Sixteen Candles

One candle for each year without sex in the last 16 years of a 33 year marriage.
I know that it must be my fault for marrying someone because I was afraid of being alone. I grew to love my husband in the years we've been together. Not "in love" but love like a relative or close friend. We had sex in the beginning. Maybe once or twice a week. We had three children. All grown now.
Husband had health problems. He was in an accident which aggrevated an old back injury on March 1, 1996. I know this because the last time we had sex was February 29, 1996. Leap year. 16 years ago. He continues to have back issues. But, I've heard all sorts of excuses;
I'm tired. I had a bad day. I think God meant for people to have sex only to procreate. I can't get it up because of all the medicine I take.

I might believe the medicine excuse. But, my doctor told me that there was always things to try if it was medicine related. And he won't.
My friends have said, "there's more than one way to have sex". I suggested oral and got a very quick "no". Sex toys? We never had them before. He's just not interested.

He's not gay. He's not having an affair.
He tells me, "Isn't it great that we can be so close even without sex?"
I tell him, yes, because if it's medical he can't help it. But, inside I feel ugly, unappreciated, depressed.
When I tried to leave several months ago, he started crying and begging me to stay. Then, he missed work withoutpay for the xt three days recouping from the ordeal of our "talk" He said he couldn't imagine living without me. And, think of the kids. They would be devastated. Kids are 32, 30 and 24.
Really? They are adults.
We're in debt up to our eyeballs. The IRS owns us. The financial side of leaving would be difficult. But, is that just an excuse? Does the whole thing go back to what got us here? Me being afraid to be alone...
I feel like I'm suffocating.
tessabug tessabug
51-55, F
7 Responses Feb 20, 2012

Are you still in the same situation today.

Wow - I just stumbled on this site. It is scary and eye-opening to realize there are people that share so much in common. For me the date is 12/28/99 - the last time I had physical intimacy with my wife. I relate directly to all of your comments - a feeling of suffocating, watching life go by. I actually took the step of having an affair. Clearly the wrong thing to do. It lasted about two years. A long distance affair - that I did not initiate, but certainly did not decline. While sex was certainly a part of the affair the one thing that I constantly came back to was - this is someone I could talk with. My wife eventually found out, very difficult times, we "reconciled" - but the point I made to her was, the most wonderful part of the relationship was someone to talk with. Since the affair I've realized that the two go hand in hand - communication and intimacy. When you fully connect with someone, share your thoughts, fears, frustrations, desires, you then want to be intimate. It is a natural evolution a way of sharing love. It has been two years since the affair, my wife and I continue to go through the motions - we're roomates and different rooms at that. Seems obvious what needs to happen - but unwinding things - well, it is complicated.

I wish you the best, and take some comfort that I am not alone. As my romantic partner was fond of saying - life is short, this is not a dress rehearsal.

I`m in the same boat as you only it has only been 5 years this month since we`ve been intimate.

I understand. Not in debt, no accident, but the rest is similar. No holding, no nothing. If I try to really touch him he pushes me away or jerks away...I cry a lot. I wish I had the answer.

Thats a very long time.<br />
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You have obviously discussed the issues although your husband does not seem very open minded. <br />
Is he willing to be intimate with you at all ? Do you cuddle, hold hands or sit close together ?<br />
Can you get him to give you a massage ?<br />
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I can't help feeling there is some reason that he is perhaps feeling insecure or inadequate.<br />
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Perhaps you could try a middle ground with him. Make it clear that you are not looking for sex but tell him you ache and would really like a massage. <br />
If he agrees, try desperately hard not to do anything that could be seen as trying to initiate sex. If you find he creeps a little in the direction you want, thats fine, don't make a big fuss. <br />
A massage doesnt need to be your back. It could be your legs, your abdomen, or anywhere. <br />
Don't expect too much to start with. I know it is difficult but dont try too often to start with. A good trick is to try and bring things to and end while he is still interested in doing. It leaves a feeling of 'I want to' rather than 'I have had enough'<br />
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The medication is never a help. The debt and IRS are not a help either.<br />
I would say that perhaps he believes he is not capable since his accident but the one thing that really bothers me about your story is the procreation comment. That just screams "I don't want to". He doesn't sound like he would be very open to the idea of counciling or therapy.<br />
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He may not be interested in sex toys but you could possibly get a 'body massager' that looks nothing like a sex toy vibrator. Maybe you could massage him with it.<br />
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It may not be to your taste but have you tried watching some **** movies together to see if you get any response from him ? I suspect that is not a great idea if you are just getting a 'no not interested response' but it might be worth the thought.<br />
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I don't really understand his position that well. Im more on the other side of the coin but what I am thinking is...... If he loves you but is just not interested in sex, thats his choice. We are all entitled to choice. If it is that simple, I don't understand why he would not be willing to at least help you to get some satisfaction. <br />
It doesnt take much to help hold a vibrator for you or finger you. That makes me think there is more to this, a reason he has been keeping from you. Might be something silly and yet nagging in his mind.<br />
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Does he know that you married to avoid being alone ? Is that why he married ? <br />
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I think it is great that you can be close without the sex but I think you deserve a medal for making sixteen years.

I'm so sorry to hear your story. I have not gone 16 years but I feel like I am married to a sibling. You may not agree but I have a website that I built surrounding my experience. Check it

One of the reasons can be that the husband feels that he cannot satisfy you and uses the excuses to avoid an unpleasant situation. It is not good for healthy marriage specially when one spouse wants sex and other does not give. Did you try to entice him, wore a showy dress, went to places where erotic dances or plays are performed? Try it to overcome the hesitation of the husband. Sex is a natural desire but it dries sometime when the person feels that it will bring disappointment to either or both.