Unhappy Anniversary

Of course it is not my wedding anniversary; it is probably not something my wife would even recall nor wants to recall.  Its been 4 years since I've had sex.  Of course the event 4 years ago was a single event about 2 years after the prior event and it was really only a few times before that, including a stretch of once a year for a few years.  I don't think I've seen my wife naked in 7 or 8 years, and I assure you that was just a glimpse.

My wife tries to normalize our relationship which I really do not like.  Even though there are so many people in a similar boat on this board, I dont see this kind of relationship as typical.  At this point, I would be happy with just some overt signs of affection. but, she seems to have lost any ability/desire to be affectionate. She's never liked to be touched in any way (not exactly-- before we were married, it was just her stomach area that she was sensitive about-- after we were married, it grew to her whole body).  I always know when a hug will end because she taps me 3 times and pushes me away.  Any time I try to extend an embrace, I am accused of asking for more than she is able to give.  I kiss her on her head because that is as close as I can get to her lips. 

My daughter is emotionally fragile and does require a lot of attention and my wife is largely responsible for being her advocate at school and talking her down from some pretty intense episodes.  She says this takes an emotional toll on her, which I can certainly understand, but the problem is that my wife's emotional distance with me existed BEFORE my daughter was born -- a fact she conveniently forgets, or if she does acknowledge, she will relate to other emotionally intense events going on -- she never liked her father and we finally cut off from him who , in turn, sued us for grandparent visitation.  We won that fight, but only after serious time, energy and of course $$$.  I really thought after my support though this emotional divorce from her father who always seemed to take out his own disdain for his ex wife on his daughter (my wife), that she would be able to normalize her own relationship with me, but that was not to be.

There always seems to be something especially intense going on, and I have been as supportive as I know how.  After our dog and cat died after many years, which we got before we had kids, she wanted just one dog, so we got a dog.  But the dog became too much the "kids" dog, so she wanted another dog, so we got another dog.   Now they are both hers.  We've taken nice family vacations, we've gotten a bigger house, we bought a minivan and tempurpedic bed for her various aches and pains (but she rejects the notion of fibromyalgia because that is an all-in-the-head diagnosis) -- all of this in the last 6 years.  I do the laundry and the dishes to be supportive of her difficult days with the kids while I am off at work, but it doesnt matter how difficult the day was for her, nor how much work I need to still finish up at home -- it is still my job, even if my wife goes to sleep at 10 and I am up until 2am finishing up.

Yet I am being selfish for expressing my own emotional needs.  I am clearly responsible for the fights we have because when I am feeling put upon, or if my wife says something disparaging, it is I who has the choice to say something or not.  If I say something, we fight, if I hold back, we dont fight.  So it is my fault.

I stay for my kids.  I love them both very much and I know my younger one, especially, would have a very difficult time with her parents living apart.  She really needs two people around.  I really hope that with all the support we have put in place for her that she can grow up to be a happier young adult.  We'll have to wait and see what intense emotional issue takes over my wife's life then!  Now in my early 40s, I worry about the prospect of growing old with her if things continue as they have been.

ngl ngl
41-45, M
7 Responses Mar 18, 2009

If it's any consolation, of misery loves company, I'm right there with you pal. 20 year anniversary next week and even the mention of doing something, anything is met with resistance. Year and a half and counting since intimacy. Funny thing, as infrequent as it was before I always got her there if you know what I mean; then one day, that was it. No mas. Excuses changed monthly for the first while, then just slam the door shut, done. End of discussion. 4 reasons I stay-2 daughters, 2 sons. Anyhow, sometimes knowing there's some other poor bastard out there getting shot down also, eases the pain. . . a little.

Thank you for your comment on my story...it was so insightful that I had to read your story. My heart goes out to you. I don't know what to say to you to make it any better for you. You are one of the most unselfish and giving person that there can be. <br />
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I really hope that you will find happiness one day....I think you even probably convince yourself that you are happy on some days just to make the pain bearable. <br />
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I have only been in my relationship a year and a half and the lack of intimacy in my relationship only started about 8 months ago. I guess I'm lucky that I was able to find out early on in the relationship that my partner had issues with intimacy and that it was a cycle. I am grateful that I was lucky enough to find out before I feel I invested too much time to leave. Even then...I still feel doubts about leaving...I just know I have to stick to my instincts.<br />
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I wish you the best whether you stay in your relationship or not. No major decisions are ever easy. You seem like a person who just gives and gives...I hope that one day all that you have given will come back to you in some form.

Thanks, gang! DGD - my daughter's issues are very complicated and is undergoing a great deal of therapy and has required medications to keep her emotionally stable. Even still she needs supports to keep her emotionally stable through the school day. Her issues have been present for a long time, and I have often though they are a reflection of my relationship with my wife. I was very annoyed with my wife who has taken charge of her care, but never shared with the first therapist about our relationship issues. Even recognizing, as KFC says, that my kids must be able to sense something is wrong my younger daughter's emotional issues seem far worse than I could imagine given the loving relationship she shares with both my wife and me, even if my relationship with my wife is strained.

It's very noble for you to hang in there for your kids. Don't think for one minute they don't sense something wrong.<br />
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Unfortunately after so many years of being in a sexless, loveless marriage, the anger, bitterness, resentment all seem to grow. They spill over into other areas of life. It's hard to walk around pretending your FINE and HAPPY, when there is this huge gaping hole inside you that hurts.<br />
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Other than trying to work it out or leave, I don't have any advice. I can only wish you the best.

I'm curious, what does "emotionally fragile" mean regarding your daughter and who decided she is? Has it occured to you your wife may be contributing to your daughters problems?<br />
It's also apparent there was some abuse in her childhood by how you describe her relationship with her father. I suspect either physical or possibly sexual abuse (it could explain her touchiness about her body). I admire you staying to finsh raising your children but once they are of age, you'll likely be better off leaving her. She is already rejecting any possibility she has problems (and it's problems people, not issues) It sounds very unlikely you'll ever have gratifying relationship with her. Why waste what few years you have left for a sex life on this?

Been there...done that but for 10 years longer. I assure you it won't get any better<br />
Sorry you have to suffer the same fate most of us in this forum do.

u are really a very good person in nature.but ur wifes nature is very rare n amasing one<br />
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but u are very good father to ur daughter<br />
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she should be proud to have a father like u<br />
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really u are great