My Wife Is Sick, We Can't Have Sex

I was a Christian and did the Christian thing of not having sex before marriage. We dated for about 9 months before getting married. I only got married because I thought God would want me to marry a Christian woman. She has an illness that means she can't work, and has to take a lot of expensive drugs.

Our honeymoon I discovered that we couldn't have sex. I assumed that it was just a glitch and we would get past it. Its not her fault, she experiences a lot of pain if we try anything... Its been about 2 years now, and I know that nothing will ever change. She is always sick, always will be.

She is sick, and will struggle to look after herself. I earn all the money, do all the shopping, most of the cooking. She is helpless without me.

We struggle with money, we can't travel, we will never have kids, we can't even adopt. This is it. 

I am so sad.

I wish every day I had never met her.

I want to leave but I feel terrible about her being by herself.

I feel bad that the main reason I want to leave is because we don't have sex.

Is this it? Did I give my life away to support someone else?

She has violent outbursts of anger, and threatened to kick me out many times. 1 month ago, she got so bad she hit me, so I left. I was gone about 4 days. I came back to the house to pick up some stuff, and she begged me to come back. She promised that she would deal with her anger, and trust me more. I am a sucker for someone with tears streaming down their face. Im too soft hearted, always trying to save people. She has done really well since I came back. She has really controlled her anger.

I came back to the house.

I am so angry at myself for coming back.

I had a great reason to leave.

I will find a way out one day.

I used to be a passionate positive person, now my life is a dull grey.

Im so sad.

I guess I want people to tell me its OK to go. She is not my responsibility. Other people have such bad stories and they stay in aweful marriages for years. Its just been 2 years for me, and yet I'm giving up already. I just think that if I knew I would die in 5 years, I would never ever stay. This life is killing me. I was not meant to be someones nurse.

yes, ok, thanks for reading.

mrmistake mrmistake
26-30, M
38 Responses Apr 13, 2010

I'm in a three and a half year relationship. The first year our sex life was great. We saw each other about twice a week and made love every time and most of the times twice. We had a bad argument about a year and a half ago. When the argument ended it wasn't resolved and I was still angry and hurt but still wanted to see and spend time with him and was making an effort to get past it. I wasn't overly loving or affectionate but did let him hold my hand, rub my feet and tried to have fun. When we went to bed that night I realized I wasn't past what we fought about and when he tried to initiate love making I stopped him. He was very angry and hurt. He slept in the other room. In the morning he was still upset and we started fighting about it and evidently I got so upset I said something terrible. I said something about him being pissed because I didn't let him **** me. I don't recall the words coming out of my mouth but I believe him that I said it. This argument nearly destroyed us. We got past it and about 4 months later experienced pain in my stomach. Got so bad I went to the emergwn room. I had no insurance so I had to apply for medical assistance. After I got approved I went to several doctors and had multiple tests where it was discovered I needed gall bladder removal surgery but they weren't sure it would fix the problem. Had my surgery in may (pain began in September) and it fixed it!!! Immediately after my surgery my bf had a family emergency and had to take his brother in. My bf either was uncomfortable making love with his brother in the next room or he thought I was or both, so another month or two went by. I said something to him about it and his response is that I denied him too much and he is conditioned now to not doing it, I don't initiate enough and his brother is there. I told him it didn't bother me that his brother was there. I started trying to Initiate more and things started picking up a bit (during illness went from 2-4 times a week to once every 2-3 weeks but he acts like we didn't do anything for the whole 9 months)/but now it's gone backward again and in the last six months we've only made love a half dozen times all of which have been at my initiation and many times I try to start something but he doesn't respond or give me any indication that he is into it so I stop. How do we get things back on track.

So are you saying the marriage has not even been consummated.
If you examine the idea of a covenant in the Hebrew you CUT a covenant.
That means "blood" aka the loss of virginity is met with blood and thus the cutting of the covenant.
There may have been vows but it is clear the requirements of Biblical Law have not been fulfilled if the covenant has not been cut.
This is also a clear violation of Paul's commandment in 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 where he makes it clear the wife's body is the husbands and the husbands body is the wife's.
A marriage is not just two best buddies living together.
Surely your wife can please you sexually in some way. I am not aware of the particular medical reason why sex is painful but the first time can be. Surely she has a creative bone in her body where some other arrangement can be made for both of you?
A husband needs to be gentle and meet his wife's needs which is more than just physical and the wife needs to meet her husbands else there is defrauding going on.
If this covenant has not been cut then there is no marriage.
If she was aware of this condition before you were married then there is also deception involved.
My heart and prayers go out to you.


You are not alone. I am a Christian also and a year after we got married my husband got hurt then got diagnosed with conjestive heart failure and is now on oxygen 24/7. He can no longer have sex or travel ir work. I am working and I have my own disability, firbromyalgia to deal with on top of working taking care of the house and him. We have been married 15 years. I am so unhappy as well and don't know what to do. I have been thinking about separating but then u feel like a horrable person for wanting to leave while he is sick and keep thinking about my vows in sickness. It's overwhelming. I'm glad to know I'm not alone but I just don't know what to do.

I have faced nothing like what you are facing. What I have faced I can tell you that I am done. The love has died, the feelings that drew us together have vanished, the vows that bound us have proved to be too weak. I'm going on a 30 year marriage. My point to you this. If you are feeling this way already in just two years. Do the math. How will you feel in 5 or 10 or 20 years? ??? I'm a christian too and I know the religious side of it well. The marriage relationship god puts forth is not to bind us to a life of hell. If you read close, most of the direction for a marriage isn't about how you can't change your mind and leave, it's about how to make it better. Part of this responsibility is on her too. Your a man and I'll tell you this. If you have a desire for intimacy and she doesn't even try something so at least you can feel some love, how do you plan to survive the years to come. For her benefit, what kind of husband will she have then? Do you see yourself making her happy? It is a sad situation but you need to sit and really think this through.

So many of us with similar stories. I remarried 5 years ago not realizing how ill my husband was. Then he had surgery and a surgical error has left him unable to breathe without supplemental oxygen, cannot have an erection...thus no sex, no spontaneity, travel or fun. I am not only his caretaker but I handle EVERYTHING at home. I cannot continue. I too am a Christian but this is no life. SO SAD AND LONELY...

Agreed - his situation is just going to deteriorate. If I were struck ill in that way, I would want my husband to move on. There is no way that he could go without sex, nor should he expect to be - tied to some live in friend. Now, that being said, I know that I would be there for my husband in any way I could. There are other ways to pleasure your husband. I don't know how you could go the rest of your life without sex, but I suppose you could make it work. However, there seem to be a great many issues going on here - such as her violence.

I have nearly the same story, and I too am getting depressed about the situation. My wife and I live more like brother and sister than husband and wife. My wife is like an angel but without an intimate relationship our marriage is nothing like I thought and wanted it to be. I am now falling more and more into depression. I am not the kind of guy who would want to go out and have a fling, I want all the passion, love and intimacy that goes into having great love making. I just don't want sex. What am I going to do? I could not live with myself if I left her as she depends so much on me. I wish I could bring a second "wife" into our house.

Sit her down and have a straight forward honest talk with her.
Be honest with yourself too. Have you done anything to cause resentment (not a justification for withholding sex btw but we all have married humans with issues.) Try and find the source of the icey wall between you both. I have had to work similar issues with my wife and most of the time we have gone a month or two simply over something I did not know offended her (and I made it clear she should not be putting me in temptation and maddening frustration for an offense you have with me that I did not even know existed). She did not understand after 10 years of marriage how different male sexuality was from female sexuality.
Is there something you need to apologise for?
Maybe there isn't? Maybe she has feminist ideas about sex? I don't know. Some women think men should be able to just control themselves and do not understand male sexuality is far more powerful a driving force than most female desires (generalisation obviously, aka testosterone vs estrogen).
We need to care for our wife emotionally daily and other ways before they feel they can feel sexual most of the time. Sometimes as men we have to be willing to take a hit for the team (even when our wives should be meeting our needs as much as we should be meeting theirs).
Having done all to resolve it. It takes two to tango, you can't dance if one of the partners leaves the dance floor.

"Feminist" ideas about sex? I'm a feminist and think sex is wonderful, and is a great way for men and women to have intimacy together. I know other feminists who feel the same way. I happily have a great sex life with my feminist, post sexless marriage boyfriend.

An angel came unto me (not *on* me this time, thank God), while I slept last night. He instructed me to tell you to bind your wife to the bed and have your way with her, then cast her into the sea with a millstone around her neck.
Alternately, you could end this madness in a civil manner, but that seems very un-christianlike.

leave her , she knew what she was doing, and even if she didn't tell you the marriage would sexless, she should have said it would be childless, which amounts to fraud on her part. if she had told you all the things you now know, then i am willing to bet you would not be with her now. as she didn't disclose any of this surely it is on par with being unfaithful in terms of dishonesty.

oh and also forget the christian counselling because your vow waqs for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.

I deeply feel for you. I am praying that things get better. It seems like she has an emotional problem as well as physical and it may be interconnected. If she wants to keep you she must be willing to change and get help - possible free counseling for anger management. If she can get angry, she still has energy to do something - even if it is just to talk kindly to you. Possibly sites online can help like because people there have cured their illnesses with better lifestyles. She must be committed to change and be better for you. If she doesn't want to do that I believe you have grounds for an annulment.

It seems that she married you under false pretenses. She must have been sick to begin with and hid that from you. Legally, if this is the case you can annul the marriage. If you're that unhappy and there is no love in the relationship (and I don't see how there can be), either annul if possible or divorce her. You may have to provide support depending on the laws of the state you live in. With her medical condition she qualifies for many kinds of state programs that will take care of her. It's time to take care of yourself and share your life with someone that will make you happy as well.

What is she sick with?

Finally someone with the right Question. How can anyone move forward with any commentary unless thyou at least know that. I believe up until now we e been shooting up high Blindly. Yes allow me to attach to that question what is her illness or diagnosis?

I am so sorry to read your story . I believe the two of you went into the relationship not really knowing enough about each other, have you talked. To a Christian counselor ? Each of you should seek individual first . Finding yourself and the truth is a start. No one here is a bad person just hurting and misunderstood. You are also in a codependency relationship - she depends on you for everything and you fullfill her needs to feel ok about yourself . It's so unhealthy - reading some books may help - the bible - and tje boundaries book and a book about codependency - there are also support groups in your church and community . I pray for you both to find happiness and peace as you seek answers for your futures - written with love and sincerity for all the hurting who do not have a voice .

Yes I KNOW ! My wife got mental illness bad, paranoid skitzo... so she is not able to have sex, or have a loving relationship or keep a house... sound familiar? Drugs help some but I have looked in to this biblically and I ( with out the support of my church) have accepted that I am the only way my wife is going to survive out side of institutional commitment. I found legal advise and became her guardian and helped her onto social security and other government help so if I can not support her she will be sort-a cared for. Sex is a personal thing, I will not be loving (sex) my wife/ but I have not looked seriously outside the marriage yet. We have 14 years together and 10 have been with the disease. I found men in true relationships with God will give the best advice. My advice for me is I will find sex when /if I can no longer wait.. on that day I will decide.. and not fixate on that issue before then. For you ...if you were deigned the truth on your wife's condition and she refuses to seek counseling, talk seriously about a separation. maybe in a month or so you both will find that the marriage is fixable ... but only with a GREAT Christian counselor, never make a life changing decision alone. bin there done that ././.never again ...that's my advice: seek good counsel good luck

Why don't you look for sex OUTSIDE YOUR WIFE? Don't use her as an excuse, nor blame her. A discrete misstress will help you both..

my wife is always sick too. we married less than 2 years ago. we didn't have sex before marriage ( my first mistake) it took us 3 month till we have our first sex, since she was afraid of sex. she has been sick since we got married, her sickness? her bad eating habit, she is gaining lots of weight, she is always stressed. She loves me too much and that was my other mistake that I though this he love is enough. now I am depressed and want to find a way yo run away.I am really tired of her not being able to take care of herself.
I am not even motivated to work anymore, I am becoming a depressed person and need serious therapy now. so I don't want to tell you to leave or what to do, just wanted to tell you there are other people with similar issues. so you are not alone

It is okay to go! She will get along without you as long as you do not leave her without support. She will survive without YOU.

I wish I knew what too say. I am there, too.

My wife was not sick before we got married, it was after. She has liver cirroshis and is in line for a long and drawn out painful death. We have a 14 yo son and I want to provide a strong and positive male role model. But I am so in love with a wonderful fantastic woman. I am also so sexually motivatived. i just do not know what to do. Whatever I do it is wrong. HELP

you have a duty to your wife as you married her in sickness ans in health remember, and this is another test that life throws your way. if you are sexually motivated then talk to your wife, tell her what you need,even if she can't help your situation, if she loves you that much she will give you the answer to the problem.but don't have an emotional relationship with another, keep it purely as sex, the other that you think you love is not the answer.

MrMistake contradicted himself dearly by saying "I was a Christian and did the Christian thing of not having sex before marriage." then he claimed in another post that he actually had great sex life with ex girlfriends.

This women is not holding up her end of the deal. Marriage is a mutual agreement and requires both parties to participate. This poor guys is left alone with nothing but welfare and needs from a women. What a waste. She hasn't provided anything in the marriage. No love, no financial assistance, no help at all, nothing but welfare.

"I only got married because I thought God would want me to marry a Christian woman. She has an illness that means she can't work,"<br />
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I have a question did u know she was sick before you got married? and Was she the only christian woman you knew? and Why did u have to get married right then? Was it so u wouldnt feel guilty about having sex? If the answer to question 1 is a yes and youre the cristian you say you are then you definitely have no bibile ba<x>sed right to leave. "in sickness and in health" it didnt say if her sickness doesnt affect your sex life. <br />
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On the other hand if you take religion out of it. and U didnt really want to marry her in the first place then do both of you a favor and leave. Allow both of you to move on.

I also waited till I was married before have sex. The sex lasted about 8 years, then she got sick and it ended. That was about 10yrs ago. We have a kid, and she has a positive attitude. that helps me stay with her. But the lack of sex is starting to become an issue, I thought I could handle it, no sex. but after so long, I think I am going to have to figure something else out.

I hope that I am writing this as an after thought and that you've already left....I would tell her that I am either going to a walmart and getting astroguide lube and ******* the hell out of her or that I'm leaving....Just leave....have you seen medical proof from a medical dr that she is actually sick and just isn't a hyper-vagina-iac.

Not only poor you, but poor her in my opinion. If you think you have it bad, just dive into her mind for a few. She has no independence, has a sex drive which will never be satisfied, has no ability to have offspring, seems like she can't work from what I read, she really has a dark life going on... <br />
You suffer, you suffer much, you have a drive that is meant to be fed which hasn't and is eating you - I feel bad for both of you but more than for you for her... Only thing we need to do is learn to live in simplicity. I think you ought to take this situation into prayer with God, He alone can tell you what to do and how to do it... I am so sorry for this situation your in. - I think you should leave her as your spouse, but not as your friend and not as a person you want. I feel like you didn't love her when you got married. And about her anger issues, I recommend her spending time with God specially in His word, for it changes people... specially the NT...

your story broke my heart....the truth is tommorrow may never show up...for you and me life is not prromised. Instead of letting your idea of God hold you down, know that any god that deserves worship wouldn't want you to say in loveless marriage. Good luck.

You need to remember tat marriage is between you, ur wife and God. Talk to him before you make your final decision. Pray about it and the answer will be made clear to u

Wow what a mess hope you get your act together and end up happy!

This is very interesting. <br />
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" For those kind people that made sensitive comments about God, don't be offended but I am over that crap. That book is the biggest pile of s**t written by a bunch of old man arabs in the desert. I don't think it has much to say about my life in 2010 New Zealand. " <br />
Then..... why did you bring it up in the very first sentence of your story??? <br />
Oh, I get it. Silly me, you meant it as an insult. You must have thought what you meant by The Christian Thing was obvious. Whatever. Who is at fault in this marriage is now irrelevent but still interesting. <br />
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See, you married a Christian but it is apparent that you were only putting up an act. Your arrogant attitude towards faith has made YOU a deceiver to your wife. If this is how you talk about The Bible, I guess you have no capacity to understand the gravity of how you misled your wife. I think your wife is right to refuse having kids with you. <br />
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Your wife deceived you about sex in marriage. <br />
You deceived your wife about faith in marriage and you know it. <br />
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This is highly interesting because many of us identify ourselves as victims of refuser spouses. I do not give a damn to make you renew your Christian faith. That is God's job. I am just pointing out the bilateral deceit in your marriage. You might in fact be a contributor to your own marital demise. I wonder how many more of us in this group have done the same without realizing or admitting it. <br />
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For what it is worth, I still think you should dump your wife.

She may have a medical condition that makes intercourse painful and she should discuss this with her gyn. Have you ever tried KY jelly or some other lubricant?

Well marriage IS through SICKNESS and in health. Did you know that she couldn't have sex with you before you got married? If you KNEW it before you got married then I see it as your fault and you should sleep in the bed you made. However, if you had no idea and she lied to you then leave her. If she got sick while you two were together, well...then again, through SICKNESS and in health. If you love someone why would you consider it you being her nurse? Don't we help the people we love? It seems to me that you were granted a challenge from God that you're miserably failing in. <br />
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On the other hand you could be failing in that you're not overcoming guilt. But if you made the decision KNOWING she couldn't have sex or do the following then you truly deserve to stay with her and you're just being selfish. Everyone gets angry I've gotten angry and have physically hit someone for it but everybody has these times in life; it's natural. I've yelled before, screamed and cursed. So if you wife is getting it under control then there shouldn't be a problem. Maybe your wife is angry because she can't have sexual intercourse with you. Have you ever thought about that? All these things you have to ask yourself if you put yourself in that position knowing what you were getting yourself into then decide because what you maybe fighting with is your own selfishness of only wanting for yourself only. It all comes down to if you really love her or not. Ask yourself that. If you love her deeply then stay with her. If not then leave her. But you have to be careful that you don't mistake her sickness and you having to take care of her as you not loving her. <br />
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Seems like to me you don't love her with what you're saying. So it's up to you for to decide.

Hey mr 5 times in the last 20 months sounds completely uninterested in sex to me, as if she is just going through the motions.<br />
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if she was a virgin before she married you, maybe its not really the illness, but that she needs to get used to it? the first few times (it can vary between 1 to 10 times depending on the person) it hurts more then anything but after a while it will get good.<br />
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Maybe you two need lubricant or something.. she sounds as if she is dry like the sahara desert..<br />
anyway if she really does abuse you again, you really should dump her.

I am astounded at the number of posts. I can't believe it. I never expected so many kind and thoughtful people would actually read my ramblings. I might have written better prose if I had known.<br />
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For those kind people that made sensitive comments about God, don't be offended but I am over that crap. That book is the biggest pile of s**t written by a bunch of old man arabs in the desert. I don't think it has much to say about my life in 2010 New Zealand.<br />
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Unlike other people here, I am not married to a 'refuser'. I don't know why, but she suffers pain, during and after intercourse. We had sex maybe 5 times in the last 20 months. She wants to be sexual with me, and we try, but its terrible sex if you know what I mean. Due to her sickness, its limited to hand jobs. It sounds terrible, but it does nothing for me. Its like scratching an itch. A counselor told me that I could be sexually fulfilled, but hes not in my shoes. I am young, healthy, fit and strong.<br />
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I have a very high libido, no kidding. I have had wonderful sexual relations before. I know the amazingly fulfilling feeling that comes from satisfying a sexual woman. I have spent whole days in bed before, and I miss those days with an ache that is hard to bear. I have dreams almost every night of ex girlfriends.<br />
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Then theres the issue of verbal abuse. She has a massive anger problem. She let it out a lot, and said so so many hurtful things. She screamed at me, she throws things, she calls me names. She once said she wanted to punch me in the head while I was driving. Its been unbearable.<br />
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Then I left and she cried, and said she was sorry and promised to never do that again.<br />
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Somewhere in there I lost it. I have struggled to love someone who I can't be intimate with. Saying sorry doesn't seem to take it away. I would walk away and never look back. <br />
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I just struggle with leaving her alone. I would love for her to have an affair, but I know thats not possible. I worry that I will be haunted by this. Will I spend the rest of my life wondering how she is doing, feeling terrible for leaving her.

You and I are in the same situation.

Fat,<br />
Which form of abuse would you find most acceptable in answering your question?<br />
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Seems pretty loaded.<br />
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Physical violence, emotional hostage taking, sexual neglect... All worth leaving over.

wait a minute.... so you're a virgin? a MARRIED virgin?

I'm sorry for your experience.<br />
Does she want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with her?

She is holding you a hostage. Who took care of her before you? Was it her parents? <br />
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You are staying out of guilt. You will spend your life in misery if you stay. She has taken your right away to have a family.<br />
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Get yourself a good counselor, go talk to a priest and LEAVE!

Mr.M - I can see the quandary of leaving someone in her condition, but it sounds like it was always bad and its getting worse. It seems she married to gain a provider and caregiver, and you ended up with a raw deal.<br />
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For starters, vaginal intercourse isn't the only option if she had a sincere interest in an active sex life with you.<br />
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This is about more than justifying an annulment. You walked into a situation that you knew was difficult and it's commendable that you were willing to try. But it's turned out much worse than you expected and you got hosed. Anyone else would pull the plug on a sexless, abusive relationship - don't let yourself be trapped just because she's ill. She was ill before you met her and she'll get by without you.

I agree with the above comments, you should not feel guilt for wanting to be able to have a good and normal relationship and sex life with your spouse. It sounds like you have tried so hard to achieve this, and that you realize that this will never be a part of your marriage. My heart goes out to you. <br />
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You deserve to be happy! Plain and simple, you deserve to have the loving and nurturing relationship that you crave. And what she is doing in regards to anger, that is abuse, plain and simple. I've lived with a spouse with anger issues for many, many years. It is just one more way they control us. <br />
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I hope that you find the validation that you are looking for. Please share more with us here.

I see a lot of hope for you, young man. <br />
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Yup. You are in the right to leave. If you are looking for solemn and holy permission to leave this marriage, you have it already: the lack of sex is cause for annulment. You have one more good reason: violent abuse. <br />
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I can not speak for all Christian denominations but the purpose of marriage is ultimately procreative. The end result of all married Christians is to create new Christians and to raise them to love and fear God, through His son. For couples who are ostensibly infertile, their mission in life is to adopt or to devote their efforts to helping other children. <br />
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You do not provide much details but you said that adoption is out of the question. That is odd but I will rely on your judgement. If you can not adopt with your wife, just leave. <br />
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Your wife is broken. If she truly can not have sex, the compassion she deserves should start by coming from God. God made crazy people who refuse to have sex with their spouses. God made hermaphrodites. God made homosexuals. God made quadriplegics. God made fat ugly people too. All of these people are born unlucky and normal marital sex is an unfair challenge for them and nobody is responsible for curing them. <br />
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Your wife also sounds like a manipulator. The next time she nags you, get the hell out of that marriage.

It sounds as if this marriage was never meant to be. And although you didn't actually say, maybe it never has been. Sex is required to finalize the marriage contract. <br />
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It's okay to feel the way you do. You don't need anyone's permission to feel the way you do or to leave. It's okay to leave. Some people will judge you but only you know the truth of your experience. God wants you to be happy and joyful. Honest. Good luck. It sucks to be us.