Stay? Go! Stay! Go?

I am approaching 18 years of marriage and am so unhappy. My husband is good in many ways; doesn't hardly ever swear, doesn't smoke, rarely drinks, would never lay a finger on me or our son, does many of the household chores, works hard . . . but I don't feel any connection between us anymore, and haven't for a long time. Sex in the beginning of our relationship was frequent, as it is for most couples, but I wished even then that he would be a little "kinkier" like I and my previous boyfriend (who was very sexually compatible with me, just not compatible anywhere else) had been. But, I loved him, so "vanilla" sex was fine, and it was always good sex . . . I was always satisfied. After our son was born, I kept on about 20 pounds and ended up with some pretty bad stretch marks; our sex life began to change right then (a little over a year after we were married). I wasn't happy then, and would go to bed many nights in tears and be told to "be quiet" because he "had to get up for work in the morning". As the years passed many things happened; jobs were lost, moves were made, our son was growing up. We had a lot of good times that did not involve sex; travelling, visiting parks and zoos, watching movies, dining out . . . as best friends, it was a great relationship. Handholding, kisses, cuddles and hugs became less and less frequent. I battled several illnesses, including PCOS, which in 50% of women causes obesity, along with a host of other embarrassing symptoms, and makes it extremely difficult to keep weight off. I went through depression and major panic disorder and finally battled cancer (2 more years of good check-ups and I am officially cancer-free!) My husband was very supportive through it all. Our sex life however, began to consist of him being horny and coaxing me into giving him oral sex or using my hand on him to bring him to ******, and me getting nothing at all. Once in a great while, I would get contact from him by hand to bring me to ******, and no oral on me since our first year of marriage. I am not dumb, I know that obesity is unattractive, but he always said that it didn't matter, that he loved me and was attracted to me for my inside . . . of course, he would joke about all the sex we would have if I weighed 115 pounds . . . He also has an obsession with his penis size; constantly remarking about being "inadequate". It's true that he is on the smaller side; but only slightly below average. I never had a problem, but he says that because he is supposedly "small" and I am now "large" that he can't even tell if he's in me. I had tried to experiment with positions to make sex easier with my being overweight, but he will actually lose his erection and says that sex shouldn't have to be that much work and we shouldn't have to be contortionists. I still try to be pretty for him, putting on make-up, fixing my hair, wearing perfume and sexy nighties, getting bikini waxes . . . He thinks that I smell "bad" down there, and I will admit that I feel having fat thighs keeps air from circulating properly and causes odor. It makes me want to cry, but I try to be so clean before attempting to do anything. I scrub with soaps and perfumes . . . I have even put alcohol on my labia to try and kill any odor that could possibly be there. I will go through everything, and still not get any sex. Finally one day when we were arguing yet again about it, he said that he "is not attracted to obese people". I understand that, but he says he loves me so much; shouldn't that be reason to try? Besides the sex problem, I am constantly talking to him about other aspects of our marriage that make me unhappy, like him NEVER finishing any home remodeling projects so that our house will end up being worthless, or his constant picking on me about everything, like having my music too loud, having the frying pan on too high, not throwing a can out right away, walking through the house naked or in my underwear. The fact that I hate the starter home we bought 11 years ago that is still not fixed and the fact that I wanted to be in a better house by now, and he doesn't want to move. I would like to consider moving to another part of the country when our son leaves for college in 2 years, but he will never leave this town or house. I keep telling him that we just don't want the same things anymore. We just spent the weekend in a hotel, AND woke up there this morning, on VALENTINE'S DAY, and had no sex, slept in separate beds, gave each other a quick peck and that was it. He did give me a card today and we snuggled for about 3 minutes. We have not had sex for 10 months now. He swears he has never cheated and he doesn't think that it's a big deal. He thinks our marriage is fine and says he loves me very much and doesn't understand my unhappiness. I am now starting to understand the meaning of loving someone, but not being in love with them . . . WOW I have NEVER shared this story with another living soul . . .

LonelyGirl72 LonelyGirl72
36-40, F
7 Responses Feb 14, 2010

You know, your son will be gone in 2 years, so what are you staying for? Take a few minutes, and list the pro's and con's if you have too, but if you read Louise Hays book "YOu Can Heal Your Life" it lists the emotional reasons for disease...and I believe she lists obesity as "anger over not gettting the love you need"....which would say it all.<br />
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Having been both single and now married, I have to say, you might just want to get a different roomate? Yes, it's scary, but it also holds the promise that you could find happiness, or at least not have to live with someone who lets you know they don't find you attractive.

Lionh3art - I applaud you for reading this forum and admire your life choices, and hopefully you will learn from our experiences and avoid the heartache you see here in your own life. However, I'll suggest as politely as possible that as a self-admitted 18 year-old virgin you are lacking the sexual, marital, and general life experience to be offering advice on the topic of sexless marriages.<br />
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Please read here prolifically and feel free to offer perspective from your point in life, but try to recognize where your lack of experience limits the value of your advice and might even be harmful.<br />
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LonelyGirl - I can sympathize with your struggles, as I too have tried to battle the complaints of "you've been all sweaty by the end of the day". Funny how bathing right before bed, scented soaps, and other "intimate grooming" don't overcome the ob<x>jection, because (although the complaint is legitimate) there really is more to it than this.<br />
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You might not see it this way, but I think it's a positive that you seem to have some level of intimacy, even if it's not good - at least there's something to be improved upon. But clearly it's unfair if he expects of you what he won't do himself (oral and manual). If you're initiating it to keep some amount of intimacy alive and it's not at his request, I'd say the ***-for-tat obligation isn't the same, but I do think that he could at least make the effort with manual or toys for your pleasure. (Hell, I wish I was allowed these options.)<br />
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I'd like to be kind and say the weight shouldn't matter, but if you're talking about a lot of weight then I can see where it's a fair issue for him. (e.g., let's say you've doubled your weight - if it doubled again, is it then OK for him to take issue? Probably, so why would it be unreasonable now?) Weight is probably not his only factor, but it might be enough to have changed the way he sees you - as a life partner but not a sexual partner - and it may be . Even if you shed the weight, there would be a challenge to re-shape how he sees you.<br />
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A lot of us could stand to lose weight, myself included, and I'll give you the standard pitch I'm trying to motivate myself with... do it for the obvious health benefits; it just might change your spouse's attitude too (but don't expect it). At a minimum, getting in shape will improve your self-esteem and make you that much more appealing to someone new.

Princess<br />
You hit right on the head, you can’t be happy when your needs aren’t met or even attempts made to meet them

I do not agree with lionh3art's advice. This is an emotionally neglectful and abusive marriage and putting on a happy face is not going to make a bit of difference. Your husband is belittling you and ignoring your wants, needs, and desires to cover his own inadequacies. If you want to loose weight, do so - but do it for yourself. Most experiences on this forum where weight has been an issue find that even after the weight is lost, they will come up with another reason not to have sex.<br />
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Do what you need to do to feel better about yourself. Exercise (ask him if he'd like to exercise with you!), take on new hobbies, meet new people. In the mean time, see if hubby will join you in counseling. Be truthful to yourself about your situation.If he still isn't coming around, leave (easier said than done). This isn't just about sex; this is about someone who doesn't care about your emotional needs.

Oh honey, I do feel for you. But what you have there is a great man, although not perfect. My question is, would you be willing to throw everything away?<br />
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I have also noticed that your self-esteem is very down. My unsolicited advice would be to to FEEL sexy. Do it for yourself. If you cannot change your body, change your attitude.

LonelyGirl, you have found the right group here. Please read more of the stories here, and post more of your own if it helps. The folks here are generally understanding and supportive.

I believe you should still stick with him...because whats more important is family..its hard but try to control your desire for sex..its only better for you..Just try not to think of your past sex relationships. If things are meant to be..You will have sex with your husband soon...just think positive and stay healthy. Healthy life makes you look better and looking better will make your husbands desire for sex increase. Again do not be selfish and leave..you got a son and you got a good husband like you said. Sex should come last..its not bad..but your mind shouldnt be dying for it. I am still a virgin and I want sex at times(but do not underestimate my advice because I chose not to have sex when i had chances)...but I know Sex is nothing without love...and remember that Love is far different from sex too..Just cuz someone loves you doesnt mean the person wants to have sex..there are other requirements for sex..So wait..b4 you regret. I will pray 4 you:) good luck.