Sexual And Emotional Abandonment"Abandon" has different meanings:
- To Physically leave, as in leaving behind without the consent of the other party.
- To Emotionally leave, as in not being present in a marriage, to not share emotional intimacy.
- To Sexually leave, as in refusing your spouse sex and sexual intimacy; to neglect your spouse's needs.
- To Financially leave, as in not being responsible with joint money matters.
- To act without restraint, as in freedom from inhibition.
EMOTIONAL ABANDONMENT is what happens as a result of a sexless marriage. The Refuser denies their spouse mature, committed love and closeness and denies honesty, communication, commitment and trust which is SEXUAL INTIMACY. By refusing them sexually, they not only deny their spouse their affections but also denies them their need to express their affections. They refuse to give or to receive affection from their spouse. This lack of sexual intimacy rots their relationship not only in the bedroom but it causes all sorts of problems in all other areas of their life; they feel worthless, uncared for, undesired, unattractive, confused, frustrated, sad and hopeless throughout their entire day. This type of burden can cause not only emotional damage such as depression but also physical damage as well, as in high blood pressure, severe anxiety and sexual frustration.
In a sexless marriage, a Refuser either denies there is a problem, or agrees there is a problem but does not care enough to do anything about it. They are complacent. They are selfish. Their self-centered mindset and lack of motivation makes them believe that their spouse will continue to stay with them no matter what state of emotional, sexual and physical misery they cause them. Maybe they have mental issues, maybe they have physical issues, but they still have the knowledge of right from wrong and treating their spouse with so little regard is clearly wrong. If they do not want to deal with their problem because it is too emotionally or physically challenging on them, they should at least TRY if they give a damn about their spouse and their marriage. Having a problem is not the problem; it's not dealing with said problem which causes dysfunction and erodes the relationship.
A healthy, loving, mature relationship does not involve sticking one's head in the sand when issues arise; it means addressing the problem TOGETHER. It does not involve sexual refusal. It does not involve mental anguish. It does not involve neglect. It does not involve indifference to their spouse's feelings. It does not involve causing a constant feeling of hopelessness. It should not be the source of daily sadness and stress. It should be their main source of joy. It should be an emotional and sexual connection which grows every day.
Of course it involves compromises but those compromises shouldn't emotionally drain them. Of course it involves differences of opinion but those differences should be respected. Of course it should involve hard work but it should be both spouses committed to the work. And it involves desire; the desire not only for sexual intimacy but also the desire to stay faithful, to be honest, to treat each other with respect, and to care enough about their spouse and their marriage to do whatever it takes to make it loving and forever. Marriage shouldn't be taken for granted. Real love should be valued and cherished for the rare, blessed gift that it truly is.
As a side note, I am divorced after an 18 year sexless marriage. I had tried to better my marriage and help my former husband deal with his many issues but he refused to seek any treatment whatsoever. We had 'the talk' many, many times but he never felt motivated to do anything about my suffering or even his own due to depression and other addictions. He thought I would never leave him. It took a lot of inner strength for me to do so and it was not a decision I made lightly. But things were never going to improve and I finally realized the harsh truth. I left a man I loved but had to for my own self perseverance and sanity. His 18 years of refusal and neglect had finally worn me down and caused me to fall out of love with him.
I sometimes feel guilty for leaving him; I left him and by doing so I had turned his world upside down in one conversation one day after he came home from work. Life as he knew it with his wife, his pet, his house, his comfortable way of life would never be the same after that conversation. It broke my heart but I stood my ground with real tears of grief in my eyes. It pained me to have to hurt the man I loved by leaving him; he was visibly shaken, cried uncontrollably, got on his knees and begged forgiveness. But he had never done that during any of our "talks"; not one time over a period of 18 years. Not once had he given me a reason for his refusal, not once did he follow through with seeking professional help. I followed through with handing him the divorce papers and told him that I had to do it. He did not understand then and he still, over a year later, does not understand. He still thinks I gave him no warning whatsoever.
THIS is how I deal with my sense of guilt: I know for a fact that he had known of my heartache because I had point-blank told him many times. He, however, never cared enough to do anything about it. He said during the divorce and thenafter that I should have "threatened him with divorce", however, I strongly disagree. Had I threatened him he may have done something to improve the marriage, but I firmly believe that countless "talks" should have motivated him to care enough about me and end suffering. I believe that he should have loved me enough to want to make things better because of love for me and not because of a threat to leave him.
Good luck to anyone who is enduring, or had to experience, a sexless marriage. It's a hurt that is so deep and painful and filled with intense sadness and frustration. At times it seems there is no way out; that you are stuck for many reasons. But you do have options and you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness. Please try to realize that you only have one life to live and it is indeed too short to endure such unfair and unnecessary suffering on a daily basis. Please seek knowledge and support and try to keep your sanity. Most of all, please try to love your self enough to not settle for less than what real love offers. Had I stayed in my sexless marriage I would have never found my true soulmate, my best friend and lover and would have never experienced mature, romantic love. Moreover, I would have continued to lose my own sense of self and quite possibly my sense of self love.
Thank you for reading this.
ISELFLOVE 41-45, F 24 Responses 7 Mar 25, 2011