Platonic Marriage

Hi all. I'm new here so a bit apprehensive. I'm 44 years old and live in a celibate "marriage" we've been together 14 odd years and about 4 years ago the decision was made to stop the sex as he had absolutely no interest in it, with me or anyone else. To keep trying was destroying me. I had no confidence in myself left at all.

It was decided that if I can accept him as he is (asexual essentially) that he must accept that i am not asexual and so I have dispensation to go outside the marriage. Kind of a "don't ask, Don't tell" situation i guess ;) I plucked up the last bit of courage i had left and made myself get out there...bought a new wardrobe and re-invented myself essentially. There was no lack of interest so i guess it really wasnt "all my fault" as i had started to believe.

This has worked ok as we still "like" each other and there is a lot of mutual respect. Do i love him? I really don't know any more. If I do its like a brother thing. He says he loves me but i doubt he really knows what that is.

There are problems for me of course. I miss not having anyone to curl up with as i never spend a night with a lover. I miss the little daily affections you would expect in a normal marriage. Lovers are ok but given the choice I would have liked a whole marriage rather than this. This is just take-away food...not the fancy dinner i hoped for ;). But i was married before to a monster and i know how few really good men there are out there that are single. So I've settled for this. It works ok. But yes it is lonely. I havent loved any of my lovers and nor have they loved me. Its been a "friends with benefits" thing at most.

Anyways thats kind of my story. Thanks for reading

Grassh0pper Grassh0pper
41-45, F
37 Responses Mar 10, 2009

As someone who is asexual, I have to say I understand more of your husband's situation than your own, but I would like to point out something. You mention that he says that he loves you, but you doubt he knows what that means. Is that because he is not is not interested in having sex? Love does not revolve around sex, and just because he isn't interested in that does not mean he doesn't know what love is. You can love someone without wanting to **** them. (Please excuse my language) You say you would have preferred a "whole marriage," but what's to say that his why of showing love is not whole? You cannot say for sure that you love him any more simply because he doesn't want sex, and yet he can say it with confidence. Him not wanting sex is not what drained your confidence, it's you being denied what your definition of love is. Everyone has a different definition of love. If you doubt he knows what love means, then in all likely hood, he is simply not loving the way you want him to.

Hi I am also new to the blog, and as well, we are both miserable he is verbally abusive, and I spend money to make feel better, then we fight about money. I am a two time cancer survivor and just don't want to deal tin the stress, fights and being in a relation that I give so much to and don't receive anything back. Yes I know I have a problem spending more then we have buts only cause it makes me happy. We are empty nesters and as hard as I try to bring our relationship closer, I believe it's to late after 40 years... I just have so much invested in the marriage, that I hate to let it all go...but I believe I have come to the point that I am willing to give up all material things, house and years of making a house a home and just move on. It has been said that most recurrent cancer patients have 4 years after the HIPEC procedure, but it can be more. I ask myself do I want to leave like this for the rest of my life how ever many years it may be or do I break away and live a peaceful happy life? I pray for God to help guide me....

Hi. I was just reading all the comments here and found a lot of similar stories of my life 😊. I was so broken in the many years feeling insecure because of rejection from my hubby. I always thought there must be something wrong with me. 😝. I was told once by my husband that he would understand if ever i strayed with others- but i am a very conscientious woman that i couldnt do it. I thought about filing a divorce at times but it never came to that. My husband is an almost perfect guy except that he doesnt have anymore connection with me. And i couldn't let go with the thought of " better the devil that you know" .
Now I am healed and feeling more beautiful and got back my self esteem ! Thanks to my spiritual side. I just realized one day that i am pass the pain and all the negative feelings.😊 But the only thing is whilst i still love my husband and the father of my child, i can no longer feel connected to him and so i guess this is why a platonic relationship with him is acceptable.

Thanks for posting it - - and I'm glad that you found a way that does work (satisfactorily)

My sympathy on the difficult marriage with '"aspie" hubby(very interesting people). When you agreed to have platonic marriage why not go for agreeing on getting your wants met elsewhere? Because you think he would not agree? So your 'dispensation' is kidding yourself to avoid calling it what it is- a lie, a secret? Are your wants being met completely? No. Welcome to ep. I wish 🙏 you love

Yes I've been there. My wife, during a long period of no sex, actually let me go and get it on. Yes, I know most can't believe that. No, it wasn't easy to find someone and the few times I did, things didn't really work properly. That's a very deflating situation for a male. Damn...worth a try anyway. Because she trusted me enough, is the reason we're still together. Sex is rare but we'rre working on that.

maybe he needs to be dominated

Boy oh boy can I relate!!!! It seems our situations mirror one another a tad bit ... although I have not gone outside our marriage.. I COMPLETELY understand why & how someone could! I've had opportunities but I lack such confidence now I struggle to even acknowledge when a flirtation is occurring. I'm learning to accept things as they are. It's been half a year. I take libido suppressing supplements to reduce sexual urges. I stopped ************. He's completely content not being intimate. I am beginning to think he is asexual. Not sure he's aware of the term. I don't dare bring it up because his temper is UNBEARABLE! So I just leave it be! I'm so sad but I love him and took a vow I hold dear. I realize this post is old but it's a comfort to know many are going through this too.. we are not alone.. even though we are so lonely at home. Thank YOU for your post.

I respect everyone's view some people are just not into the physical aspect of relationships however to get the full set of emotions of being alive,me personally I think you need the physical side as well.As I say in all my posts if you are unhappy with the situation do something. Get out and on with your life. You get one chance at happiness and there is lots of men and women looking for a partner to share things with.

So. I am young (mid-thirties) and recently married a man who I have known for 20 years. I was married previously, but we seperated and then he died. It was crushing - and nothing can even be said to express how horrific that is to me. Well, me and this man have never had a "normal" sex life. Since the day we saw eachother again in person - he has pushed me away. I have left him at least 4 times over this, his **** addiction and how he treated me after my ex died. We went to counseling and that really helped with everything BUT the romance/sex part of our relationship. I married him - probably would not have if I had my right mind, but I was really in rough shape emotionally still from loosing my ex. So, I have tried everything, bringing things up in counseling, he even got tested for low testosterone - and got medication. He just doesnt bother to use it. The only time he initates sex with me is when he knows its that time of the month, or I am sick (like fevers, vomiting etc)...basically when he KNOWS there wont be any follow through.

We even had our first anniversary recently, and he was perfectly fine all day, we have a lovely evening at a nice resturaunt, lots of flirting and teasing, so when we get home....nothing. Suddenly he is ill, needs nyquill, headache you name it. To say I was dissappointed was an understatement. But something inside of me has been changing over the past 3 years. First it hurt me so much (hell he wouldnt even KISS me for months - come on! I am not grotesque). And then I just started to not care. I feel more and more apathetic every day. And I wonder - is this it? Is it over? So soon? I worked so hard for this relationship, and really - he has not pulled his own weight in it. I dont know what to do. He is nice, fun, and we have a great time together - but its like we were 20 years ago - the best of friends. Platonic Marriage. I feel like an empty shell sometimes. We talk about it - he knows its an issue, but when it comes down to it - he doesnt even try.

And lets be honest here....I dont want to BE with someone who has to force it, or who has to try so dammed hard. I want to be with someone who WANTS me as much as I want them.

I read these responses to this post and I dont feel alone anymore, but I still feel hopeless. I havent ever heard of anyone having success in fixing this....Only leaving.

Leaving you said it. Apathy is horrible you need to care for the most important person in your life and that is you. As you say LEAVING you must for your sanity. Do you want to be involved in this for the rest of your life. Go seek something and or someone

My gosh, I swear we might be twins.. I was in a horrible, abusive relationship when I met my current guy. We fell madly in love and he "saved" me from the other bad relationship. It actually took years for us to be together and we fought HARD for our relationship and like most, it was firy and passionate at first. Then things just came to a sudden grinding halt and it's like he just stopped wanting me. I used to look forward to time alone with him so we could be together and then NOTHING would happen. I finally stopped trying to initiate because I was afraid of rejection. I've written him letters about how I feel, we've had MANY Talks, and he always says things to make me feel better but I feel like he is just appeasing me. He stopped trying even though he KNOWS how bad I am hurting. I am beside myself at this point. It hurts beyond words. I see you wrote this in 2012, if you see this, I would love to know how things are going for you now.

I've been married for 15 years. The last 5 years of my marriage has become platonic. My wife is no longer interested to make love. She reasons out that she is just tired at the end of the day. I'm 42 and and she's 41. We have 3 kids. Just lately, I noticed that I no longer become connected to her emotionally or psychologically. My intimacy towards her is gone. My ex is separated because of their sexless marriage. But I do not want to be tempted! And yet I do not want to suffer any longer in this sexless state!!! My patience is alrteady stretched thin.

I entertained counselling but I know it will be a futile exercise. Both of us are nurses and my wife once managed a reproductive healthcare clinic. She has counselled lots of women.

A few times I jokingly told her that the best way to avoid sex is to get married. She just smiled.

I now spend my cold nights with my male friends drinking till the wee hours of the morning.

Separation is an option but our youngest is still 3 years old. (We don't dare talk about it, though). Oh, this boring sexless marriage is giving me headaches.

We seldom go together except for the sake of the kids. She manages her own business while I have my own Review/Tutorials for nurses. In four-months time I will be working in Europe. I just don't know what to do.

I have always been single, or "independent" as I like to be called. Loneliness comes in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, doesn't it?

Wow, I thought I was on my own in this sexless relationship. I have had sex 5 times in 4 years. My husband refuses to talk about it. I have struggled with the fact that he prefers to please himself looking at **** and have unfortunately witnessed him doing this to my horror. Because of this I have moved out of the bedroom so that I feel less rejected and we are getting on just fine. I just miss the bedtime cuddles although he kisses and pampers me when ever we are near each other and comes into my room for cuddles. I am 57 and this is my second marriage so I dont want to have to start over and who would be interested in me at this age anyway. I am trying to tell myself that this is part of some peoples life cycle. I have thought about going outside the marriage but not sure I would be able to live with the guilt, also one never knows what could happen. Better the devil you know and affairs have no guarantees.

Wow, I thought I was on my own in this sexless relationship. I have had sex 5 times in 4 years. My husband refuses to talk about it. I have struggled with the fact that he prefers to please himself looking at **** and have unfortunately witnessed him doing this to my horror. Because of this I have moved out of the bedroom so that I feel less rejected and we are getting on just fine. I just miss the bedtime cuddles although he kisses and pampers me when ever we are near each other and comes into my room for cuddles. I am 57 and this is my second marriage so I dont want to have to start over and who would be interested in me at this age anyway. I am trying to tell myself that this is part of some peoples life cycle. I have thought about going outside the marriage but not sure I would be able to live with the guilt, also one never knows what could happen. Better the devil you know and affairs have no guarantees.

Simple. Do not deny your physical, spiritual or emotional needs for anyone. If the person you are in a relationship is not giving to your needs as much as you's time to admit it's over and find someone else who is like minded like you. Why for God sake settle for second best. Come on stop bullshitting yourself. It's like your brain is telling your stomach it isn't hungry, when in reality it is!

well said stomach is hungry but mind is stopping it...:)

He will not change and you can not fix him.<br />
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How will you feel after another decade of this sadness?<br />
<br />
Your only regret will be that you didn't divorce 5 years sooner.<br />
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Good Luck.

Dear Everyone,

I dont know if this post is still working, but I want/need to share my story. I was married to a guy who was a psycho when I was not even 18. Coming from India, thats like a death sentence. He kidnapped me and married me forcefully. But the crux here is that before attempting this he was behaving like a friend and so I had shown interest in his friendship possibly could have gotten married to him if he had been nice and sincere. However to the society it appeared that I had eloped with him. The most crushing thing was that my own parents who knew how frank and sincere I was ( - I used to tell my dad about all my crushes) - were influenced by my extended family to believe I may have done this act due to the throngs of my youth. Anywayz hearing them ask me such questions made me just stick to this forced marriage as I felt society would make me bear the weight of this in any case. Finally, after a lot of daily beatings, black and blue body markings - I made the courage to leave him. My parents then got me married to this wonderful guy who really believed me to the core and I thought that I finally got my dream-world. But, there was just one catch - he had loved another girl before who was totally different from me - looks wise, personality wise and he loved slender girls where I was more of a curvy girl. So, we lived life as friends for the most part as he told me the first time we got intimate that " good things come in small packages". Friendship in a marriage to me was much better than being out alone or with a monster as I had experienced previously. When it came around to pro-creation we used the medical world but were largely unsuccessful as I miscarried several such attempts. Finally, due to family pressure from his mom and a death-bed promise extracted from his dad, I had to leave him without his knowledge so he could marry another woman and have a child to carry on his family name. Its a very critical indian thought. Now I have settled into a platonic marriage with a man who has an older son and I have adopted a baby who is 3 years but yet I seem to feel empty - The man and his son are close and dont include me into their world. His family except for his wonderful parents largely ignores me or walks all around me. I feel at crossroads now - dont know how to live life going forward and am very depressed for the most part. I just keep working like a zombie as I want to always be financially independent but am hanging onto a precarious balance. I have no friends to share with and have no one who wants to accept me as I am. Surface friends are many but a true one eludes me. I am 39 and trying to hope for some semblence of a true family sometime.

:) you have come a long way, be strong . Will not patronize as we all long for the affection, desire and want to feel loved. You have been working a lot, try to use positive energy towards what you have your adopted daughter...some people will never include you in their lives, because they are not at your level. Stop trying to be part of someone or something, be YOU! yes you will be sad, depressed, lonely but above all smile even if its a line someone let you cut in front because you were in a hurry...good things don't come in small packages alone... Blessings do as well and live for those things not what the world has to say it has already let us down and we need to stop living for the world but let the world live around us! some of us landed on the wrong planet ;) and people around us are confused and lost :) not us!

If he won't see a therapist and at least try to change then you have to MAKE a change.<br />
<br />
In my opinion leaving is the only fair and reasonable way for you to move-on and find a full partner that you deserve. Friends with benefits is a horrible lifestyle for a person who wants to be loved and appreciated.<br />
<br />
You must see a therapist and consider leaving for a full relationship if your husband will not change. You would be doing him a favor by not enabling him.

He shouldn't change his sexuality for someone else. That's just wrong.

I too am in a sexless marriage for nearly 10 yrs, warning signs were always there but I ignored them. Now we have a 2 yr old can I leave now when he adores his father. Besides the lack of sex we argue constantly. In the beginning, all of our arguments stemmed from this, me feeling rejected by him and my ego destroyed by constantly throwing myself at him to no avail. A year ago, I just quit trying and realized he didn't care all these years why should I. I honestly, just don't know where to go from here though. At least you have it figured out Grasshopper. I sometimes can't believe this is happening to me and I suffer a lot.He, on the other hand, could care less. .do you still feel sad Grasshopper..or does it feel better now with your new situation? I just want to be happy, too. I'm only 30 yrs old and feel have wasted my most vital and attractive years in a sexless marriage. Just to note, conceiving our son, was one of the few times we had sex.

so sad :( so scared this is going to happen to me!

I hope it works out for u xo


I have been married to him for 30 years. We have had no sex for the last 25. We have a 29 year old son. I can't walk because of MS (multiple sclerosis). He is my sole caretaker. He buys me beautiful things. He "hauls" me around with our van that has a lift. We go out 3-4 times a week. I have been divorced before and I'm not getting divorced again.<br />
<br />
Sad, isn't it.

I have been married to him for 30 years. We have had no sex for the last 25. We have a 29 year old son. I can't walk because of MS (multiple sclerosis). He is my sole caretaker. He buys me beautiful things. He "hauls" me around with our van that has a lift. We go out 3-4 times a week. I have been divorced before and I'm not getting divorced again.<br />
<br />
Sad, isn't it.

1 man and 1 woman -the problem is that people give up on their mates cause they dont provide what the other was expecting to receive, everybody wants a good sex life in marraige and it happens when both participate in loving each other thru bad times and thru the good times , when one gets up mad as a hornet and the other learns to deal with them, one is sick and the other cares for them ,one is hurt and the other consoles them --sound familiar? ive had my problems in marraige also, and i have some scars from divorce too, iam just saying when people are married ,they should stick it out and try to make it work, also for a man to say he dont want sex is saying something else, the man that says that when hes married needs to see a doctor and should want help so he can be a funtional husband and share a life with his wife, cmon people when we start a thing like marraige, it is supposed to be a life journey together ,not whats it become in modern day America, i can sympathize with a wife who wants sex with her husband ,and for a man to send his wife out to strangers ? theres something very wrong, he needs help. anyway, thats my 5 minutes on the soapbox, thanks,tigerspaw1

WOW...I thought it was just me living in a sexless marriage.....I want have sex with my wife, but she doesn't show any interest at all....I have stopped hinting around and letting her know when I am interested. I have started a chat with an ex girlfriend from college and am tmpted to just have an affair with her (which she is welcoming) Divorcing my wife is just not something that would be good for everyone affected, but if things don't change....quite frankly I don't think I will care anymore. I am realizing how important sex is to me with another person who is as attracted to me as I am to them...I just don't get it......don't get ot at all.....Holidays, birthdays Valentines not even get me excited anymore with my wife , because of this lack of intimacy....tired of settling...going to go feel some physical pleasure.

I am going through a similar problem. I met my boyfriend two years ago - we are going through our divorces separated for at least 5 years. He is 43, I am 46 and I have a high libido. We were like rabbits. <br />
We broke up, then now he says he wants to make it permanent. I moved in with my children and now he won't touch me. In the meantime, I work in the Entertainment Industry and tons of men keep coming on to me. I just don't want to cheat - but what choice do I have? <br />
I am hurting.

I really feel for you. I want so much for my husband to desire me like he used to. I have been spending alot of time with an ex-boyfriend and it has gotten physical and I really don't feel guilty about it. I just want someone to find me attractive again. Even if it is just for a little while.

Thanks so very much for making me your Fan...which I am of yours of course. <br />
<br />

Yes, there are plenty of women with this problem. As I've said before, mine was normal until, after years of trying, I became pregnant at age 39. THAT was the end of my sex life and the end of any affection AT all. Now I'm 52 and facing the rest of my life sleeping in a king sized bed with 2 dogs. He refuses to talk about it and has become obsessed with his new religion, going 2 to 3 times a week. Talk about hypocrites.

you should go with him even if you disagree with his religion this may be what he needs and to support him may be what he is looking for.

I am new here,sad to read about so many lonely people but comforted by knowing that I am not alone with this problem of a sexless marriage,I feel so rejected that my H never wanted me.Too bad we just split up this past week,maybe he would have given me dispensation if I'd have asked.

Yes to all the obove. Would i like more? yes of course but i am no longer attracted to my husband sexually anyway. Do i think its likley i'd find it? Nope. Is sex without love shallow? Sometimes...but when its a person whos your friend it can still be nice in its own way. <br />
I would like to point out to the person who said about my husband "telling me to go outside the marriage" Please read the post before saying such things. That is not what happened at all. I said that i could no longer live like we were and so either i went elsewhere discreetly or we got a divorce. Neither of us wanted a divorce so here we are.<br />
Is it hard? Of course it is!! But i could either choose to continue to live in the pain I was in..leave...or do something else. I had no ability to change what he is and he is ASEXUAL. Might as well try and change a gay man.

Quite honestly, if a man tells his wife to seek sex outside the marriage, in my humble opinion, the marriage is over.<br />
<br />
You may have an arrangement, financial partnership, business agreement of sorts, but not a marriage.

{{{ hugs}}} to you. You are in a tough spot. I totally understand you. My h is asexual too. Do you have kids? <br />
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Maybe one day you will meet someone who rocks your world and you can move on from an empty marriage. In the meantime, hang in there and keep in touch here. <br />
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just a note to the first poster: nope that is not always true.

When you have great feels good, but if its' only sex, isn't there some kind of let down afterwards ?<br />
When u love someone, don't u want that intimacy and closeness of sex ? To have both is the ultimate, but unfortunately life doesn't always work out that way. I'm glad u are able to separate the two for now, but i do sense u want more from your life. I wish u the best.

Thanks all. Please forgive me if i appear cold or otherwise. Maybe i get defensive sometimes...actually yes i know i do. I know this is a huge compromise...but ive made my choice and for now it works..mostly. Ive watched my friends get divorced over much less than this and as i said: We LIKE each other so maybe thats the differnce. My husband is just different but he is a good man. He has never blamed me or tried to make me think this is my fault. Maybe that makes it easier. And he has often said i have given up much more than him to make this work.<br />
For now it works. Next week or next year...who knows.

Grassh0pper: The perfect is the enemy of the good...I empathize with your position and respect your initiative in trying to reclaim parts of your humanity. Good luck.

I understand what you are saying about being able to have sex....but no love....I was like you for a long time....I was able to saparate the two.....But it hurt my marrage...<br />
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And times I wish that I could still do that....But I guess that it has been too long for me....I finf that I can not separate the two any more....I want to make love with my husband......And to get laid by a guy...Well it is just not enough any more

Hi grassOpper<br />
If you have the boxes ticked<br />
1. Domestic / Platonic Comfort. Tick, with person A<br />
2. Financial Partner, Tick, with person A<br />
3. Emotional Partner Tick, with person B<br />
4. Sexual Partner Tick, with person C<br />
Then you are going ok at the moment. Ideally, the 4 boxes get a tick with the one person. Our group contains people who are not in such a dynamic. Some of our boxes have very few ticks, sometimes none !!!! lol<br />
If it works for you, it works for you. Thats the only judgement. "As of now, it works".<br />
Doesn't mean it will always work, relationships change, and person B may have to change to person K, whatever. Thats to address when reality changes. <br />
Glad to see your solution works for YOU - the only person it has to work for.

Well i appreciate your view but i can assure you i have never fallen in love with the man i am sleeping with. Call me cold but I can easily seperate out love and sex

It's not ok. He's depriving you of a need. It is known that women love or fall in love with the man they are having sex with. It's nature at work. I think it's great you have a dispensation and wish I had one. Just be careful because it could likely disrupt your current relationship. Of course, if you find someone else is making you feel good, maybe the old relationship needs disrupting.