Valentine Thoughts

I was once a member of this forum, and today in celebration of the life I reclaimed last January when my divorce was granted, I've been re-reading the posts I made during my long struggle to save my sexless marriage - each post represented one step in the journey.

I wanted to bring some of the thoughts from one of these posts to you today.  They ring as true today as they did when I posted them. I give them to you here in the hope that you will never forget to love yourself first, even as you struggle with your own circumstances.

-- repost --

As a member of this forum I've learned much that I wanted to share with you. These thoughts won't apply equally to everyone. In brief, my husband was the refuser, is clinically depressed but refuses treatment and I fully acknowledge my role in the death of my marriage. My caveat: The complexities of every marriage make every situation as similar in some ways as it may be different in others.

Observations while looking back from my line in the sand:

You must work on yourself first - be honest and true to yourself. It is critical for you to find a way to remember that your value is independent from the actions of the other party in a sexless marriage.

The sexlessness of my 10 year marriage was a symptom, but not the ultimate cause of the death of my marriage.

I no longer believe that sex in a marriage can be resuscitated if one year or more has passed. Mine was entirely without sex for 3 years, and the frequency was quite low for a number of years prior to that.  It was also devoid of much intimacy, physical or emotional, for many years. Not one person during my time on the forum (or my searches in the archives) could report an outcome other than acceptance of the situation or the death of the marriage.  

Be very clear about your reasons for staying. I had to face my reasons squarely and found that they had little to do with love for my spouse, and more to do with my own fear and insecurity. This diminished both of us. 

I've also had to face the fact that staying was far more emotionally costly than everything material that I have lost. It is going to take a very long time to rebuild my emotional and physical stamina. The stress of staying in my marriage has taken an enormous toll on my health and well being. This wasn't clear to me until now.

I wish each of you well on your journey. Only you can know what is best for you when you are deciding which road to take. Listen to your heart and take good care of yourself.

With deepest gratitude,

Warmheart

warmheart warmheart
46-50, F
6 Responses Feb 14, 2010

Take care liz. You are young. Be strong. <br />
This is hard, but be true to yourself - the gift here is that you found the strength to end it. <br />
It will take time, but you will be stronger once you learn to love yourself again. <br />
kathryn

Stevem7 asked if in the past year, my ex-husband has tried to put the blame on the failed marriage on me. <br />
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I know that prior to the divorce he was content to let people think whatever they may. For example, during a family reunion, his sisters confronted me about how sad they were that I didn't want to have children with their brother. This surprised me, because I wanted to have another child (had two from my first marriage) but he refused to discuss it with me. I told them so. He was quite embarrassed. <br />
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I seriously doubt that anyone knows he was in a sexless marriage. He was in complete denial about that - it was my problem that I couldn't accept things as they were, not his. He didn't want to have sex, I was the one with the problem for wanting it. Once he walked into the room while I was posting on the ILIASM forum he got absolutely furious and started stomping around the house (was probably a good thing he wasn't speaking to me at the time!). <br />
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I don't know what he says about me to others, and the gift here for me is that I no longer care. I really don't have any contact at all with his family. They ceased all contact after they found out about the divorce. We were living different lives - he worked at night, I worked during the day. We had no social life, no shared friends. I really do not care what he says, or does. I bear him no ill will, and hope that he finds peace and happiness someday. I still feel grateful for the end of this marriage.

farrell221986 asked "doesnt a sexless marriage usually mean that somebody has been extremely hurt and doesnt want to confront it or does it mean that too much time together actually killed any mistery and made it into a sibling situation" <br />
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I can only answer from my own experience. In our last conversation, (the first in over a year) he told me that everything I did made him feel worse about himself - anything from small daily tasks like emptying the dishwasher before I went to bed at night to graduating with an advanced degree (three years before our divorce). He also told me deeply resented the fact that I earned more than he did. Most of all he resented my efforts at communication, since he didn't see any reason why things needed to change - or why I couldn't just accept things as they were. <br />
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So yes, I think in some ways, his anger and resentment over many aspects of our relationship built up over time until they killed any respect or love he ever had for me. <br />
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But there are complicating factors: There is a long history of depression in his family (two sisters and his father are unable to function without antidepressants). He refused to talk about much with me - and did not speak to me at all for the last year of our marriage (preferring to maintain total silence). This is why - if you read my other posts, you will see that I tried to communicate with him in writing. <br />
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There were early signs of trouble in this marriage that lasted 12 years. He told me just after we were married that he never had to kiss me or hold my hand again. (He didn't kiss me much after that, or hold my hand more than a few times). He also told me early on that he married me so that he wouldn't leave - he wanted to have a reason to stay somewhere instead of just moving on. <br />
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Take care of yourself. If you are part of a sexless marriage, you need to learn to love yourself again.

Sometimes it takes an outsider looking in to knock some sense into this nonsense! <br />
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Farrell, <br />
I am of the opinion that your first scenario [" somebody has been extremely hurt and doesnt want to confront it" ] is at the heart of most of our sexless marriages.

It is wonderful of you to come back and offer that wisdom again with the benefit of hindsight. I'm sure I can speak for ILIASM as a whole when I say how much those of us who are still in our "relationships" appreciate the voices of experience talking to us from the other side of the fence. <br />
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Perhaps you will consider popping in occasionally? I will be checking out your stories though. Thanks for posting!

How nice to hear from someone who's been through it and emerged the other end - thanks for the insights and the inspiration x