of glucose it calms things down, for most people.

Not sure I trust doctors anymore. They never seem to cure people, just make drug companies rich.

I agree. I work in the medical field, and totally believe that doctors today are ignorant about so many things. I'm in imaging, and some of the doctors I work with have no clue about radiation poisoning. It's really terrible.

His diet is mostly protein, loads of vegetables, and fruits.**

Since he has fingers and a tongue, the problem is that he has no desire to use them to sexually please his wife. Having no sexual desire himself doesn't mean he would not care about her needs. He is selfish and unloving.

He's not selfish and unloving. It's one thing to say he is selfish about not pleasing me, but quite another to condemn him totally as being selfish and unloving. I wouldn't love him or be married to him if he was selfish and unloving.

If you're going to be supportive, please respect/be sensitive to the fact that this is someone I care about and who cares for me. He's not perfect, but one is perfect! Some options - like fingers and tongue - may work for other people but they may not work for him. I'd rather that he was involved sincerely than forcing himself to do things for me - that would be a huge turn off. And that sort of intimacy may never happen between us, given the nature of his problems.

My point is that if he truly cared about making you happy, he would find some joy in using his hands and or tongue to provide you with sexual fulfillment. He wouldn't totally deny I you sex just because he has ED.

Another option might be his being willing to open the marriage so that you could find sexual satisfaction elsewhere. He wouldnot force you to do without any kind of sex except self pleasure just because he cannot get hard.

Just like loving parents will take joy in taking kids to playgrounds even though the parents don't play, loving spouses who are unable to have intercourse take pleasure in giving their spouses joy by doing some kind of sexual activity with them.

PS: A caring friend tried to tell me that my refusing husband was selfish, but I didn't believe her. It took 10 years for me to wake up to the fact that he was being selfish and denying me my sexual needs, and he also had been selfish and other ways that I was denying. Now I'm out of that sexless marriage and I am with a man who is showing me what love is. I not only get sexual fulfillment from him, I also get emotional fulfillment that my ex had never provided.

@Metta: I agree with you but resent the fact that I have to agree with you. How weird is that? :)

I'll try to explain why I defend him.

Early on during the time he got ED, I tried to get him to be involved in some form of intimacy, like just kissing and maybe enjoying tactile contact. I thought that might lead to more but it just petered off. So I started disengaging myself from physical intimacy with him; to stop expecting it, and in a sense, letting him free. It helped our marriage because we stopped fighting. Once I "set him free," my relationship with him became better, and a great companionship. We always had good rapport with each other, finishing each other's sentences, liking the same entertainment, traveling and exploring places, having really good discussions about anything and everything. He takes care of me in ways I can't even begin to describe. I really am very attached to him, and he's very attached to me too. Severing that attachment would traumatize and scar us for the rest of our lives, and I'm not prepared to do that. Not to him, and definitely not to myself.

True, I'm sexually frustrated and unfulfilled. But looking around at my friends and co-workers and family who are married and in sexually active relationships, I find that they don't have it all either. People struggle with all kinds of problems, some of them much worse than being sexually unfulfilled.

I agree that marriage should mean that the people in it make each other happy - physically, emotionally, and mentally. Even if all those three requirements are fulfilled, no marriage or relationship is perfect. Some come close, which is like what you have now. For me, I have a strong relationship with my husband that I don't want to lose. It would break my heart.

At one point, we did talk about outsourcing, sort of like a joke. He didn't say it baldly in so many actual words, but I got the impression he understood why I would, and didn't want to know about it if I did.

That's where we are right now.

I absolutely agree with what you say in principle, and it's what I would say too to anyone going through a sexless and emotionally crippling marriage or relationship. Believe me when I tell you that I deeply admire you for everything you've accomplished and fought for to bring happiness to your life. And I appreciate every bit of advice and counsel you've cared enough to give.

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That sucks I'm right there with you but if he truly loves you you gotta come to some sort of middle ground. Just because he can't provide something to you shouldn't mean you have to go without. It's selfish and destructive. Hang in their the times they are a changin

I know this is quite old. 6 years, sheesh! You sound a lot like me in a way. A few times a month would be nice. She doesn't have the issues your husband has. Possibly just laziness or she thinks she controls our sex life, so give when she feels it's necessary.

It's been 6 years since this post so I don't know if anything has changed for you! I hope it has. A woman with a high sex drive is hard to find so hopefully your husband has changed and appreciates the woman you are.

Nothing has changed. It's not going to change. His health issues are not the kind that would go away. And he cannot change his nature to become physically more affectionate. I think realizing and accepting that was difficult for me. But also the first step towards finding someone for an outsourced relationship.

I hear that a lot. As far as he outsourcing. Has it helped put you in a better place? Fulfilling what's missing?

that post was almost 6 years ago, don't know if things improved or still as it is?

Things are still the same in my marriage. I did finally put myself out to find someone in the same situation (to have an affair) - that's the only thing that changed.

that exactly what I was going to advise you, to outsource.
hope you found someone who is good enough.

I found someone awesome, but he lives 5 hours away, lol. Just my luck! :P

something better than nothing.
you go to him or he comes to you?

He came. Just once. :(

only once!!!
is that once enough?

No, of course not. But it's not easy finding someone, then making secret plans to meet -- when you're married.

so you are living with this memory.
sure its not easy to outsource it with someone who is trustworthy and know what he is doing at same time.

I'm still looking... It's only a matter of time. :)

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Hi Shykitte,

I am sorry to hear about your circumstances and everybody's circumstances like this. You sound like a really decent person caught in one of those life "things" that is nobody's fault. Some people get a serious chronic illness, some people are injured in an accident with no negligence or intention, and so on.

You replied to someone recently with 3 options: divorce, mutually agree on outside relationship(s), or a secret relationship. Many years ago, I chatted briefly with a woman who was looking for a relationship outside of her marriage with the agreement of her husband, who just wasn't interested in sex even though they had a wonderful marriage/friendship/intimate relationship. She was open and upfront with me that she had no intention of leaving her husband who she loved and would love more than anyone else. She and he sounded like wonderful people. I was neither mature enough to handle such a relationship with her or make the logistics work out. We stopped chatting and I do not know what ever became of them . . . not her but them - he was still in the picture very much and sounded like he always would be. I hope so, for both their sakes.

If you find someone, make sure that they are truly mature and understand. You need to figure out what they need to understand so that you can communicate it. If your husband can stand it, can love you, can respect you, and you can honestly continue to love and respect him, you may be able to have a wonderful life.

If you can make it work, if you can both feel loved, that will be wonderful. He has to do the work, too. It is hard for me to imagine it, probably hard for many partners to imagine it, but he is responsible for both his illness and your relationship's intimacy just as you are responsible for sharing life with him. It sucks that he has this illness, but it isn't anyone's fault. There may be things that he could do in order to satisfy you and to exit his probably shame and victimhood. As hard as it is, he could grow incredibly. You too.

Good luck.

Daaaaammm! I thought I was the only one going thru that.....and I'm a man in that almost same fix ....bad thing about it is we just git married 2 yrs...ago .....please help .

Dear Waterman,
All I can say for certain is that things are not going to change. I've been posting since 2008, my problem existed years before that, and it hasn't gone away to this day. I did decide to stay in my marriage and also let go of the impossible hope that my husband and I would ever become intimate. It's very difficult for a person to change, and You cannot make them change either, not with any power on earth or heaven. That's what I've come to learn. It's an unfortunate thing, and I wish that it didn't happen to people like us, but it has. I don't know what you want to do about it, everyone's circumstances are different. I chose to stay in my marriage for a lot of good reasons. But I have begun to search for a lover outside my marriage. Not many people would understand it, many would condemn me for doing so. But it's my life, not theirs, and I choose it. I let my husband out of his responsibility towards me, which has made our relationship better because we just focus on the positive things and ignore the lack of intimacy. But I search for someone in a similar situation, and hope that when I meet someone, we can be friends and lovers.
Sorry if this is not the answer you want. You have to think deeply and weigh everything before you make any decisions. It took me seven years of thinking about this to come to the decision I have. Wish I could give you hope for your marriage -- and I sincerely hope that things work out -- but it's a rare thing that someone will change, especially if there's a medical condition behind it.

Fond regards and hopes that you'll be okay.

And that was 2 years ago. Has anything changed for you? Have you found someone perhaps?

I am know a similar situation. So I am always curious about how others have overcome.

Nothing's changed in my marriage. It's still good, but very much a brother-sister/friend type of relationship. I started to outsource shortly after this post and did find a couple of great guys but they live too far away to meet on a regular basis. Right now, I'm exploring a local relationship with a man in a similar situation. He's a little distant in terms of communicating and relating to each other, but the physical stuff is great, so I'm seeing if that can work out long term.

Well I'm glad you found a silver lining. Thanks for responding.

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I know what you feel like shykitte. I'm in the same boat, where my wife just does not want any sort of sexual intimacy. We've been together for 2 years, and I have a very high sex drive. Unfortunately, she has none. When I try to talk to her about it, I just get silence, until I lose my temper and storm out. The worst part of all thus is that she believes I'm asking for too much. Btw, we have never had sex.

Wonder why ***** bars stay in business !!! Maybe because you can pay to get some of attention you can't beg for at home!!! I've been married for 20+ years and feel as though I've been cut off from any phyisical relation for 5 years +!!

It doesn't change, unfortunately. Sometimes it just can't change. What do we do then?

Wow, your story sounds almost exactly like mine, except from a wife's perspective. We have also been together for 8 years and do not have kids yet. She suffers from a different disease that may or may not be affecting her sex drive. Like you, my wife and I have so much in common and are very close friends. But the problem is that sometimes I just feel like we are friends when there is no passion from her end during kisses or otherwise. After years of rejection, I finally just about gave up initiating sex. Now it happens rarely and with zero spontaneity.<br />
This group is very helpful though, not only because there are people in situations just like ours, but because it really challenges me to think critically about what is going on and how I will respond.

Thank you so much - each and all of you. Every one of you had excellent points. I'm overwhelmed by your kindness and support and just wanted to let you know it means a lot to me. <br />
<br />
::hugs::<br />
<br />

Amen to all of the above . . . <br />
<br />
One thing I have found is that EP and my EP friends are giving me a chance to truly re-evaluate my life - what I took for granted when I first joined EP (that I would never leave my DH or this marriage) has now changed.<br />
<br />
I am now definitely considering a future outside this marriage.<br />
<br />
Fortunately my star sign warns me I don't have to make all my important decisions instantly . . . ! lol.<br />
<br />
Whether you find your mind changing, your resolve increasing or anything else on EP is entirely up to you.<br />
What you will find is caring, support and wisdom from people such as the above posters.<br />
<br />
My wish for you is a better future.

"Even just holding and cuddling would be great, but he doesn't like any of that."<br />
I have been on EP for a couple of months and it appears that most of the refusers seem to dislike any intimate physical contact, which is a very important and expected part of marriage. Otherwise, we are just brother and sister or good friends who happen to share the checkbook and home.<br />
Good responses have been written to you and we all deserve the physical contact, warm body and soul of our dare to say, other halfs???? <br />
Time for a wake-up call .... Therapist or counselor ... unless you can live like this forever til all sexual feelings are sucked dry out of us.......................I can't<br />
<br />
Blessings tonight for a happy outcome

What you are suffering from is very familiar to me. My wife doesn't suffer from ED, she just has a very negative attitude about sex to the point of being sex averse. <br />
<br />
It's hell. I am going through life married to the love of my life, who won't let our marriage be complete. It's like living with a sister, not a wife. Maybe that sounds familiar to you. <br />
<br />
Like you I long for a really good sexual kiss... let alone sex.<br />
<br />
What can you do? I wish I knew. Unlike you, I have concluded that I need to find a friendly lover, because as it stands now, if I depend upon my wife I will die without ever having sex again. <br />
<br />
Hugs, and good wishes to you,<br />
James<br />

Good description bro

I know what you're going through. Can't tell you what to do. Only you can decide where you want to be in your life and then find a way to get there. I know that's easy to say because I've said it to myself several times. There are some great people here and it helps if nothing else to just get it out there and talk about it.

I can only speak from experience. No amount of begging and pleading will change him. He has to want to change himself.<br />
<br />
Try opening the door one more time. Let him know how much you love him, that you understand he has an illness, it doesn't change your love for him. Let him know how much you are hurting and starving for physical intimacy and that you feel your marriage is in trouble. There is no reason why the two of can't engage in touching and love making without intercourse. <br />
<br />
If he ignores your cry, you may want to reevaluate your life and your commitment.

I'm sorry to hear your not having a great time in your relationship. I have been with my gf for 2 and half years so no where near as long as u, she has a 5 yr old daughter, and has no interest in sex or sexual activities, I have a very high sex drive and when we do have sex it feels like she isn't there, until she realises it feels good, **** really quick and then she's not interested again. She wants cuddles and for me to be this perfect happy guy but we spend most days together, we both work, well she's part time and her mum looks after the little one, she still lives at home so it's kinda easy for her. But it feels crap to be rejected and pushe away, makes u feel ugly and not wanted, ontop of that u have to handle the frustration, the thoughts going through your head wanting and needing that closeness. It's not just about the physical sex it's more about the feeling it creates!

Your story is very much mine..there is a lot here in EP and some great people. Maybe you, like me, will find a wonderful fantasy world in some of the stories and experience groups. Good Luck.