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A Loveless, Sexless Marriage

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A good friend of mine recently confided that her husband had lost all of his desire for physical affection, from holding hands in public to lovemaking. I knew he was distant and brooding and I had my suspicions about their love life because of hints she’d dropped over the years. But I didn’t know it was this bad. It’s been a dark and lonely road for her; a road she is convinced she travels alone. It was her sense that no one else had a marriage like hers that kept her from sharing sooner.

After a good deal of research I’ve found that while she isn’t completely alone, she’s not in ample company. To be more specific, little has been written and few studies have been done that address or explain the failing male libido beyond the wonders of sildenafil. There may be many more others like my friend, but they are thus quiet.

Having come to share this overshadowing part of her life, she’s surprisingly energetic. She says the energy came with the exhausting realization that her husband simply wasn’t going to change. During one morning round of coffee, we went over the papers she would need in preparation to eventually leave him. She looked up and said she had a quiet but constant nagging feeling that there was something else she could’ve done. I told her that was normal, reminded her of all the things she’d done through the years, and asked her “What else could you possibly do?” Her answer took me aback. “Go public. It’s not my secret.”

On behalf of a friend who has gone through so much and tried so hard, I have agreed to put her story into words in the last ditch hope that there’s an answer she may have missed. She doesn’t want to name names. She wants to name the condition. She wants to shine a light on it in hopes of freeing herself and possibly others from a shameful and lonely darkness. She may only get responses from woman who have come to the same conclusion as she has. While this doesn’t compare to the kind of hope she’s looking for, their stories might affirm what she already knows and fuel her stamina for the upcoming divorce and single hood.

Olencia* took a deep breath and sighed.

“I haven’t had sex with my husband in over a year. Even then it wasn’t intercourse. Before that it had been a year. He’s been to the doctor a few times for a full physical. He’s taken the little blue pill. It worked a few times, by default I guess. We’ve had the heart-to-hearts. He’s been prescribed anxiety medication and depression medication. He had a sleep study done on him as well as MRI’s, CAT scans, you name it. He’s currently seeing a psychologist who told me to just accept the way my husband is. He also expressed surprise that I hadn’t cheated on my husband. This guy is not the first to say that as we’ve had marriage counselors and individual counselors here and there for some time now. This guy is the first man, though. My husband was headstrong about not seeing a male mental health professional. When it came up again, there were only guys on the list of available providers so he had to pick from the list or not go. He conceded and we went together for a while.

It’s not just the sex I’m without. It’s everything. For as wild and wonderful as things were in the beginning (of the marriage, not just the relationship) he’s since cooled to the point that if he was a woman I’d refer to him as a frigid bitch. He’s not just without desire; he’s hostile about it. At one point a little over a year ago I hugged him knowing he wouldn’t hug back and just told him that I loved him. He hadn’t said, “I love you too” in several months and he hadn’t said, “I love you” in years. I pulled away and asked, ‘Does it matter that I say I love you?’ He misunderstood the question and replied, ‘No, it doesn’t matter that you love me.” When I spoke about this in counseling, the psychologist pointed to him having misunderstood the question. I pointed to him having expressed a truth.

He started off pulling away from my holding his hand, progressed to hugging with one arm and then no arms at all. Finally he said one day that he’d had sex when he didn’t feel like it and that he thought he should have stronger boundaries. That’s when our physical life together ended completely. All the while we’d been seeing professionals, medical and mental health, together and individually. All I’ve gotten out of it is a litany of people telling me there’s really nothing wrong with him and that I just have to accept that. ‘Accept what?’ I have often asked. Is he gay? Is he lying? ‘No,’ I’m told by him and the professionals, ‘just different.’ I think it’s interesting that he’s never been called upon to accept who I am.

He moved out in July and we had a few more sessions after that. I ended my participation because of a counseling incident in August. I told him that I felt like we were divorced, save the piece of paper. He agreed. (To interject briefly, he’s in the military and we are stationed overseas. While we can be separated and have a separation agreement, we can’t get a divorce here. To move back to the states before his tour is up would cost us thousands of dollars we simply don’t have. We don’t live together and have no involvement except where it concerns the kids, much like a divorced couple.)

The psychologist asked him if he would agree to leave me be if he saw me out with someone else, as a courtesy. He did not agree. In fact he angrily disagreed. I wasn’t shocked, but I felt disgusted with the nerve it took him to say anything about it at all. It made no sense for me to save myself for a man who had no romantic feelings at all, much less for me, that my chasteness was only for his benefit and was only aggravating me. The psychologist agreed that he had no right to attempt to restrict my behavior, especially in light of the separation agreement. He also reminded my husband of the great lengths he’d gone to when talking about having no drive, feeling there was nothing wrong with that, and how I should leave him alone once and for all. Still he felt it would be horribly wrong for me to step outside the ‘marriage.’ He would often point out how I thought sex was all there was to it and refused to address the fact that he wouldn’t even hold hands. I said it wasn’t all about sex; it was about any physical regard at all. I finally realized the depth of his confusion and anger, and decided to quit going to marriage counseling.

I don’t know where the man went that I married, but I know he’s nowhere around. I would love to know what’s going on with him but I’ve given up hope of ever finding out and I’m not sure how much difference it would make now if I knew. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I can’t afford to do what a caring person would do anymore. I still have kids at home and a job and a household to run. The kids and I have so many family meetings I’m about to call a sabbatical but I know it’s good the lines are open between us. They’re old enough to know some of what’s going on, that this is about physical neglect. They understand what I’m talking about as they too have been on the receiving end of one-armed hugs and a cool silence when they’ve said ‘Good night Dad, I love you.’ They don’t have to know more than that although I’ve been told more than once that anyone over the age of 16 could understand sexual frigidity. I’m all for talking with my kids about their sex lives, but I’m not going to talk with them about mine. I can’t think of how that would ever be appropriate unless my husband actually died from it somehow and the kids wanted to know what caused his death. This arrangement is not what I would prefer but it’s the best for now, financially and for the kids. They want to see him and he does make the effort to see them. He just doesn’t hug them hello or say ‘I love you too’ when they say ‘Goodbye Dad, I love you.’

It’s been heartbreaking for the kids and me. It isn’t the quick ‘I gotta get outa here’ announcement my last husband made. He was out the door the next day and gone from our lives forever. It’s almost twenty years later and I feel like I’m going through it all over again as if it were just yesterday. Different men, different issues, almost the same feelings. I’m not as hopeless and dependent as I was last time when I had no income, but what I’ve done for myself financially doesn’t make up for what mattered so much.

My sister and I have discussed this. She’s recently divorced from her first husband and is going through a major custody battle. Someone told her divorce was like a death. She responded that it most certainly was not, that death is an end and the dead don’t come back to haunt you in full view of your kids and friends. Divorce, she said, is worse than death; it’s like Alzheimers. I agree. The drawn-out, agonizing way in which my husband has come to leave me is nothing short of brain damaged and damaging in terms of the craziness and inconsistency.

The irony of him not wanting me to cheat is that his slow but sure drain on our love life has created a pain in me that doesn’t want physical affection right now. I know I want it eventually. I’m not dead; it’s just on hold while I get myself better together. I need time to myself, time not spent trying to ‘help’ him. I exhausted myself trying to understand him, make changes I thought I could make, going to doctors and therapists, reading books, doing this and that and any other thing. It was so tiring. Now I focus on my health, which I let slide some during that time. I work out, I keep up on my job, and I focus on my kids and our home.

I can’t stand seeing him anymore. The interesting thing is that, of late, he’s been trying to engage me in conversations about his childhood and his issues. It wasn’t that long ago when I would’ve given anything for discussions like that, but it’s just too late. It’s not like he’s asking to come back or trying to work on the marriage or anything like that. He just wants to extend his therapy time as far as I’m concerned and that’s not a use of my time and effort I’m willing to give him anymore.

Any woman in this position will eventually come to a point where she has to redefine her life, her expectations, and herself. I fought long and hard this time because I didn’t want to go through another divorce and I especially didn’t want to drag the kids through one. The older kids were very little when my ex and I divorced. They’ve never known him. My husband now is the only father they’ve ever known.

If there is an answer I’ve missed, I hope whoever has it will share it with me. If not, I hope the best for myself, and I wish the very best for any woman going through this.”

*Olencia’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

UPDATE: April 08, 2008
Saving A Loveless, Sexless Marriage: The Miracle of Retrouvaille

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Sex is an important part of marriage but whats more important is emotional fulfillment. If the two are not emotionally connected then there isnt any point in sticking around.

    On the other hand the guy’s behavior indicates that something bad may have happened to him while he was kid as was indicated vaguely in the post.

    It takes two to tango but if the tune no longer engages the couples interest then there is no reason why the dance should go on.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    I’ll give you a reason: young children. For SU and me, they provide the connection.

  • SFC SKI

    It could be that he man has a physical or psychologicl problem related to aging, as well. It could also be some type of stress reaction.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    I know of a couple who are sticking together because of the kids. The constant bickering and sulking hardly provide a congenial enviornment to bring up the kids.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Well, people have to learn to be grownups and to smile when they would rather cry or rage. It isn’t much of a life, but it’s the kids’ lives that count and they didn’t ask to be brought into the world. Every ounce of misery I suffer as a result of a hideously poor choice I have to endure for their benefit. What’s more important? Sex or children?

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    i don’t think the need for sex and children’s needs can be compared…staying in a loveless and sexless marriage “for the children” shows the children that romantic relationships are loveless and devoid of affection…
    if the couple can and is willing to stay in close proximity to each other for the children, different houses in the same town, then the children will be better off…
    cliche or not, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy…it’s not the sex — we can all deal somehow, someway…but to include one’s children in one’s withdrawal from affection is selfish and wrong no matter what the reason…the one who would show no affection need remove him/herself or expect that they will be removed…
    girl children of such a man learn to expect and may even grow to be attracted to men who are aloof, distant, and disaffectionate…boy children of this kind of man may learn that this is the way to act with women…

    i’m all about a person giving a marriage every single chance and then some…we need be aware that there are those marriages that, even 100 years ago, would’ve come to an end…

    a healthy marriage is every bit as important a tool in raising healthy children as is proper diet, vaccinations, and an education…
    an unhealthy marriage that has become a hopeless marriage is as bad for kids as a diet of fast food, no protection from disease, and a 3rd grade diploma…

  • http://www.triedit.com Robin

    I divorced my second husband in part because he had no sex drive, but mostly because he had no drive to fix what I considered to be a joint problem. He was more than willing to go to counseling “for me” but I didn’t think it was “my” problem.

    Mark was on dialysis, and was over 50. I knew there were physical and mental issues that played a big part of this problem–that’s why I was willing to stick it out as long as I did. But his unwillingness to make any effort to get help for us was more than I could bear.

    Interestingly, he was more than willing to allow me a surrogate sexual partner, and I did. We had a wonderful mutual friend who stepped into that role–in fact, he and I still share emails now and again. But the thought that Mark was willing to share me was also a blow. It told me (at least in my mind) how little that special closeness of sex really meant to him. The friend and I stopped seeing each other and about a year and a half later Mark and I did divorce. He died two years after that.

    I still have some guilt issues, but I don’t let it run my life. As a person and a woman I know I deserve a whole relationship and that I had done all I could do to achieve that.

    Please tell your friend that I admire her strength, her courage, and her ability to reason. And that she has every right to speak out about this tragic cycle of events–if for no other reason than to encourage others to get the support they need.

    Thank you for passing along this story and for the information on the book.

  • Bennett

    Wow, great post diana! I wish your friend the best, and I do agree with you and swingingpuss; a dysfunctional marriage is no place for children.

    My brothers and I were raised by my mother after my folks divorced. We still visited our dad every weekend, and each of us spent a year or so living with him (and his second wife) but soon returned to the warmth of our mother’s love.

    It was SO much better than seeing, feeling, and suffering under the negative emotions of parents that have grown apart but lack the courage to separate.

    Tell your friend that her kids will do just fine with her constant love.

    Bennett

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    thank you bennett for giving us the perspective from the other side…

    and thank you robin for sharing your story…i was especially taken with the comment “As a person and a woman I know I deserve a whole relationship and that I had done all I could do to achieve that.”
    pondering the many things that have been shared with me by her, i am in the hopes my friend will heed these words…perhaps there is some residual doubt about what she deserves, but surely she will see that she does, if for no other reason than because she did work so hard for it…oh, the prices we pay, and not a change return in sight…

  • Denise

    Wow! What an article to stumble across. I was looking for a court case in which withdrawal of affection played an important part. I just filed for divorce due to a loveless/sexless marriage. My husband did the same thing to his ex-wife also. She chose to have an affair, so of course the entire divorce was her fault and he gets all the sympathy. I told him 2 years ago I would not stay in a loveless/sexless marriage. It’s reassuring that I’m not the only one out there to have this experience.

  • Mike

    The men, husbands, are beat down and they just gave up caring, they have no feelings for you anymore, they probably don’t even like you. The funny thing is; He must have liked you at some point – he was willing to get married to you…. What happened after that?

    Husbands have become mindless machines that bring home a paycheck and come home to fat nagging, whiny and bossy wives. You expect he wants to have sex with that? Try again. A man is born with drive and spirit, you’ve managed to kill that spirit. He’s become an emotionless zombie. He can’t drink, smoke, hang out with his pals, pursue his beloved hobbies, no sir, no more of that, he’s married now…. He now gets to spend time with you discussing how you will spend the “family money” to redo the kitchen and bathroom. He is badgered to be “more romantic” like he “used to be”. He harrassed, and harangued and nagged until you have him fully beaten down and under control…. You managed to kill what drives a man, his spirit.

    He resents you, but does not verbalize why – he must be broken. Drag him to therapy. Does he talk, maybe. A little… Until you drag him back home and verbally abuse and chastise him for speaking his feelings and hurting yours (after all, it is all about you). Keep him beaten down, then blame him for all the problems, then file for divorce. It’s the American way. While you’re at it, take his money, the kids and the home.

    There is very little benefit, if any, for a man to get married unless HE wants to have children.

    You want a cure for his inattention? Bring a hot 20 year old into the bedroom. Disease cured. It’s not him, it YOU.

  • Cynne

    Hi everyone. A friend gave me the link to this site weeks ago, and when I began to read some of it I got angry because it upset my applecart. I’m sorry that this is long, but this is the first time I’ve let this out.

    My husband is a kind, good, gentle, and loyal individual. We had a beautiful home built four years ago; we adopted our beautiful son when he was born three years ago.

    For moral reasons my husband and I did not have sex before we were married. On our wedding night I know he was interested, but would have left me alone if I hadn’t done all the work. It is of great importance to him to make others around him feel comfortable – so much that I think the idea of initiating intimacy with me would seem to him an invasion of my comfort.

    Back then I’d often be in tears telling him that I shouldn’t have to beg, and that having to beg made me feel ugly (I am not), cheap, and humiliated. He’d always try to comfort me telling me that it wasn’t me; it was him. I think he initiated sex once, and I think that was just because he was trying to do what he thought I wanted, missing the fact that it was his desire that I wanted, not just his initiation.

    So the years go by and every time I make mention of the possibility of being intimate, he always says he’s interested, but his computer and other things are clearly more important. Granted, we have a three-year-old (nearly four), and that is tiring for anyone, but he just has no interest in really working on things, even if he says he does. A sick marriage cannot raise a healthy child. We saw a counselor for a while just after we adopted our son, but all that did was drain us financially.

    I thought it was just getting older and approaching menopause that I became disinterested in sex. But I still craved the intimacy. I had spoken with our doctor, who gave me samples of Viagra and Cialis.

    I had these samples for months before I finally said something about them. He simply indicated that he was not going to put that into his body (for which I don’t blame him, being health-conscious), but then there was still NO interest displayed on his part for addressing the problem.

    He seems to think that this is OK, and for a while I thought I could live with it because I just refused to acknowledge the need. I’ve had several friends tell me that I was unhappy in my marriage, and looking at all the things I had, I refused to really see it.

    I have been thinking for some time about leaving, but that would also mean leaving my son, who he would not part with (and he is a good dad). On a lesser scale, it would also mean leaving our home, the “security” of sharing a life together, and for me there is another important element…

    I have a physical disability, which often severely limits my mobility and function, though it isn’t noticeable to most people. I have had fears as to whether or not I could make it on my own. Even if I can, I am not sure that I could care for my son properly without someone else around. I would be leaving my husband’s medical insurance, and I can’t afford my own. Besides my son, this has been a large part of why I have remained a legal prisoner.

    Last night I made the decision to leave. I haven’t told him yet, but I know I have to. He will want to work it out, but he is who he is, and that won’t change. The worst thing is knowing that I won’t be able to kiss and squeeze my sweet little boy, and tell him how much I love him every day and every night as I always do. The second-worst thing is knowing that my husband and I love each other very much.

    I have no interest in hurting my husband in any way; he is a fine man who works hard to provide a good home. We share financial responsibility equally, we talk about news and weather, we laugh at the wonderful things our son does, but a peck on the lips out the door in the morning and at bedtime just isn’t enough for me. My needs are not being met and I can’t force him to meet them. I refuse to humiliate him.

  • Susan

    I just came upon this amazing article and comments after my husband walked out the door to work. I have had the exact same experience as many of you, married a wonderful man, had four kids, a great life, then he just disappeared 8 years ago, when we had the 4 plus his dad living with us. I worked all the way through, but after 2 years of being completely neglected fell in love with someone else, and it saved my life. He is married as well, we agreed to keep it out of our families, but we were noticed. My husband doesn’t want to touch me, but detests me for being “unfaithful” and a “liar.” Our kids are all close to us and we have fun as a group, but I am moving into a separate bedroom and planning to leave him once our youngest is a little older. My advice: once they become this way, they are dead. Leave them if you can, earlier rather than later, don’t be abused by neglect, it destroys you. Counselors don’t get it, from what I have seen. We need a support group, and I’ll bet there are men in the same boat. And to that Mike who wrote in: I am a successful musician and attorney and am considered a knockout by everyone I meet. My husband is average looking and thinks every man is after me, so it isn’t always the fat lazy nagging wife, it is a problem some people have and it is NOT normal, it is terrible.

  • SLM

    I am so glad I Googled “sexless marriage” and found this discussion; for a couple of years now I have been blaming myself and have been in a profound depression because my husband doesn’t want anything (physicially) to do with me. At first (we were together for two years before we got married), he was very anxious when we didn’t have sex every day (which I found excessive–it was like he panicked if he couldn’t have me every day like it meant that I didn’t love him). I personally need to feel a physical closeness to feel emotional closeness to my spouse, and I haven’t had that now for 2 – 3 years. I have an opportunity to take a job in another city, and I am going to do that so that we can much more easily go our separate ways. We have been to counseling and my husband’s excuse is always “I just don’t feel close to you emotionally, and therefore can’t be close to you physically.” To me this is a catch-22; I need physical closeness to feel that I can be close in all the different emotional ways that a good marriage brings. I have been married before and divorced but sex was very rarely a topic of contention, and I still have to pinch myself to believe that I find myself in this situation (we are both 48 and I have never had any problems attracting the opposite sex–but for most of our “sexless” time together I have blamed myself and this has sent me into a spiral of depression and of very low self-worth). I have waited to see if he will change (he has a problem with anger management as well) but the next day’s “I’m sorry” from him has no meaning for me anymore. If he really wanted to work on our problems and wanted to keep me, he could and would, but has demonstrated that he can’t and won’t. He says that he loves me but over the years the scales have fallen from my eyes and I know he does not. I have been told (by him) that I should accept him as he is (not only does he not have any physical feelings for me, he has been angry enough at times to choke me and to throw me to the floor–he wants to “discuss our issues” but it always ends with him yelling at me for an hour or two about how wrong I was–like asking him to put something in the refrigerator). Life is too short (we have no children to consider, which makes things easier) to go without the emotional support and the physical demonstrations that go with it. I want so much to be close to someone that appreciates and loves me, and I applaud “Olencia” for her courage–I know how hard making these kind of decisions is; I am doing it right now. Good luck to those out there in the same position! Don’t blame yourself if you have exhausted all of the avenues to fix the problem with no success; go out and find a life that fulfills you emotionally and physically.

  • Therese

    Thanks for this interesting article. I feel my situation is a bit different. Our married life has always been fraught with sexual problems. We married after only having known each other for three months. At first he was impotent because he thought I was too passionate. Then he decided not to have sex for spiritual reasons. At this point I had an affair that I deeply regretted. My husband found out about it and we really started to try to work on our problems. But we never even came close to a comfortable sexual relationship. I have been married for almost 25 years. I have lost or repressed all sexual desire for my husband. Now he has lots of desire (mainly, I think, because he knows I have lost it.) He usually asks me for sex and says he needs to have it because he is startig to look at other women. I always comply and the whole thing lasts about 5 minutes. Now, I have told him no more sex. I’m tired of having sex to be “nice.” I love my husband. He is a good, kind, intelligent and funny man. We have two children one of which is severely disabled with autism. I told my husband a few weeks ago that I was thinking of leaving him and he fell apart. He is really, really trying to be affectionate (that was something he said he could never change.) But I wonder if it isn’t too late.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    thank you everyone for your comments and especially for sharing your stories…it emphasizes for the next person posting that they’re not alone…i hope some of you are coming back to see how many more women are or have suffered with this kind of man…

    i wish i had answers…

    to update, olencia somehow talked her husband into seeing a psychiatrist…will update when more is available…

  • Stacy

    I am so glad I came upon this site. I thought I was the only one going thru this horrible situation. I don’t even know where to start. I’ve been married for 17 years been with my husband for 19. My husband has always had a problem being affectionate with me. We very rarely have sex and when we do its just to please him. Sometimes he acts like he’ll catch on fire if he has to hug me. We usually only have sex 4 to 5 times a year. And its not always about sex, there is not passion, no affection(I get the one armed hugs too!!),and no communication. He refuses to talk about our sex life.I’m so frustrated. I was seriously thinking of having an affair but I knew it would just make things worse. I’ve asked him before to talk to his dr. , he says there is nothing wrong. I’m trying to go back to school, once I am able to be on my own I will most defintly leave. I’d rather be alone then be in a sexless , loveless marriage. He does tell me everyday he loves me and gives me a peck ,like thats suppose to satisfy me. I really didn’t like what Mike had to say. Everyone I know thinks that I am the nicest person , I would do anything for anyone. And I’ve been told “Why are you with him you can do 100% better” Not all women are like that. And putting a 20 year old hot girl in my husbands bed will do nothing for him, sorry. Again thanks for this wonderful site. And we should start somekind of support chat room. How about yahoo? If your all interested i’ll start it. Thanks again , Stacy

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    stacy, if you happen back this way, please email me at msdusmcd at yahoo dot com and put “sexless marriage article” in the subject line…

    i encourage anyone else heading back this way to do the same…there is always a way to set up an online support group…

    i look forward to hearing from you ladies…

  • Donnie Marler

    I have no commentary that would prove useful in any way, Diana, but I hope your friend and her husband find a way back, if not to each other, at least to themselves.

    Excellent, thoughtful, beautifully done article.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    donnie, knowing the kind of man you are, your words mean more than i can say…

  • KT

    Wow, what a great article and what great courage from Olencia to share her story. I guess I’m not alone afterall. I have been married for 17 years but a little over a year ago, we sold our home and separated. After living apart for 4 months, we decided to give it a try again with the help of marriage counseling. The counseling helped our communication skills temporarily but did nothing for our sexless marriage. I too need an emotional connection as well as a physical one. I do not consider myself a sex craved maniac but I do want to experience intimacy with my husband on occasion. This past summer, our son spent a month with his grandparents in another State. Well you know something is wrong when there is no sex, or even the intention of any sort of lovemaking during the entire time our son was gone. I initiated it once but was declined then never went there again. This has been a recurrent issue over the past several years and I have brought to my husband’s attention on several occasions that it may be a physical problem and maybe he should see a doctor. He will listen and agree but does nothing about it even though he knows how important it is to me. I stopped bringing it up (because it is somewhat embarrasing to seem like I’m begging for affection) and started to think that he doesn’t care enought to fix the problem or even let me know what I can do to help? I truly believe that he thinks everything is “alright” if I’m not fussing about it.

    I do not consider myself unattractive and have never had low self esteem during my adult life, but the rejection has become somewhat overwhelming and I am starting to have doubts about myself. I have thought long and hard about the D word but it’s so tough when kids are involved. Thank you for sharing your story and ensuring the rest of us that we are not alone.

    KT

  • http://trihall77 Trish

    WOW! I am so glad to of found this tonight. I have been married almost three years. We had LOTS of sex until the I do’s came. I bring it up and he shuts down I shut up and he thinks he no longer has to think about it. I now sleep on the couch because I can no longer take the nightly rejection or reminder. I am in my 20s and get hit on often. I have turned down many oppertunities because I think having an affair would hurt me more than I hurt now. I am scared because Im starting to wonder if it would be that bad.Our friend ship is wonderful and I know he is the greatest man I’ve meet. I love him SO much but know I deserve a whole life. I wanted to see if I was the only one dealing with this and I think Im sadder to see I’m not. Lots of luck to all of us.

  • Connie

    Believe me I feel your pain. I have lived the same kind of life as you. By the way it is not you as one comment was made. It is your husband. Just as it is my husband. I totally adored my husband. As for me I have always worked and I am a nice looking woman. To be honest I am not the nagging person in the marriage it is mainly him that does that…lol. I have tried for years to help fix the problem. He just refuses there is anything wrong. He will not get any help. I am to the point now that I am planning on leaving our 30 year marriage. I want to feel the love from a man. I want the things that people take for granted. No one knows how it is until they have walked in our shoes. I have talked to a few people and some just look at me as if it could not happen. But my husband too has no sex drive or passion. He has no desire for women period. No he is not gay. I wish there was a pill to fix the problem. I really don’t want a divorce but I am losing my desire for him now. I am tired of the only one trying.

  • betty

    I have been living with this problem for most of my marriage but has gotten much worse over the last 8 years. Actually it started on our wedding night. He insisted on taking our friends with us to vegas to be “witnesses” to our marriage, but I even thought back then that he really didn’t want to be alone with me. It made me feel like I must really be unexciting. I have been married for nearly 20 years now, and over time has gotten to the point of never ever having sex. Started out 1 time per week, then every 2 weeks, then 1 per month etc. When I tried to talk about it he made one excuse then another. I feel like I am only living a half life. It colors how I relate to others now too. I am becoming increasingly short tempered and cranky. I just don’t see what it matters any more. I don’t want to run out and get another man, either. For one thing I just feel so ugly now, I just couldn’t stand it. I have gained about 35 pounds over the last 8 years. Some of it is because of health reasons, but I suspect most of it is due to the fact that he constantly brings home junk food and pizza and I really can’t see any point in getting slim again. He ignored me when I was slim too. So why bother. I geuss I haven’t left yet because of the kids. But I am beginning to realize that my kids notice how unhappy I am too. I don’t think that they would understand though, if I divorced. I know it would be hard on them. I have 2 daughters, one is grown and moved out and the other is still in junior high. Every body thinks he is just great, since he teached Sunday school and does stuff for every body. He is a nice person, and most of the time is a good dad, although has left most of the work of raising kids to me. I am going to be 50 years old and I am scared I will divorce and then think, uh-oh, I am just too old to be on my own. I do have a good job and can support myself, although it may be a bit tight, whereas now money isn’t a big problem. However, that is the other big issue. He has always kept his finances separate from mine and thinks it is ridiculous for me to want us to have joint finances. It’s “his” rent houses, or your car payment, etc…..I am just really tired and want to be out of my misery. I don’t know if I have enough energy to move and get a divorce.

  • JF

    You women are not alone in this, I too am dealing with this. My husband uses excuses, tells me that I am too demanding and controlling every time I bring up having sex. He swears that he is not gay, not having an affair. I don’t know how this happened. We used to have a great sex life and then it gradually waned to where we are the point now that I am now called a nagging irritating wife if I even try to talk about it. We have been married for 21 years and I am so baldly hurt and feel sad about what is happening to us. I thought he loved me, he claims he does, but if he truly does how could he put me thru this????? It’s a terrible form of mental cruelty at an unimaginable level. Who am I going to talk to about this? my mother? This blows, I love to have sex and crave the intimacy but he wants no part of it. He has started to make me feel like I am the biggest pain in the butt. I feel guilty, ashamed, angry, concerned, resentful and totally confused. My marraige bed is more like a battlezone now. Instead of being a source of comfort and love, it has turned into a symbol of a power struggle of sorts gone amok. Our family doctor prescribed Viagara which he took a couple of times but was extremely resentful about it. I have no idea what to do. I feel like I am losing my mind. Good luck to you ladies out there going thru this, I really feel for you and my heart goes out to all of you.

  • nugget

    ladies: did or does your husband look at porn??? If you say that he doesn’t, how do you know???

    Pornography is the bane of our marital existence. Any man with balls knows that. You women are so naive.

  • nugget

    men are very sneaky when it comes to pornography.

    From deleting the history (and surfing around more to make it look like the history wasn’t deleted) to deleting temp files (cache), to making up stories about browser updates automatically clearing history, to hiding lotion, masturbating while you’re out, renting DVDs if you leave for the weekend.

    Trust me ladies, there are plenty of ways not to “cheat”, and plenty of ways not to get caught “not cheating” by looking at porno.

    Porn presents an opportunity for every man to have sex with any girl he’s ever really really wanted to but couldn’t. It provides a smorgasbord of sexual fantasies, from teenagers to milfs to you name it.

    If you don’t address the issue of porn, YOU’LL GET NO WHERE

  • betty

    Interesting that you brought up the issue of porn. My husband used to have playboys in his bathroom before we got married, but not since. However, he brought his work computer home the other night and I checked the history (no I am not proud of this). He had gone to Sports Illustrated swim suit pages about 25 times on one day. Not hard core, but it does indicate that he does have a sex drive (unlike what he tells me) and that he probably is not gay. He does not often bring his computer in, but apparently feels the need to have a password protect on it, I found out. I have long suspected that he is probably masturbating to relieve his “non sex drive”. By the way, I know it is a personal question but how “young” are the rest of you gals? Am I the only one thinking of leaving my marriage at the age of 49? Am I being crazy doing that at my age. Or has this marriage made me feel too old too soon?

  • Connie

    Betty I am age 47. I was married to my husband right out of high school. He is 49 years old. I don’t have to tell you because you already know this. But to others whom have no idea what we are talking about. It is so hard to leave a man that you love and you respect in so manyways. But it is hard living as brother and sister all these years. For once in my life I want to live a full life with a loving man.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    nugget, while i appreciate your input and concern, please understand many of these women are not dealing with something they just found out about or that’s only been going on for a few years…some of these women are talking about a decade or two decades of the same behavior (to include a man’s homebody-ness)…

    there are of course those marriages brought down by a man’s obsession and/or secrecy with porn, however, not every sexually dysfunctional marriage is the result of a man’s use of porn…

    as is the case with my friend and with many other women, sometimes a marriage is dysfunctional because the man is impotent on more than one level…i understand this is not your experience…please understand that what these women are going through is different than what you’re going through…

    too, consider for a moment the difference between what you’re saying and what the other women have said…you’re suggesting porn is the culprit, not a lack of sex drive…could this be your way of distancing yourself from your husband’s distasteful choices? it’s easier to blame the porn than him…it’s easier to get into his computer than into his head…when a man like the one these women have described is part of the mix, there’s nothing to find when one goes looking…they really aren’t cheating, gay, sneaking out to do this or that, or keeping and/or looking at pictures of other females…

    what these other women are saying is that there is no inanimate object or third person with which to focus their disdain…after years and years of trying this, checking that, reading this and going back and forth, they have arrived at the only conclusion that existed — the husband has, for whatever reason, physically shut down…we’re not talking about sex drive alone; we’re talking about any and all desire for physical affection of any kind, from snuggling in bed to meeting his wife’s eye across the dinner table…a sexless marriage alone can be brought within the realm of tolerable — ask anyone who has been severely injured; a loveless, affectionless marriage cannot be tolerated…the problem for these women is not what their husbands are doing (as many hold good jobs, provide well, are good parents, help around the house a lot, etc), it is what their husbands are not doing…

    if you know for sure that your husband has a thing for porn so great that you no longer enjoy any of his attention, then you at least have your answer and now you can make an informed decision…the women here have no such luxury…they don’t know what the problem is or if something else can be done…

    if you leave your marriage and others ask why, you can say exactly what the problem was…if these women leave their marriages, they do so with no answers at all…

  • nugget

    Diana:

    I’m a male. haha. But thanks for the reply. I agree that most women posting have been married 10+ years and they can’t figure out what’s up with their husband.

    I’m just trying to provide a little insight, being a very malish male. My first approach, of course, is pornography.

    Let me explain something else about men. Many men believe they were born into the wrong culture because of the collective societal dictum of monogamy. Many, if not all men, would love their culture to be similar to that of polygamists (minus the strange religious jargon). Men have an insatiable appetite for variety, NOT monogamy. Is it possible to find variety in monogamy??? You may think you can “spice things up” to a point that would alleviate his boredom, but I know this doesn’t work.

    Now, if the impotence is more than just sex-related, then I have a lot of theories. Women have a tendency of busying themselves, always running here and there, and almost enjoying keeping their minds occupied with their planner. Men, in particular, love spontenaeity, excitement, and abberations from the regular 9 to 5 cycle. You may find that to be a sexist generalization and mischaracterization, but I don’t care, because you thinking that would be part of the problem. Women can’t relax and not worry about the next day. This tires a man’s spirit and disposition. He’d rather you not be around because you’re GOING to tell him to do something. Whether or not it is a merited and relevant request is not the point.

    Perhaps I’m describing the busy-bodies, and not all the spontaneous fun-loving women out there. If you are this type, then perhaps your husband was a jerk when you got married to him but you were to blinded by adoration. I’ve known so many girls that want to marry a guy to “change” him or “settle him down.” They naively look for the good in him, and pay for it 10 years later. I’ve always known that when a girl kind of looks at her husband the same way she’d look at an adorable puppy, the marraige will probably end in disaster. Many women are always hoping that their boyfriends or husbands care. You better damned well be sure that your man is capable of communicating 1) that he loves you a lot, 2) why he loves you, 3) what he’s thinking without YOU nagging to get it out of him.

    If your guy can’t communicate his emotions very well, QUIT HOPING. Don’t marry the guy because chances are the emotions are NOT A GOOD THING. I’m not Dr. Phil, I’m more intelligent, and I’m very in touch with what pig males ACTUALLY think. Do not pretend to think you can change a male. A guy can only change himself. Most men don’t really listen to women, especially the wild ones. I listen to my wife because I’ve always been a nice and caring person. It’s very evident that I am this way to other people too. I am masculine and am never afraid to fight, and I know when a guy is bad news. MOST guys are bad news. I just wish more college-aged women understood this before marrying them. Women should be MUCH more picky.

  • betty

    Thanks Connie. I can relate to what you said about living with your “brother”. I have mostly felt like I was a room mate sharing expenses. I did call to make an appointment with a lawyer today, and I am trying to make a plan for when to do everything. It seems it is always close to someones birthday or a major holiday, so there never is a “good” time to plan a divorce. Thank you, too, Diana. You hit the nail on the head about me not having answers. Which is why I have been living in marriage limbo for so long. If he would have done something dramatic like have an affair or take up some horrible habit it would be so much easier! As it is, I am certain to be viewed by friends and family alike as selfish or crazy to leave such a great guy. All this time I have racked my brain trying to figure this out and trying to hope for things to actually become tolerable, but my resentment just keeps growing. Weird thing is that actually we don’t fight anymore like we were a few years ago. We got to a boiling point where if I said something that made him mad he would just storm out of the room and give me the silent treatment for a week at a time. Then we gradually got better and bought a new house etc. Actually had sex (1 per month) for a while then reverted back to sexual sahara. This time I am done fighting about it or for it. I can’t do it by myself, like Connie said. He says counseling is a waste of money. I suppose he is right, isn’t he?

  • Cassie

    After reading the article and some of the responses to it. I have to believe that none of these people have experienced this kind of pain and lonliness. We can all have an opinion, but if you have not experienced a pain this deep, how can you give advice???

    I am married for 4 years and I knew something was wrong. I talked with my husband because I thought men have a right to be shy too. Who said only women could be shy??? While I know that is not the norm for men. I loved him and was willing to work at it. He assured me it was nothing. We went on with the wedding and there has never been an attempt to even try to be effectionate with me. I did not have a lot of friends, but the ones I had I thought were great. Unfortanately, they were unable to handle this. The last four years have been the most secluded, lonely time of my life. This so-called marriage has made me feel quite damaged. There are even times these days when I wonder why I had to wake up???? The pain will not go away regardless of what I do. I tried everything I could think to work on the problem: from sex books to therapy to nighties to sexy dancing to talking, and letting him know that I loved him. I’ve been rejected so much I can’t bear the hurt anymore. My advice to anyone that is having any kind of sexual problem with their mate is to get out as quickly as you can! ! ! IT WILL DESTROY YOU. Everyone, no matter what your views on life and love, needs to have sex and effection.

  • betty

    Cassie, the pain you are feeling must be horrible. I hope with all my heart that you can find resolution quickly.

  • Judy

    I too share the secret of living with a husband who doesn’t have interest in having sex. I feel very ashamed and afraid to share this secret with my friends or family.
    We have had sex once in the past year. I can’t believe I am living a lie in the bond of marriage. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think about my problem and I feel that my husband tunes it out of his daily functioning. We have two beautiful daughters, ages 21 qnd 26. What do I tell them if I leave their father?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    judy, your children are plenty old enough to understand a lack of physical intimacy…

    they’ve surely seen for themselves what a distant and untouching person he is…i’m sure your kids aren’t stupid; they very likely know there is little intimacy between you and your husband based only how little they’ve seen you interact as husband and wife in the privacy of home…it might surprise you to find out they wouldn’t be surprised if you left or why you’d leave…

    olencia (of the article) battled with telling her children and did finally before they headed off to college…they were considerably more understanding than she thought they would be and they had a lot of empathy for their mother – because they too had been on the receiving end of his distance…

    they didn’t like the idea of her leaving the marriage because, from their perspective, the marriage made them a family…she spelled out for them that what she had was not a marriage and that they had still been a family, thus they would always be a family, marriage or not…

    for all the women who have contributed here, it is in many ways fortunate that you are older…for many of you, it’s fortunate your children are older (teens to adult)…use this to your advantage if you decide to leave the marriage…while no one would suggest you share the nitty gritty with your kids, anyone who has ever been turned away from a hug can understand the hurt and rejection…the children of the cold marriage can especially relate and usually know first hand just how distant their father is; if not from them, at least from their mother…

    if you’ve brought your kids up with the idea that you and your husband are non-sexual beings and didn’t really talk to your kids about sex, it will be harder to convey the problem…i would strongly encourage any woman in this position to seek counseling before trying to communicate this to one’s children…

    remember, counseling is just like any other service: shop around! join a support group(s) of any kind that relates to your issues (a lack of sex is not your only issue) and ask around within the groups, specifically of the facilitators, to see who they do/do not recommend…even after you’ve picked a counselor (therapist, psychologist, etc) and attended a few sessions, consider how you feel…do you feel heard? understood? like you’re getting somewhere? you’re discovering things? does the counselor validate the reason for the marital problem? does he/she focus on you (rather than what you could do for your husband)? if not, it’s time to go shopping again…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    i would ask all of you in this position to consider something: if your husband was gay, would you stay?

    there is no fundamental difference between the gay husband and the disaffectionate husband except that the gay husband is probably still capable of expressing affection with his wife along the lines of two very good friends, but the disaffectionate husband gives nothing at all…

    finding out you’re married to a gay man is a line drawn for you — you know why you’re not getting your needs met and you know for absolute sure that you never will by this man…

    given how much worse it is to be married to a disaffectionate man, the line is all the more deep, intruding, and hurtful…because of all that heterosexuality, it’s also a hidden line…

    just because you can’t see the line doesn’t mean it isn’t there…consider how long you’ve lived like this…ask yourself if you can do another 5, 10, or 20 years of it…if not, know the line is there and don’t concern yourself with whether anyone else can see it…if need be, draw it yourself: “i am a loving, lovable woman and i will not be married to someone who is disaffectionate”…

    you may not think you’re loving or lovable but we both know that has more to do with all the crap you’ve been through and less about your own personal state…you are loving and loveable, else you never would have entered into the marriage to begin with and you wouldn’t be expressing so much sadness about this hole in your life now…

  • Nancy

    The entire point of marrying is for love – which is NOT the same thing as sex or physical expression of love, no matter how much some people seem to think it is. You can put up with loss of sex or physical affection, as long as your partner loves you & expresses that as best s/he can. Many marriages survive or even thrive where one partner is ill or handicapped and can no longer rely on the physical, and long years of data have proven that marriages & partnerships based on the physical invariably fail, if only because the physical fails, in all of us, especially as we get older, get sick, or become injured or incapacitated.

    Would I stick by a gay husband? Depends on the circumstances. If he only realized he was gay after we married, and was not out actively cruising or bringing strangers home, I would certainly try to make a go of it, altho I’m not sure how I’d react to having a 3rd party moving in. I guess if I liked that party, & they got along with me, I could handle it, especially if my husband & I were still on strong terms of friendship & affection, because that is the defining nature & bond of the relationship, after all, not the sex.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    with all due respect nancy, the women here are talking about a man’s choice, not something that came about as a result of something outside his control…(i speak of course about the decision to no longer engage in physical affection, not homosexuality)…

    i wasn’t comparing a gay man to a disaffectionate man…i was comparing the finality of affection within marriage to a gay man to the finality of affection within marriage to a disaffectionate man…if you know your husband is gay, you have your answer to “why?” and the line is clear…if you’re married to a disaffectionate man, you’ll probably never get the answer and the line is not so clear…i was suggesting that if one could see the line in one instance, perhaps they could translate this to another instance and apply it – even if they can’t see it…

    too, the question was posed to those in the situation, not those who are not…while all input is appreciated and valued, surely you’d agree that those outside a particular situation might lack the depth of experience necessary to suggest workable imperatives…

    if one wishes to marry little more than a roommate, that’s one’s choice…what these women are talking about is having married the one they loved, the one that loved them, and having enjoyed intimacy on levels now withheld from them…

    i think it’s safe to say that a man who can no longer hold hands because he doesn’t have them is not in the same category with the man who flinches when his wife reaches for his hand…

    the man who is paralyzed or afflicted in any way that disallows physical intimacy is not in the same league with the man who has chosen an affection embargo within his marriage…

    you are talking about one kind of man; these women are talking about another…the men they speak of have not withdrawn just physically; they have, in many cases, also withdrawn emotionally such that there is no evidence of love at all…this can be said to strongly suggest a lack of love (a choice), and not the inability to express it…

    while it will ultimately rest with the women here whether or not they leave their husbands, it’s worth noting the chicken-shit method their husbands chose to distance themselves from their spouses without actually having to shoulder any of the responsibility for leaving the marriage…as with the other aspects of marriage, many of these men have left the dirty work to the wife, all the while appearing blameless…

    where there is the capacity and ability to express love physically, it is by all means reasonable of either partner to expect love to be expressed in whatever way the other is capable…when, even in the face of capacity and ability, that affection is withdrawn, someone is lying to themselves and their partner…that’s not love, that’s one person’s choice; and it isn’t the job of nor a reasonable expectation of the person on the receiving end of that rejection to “put up with it” when the “it” is a withdrawal of love…

  • Nancy

    Ah, my bad. I shouldn’t have intruded. Apologies. My point was just that sex isn’t everything, and too many women seem to think it is. I somehow missed the gist of what was going on.

  • betty

    Don’t feel bad Nancy, not many other people get it either! And Diana, you are so on the mark about the guy not having to shoulder any of the responsibility, and getting to look like the good guy to the friends and family. I have always felt like that but did not know how to articulate it. It really is pretty chicken shit isn’t it? Keeps everything nice and comfy. And in the closet.

  • nugget

    Diana: Is there a reason you completely ignored my comment above?

  • betty

    Nugget, I am curious why you would say that a man might hide lotion.

  • betty

    Also, what in the world is a “milf”?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Betty, milf is Mother I’d Like to F(I’m sure you can figure out the rest)

  • betty

    Oh!Thankyou!

  • Male55

    Today should be a happy day, 25 years of marriage, but on the contrary, I am very depressed. It has been over a year since my wife has had sex with me. We never had a great sex life… once a week at the peak, once or twice a month was more like it. From her perspective the problem started when I began being treated for high blood pressure. My head still wants and craves sex, but the penis is less cooperative. It takes more excitement to get an erection, it is more difficult to maintain the erection, and ejaculation happens more quickly if the erection is maintained. She claims that on our last attempt at sex I tore her vagina while trying with a less than rigid penis. (I really don’t understand that.)

    When the penis began to lose some performance, and she did not criticize me, I had so much respect for her. But that didn’t last long, then she just stopped. As I said, it has been over a year.

    I am not happy with my loss of performance, but at the same time there are other ways we could pleasure each other. I used to enjoy giving her oral sex, she didn’t enjoy receiving it.

    I know I can still have a climax and I would love to receive oral sex, but she won’t even consider it.

    This is going to be a very sad depressing day for me.

  • lonely35

    I could write my own book on this subject. I have been married for 15 long agonizing years plus one year for dating for a total of 16 years. It has been a loveless, sexless, and an emotional rollercoaster of a marriage. I have two children with this man. How I got them I will never know, I suppose the good Lord was looking out for me…we have hardly had sex enough to even conceive a child. I had to ask if we were going to have sex my wedding night, he wanted to go to bed. I was only 20, that was my biggest sign, I should have left that night! We average maybe one to two times a year…I can honestly say we have had sex maybe 30 times in 16 years. There has been years to go by and we never touch each other…but I receive a cable bill of 1500.00 for nothing but porn movies in one month! I said it is amazing that you can rise to the occasion with your hand but you cant seem to find the energy to be with your more than willing wife. I have since blocked any renting of pay per view movies. Now I could open my own porn store with all of his movies! I have cried and begged for him to make love to me, I feel like I have reject stamped across my forehead! I never turn him down, I am afraid that it will be months before he wants to again. He always has to watch porn when we are together and can never have a normal orgasm with me…he has to stop and take care of business himself…which makes me feel like there is something wrong with me. I am totally disconnected with him. Sex is an act to him, no kissing or intimacy…no hugging or cuddling afterwards, but I do get a “thank you” as if I was getting paid for my services. I am here for my kids. I am only 35, and I long for love and intimacy with a man. I love to love, and I want to love in a big way to man that enjoys my same passions for this. I hope to find the courage and strength from within to leave. We have filed for divorce 2 times, and my kids lay so much guilt on me that I give in. I want them to be happy. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks.

  • female reader

    I’m sorry to see no reply to or appreciation for nugget’s post #31. It looks to me he was really sincere to want to help. I think it is very important for women to know what the other side is thinking, what is the root of the problems, the psychology of men. Without that, you’ll go nowhere trying to solve your marriage problems. This is why a post from a man should be very welcomed, especially nuggest’s had some good points to make, and should be appreciated, at least with an acknowledgement. Why on earth would he have spent the time to post here?

  • miserable50

    just found this after a google search ,Never new there was so many more like me in the world suffering lack of love ,inderstading,kindness in a marriage, Any group out there?.Be most helpfull

  • Connie

    I would also be interested in knowing if there is a support group or a chat on the computer for this problem? At times it would be so nice to talk to someone that has the same kind of problem. It is so hard for most people to understand this situation. When I have ever tried to talk to anyone about this I always hear such things is there another woman. Is he gay? Are you not getting along? I could go on and on. But sorry people that is not it. And of course you have those people that respond how do you know that is not why. I have talk with a doctor and he has even told me either I have to accept this or move on for my own good. I do suggest when people write in try not to attack us. I realize this is so new to some of you and that you don’t live this kind of life. I want to say this. I do respect my husband. I will always love him. And would never wish any harm on him. I have so much to say but I am not the best in writting it down.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    The women of loveless, sexless marriages who are interested in joining a group for support and validation are welcome to vist Hera’s Women.

    Please read the group description before deciding to join. If you know the reason why your marriage is loveless and sexless, or you are not involved in a loveless and sexless marriage, Hera’s Women is not for you.

  • ? 8680411

    Hello, what an excellent site. I hope this is helpful. My wife and I waited to have our first child about 5 years and enjoyed getting to know each other physically. Then for no apparent reason I experienced a subclinical case of depression, for which I pursued tx. It was discovered that the depression was not a stand-alone issue, but secondary to undiagnosed ADHD and mild autism from birth. I was crushed. My wife became queen bee and critic #1. Comments made about my medicines and lack of social graces were not innocent, but cut me to the core. What’s my point? I beleive there are many men walking around with real world treatable psychiatric disorders, but fall short of a DSM IV diagnosis by a point or two. Or in our macho male world of denial, refuse to come forward for help.
    My family thinks that I’m faking, looking for attention, pulling off an excuse not to relate, and call me a drug addict. Pretty nice, huh? Now I’ve been thrown out of the house. Sometimes I think no woman would ever want me, and I cry a lot. My guinea pig is my friend. My job?—I’m a promoted company officer supervising 5 firefighters and paramedics in a large metropolitan fire department that has over 150 fire stations.

  • Blue Jeans

    I usually do not visit sites on Sexless Marriage because they simply depress me.

    Almost always there is a poll, “Is Your Marriage Sexless? Take Our Handy-Dandy Poll”. As if I can’t tell that I haven’t had sex? Duh. I love the questions; usually the “worst”, (read: most sexless), answers are along the lines of “sex less than once a month means you are in a sexless marriage”.

    Give me a break. If I had sex once a month I would think I had died and gone to Heaven….a heaven populated by sex-crazed satyr angels, I might add. (Is it redundent to call a satyr sex-crased?)

    There is no place for people who, like me, honestly can’t remember the last time they had sex with their husband. There is no choice that offers, “Last time I had sex, there was a Democrat in the presidency.”

    It’s been years, now, for me – six, maybe seven, maybe longer. I try not to think about it, as all it does is make me feel unwanted, but I can honestly say I haven’t had sex in this century. I can just as honestly say that I don’t anticipate ever having sex with another human again for the rest of my life, and I am in my forties.

    I think the last time we actually had intercourse was after my husband’s vasectomy, at his doctor’s request that he “clean himself out”. Hubby told me this. It made me feel special….sort of like a piece of tissue one uses to wipe away something offensive.

    Now for all the “answers” which are always couched as questions – every website has them, too. Do we fight? (no). Is he gay? (no). Is he cheating? (no) Does he have a physical disability? (no). Porn addiction? (no). Frankly, it would make it easier – at least understandable – if the answer to any of these was yes. Next question, please – Has he seen a doctor about this? (Yes)

    Let’s expand on this – doctor said there was nothing physically wrong, and spent a good deal of time discussing this with my husband. Doctor felt that a sex therapist would help my husband with his strict religious background which seemed to be the root of this…however, we live in a town without a sex therapist, not that it is covered by insurance anyway, so that was the end of that. Doctor did express surprise that I had been so patient over this. Hubby asked me about that – why I hadn’t said anything, and I told him that after so many years of our having no sex, I thought it was interesting that he (hubby) was only asking about it now, after the doctor asked him about it during a physical. Obviously, sex with me wasn’t something my husband had missed…

    Five years ago…ten years ago….maybe we could have been helped….now? I see no way out.

    I’ve sought help, advice, what have you on other sites and have read the “the woman must be patient; she must take the pressure off her husband and initiate; she must be understanding,” garbage. I’ve done that. I’ve been so blinkin’ patient that my husband thought everything was fine. Give me an award for being sensitive to his feelings, not wanting to bruise his ego and being tender with his self-esteem. That fact that mine has taken a good share of hits is not important.

    Trust me, the last few times we had sex, even the post-vasectomy clean out time, it was at my instigation. Believe me, too, that for every time there was an actually connection, there were ten rejections.

    I will never again put myself out there like that only to see a look of disgust and embarrassment in my husband’s eyes.

    There are a lot of emotions I’ve seen in the eyes of the men I’ve had as partners….disgust is not one I wish to see again… take my word on this. I have NEVER rejected him….never…I have never been anything but encouraging, understanding, patient, inventive ….until I just stopped trying. Now I am just….neuter.

    I dress behind closed doors….I will not inflict the horror of my womanliness on him… I only kiss or hug him now if he requests it as too often, if I dared to physically suggest that the kiss have a modicum of passion in it, he pulled away. I have become what is expected of me: I have become a sexless, passionless creature.

    He says he still loves me, which I believe. I still love him, and otherwise, we have a wonderful relationship. He says he still desires me, but I am afraid I feel that was a lie he told to try to not hurt me. I appreciate that he said this, but I could tell the minute he said it, that it was forced.

    I accept that he loves me. I accept that he has no sex drive. Most of the time, I don’t even think about my sexless life because, when I do, I become sad and angry – but tonight, it just sort of hit me and I did a Google and found this blog.

    I have no advice. I can say that I have chosen to remain in this marriage because I love my husband, our child and the life we have built together. I know I will never have an affair – I have always been monogamous by nature. There is only one man I want to have an affair with, and I am married to him.

    I have chosen my life – and I do my best to remember to dwell upon the good aspects and not those that are lacking. I have great memories, and I have a great sense of humor, which does come in handy when, even after 20 years of a marriage in which sex has been lacking, I still sometimes cry myself to sleep. (soundlessly of course – can’t let my husband know that my heart is breaking, now can I? That would make him feel bad).

    And, to be honest, there is more to it. I have come to see my tears, my pain, my emotion as a part of my passion. He doesn’t want the sexual side of my passion, and so I withold from him the sorrowful side. It is mine, and mine alone, as is my passion, which he no longer wants.

    This was long, and I am sorry it went on as it did, however, this is my once a year rant in which I can let out of me what I keep inside. I will not take up such a long space again.

    Night, all. Good luck.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    Blue Jeans, please consider joining Hera’s Women. No one there is going to ask you the ludicrous questions you’ve been asked nor judge you for the state of your marriage. It would appear only these women know how any kind of love and care for another person could possibly last through so much rejection, disdain, indifference, and disgust.

    You are welcome to hang around for a bit and unsubscribe if it’s just not your thing.

    While the reason women join is to share their story and feel the assurance that they’re not the only one, there is also discussion about the things one does for oneself — enjoying time with children/grandchildren, employment, hobbies, and how to make friends that won’t turn their backs.

    I hope you’ll consider it.

  • stasi

    I have been in sexless marriage. I can relate to Stacy. I am contemplating divorce but not until son graduates from high school. I don’t want to confuse him during this time in his life. I mentioned no sex in almost 3 years to hubby last. He commented, “I didn’t know that it had been that long.” Can you believe that? Even before the absolute NO SEX, it was maybe once or twice a year and not always intercourse. Always after I pitched a fit. That is degrading. I refuse to be rejected and humiliated again. I used to bring it up often. He would say this is old news, why keep bringing it up…then give me the silent treatment for a few days. I don’t cry myself to sleep anymore. It has been a while…but I still feel very sad. I’ve been married for almost 18 years. I’m 39 and don’t want to spend the rest of my life without love, affection, and intimacy. I am slowly getting the courage or understanding that I deserve more. But, it looks bad because he does all the other husbandly duties…even cleans sometimes. I know that this is long. But can you believe he was upset that I didn’t want to go to in-laws on anniversary weekend to sleep on the couch in the den because of nephew’s birthday party is also same weekend. This year, I will go away and celebrate alone…I deserve to treat myself. I haven’t had an affair, but wish I had the nerve.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    Interested commenters, please see post #52 about joining an online support group.

  • RB

    I am surprised by how many woman have posted here, and so few men ( not rying to be sexist, I suppose that I assumed this was something I was going through alone, how naive) are having the same trouble that I am having.

    I have been married to my wife for 8 years. When we first met, things were amasing, I am sure you all know the story. After a year, her son moved in with us ( he was living with his father) and ever sinse then, I have to beg and plead for attention. I am always blamed for lack of sex, I am not intimate enough, I am too demanding, I have an overactive sex drive, etc.

    I do not wish to leave my wife, although, I will be honest, the thought keeps coming back. I do try, quite hard I feel, in trying to re-connect with her. I have adopted her hobbies, show interest in her interests. Even so, it has gotten progressively worse, to the point that we have not had intercourse in over 5 years save twice, I had a bit too much to drink, told her i was leaving, and he had sex with me then.

    Now, when we do fool around, once she is satisfied, I am left to my own devices, with no help at all.

    I am confused, hurt, and have no idea what to do, where to go, or how to fix this situation. I have tried everything i can think of, and I am too embarresed to speak to family or friends about it. What do I do?

  • RB

    After posting the above comment, I decided that I was far too vague ( side effect of my profession) so I wish to expand on what is happening.

    Approximately 8 years ago, when our sexlife was healthy, my wife had a cyst burst, during intercourse, that was quite painful for her. It obviously stopped us from having sex, but that was one of the catalysts to ending our sex life.

    Early on, we fought about it quite a bit, I would get upset, she would ” take care of me” and then we wouldnt have any intimate contact until the next time I got upset.

    She does have health issues, but I feel that sometimes they are used as a crutch. She certainly feels well enough to go out with her friends when she likes, and most certainly has the umph to smoke marijuana every day, 3-5 times a day, but, hasnt the energy to make her husband feel like a man.

    I dont want to make her sound like a monster, but, after posting my first post, I felt a modicum of releif, almost like a tiny weight was off my shoulders. I am grateful there is somewhere that I can use as an outlet, as I have been left feeling alone for many years.

    About 4 years ago, we split up. I uncovered the fact that she was having an affair, She swears it ws only emotional, and they had only slept togetether once, but I have my doubts. Before I discovered the affair, she suggested that I ” see other people”. I did try, but was left with a feeling of disgust afterwards, an emotional and physical emptiness.

    Once I discovered the ” other man” I told her I wanted her out. She moved out, leaving her son with me. I hae to say, I dont recall ever being happier. I am told by her/my son, that I was awful, demanding, and overbearing. I thought I was being a good father, but, I was not in a good place I suppose.

    While we were seperated, I met someone, it was after a number of months, and it was completely by accident. I fell for this woman, hard. Once my wife found out about it, she didnt speak to me for weeks, I guess about a month later, she called, weeping, begging me to come back to her, she would change, she would be the woman I always wanted her to be, and that she was confused, and hurt, and promised to fix everything.

    Well, here we are, 4 years later, all the promises were broken, and I am left feeling hurt, confused, alone and suspicious due to past transgressions.

    Thank you for reading, I apologise for my poor writing skills, I do hope you, the reader can make some sense of this, and advise me, tell me I am foolish, tell me I am not alone, please, tell me something….

  • Suzi

    I read these postings tonight as the reality of what each person before me has described starts to sink in. I have been married for four years. We have endured some tremendous hardship during that short time. I also have a young son from a prevous marriage.

    I have spent many hours trying to figure out how I ended up here. My husband, I have to admit, is not devoid of ALL affection. It is just not of the intimate nature. We tried counseling, only to have him decide that was not an option for him. His recent declaration has been to inform me that if I affirm him more and say nothing negative then he will show me affection. Where it gets difficult for me is that he has said if I don’t do this he will never give me what I need.

    I know relationships are never one-sided – with the blame or the good stuff. I know the catch-22 situations are there for many people. And I know for me, I have to decide if I am willing to try what he states is “the key to success” in hopes yet one more time that it will succeed. I feel that same spirit of the woman in the original story who just needed to feel like she had done everything she could.

    I don’t know where I’m at in my situation. My husband stated recently that “if it weren’t for the boy, I’d be gone. I’m the only Dad he has.” True enough. But in the words of my son, “If he goes, he goes. I love you, Mom.” For those struggling with issues with children, please remember that they just want you to be happy.

    I’ll probably try to get it right one more time. I do know, however, that the day hope dies is a very sad day. I wish all who read this the very best. A relationship does not define you. We all deserve love, peace, and happiness…

  • S.I.M.D.

    This was like reading an open book into my own heart. I am mid 40’s. Married 6 years. Sex stopped after the first 6 months. It is as if once he “caught” me, he no longer wanted me. He is super sweet in every other way, which is kind of weird to say because when someone knows how much this hurts their spouse, can you really call them sweet when they choose to keep on hurting them?

  • HangingOn

    I have heard, as I am sure most of you have, “Everthing happens for a reason”! But why THIS? Why to US? To all the woman who have shared here, I would like to thank every one of you. Until yesterday I too thought I was the only woman to ever have this problem, I have little experience with computer searches I am terrified of identity theft although if someone would like this life go for it, it is very lonely. But yeterday I found the courage to type in sexless marriage and hit enter. I only had a few minutes before my 17 year old son came home so I hurried and saved the search in my favorites and I am back today and so grateful, yes grateful to all of you who have given me the courage to be doing what I am doing now. The pain, the loneliness, the rejection that I feel is not alone. I am so sad to see I am not alone but at the same time I am grateful.
    I have been married to my husband 9 years on Saturday…I am afraid of the day, will he totally forget or will he remember and try to give me a “GIFT”. (Gift being sex he has to force). It has been over 9 months and only after I decided to leave him. I was gone for 3 hours. Before I left I kissed him madly and passionately and then walked out the door. I called him after a couple hours and told him all I could think about was that kiss that we still “HAD IT” and he said he felt the same, I came back. We had sex 3 times that week. Then it was the same ole same ole again.Before then it had been over a year since we had had sex.
    I should start from the begining. My husband and I were introduced by our children. I have 4 and he has 4. Ironically they are very close to the same ages. They range from his oldest daughter who is 30 to my youngest son who is 17. I am 45 and my husband is 52. It was my oldest daughter and his oldest son who introduced us. I had been working 65+ hours a week at my job at the time and he was self employed. He had been trying for a month to connect with me and one friday night I was home. We talked for hours on the phone and he suggested we meet for coffee sometime. I said how about now it was 11:30PM and we lived more that an hour from each other. We met half way at an all night coffee shop. (It was a truck stop but it’s our first meeting place and I like coffee shop) 9 days later we were married! He is the love of my life, my best friend, and we are inseparable (I hesitate on the last word). I quit my job, moved into his house, sold my house paid off all of my bills and put the rest of the money into our joint account and have never regreted it.
    We have had an excellent life together. We are by no means well off financially but we get by. We are self emoployed and have had many exciting businesses.
    We both feel very strongly about “Be not conformed to this world but be tranformed from it” We do not need lavish things or sometimes even common things like cable TV and long distance. We have the internet for our/my 17 year old son who lives with us 4 days a week and with his Dad 3 days.
    My life is the same as most of you, I love my husband very much and he is a great guy. We live in a sexless marriage, and I just can not cope with it. I have had years of blaming myself. You know all the questions: Am I undesirable, ugly, fat, unlovable? The answers were all yes in the begining. It must be me. How I have gone through such an emotional roller coaster with myself.
    I just wanted to say Thank You, I don’t think I could have held on much longer, I see some hope. Because of all of you and your courage I want to try. Try what I don’t know but I am not alone and my hope is I can find some way to fix or cope with our life. “Everything happens for a reason”

  • Dr Strangelove

    Hi everyone,
    I will just join my comments to the rest of you. I am 37 and married for 8 years…When DH and I married we were deeply in love and It appeared the right thing to do. I left my country and a profitable career and came to his country. We had two kids. Sex started dwindling some 5 years ago and I asked why. Given all the “talks” and so on…never said no. But now I feel I’ve had enough of that. I am finishing Uni shortly and getting a job in another state. I will take kids and he can stay with everything. Sincerely I want nothing else, but to see the back of him. I would like to find love again oneday but I don’t think it is important to me for the time being. As for the kids…the man is a wonderful father, faultless as a father so they will suffer a bit, but ultimately they will profit from happier parents….My strategy is: I will start with the move. I got a job in another state and he will continue working here, he says he will go to visit….but I doubt it. No other people involved. Dh is a cought potato who will not move from the Sofa when he’s at home at all….or go out…he sincerely hates going out and our talking on the last year or so is limited of me talking and he listens or he can speak some 10 words a day. No that is it! That is the end of it…I am out of the door soon….and life feels better because of that.
    Cheers,
    Dr Strangelove

  • pandaexpress

    It feels better to know I am not alone at all.
    I have been married for 10 years and we have never had great sex.

    Due to my fear to live in a world full of jerks and for poverty, I decide to stay with my husband hoping he is getting better. My friend even encouraged me to get a “boy toy” and learn to have sex without too much affection.

    I finanlly did it. Believe or not, I don’t feel very guilty. However, this man can’t function with condom on and always worry about me getting pregnant, which I can’t blame him. but I also can’t start getting birth control bill everyday just in case one day that thing happens again because

    plus I don’t think I have a relationship with this man.

    I am working on my stability of career and have given up plan of having a kid in case i can’t stand sexless marriage anymore.

    I feel life can be so unfair and we only live once, do I have a choice? Will I?

  • betty

    I recently told my husband that “we need to talk”. I had suffered like the rest of you for many years and had decided to finally end it. This is very scary for me since I am almost 50 years old and don’t know what the future will be for me healthwise, etc. I am fortunate to have a good and stable job. A few years ago we had been fighting a lot and nearly got divorced. Then decided to work it out and bought a new house etc. However, things just have reverted to the way they were only without the fighting. Still painful and confusing though. Anyway, after I told him that I just wasn’t happy and that I needed some time to myself, he told me that he had been having prostate trouble, erectile problems and premature ejaculation problems, so he did not want to have sex for that reason. Surprise to me since in the past he told me that it was not that he could not have sex, only that he did not have a very strong sex drive. Didn’t need the little blue pill etc. So all this time I have felt so totally unloveable and rejected. And now that I want to finally leave he lays all this new revelation on me. I am now very confused. He is being very nice to me, fixes my morning coffee, invites me to lunch (before, he didn’t really know where my office was!)back rubs etc. It woud be so easy just to give in and give up. What to do? I think I would still like to find my own apartment. It will feel like a death when I leave.

  • distraught

    I’ve been married for five years (11 years total together). Aside from our first couple years together, he’s always had problems being affectionate with me or initiating sex. It has done severe damage to my self-esteem and before him, I could get any man I wanted. Now, I don’t even want to look at myself in the mirror. He used to claim that it wasn’t me, it was him. I have been tempted to have affairs because I crave the closeness.

    He told me last night that he doesn’t love me anymore. I told him that he needs to be out of the house by Jan. 1. I am truly and utterly devastated and I feel like my entire world is falling apart.

  • betty

    Dear Distraught
    I wish you all the best in your new life. While I am so sorry that you have suffered, I am happy for the fact that you have reached a turning point and now have a chance for a happy life. The pain of being in marital limbo is very debilitating. He is right though, it is him, not you!Pretty soon the guys will be beating a path to your door.

  • I’m not alone!

    Wow! Thank you so much for responding to this post. I feel the same way as just about everyone else here. Here is some of my story:

    I am only 29 years old and I have been married for nine years and have two beautiful girls, ages 8 and 4.

    I hate my marriage. I love my husband, don’t get me wrong but my marriage sucks. There is absolutely no desire to have sex on his part. I desire it ALL of the time. He can touch me and I am ready!

    In the beginning we had sex all of the time. Then about 3 years ago we began having communication problems. He was travelling a lot and we never saw eachother. When he was home he was very angry and mentally and verbally abusive. So I asked him to leave. Which he did, reluctantly. He promised me that he would attend marriage counseling with me if I would just let him come back home. So we went to marriage counselling and he moved back home. The entire separation lasted about 3 months. This was a year ago.

    My husband recently admitted to me that he had been having lustful thoughts towards another woman that he worked with. It freaked him out so much that he quit his job. This all happened during the time of our separation. He says no physical contact was made. In my eyes, it was an affair. According to the bible, it was an affair. I was deeply hurt by this.

    But, he asked me for his forgiveness and promised that he would seek help for his depression/lack of sexual desire, etc. That was over two months ago. Still waiting. And no, I am not nagging him…

    It is clear that he does not desire me but has no problems desiring other women. So, I know the problem is me. This boggles me because I get hit on constantly. I am a very giving and beautiful person. Everything that he has told me that bothers him, I have changed. For example, I didn’t touch him enough, I didn’t tell him that I loved him enough, etc…

    So, divorce has definately been on my mind nonstop. He comes home from work and plops on the couch in front of the tv. I leave him alone. If he wanted me, he would come and get me. I am sick of waiting. I know that this will hurt my kids and other family members. But, I honestly believe that the kids want to see us happy. Me, especially as I am currently the only “interactive” parent in the picture.

    I just struggle with answering the future question of “Why did you get a divorce?” What do I say? “My husband didn’t find me sexually attractive anymore??????”

  • HangingOn

    Since my last post on Nov. 30th things have changed. I stayed on the couch for 2 days after my post trying to figure out what to do and how to change things.

    I told my husband I am giving this 1 more year. Things have to change. It is not me and if it is him we need to work on things. I got the same response that betty’s husband gave her, prostate problems, low sex drive, E.D…..

    My response was “That’s a bunch of CRAP” He has never had a problem when “HE” wanted to do something and over the years every single time we tried there was NOT a problem. So I wasn’t buying that excuse.

    To make this shorter…We talked and things have been much better although it’s only been 2 weeks. I am hoping for the best.

    I guess the biggest thing I said was it’s just me and you here lets stop making excuses and telling each other what we think we want to hear. I am not happy, I do not want to live like this anymore. I can’t live like this anymore. I am a loving, lovable woman. I do not want another man and if we end this I don’t think I will ever want another relationship ever. The one thing you did show me was I CAN LIVE WITHOUT SEX. I would rather be alone and feel alone rather than be feel alone when you are standing right beside me. Make sense?

    I also had to admit to him that I love him very much but I am no longer In love with him. That was very hard I did not know how he would respond. He says he knew, and he knows why. After all these years of no affection you just turn cold. After all the years of hoping things will change and they didn’t you lose something. I know it will not be easy but we do have something and we can work on it.

    So we are working on it. I am so glad I found this post. Hang in there!
    “Everything happens for a reason”

  • distraught

    Thanks for your post, Betty. I’m trying to keep busy to keep it off my mind, but it’s SO hard.

    And to hangingon, yes you do turn cold without affection for so long. I see myself in you. I applaud you both for wanting to work out and I wish the best of luck to you.

  • rozalind

    How sad there are so many of us out there. My husband is 57 and I am coming up for 50. We have been together for 30 years now and everything is falling in around our feet. Two wonderful wonderful children who don’t deserve this.
    I have mainly worked while he has been the house husband. Not a problem when the money was coming in. Due to downturn in business we are now having to live on our savings. Sinario is as follows

    1. Running out of money
    2. Children in fee paying school
    3. Still have a mortgage
    4. He in the past has been a bit of a loaner
    however has brain washed me into behaving the
    same way. Now low self esteem and very few
    friends. Any friends I made he would tell
    me to be careful of them
    5. He has NO sex drive and impotent. Never shows
    his feelings.
    6. He is as deep as the ocean
    7. When I try to talk to him he shouts at me
    8. Want to go back to the UK but where does
    one begin. No way would I leave my children
    9. Cannot sell our house
    10. He spends 24/7 on computer working on his so
    called websites that make no money.
    11. I am in complete panic mode as I know I
    cannot depend on him to get work
    12. He is fairly inteligent person.
    13. Smokes 60 cigarettes a day
    14. Yes I did love him but I guess I don’t like
    him anymore.
    15. My daughter is the apple of his eye and makes
    no comment to me on the situation
    16. I want a normal family life and see this in
    all my family back in the UK
    17. We have no money to buy children Christmas
    presents
    18. He will not eat at meal times
    19. He comes over all the time as angry
    20. He has dragged me so down I do not have the
    energy to pick up the pieces
    21. My family would be so angry if they new the
    situ.
    22. Could write a book.
    23 I am so homesick.
    24. Most of my friends have moved away because
    of the decline in business.
    25. I try not to cry in front of children however
    when I do, he offers NO comfort.
    26. Why am I allowing myself and children to live
    through this awful situ.

    When I read the above comments my heart goes out for all of us.

  • HangingOn

    rozalind, Just wanted you to know somebody hears you. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you in my prayers. Only you can make the decision of what to do. Hang in there.

  • Hopeless & Numb

    Reading through these comments has left me feeling utterly hopeless. Our problem began around the time I had our daughter. Sex began to dwindle during the pregnancy but I wasn’t feeling all that sexual so I hardly noticed. I assumed that it would all go back to normal when it wasn’t so physically draining. It stopped completely after she was born. He did ask once when we’d have the “green light” after I had her but that was the last time that he seemed remotely interested.

    It has been 14 months since he showed interest in sex. After about 9 months, a friend gave him a blue pill and we had an uncomfortable sexual encounter. I figured it was just because it had been so long and we needed time to get to know each other in that way again. We tried again (of course, at my insistance) a couple months later and it was the same. I was determined to get it right so I insisted we give it another go a mere 3 weeks later and paid for it. He was cold and I felt worse than a prostitute because it wasn’t like he was paying me for something he actually wanted. I told him afterwards that I didn’t deserve that kind of treatment and it would be a cold day in hell before I ever approached him again. He acknowledged that he was ignorant and was very apologetic.

    I’ve tried to figure out what the worst part of this all is and there are many: He is an amazing man in every other way. He is an excellent father to our daughter and we get along rather well except when this issue blows up. I’m 31 and he is 49. I have heard every excuse and rationalization in the world from him along with how much he loves me and still finds me attractive. In the beginning, I was certain it was me. I just had a baby and my body isn’t what it used to be, maybe he resented me because of the responsibility of a family, maybe I don’t keep the house nice enough, I should dress sexier, etc. I tore myself apart from every angle and sunk into a pit of self loathing that I thought I’d never get out of.

    Then I picked myself up, dusted myself off and realized that it wasn’t me and even if it was something about me, it still wasn’t me — it was his perception of whatever it was! I thought about how many other women in the world were uglier, fatter, lazier, sloppier, not as fun or had worse personalities. They exist and are still attractive and desired by men. If it had something to do with me having a baby, he needed to grow up! He’s had kids before and has been with women with kids so that’s no excuse.

    We’ve had conversations about this time after time and he tries to be understanding but usually ends up getting defensive. He has said some things that were hurtful and they linger in my head when I’m in one of the moods like tonight. He always focuses on the physical act as if I’m just horny and want to get laid. He seems to have no idea what I’ve lost — what we’ve lost. He says he misses it but has no desire. I’ve begged him to just try to do something to get his mind back into the groove but he refuses.

    He knows I’ve searched the internet and he resents that. He says I think I’m a doctor and I’m not whenever I try to make suggestions about things to try. He has been telling me for months that he’s going to see a doctor but his excuse was always the money. He wants to go to the doctor alone and I think that’s a mistake. Now he has insurance beginning in a few weeks and I’m suddenly scared by what I’ve read on this site. It doesn’t seem like doctors have a treatment for this condition. How can that be? They can treat a menopausal woman’s lack of desire with hormones — can they not do that for men?

    I have also cried myself to sleep quietly so as not to hurt his precious male ego but I’ve also cried in front of him and he seems to not care. How can you love someone and put them through this agony? How can he say that he loves me but refuse to let me in on this? Is this going to be my life? I read about these women who have dealt with this for years and I’m crushed at the thought. I am, once again, crying my eyes out and feeling totally alone.

    Our most recent talk was on March first. He had told me the insurance would be active on that day and I was waiting for that. It wasn’t and I approached him. We talked and he was honest about things that hurt me but I needed to hear them. He didn’t come right out and say that he was repulsed by the thought of having sex but it was almost that way. He got no enjoyment out of our few encounters in this past year and it just wasn’t worth it in his mind — even just to shut me up. It was uncomfortable for him and he wasn’t interested in “trying” it again. He said he knew it would be more of the same and he didn’t want to do that to me.

    He asked me to give him until April first and then he said he would do it “my way”. What the hell is “my way”? I don’t have the answer and, if I did, I damn sure wouldn’t be sitting here and waiting for him to decide to do it! If I knew there was a solution and he wouldn’t listen to it, I wouldn’t be here. I am faced with a decision about whether to leave a man that is almost perfect in every other way or to resign myself to living this “half life” forever. I’m only 31 and I may never have sex again.

    I could identify with the other women so much. I have told him on many occasions that I feel like his sister. I get the pasionless pecks, too. He is actually pretty affectionate and likes to cuddle in bed and hug me. Believe me, this makes it worse because its a constant reminder that it isn’t going to lead anywhere. I’m human and I sometimes get turned on when he’s holding me. It hurts so I try to avoid these situations because they seem like cruel jokes.

    I know this is long but I went on the yahoo groups and none of them have had recent activity. I think I just needed to get it out and feel like someone who feels like I do will read it. I don’t want this life but its been imposed upon me and it isn’t fair but there isn’t anything I can do about it. I wouldn’t have an affair either, that’s not me. I crave the emotional bond that I had with the man that I love, sex with a detached stranger won’t fill this void inside me.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    Hopeless and Numb,

    I hope you’ll be back here to check for responses.

    Every woman who belongs to the Yahoo groups for women in sexless marriages (Hera’s Women or others) goes through the same thing you do: specifically they have those times, that bad week, those bouts of relentless sadness and often anger. This is when they post – just like you did.

    While you don’t see recent activity today, check back with those groups in a week. It only takes a week for the groups to read “no activity,” but when one member speaks, they all speak – if only for a week or two out of a month’s time.

    Join the groups. By all means do so anonymously. Post to the groups. Stick with the ones that give you feedback and responses. Too, once you’re in a group, you can read the messages others have posted in the past. I can’t speak for other groups, but I can say you’ll read many a heartfelt story in Hera’s Women. You’ll also have access to the books, articles and links the members have found helpful.

    One of the hardest parts of being in a sexless marriage is reaching out to others. It all seems so fruitless and it takes so much effort, but it does pay to reach out to the right people.

    Your signature speaks volumes and I wonder if you’ll reach out if for no other reason than because you’re not numb. You’re very much alive and feeling – that’s why you posted. It’s your husband who is numb, not you.

  • lost and lonely

    I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of the women here who have had the courage to post their stories.

    I have been in a sexless/loveless marriage for 13 years. In the last 2 years I have been contemplating divorce. In the last month I have managed to come clean about my marital problems with my friends and family. I was overwhelmed by the support they gave me. I got myself into therapy, private, not marriage counseling (we’ve been down that road too many times and it has gotten us nowhere). Anyway, I have decided to leave my husband, and if I were ever wavering, your stories have reinforced my decision.

    I am 31 years old, and I DESERVE to have a complete marriage. As was mentioned by many of the otherposters, I could probably deal with the lack of sexual intercourse if there were an underlying cause, but the complete lack of any physical and emotional intimacy is a soul destroying experience.

    I can do all the work I want to on my own mental health and emotional issues, but not a single bit of it is going to change HIM. That ball is firmly in his court.

    So, to those of you who are ashamed of your situations, I have one thing to say to you. It’s not you who should feel shamed by your partners actions or inactions.

    Remember, every human being needs love and affection, and to deliberately withhold that within the bonds of marriage is one of the cruelest forms of emotional violence one person can perpetrate against another, according to my therapist.

  • Left Coast

    While I have no doubt some women find themselves in sexless marriages through no fault of their own, I’m willing to bet a good number have treated their husbands as captive father-slaves and packed on the pounds. It happened to me. I know I’m tossing gas on a smoldering fire, but I’m here to defend decent guys like myself who are revolted at the thought of being intimate with our children’s mother.

    We’re mid-40’s. Met, fell in love, had sex, got married, and had kids years ago. We get along OK now but do nothing together. We really never fight. Never. Actually there is no passion whatsoever. It’s been said the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. I haven’t given her a peck on the cheek on New Year’s Eve going back more than five years now. Zero hugs, kisses, etc. None. No point to it. We’ve had separate bedrooms for a few years now, thank goodness.

    Been married nearly 20 years, and the kids are in their teens. We haven’t engaged in sex five times in the past ten years, and never during the past five. No amount of alcohol will get me past the distasteful sights and scents.

    Once the kids came, she totally let herself go, and gained 70+ pounds. Hygiene was a major issue as well (I’m guessing bacterial vaginosis). What finally tore it in my mind was that I was consistently and repeatedly ignored over a period of years. The kids were her sole focus. It was like I only existed intermittently. My attempts to speak and gain a verbal response would be met with silence more often than not. She couldn’t have pushed me away more effectively with a bulldozer. It worked.

    We’ve never talked about it, and I have zero desire to do so, with her or anyone. It would not end well, and though I know she probably already understands my thinly-veiled revulsion, hearing it verbalized would be too difficult for her.

    I make all the money and there’s plenty. I work around the house, don’t smoke, gamble, or party, and love the heck out of my kids. I’m a healthy, intelligent, attractive, responsible guy legally and morally saddled with an otherwise nice fat lady in whom I no longer have the slightest interest, sexually or otherwise. That will absolutely never change.

    Once the kids are older and no longer under my roof, I’ll then willingly give away half of all I’ve earned in exchange for my last years of freedom. Until then, it’s just like we’re housemates. Neither of us is interested in breaking up our kid’s happy (at least for them) home.

    Marriage? Never again!!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    Left Coast, the lonliness and frustration you’re feeling is something women in sexless marriages can understand. They aren’t going to do it with the agreement that they packed on the weight as many of them stayed healthy from the beginning.

    If these women were like your wife, they would not be complaining about the same thing you are. They are married to the male version of what you’re married to.

    It doesn’t matter what causes the sexless partner to chose this path when that partner refuses to share why they did it. That they would then leave their spouse to figure out what’s going on by him/herself is just cruel.

    As many of the women here have done, it might be time for you to take a more intense look at what your marriage is doing to you and for you: good and bad. It is not necessarily in the children’s best interest to live with an example of marriage that is not what we would have them seek later in life. This is, however, something to be weighed out by the spouse who would consider leaving the marriage.

    It is hoped you find peace.

  • Ed Baranowski

    I used my full name because I don’t care who reads this comment:

    My wife and I married in 1979, dated three plus years before that with no pre-marital sex and no sex after the marriage. We are both 55 years old now and, quite frankly, just living together.
    I thought we would be more sexual as time passed but it is not an important part of our relationship. I’ve had a co-worker tell me to divorce and end the “torture” of a no sex marriage but I was raised to believe the vow said “for better or worse”….
    I am an active, outdoors, love the beach, and occasional dancing “kind of guy” that has a liking for sexual fantasy play. I am a good provider and faithful (yes, faithful) partner, like MIKE’s comment above. Recently, I don’t know if I should remain with my wife until death do us part or try to start over at 55! I feel 55 is too old to even consider the dating scene. We are both “only children” and DINKS – Double Income No Kids. My story is similar to the main article – just substitute HE does not want to have sex, for SHE!
    I believe now that the younger generation has the right idea in “trying out the goods” before you buy. If you don’t you are making a living hell out of your life. Thanks!

  • MBD

    A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer. All of a sudden, he said out loud, “Lord, grant me one wish.” The sky clouded above his head and in a booming voice, the Lord said, “Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.” The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want.” The Lord said, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me.” The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know how they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘nothing’, and how I can make a woman truly happy.” The Lord replied, “Do you want two lanes or four lanes on that bridge?”

  • PABD

    Left Coast, I know you have said “some” women. However, I want to let you know I am a very attractive and thin build woman who is caught in a sexless marriage. I certainly do not treat my husband as a captive slave because I do not want to be treated as so.

    My husband (33) and I (32) do not have children and are not trying to conceive. This is our first year of marriage and eight months (plus) have been spent sexless. We have been married for nine months (courtship period was three years). It is an agonizing and frustrating experience. I do not feel confident our marriage will make it in the long haul at the rate it is going. I am trying my best to be patient with my husband and give him the space with trying to resolve this issue without nagging him to do so. However, he is not treating this issue as something that needs to be resolved quickly before things really go downhill. At times, my frustrations and anger do come out, but I try to control my emotions the best I can. The fact remains I am only human and strongly desire to be intimate with my husband.

    My husband has promised to seek counseling and try prescription medications. He has done neither thus far. Recently, I presented a book to him, The Sex-Starved Marriage, in hopes he will read the book and understand my perspective better (as I have with his). He is taking his precious time with reading that book.

    I deserve to have a complete marriage, as one poster has said. I do not appreciate the unintentional emotional cruelty my husband is subjecting me to. I know I cannot control him, but I can control my actions and myself and I am responsible for my own happiness. I will not tolerate a sexless marriage for the rest of my life. I think the maximum I can tolerate this is two years (maybe less). By that point, I will feel like I have given the marriage a fair chance and would have given my best to make it work.

    My mother and sisters are shocked that I am experiencing this during my first year of marriage. I even confided with his mother and she is surprised. It is somewhat embarrassing to say, we are newlyweds but majority of our first year of marriage was spent sexless. Because I do not know of any personally who is struggling with this, it becomes difficult to understand how to survive such a challenging thing during the first year of marriage.

    As mentioned above, I am trying to be patient and give my husband adequate time to resolve this issue within a reasonable amount of time. If my husband does not pull his load soon and get this issue resolved, eventually, I will reach my breaking point of not being able to tolerate a sexless marriage any longer. I do not want to divorce and want to avoid it, but I know myself well. I enjoy sex and looked forward to marital sex. My husband is a decent man. However, I cannot continue in a marriage that is akin to roommates/best buddies type relationship. If I desired such a relationship, I do not need to marry a man to achieve that.

    To all those who are struggling with this, I feel your pain and wish you all the best.

  • Just Plain Lonely

    I am a 47 year old female married to a 53 year old diabetic male who has his illness well under control with no complications. I too am in a sexless marriage and will quickly reach my third anniversary and almost a complete year with no sexual contact at all, as he doesn’t believe in anything but straight by the book intercourse. The problem with no sex started before our marriage so I do blame myself for thinking he would really seek some sort of help and realize I will have to be the one to end it. I have tried talking but he just ignores me. I left books out, they disappear to never be read. I have given him an ad from a sex therapist with a note written on it that I wasn’t happy with the way things were and really didn’t know if he was or not. If he wasn’t would he please make an appointment for me, for himself or for both of us…whatever needed to be done. I guess I got my answer in nothing being done. I have been patient and nonjudgemental as I knew added stress from me wouldn’t help the situation, but his not caring about my feelings or needs cuts me like a knife. He just doesn’t have any sexual drive at all or have any need for human emotional contact. I did confide in a couple of friends but they think it’s all very funny. So there’s no one to talk with who has any clue. I can tell by reading your postings that you not only know but are living it. I only hope when we do leave and have had enough time for our wounds to heal that there’s enough men left for all of us and we don’t accidently kill(by wearing him out) the very first one we find!

  • MrMarried

    I know the feeling. I have been married for 26 years. All through this time I have been completely faithful to her. I have tried everything but she has almost no interest in sex or my feeling.

  • marriedlady

    I read this and its my story to a point. I am still married 35 plus years. Its sad, I am sad, and I feel this can’t be fixed. My husband always had issues, through the years they got worse. We have gone years without sex, years without any sort of touching kissing . There is nothing. I don’t work and I have no one else, but this man. We are sort of friends, I can count on him for help, I can count on him to take care of me when I am sick. As long as I get better, though. He is dependable , works, I don’t cheat, he doesn’t cheat. I think I am married to my brother?? Wasn’t that way to begin withm but it sure ended up to be that.

  • Danni

    I was frustrated this morning (estrogen is high in the morning :)) so I decided to educate myself via internet regarding my sexless marriage. Basically looking for something or “someone” to tell me I’m not alone, crazy, ugly….the ones that understand….you get my “drift”.

    That’s when I came across Diana’s article. At first – I thought, “when did I write this.” Honest truth! I realized I wasn’t alone. Now, I have found this out before when surfing (not alone) – but not put into such words as the story. Brilliant!

    Now, what I have come to discover throughout my “ordeal” is a few things:

    1. Education – the lack of. We as women – married women especially in long term marriages (mine 19 years)- you are “taught” to watch for “signs” from your husband. In a sexless marriage – those signs are all there. What is not “taught” to us is that in the beginning signs, it could be the start of the sexless marriage syndrome instead of thinking he’s having an affair – or gay. If I would have been educated earlier, it would have been a bit easier to leave (I haven’t left).

    2. It would hurt less if he was gay.

    There are so many things women and men are told and advised on regarding marriage. But never is there mention of when a man looses his sex drive. It’s always the women who probably will because of pregnancies, kids, work, ect. When Hubby starts to loose their sex drive and us women who are initially puzzled and keep asking for sex; these women (us) are considered sex fiends. Then when it still doesn’t happen, we are nags. But when the women looses her sex drive (This has never happened to me – I did have babies 10 months apart – my initiation – 14 years ago and last child – get my point) – she’s a frigged bitch. These sexless men are selfish. Especially the ones (like my H) who refuse also to give “blessing” to get the job done elsewhere. If it was me holding out for years, you bet your ass that he would have been long gone to get it elsewhere and there would be no question about it.

    Thanks for your article. I haven’t felt this assured for a long time. It doesn’t make the pain go away (it really is pain that just can’t be fully described), but it makes it just a little more bearable to know I’m not alone.

  • Mr_Man

    I have always liked sex . I used to chase my wife around and beg for sex but I woke up one day and decided it was just too humiliating to beg for sex .. Sometimes I used to get the conditions i.e wash dishes or clean the house and you can get some .
    Basically now I just dont even bother asking for sex .. I simply Jack Off and call it a day . Now she is bugging me because I dont touch her or call her at work as often ..
    Part of the problem is the nagging .. A man need his Ego, if you strip him of his respect and role as the head of the household . You become less appealing …if you put conditions on when to have sex e.g only in the morning etc it becomes a burden . I have been married 15 years but I can count the number of times we have had sex n a weekday .
    I used to crave her but now I just think it is too streeful to bother her for sex .

  • Danni

    Hi,

    Mr. Man – have you talked with you wife about this? We must have woke up on the same day – I am sick to death of begging. I am humiliated by it. Not only am I rejected on a daily basis – but then to top that off with the begging – I too said “forget it”. The issue with my H is he doesn’t want it – period. In the close to 20 years I have been with him – he has NEVER Jacked Off. He has absolutely no desire for sex with me or alone – period. I swear I was a man in a past life that is now haunting me. I have always had a man’s sex drive. No matter what – through pregnancies(3 boys – maby that’s what did it :)), depression, you name it – sex always made me feel like a women and energized me. We’ve had sex 3 times in the past 2 years. He wants nothing to do with it. The last time was last week – did absolutely nothing for me. It was a mere 20 seconds and that was it. I waited for so long – not only did it last 20 seconds – but I was so riled up – I just started to cry. Even my “daily” alone time didn’t seem to “release” anything. The frustration is huge. My body, my mind. I just wish he would give me the blessing to go else where. Will that fix anything? Probably not – but my body and mind need sex – the most basic of human needs. I feel also that I am missing out on so much experience – sounds weird – hard to explain. It’s too frustrating knowing that I live with and am married to a MAN who for years and recently, wants nothing to do with sex….all that can be said is…tomorrow is yet again another day.

  • Old Poncho

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. May God bless your marriage. From an old fool

  • bliffle

    Perhaps some men feel put upon by all the demands of modern women, their own needs considered silly and unnecessary, cutoff from their children, etc., that they rebel in the only way left to them: isolation and withdrawal.

  • newlywed

    Newlywed married for almost three years. And I’m more confused and hurt because most of the postings are from people who have been married for years. And yet, here I am on a Friday night looking for info online to convince myself I’m not alone in a sexless marriage. I used to drive my H crazy with lust. And now, not even three full years, I’m waiting, wishing, wanting, and tired of taking care of my own intimate needs when I’m alone. Only to start crying afterwards because the entire time I was imagining me and H together. I dont know what to do.

  • Old Poncho

    Dear newlywed. Wish I could have answers for you, however I dont. Im sad to know your crying inside and sincerely wish I could make a difference for you. All I can say is this old fool does care about you and will offer a tissue for your tears. God bless you my dear. Old Poncho.

  • Dr Dreadful

    The original article is almost a year and a half old so it’s probably too late to comment on it in any meaningful way. But the author did say her friend was agreeing to tell her story in the hope that someone might point up something she’d missed. So here goes anyway.

    What jumped out from “Olencia”‘s story for me was her mentioning that her husband was in the military. Since she is stationed overseas with him, I presume that he is not in a combat zone; but has he been in combat at some point? I wonder if his coldness and lack of affection and physicality towards “Olencia” is a symptom of combat-related stress?

    Looking through the comments, it didn’t seem as if anyone had picked up on that (unless I missed it). Anyway, I’m sure that possibility was covered in counseling – but just a thought.

  • Just Plain Lonely

    newlywed, you aren’t alone. Just made our third annivesary in May. Haven’t had any sexual contact in over a year and it doesn’t look promising for the near future. I have made a promise to myself that I will start therapy. I have informed my husband of this decision and have invited him to attend if he wishes. Should he choose not to try counseling or what other measure he feels is necessary and will work for him…when I have reached the point in therapy that I am certain I have done everything I can to try and save our relationship..I will leave. I can not continue to live with someone and be so alone. The emotional toll it is taking on me isn’t necessary and I refuse to do this anymore. I am taking control of my life once again. I didn’t get married until I was 44 and certainly love my husband. If he were trying to do something about this and nothing were working, it would be different. He has said for the past three years that he’s going to talk to a doctor about his total lack of desire but then doesn’t follow thru. Neither of us is getting any younger as the days go by. Newlywed..please see the post a few days back…she says…if she had known earlier that the loss of desire didn’t mean he was having an affair or that he was gay…but the beginning of a sexless marriage it would have been easier to leave. TALK TO YOUR HUSBAND! Rationally…calmly….seek help with professionals….if he isn’t willing to try…GET OUT NOW! It won’t get any better if he won’t try. You are not alone and it IS NOT only people who have been married for a hundred years. My original post is back around Mid-May,2007

  • cora

    Wow I always thought I was alone that nobody could possibly have my problem.
    My hubby was never one to initate sex in our relationship but still participated occasionally to pacify me I think. The last six months it has been no sex period. The reasons vary from I’m to tired but you know I love you to he’s mad at me for not telling him something about the kids. When I try to discuss it with him he gets angry and tells me marriage is based on more than just sex. I keep telling him that making love is a very important part of marriage. He tells me he hopes I never cheat on him as he would never do that to me…..his first wife cheated on him.
    Now I wonder if this was a problem in his first marriage. I used to beg for his attention…now I pray for him to initate something…he tells me sex is important to him but its not his driving force, lately its all I think about. We are still a young couple I am 45 and he is 53 and have been togeather 9 years. My first husband was a man who couldnt get enough my second husband is a man who could care less. I love my husband dearly but this situation is starting to play quite heavy on our marriage. At the moment I feel like I am being punished..be a good girl and you might get lucky tonight…am I being selfish in wanting him to desire me physically?

  • Troy

    I am amazed at all the women who think that their husbands instantly shut off the sex valve of interest. I have been married to my wife for 15 years. She is a very beautiful woman. Early in our marriage I told her of my fantacies and desires. I realize that most of my fantacies wouldn’t be accepted in a marriage, but guys do fantasize alot so your husbands have them too. Well you probably already guessed it. My wife rejected any notion of filling these fantacies. Even the the tame ones… becasue that is of course all I told her. Now that has lead to 15 years of me not being able to talk to her – this is the effect. As time went on kids and jobs incresed our lack of sex to a point that it was hardly the sex life I imagined in my younger days. But believe it or not I still desired to be a good lover during those years. I strived to do things she liked without much effort in return. I have just about come to my wits end with her lack of desire to fufill even one of my desires… It’s not like I am a teenager. Just plain old sex gets old. No man had a fantacy of sex in the same bed in the same way with the same woman for 20 years. It does get boring. Her idea of spicing it up would be her idea of what is exciting. Does this sound like you? because it just comes accross a further selfishness. Recently my wife told me that 1/2 the time we have sex she doesn’t feel like it she just does it because I want it. Now I’m a charity case? That may sound fair, but it goes through like a knife. I have tried to be a good lover, I have tried to do the things she wants, the whole experience has left me lonely really. Now I come to find out that the 20 or so times a year we have sex only 10 of the times she actually wants to do it… 10 times a year is that that best I can do? I must not be good enough or attractive enough if she can only want it 10 times a year. Actually woman find me very attractive so I do not get it. But I know one thing I am done trying – just like your husbands. She like many of you can go fuck yourselves because after years of trying to please wives with some boring watered down version of what we wanted for a sex life. We are tired. So before you rant and rave about your man having no interest look in the mirror and ask how many times did I crush his fantacy in sex? How many times did I reject his efforts to be sexually intimate? I bet you can’t even answer the number is so high. But your husband has felt it grow like a weight until it is no longer worth the effort. We are human and need a little encouragement and effort to fufill our needs once in a while. Best of luck to you blind woman because I am certain of your future and you will need it with your cats.

  • cora

    Troy did you read our stories or just glance at them. You are full of anger and frustration much like the rest of us. You are pretty much in the same situation as the women that wrote here, only exception being you are male. We are not looking to hurt the male pride, we are here to look for answers. There is nothing wrong with fantasies but sometimes the reality is they are not everybody’s cup of tea…
    I have never rejected any advances from my husband but I have been rejected constantly. Plain old sex as you put it would never get boring because I love my spouse and it is a act of love not a unrealistic fantasy. Maybe your wife should have a cat it may offer her the affection that is lacking in her marriage.

  • sad in FL

    This article makes me very depressed. I am 22, have been married for ~ 1 year, and I am already at the state of most of the women here.

    I met my now husband on spring break our senior years in college, fell fast and got married within a year and a half. We had sex constantly, even to the point that we would be late for work, or miss social occasions due to not wanting to leave each other.

    We are originally from TX, but moved to FL. I recently (6mo. or so ago) learned that I have abnormal cervical cells that could potentially lead to cervical cancer. My husband insisted on going to the doctor to support me when I had my follow up exam. Since that day, we have had sex at most 6 times. (I understand that is more than many of the women suffering here)

    He used to hold my hand, kiss me in public, grab my in home…but now even if I am naked and trying to hug him, he pushes me away.

    And the worst part is that reading these posts makes me feel absoulutely hopeless. I have more recently gotten 2 puppies, and sadly they have filled part of the emotionless void I feel.

    I don’t know what to do: give up and go home, or hope that some affection and love can be resotred in our lives.

  • Elizabeth

    I’ve been married fro a little over 15 years. two children by a previous marriage, dated for 3 years. In all my married life my husband never once intiated sex. He has never told me he loved me without prompting and we went 1 whole year without sex. If i start it he will do it, he has rejected me a couple of times but he has alianated me emotionally and I feel starved for affection. Yes I’ve gained weight a lot. I don’t get it he wont talk about it says he loves me. I married him AND DATED HIM HE WAS ALREADY FAT. I overlooked that because he had character and morals. I dated plenty with none, and my kids love him even though he has never hugged them when they were little.I talk about divorce and he doesnt want it he claims he will change but in 15 years he hasn’t. I go to couselers, he has been but nothing much happened. They said he should be more affectionate to me and he didnt even try Now he is(hugs me once a day) I feel like big deal still no sex. Im angry and frustrated and feel like he has ruined my life.I’m so depressed. My children are grown and I have no one to hug me anymore or show affrction to. theres no intimate connection but yet he wants to stay.I don’t get it. they want the marriage on their terms there is no love. then what do you have?Just a fiend yes hes that and a ggod guy but what about me. Is this too much to ask. For years I thought it was me I’d gained weight but then i talke dto an ol childhood friend thin as a rail and she said she divorced her second husband because he just wasn;t into ever having sex and she had to intiates it same story. Now I read this and think and I guessI know that we are totally mismatched. Why doesnt he want out if its because i’m fat or nagging. I think its because it goes his way. NO SEX, NO INTIMACY. I’ really really depressed I’ve sucked it up for so long. Erveerything else is good, No drinking, he goes to work everyday. Hes a good person. Everybody will think its just me. Can these people change can they be fixed or are they like pedophiles where they don’t think they can change?

  • meinMD

    Reading these stories…literally made me cry. I have been with my husband now for 8.5 years. When we were together early in our relationship I felt like he was my best friend. We told each other that. I knew he had an active sex drive and we matched each other to a tee. That all changed one day. He decided that our sex life wasn’t *spicy* enough….and brought a terrible burden into our lives. He started using drugs. He told me they helped him lose his inhibitions and that it was only recreational. I was such a naive idiot. Even though I told him drugs had never played a part in my life before him…I trusted him so much I believed him. Until one night…he convinced me to try them. That night was the worst and most truamatic moment in my life. He brought in another man to be with us. I was so altered…so in shock…so broken…everything went by like a nightmare…it was a done deal. I had done that to try to please him. Sacrificing everything I believed personally. Stupid? Absolutely. Repeated? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I told him…in a sort of emotionless daze…that I felt like something had snapped inside of me. In fact, it had. I had a complete nervous breakdown. It was all my fault for allowing these things to happen. I now suffer from Post Truamatic Stress Disorder and am actively seeking psychiatric treatment. Now, the rest of you might think that I am now divorced. The really terrible part is I am not. He held my breakdown against me. Until one day I let it all spill out. He sat horrified. I told him…if he ever brought that terrible substance near me or my children (one of whom is his), I would leave him and turn him over to the authorities. And, he hasn’t of that I am sure. He apologized. But then turned around and told me if I wouldn’t have allowed it he never would have done it. Talk about a total mental landmine! I have asked him to go to counselling, and he went….for me…not him. And unfortunately, our marriage counsellor told him it WAS me!! So, now I am dealing with this. I survived my breakdown. Beat my suicidal urges. And now…he says he’s so hurt by the whole thing he can’t bring himself to touch me…but that he adores me and loves me with all of his heart. He is not cheating on me, nor does he look at porn. I also know all of this for a fact. There are days, nights, afternoons, when I try to initiate sex, and he just says *maybe later*. I have stopped trying. Now, I just go about my business and try to survive. I know the kids must know something. But having been through a TERRIBLE HORRID divorce once before..I honestly can’t do it again. So, here I sit. I don’t complain to him or stop hugging him or trying to hold his hand. I am just alone.

  • Joe

    As a male in a very similar marriage to the above story, I am completely offended. It always seems to me that its the the man’s fault. Her husband was seeing doctor’s etc, did she do anything? The constant nagging is what drove me away. I do not find my wife attractive anymore. It is her personality and physical appearance that has changed. I cetinly dream and would love to have sex, just not with her. I stay in my marriage because of my children. They did not choose to be in this situation and I must pay for my poor choice. Please put the blame where it belongs and look in the mirror.

  • at the edge

    Could this be caused by a dominance or power issue in the relationship? I have been in this situation for many years now and have sat and analysed the whys over and over again and have come to the conclusion it is one area where not only is this emotional neglect, it is emotional blackmail, the applying of control over the situation. He doesn’t show me any physical affection any more – there’s nothing I can do about it, unlike other areas in the marriage (finances, the kids etc).

    Like many other women here, I have always re-initiated after repeated rejections, including planning a meal on his birthday this year in a nice restaurant for just the two of us. I asked if he wanted to, he said yes. On the day of his birthday he cancelled 2 hours before we were due to do out and said he couldn’t be bothered. It is over for me now. I’ve had to be a strong person for him: he has spent many years of our 24 year relationship working away. It is now probably this strength that threatens him.

    Good luck to all you ladies. We deserve much better than this. I know I have got much love to give too.

  • nyc gal

    This is an epidemic. I just had dinner last night with 4 girlfriends, all are married or in commited relationships, all have little to no sex. The sex they do have now is bad, reluctant, mercy sex. No thank you.

    We are all attractive, physically fit, and have successful careers. The men in our lives have sexually “shut down”.

    My live-in boyfriend of 5 years has zero interest in having sex with me (although no problem masturbating in the shower each morning, or looking at porn on the laptop) He flinches if I try to hold his hand or give him a kiss that is anything more than a peck. Worse yet, he’ll giggle and pull away from me, awkwardly, like a child. I used to feel rejected, depressed, like many of the women posting here. Now I am just mad.

    We’ve been in couples therapy for over a year now. The only thing that has changed is our dwindling bank account.

    And oddly enough, although he doesn’t want any kind of sexual intimacy with me, he still wants to spend every second of the day with me. If i’m gone for a day or two for work, he misses me even more. He says he loves me all the time, I’m “his angel”, he couldn’t live without me. We have a very active life – biking, painting, photography, cooking, movies – just not in the bedroom.

    So the question at hand for me, and for my other girlfriends facing the same dilemma: What is worse? Leave my husband/boyfriend, only to be alone again and have to “start over” and try to meet someone new? (and we all remember the horrible nyc dating experiences of our youth) or to stay in a sexless relationship where at least we have a great companion, and are not alone. We all dread becoming the “old lady with cats”. And let’s be honest here, isn’t the sexless marriage inevitable? If we get involved in another relationship, won’t we all be in this exact same position 5 years from now?

    Thoughts?

  • jg

    All I can say is that after finding this forum I feel the best I have in years just knowing I am not alone and I am not crazy. I have just been compromising myself into old age. Time to pull myself up by the boot straps and get on with my life. Time to find someone who wants me in every way not just as the business partner I’ve become. Cheers everyone and all the best to you.

  • Barb

    My boyfriend and I have been living together for 8 months, we’ve been dating less than a year. We have never had a steamy sex life; he wasn’t initially physically attracted to me but fell for me based on my personality.

    I love him more than anyone I’ve ever been with; he’s the perfect boyfriend in every other way, and wants to marry me.

    I just worry because we’ve already started the cycle of talking about the “problem”, then having things improve temporarily, only to revert to the same ole same old after a week or two.

    I may not be in a sexless “marriage” but I am trying to decide if I should stay with this person who is incredibly physically affectionate but just has low desire…or if I should get out while I can.

    I think leaving him would devastate us both. He has issues from a traumatic first marriage and childhood sexual abuse that allowed me to hope that maybe things would improve with time and patience but after reading all of the posts on this forum, I worry that may not be the case. I want to love him unconditionally, but the rejection makes me feel so horrible. Also, I feel like it isn’t even his fault. We’ll be making out and he just doesn’t always get aroused. He will try to please me in other ways but it still makes me feel terrible that the desire isn’t there.

    I am now going to the gym every day and obsessing about clothing, hair, and make-up, things I never cared much about before. I feel like I’m becoming the type of shallow, looks obsessed woman that I used to abhor. I just don’t know what to do because sex isn’t everything and he is absolutely perfect in every other way.

    I recently read “When Your Sex Drives Don’t Match: Discover Your Libido Types to Create a Mutually Satisfying Sex Life” and it has helped, but I fear that things will slowly worsen again…as seems to be the case for most women posting here.

    I feel terrible for all of you who have been living with this for so much longer than I have. To be with someone you love with all your heart, and who loves you in return but he can not (or is unwilling) to have sex with you, well, it is the worst kind of pain.

  • Devi

    I’m glad I’ve seen this site. I have been in a common-law relationship for almost a year. When we first got together, he had wonderful sex drive, every day was not a problem, and he was present, you know, emotionally too….
    Now he says he’s stressed about money…we have more than enough money in the bank, but have taken a couple minor setbacks this year, just moving and changing jobs etc….I understand he has lots on his mind, and I don’t want to treat him like a peice of meat, only for my pleasure. The thing is, I can’t even wrap my brain around it, not being wanted or desired. He wants me to sleep with him, and cuddle, be emotionally present in the relationship, and just continue to give 100% like I have since the beginning.
    I think, if he really loved me, he wouldn’t withold his affection and sex from me. Sometimes, I just think, if he’d get out of his head for a few minutes, he could come around, and decide that he was enjoying things….Lord knows I’m a lot happier and easier to live with when I’m getting the affection I need from him.
    I know it sounds like I’m just pathetically needing my husband, but in all honestly, I’ve almost lost my mind, because I’ve tried every angle to get him in the mood, including giving him a taste of his own medicine and ignoring him. We love each other, I know this…I don’t understand why he is willing to let me walk away, when it seems so easy for him to “decide” he’s going to be in the mood….I don’t need sex everyday, like I originally thought I did, but I do need to connect with him a few times a week! All you poor sweet women, who have somehow lived so long in a sex starved marriage…I don’t know how you do it! I’m starting to look online for partners who are likewise in sexless marriages…and guess what? There’s tonnes of them!
    Eventually, we will split up because he’s not making any changes at all, and I don’t want to become one of those “nagging” wives….though he sure deserves it sometimes….being turned down and basically made to feel undesireable is an awful torture…How do you tell your friends and family you’re having problems in your marriage, because HE doesn’t want sex? It’s screwed!
    To end this…I’m a very attractive woman. If I were single, I’d have no problem picking myself up a man…but I don’t want that! But to see my husband look at me blankly when I’ve gone out of my way to look extra sexy for him some days…it’s mind boggling, and does nothing for one’s self-esteem. I don’t know how much longer I can stay in this…in my mind, there’s nothing much better than sex, it brings couples closer, keeps bonds strong, heals frazzled nerves and emotions, energizes the body, and is just plain good for you in many ways! Good luck to us all…women, sisters, we all need nurturing, not just being the ones giving the nurturing all the time without getting anything back. It’s all fine to say to give freely without expecting anything back, but when the tank is empty, it’s hard to get anything else out of it, right?
    There are so many men out there that would be happy to make love to us..and who need it also in return. I’m starting to think I’m all for it….
    D

  • D.C. Guy

    Like most of you above, I also find myself in a “sexless” relationship. While it’s not a completely sexless relationship like many that I’ve read about above — it’s close enough for my particular tastes. We’ve had sex maybe thirty times over the past three years, and we’ve had droughts that have lasted for months. I’ve raised the issue with her on numerous ocasssions over the course of this time, and have even broken up with her a couple of times. Each time I was assured that things would change. Each time they did — for about a week. Then it reverted back to the same. She’s not using sex as a manipulation tool and she’s not being vindictive. She simply has a sex drive that registers just above being flat-lined!

    Where I differ from most of you, however, is that I am not yet married and, as you could probably tell by now, I am a man. A young man with a very active drive. The friends that I’ve shared my problem with think that I’m crazy for having put up with it for so long. Half of me thinks that they’re right. I mean why can’t I leave? I’m not married yet. Although, I am engaged.

    Yet when I start thinking like this, the other half of me, the half that truly loves her, interjects in her defense. That half tries to rationalize that she’s perfect for me. She’s sweet, she’s intelligent, and she’s beautiful. Which are all true. But what makes leaving her the most painful is that she is such a great friend. I got a sense from reading your above posts that, in a lot of instances, the friendship died along with your sex life. Part of me almost wishes that I had a similar situation. It would make it that much easier to leave her.

    Help me out ladies. Is the above enough to stick it out? Or is an uninspired and uneventful sex life the death knell of any relationship?

  • Alan

    This site has offered some comfort, however this misery wishes he did not have company.

    Bottom line, 15 years of marriage, no children, no sex, and trapped in this hell. Yes, I blame myself for staying in this position. However, at age 45, there has to be something better. I should mention my wife has endometriosis, which is a terrible disease and can make conceiving difficult and sex painful. How the hell she discovered this after we were married is beyond me.

    Almost immediately after marrying in 1992, the sex vanished. When we dated, everything was fine. Shortly after marriage, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away two years later. My wife devoted herself to caring for her mother. Right after my mother-in-law passed away, my father-in-law had a mental breakdown and started slipping into demensia just enough to drive us nuts. My wife insisted he move in with us. You cannot imagine the strain this puts on a relationship. He lived with us for seven years before passing away two years ago.

    I put my head down and became an excellent provider earning well into six figures. Both of us are college graduates and have professional designations, yet she has quit working full-time after we were married to care for her mother. She then cared for her father. All this time I was on the back burner. She refused to discuss our problems or even seek counseling. You cannot imaging the hundreds of thousands of dollars extra we could saved had she worked. She refused to go back to work. I spoke with a divorce attorney and learned I will be screwed to wall when I leave her.

    I left my job to start my own firm, and guess who has made every step of this miserable. She does nothing but nag me about money and tell me how I should run a business. Meanwhile, she has not accomplished squat. She will not go back to work. She just uses me as a paycheck. I feel trapped with no where to go. Because the business is not earning money yet, I cannot qualify to even rent an apartment. I have no family and cannot imagine living in some rathole.

    We have not had sex in nine years. We do not kiss, hug or even hold hands. It’s like having a roommate. You cannot imagine the loneliness. I do not want to complicate things and have an affair. Hookers and whores are not my thing.

    I have resolved that unless the business becomes viable in a year, I will likely end my life. If the business makes it, I will be able to leave her. I will almost be glad to split the assets and pay some alimony.

    Those of you that can, get out with your sanity and you will be able to recover. While sex and love are seperate, within a marriage they should go hand-in-hand. Anything more than six months is a major problem and should be a signal to run.

  • http://www.experienceproject.com/group_profile.php?g=332 Sexless in Seattle

    Really wonderful reading all of your stories… made me feel less alone. There’s a group of a couple hundred others that are helping each other overcome the misery of a marriage without intimacy, it’s linked off my name. Good luck to all… there’s hope.

  • cindk

    This is just a hard place to be!! I’m not sure of who to be mad at, him, me, life that hapened along the way. I miss being alive in a sexual way. The observation I wish to make is that I appreciate most is that folks are not talking so much about about age,size,education,beauty,jobs or social interest. Being in a sexless relationship is tough. It brings up so many issues, our morals, self-esteem, deep desire to express ourselves sexually,family outcomes if we act out, the lonliness.It doesn’t seem to matter where we’ve been or where were going: I’M JUST PISSED OFF, this is how we live!!I’m sorry for all of us, where do we go from here?? it is good and sad that we are not alone. PLZ respond CNDK

  • Screwed

    First to Alan, I’ve always been of the position, no matter how bad things get , there’s always an alternative. Even if its just fleeing the country, you can always kill yourself later. Or why not seek an affair, it sounds like your marriage has been over for a while. It struck me recently that if we have affairs would we not still actually be in monogamous relationships, when you are no longer intimate with your spouse?

    I can understand though the feeling of despair and hopelessness, when everything you thought you had spent a huge amount of your life working on looks as though it has just been a waste of time. There is nothing in the world so terrible as regret. We ought not to feel regret though if we can say we made the decisions we thought were right at the time we made them.

    Reading these posts I don’t think anyone need apologize for going long. I would think we all deserve at least one good rant, but I’ll try to be to the point.

    I am a male and I must say I am very shocked to hear this as being a woman’s problem? Usually in television it is always the man complaining about inadequate sex in marriage. Ever since I was a boy all I ever heard was “Men are only after one thing.”? This used to offend me. Sure I was after it, but I was after love also. I am one male who always just wanted one woman who wanted me in return. Having said this though, I don’t think the comments of Mike, Nugget, and Left Coast should be dismissed. Some of your husbands may indeed still want to have sex, but just not with you. He may very well lie because he doesn’t actually want to hurt you with this. He may even feel guilty for feeling this way, but simply cannot help it no matter how he tries. The fact that you may still be attractive and sweet is irrelevant also. You miss the point. Whenever a human being has the same thing for years on end, they are going to want something different.

    Of course every case is different, but to just say a man doesn’t want to have sex? Is this not like saying a woman who doesn’t like to shop?? Sure it’s possible, but.. there would have to be something either physically or psychologically wrong.

    My own story? Married ten years. We did the once a month thing for a few years, once every two months, then once every three, then once every four, even though I have found my own libido to crave sex about once every 2.5 days. Thing is, in ten years, she has never initiated it once. I’ve basically had to seduce her into it every time, and so bout a year ago when I stopped initiating, what do you know, no more sex. I used to think she was just shy and I didn’t mind that at all, but after nine years I thought she might loosen up a little. I thought over the past year she would eventually have to recognize and address that there is a problem, but she just avoids it. I find it amazing.

    I know some might point out maybe she still wants to have sex, but just not with me. I think I would actually be relieved to find she had an affair. It would be like a get out of jail free card at this point, but I don’t believe this is the case. She made a comment once that sex was just for pro-creation really. Wow, that was a stunner. No, I believe she is just pretty frigid. Irony is I could probably have sex with her right now if I initiated it. She probably thinks it is me who has a problem, but I just can no longer stand having sex with someone who doesn’t want it in return. I may as well screw the wall. It is sad really, cause I’m one of those “nice guys” who has always been willing to give everything and be everything, if I had just gotten it in return. I’m not perfect by any means, but I deserve better than this.

    We also have a child, and this along with the religious moral issues I was brought up with, are what keep me just stuck here. I cannot stand the thought of hurting my child in any way, but I am beginning to think I will not be able to wait until he is an adult, any more than I could hold my breath until he is an adult. I know you may say it is no better for him to be raised in this family, but I just don’t think he will be able to handle us breaking up.

    I also raise the issue of religion and moral stigma of divorce. I’m sure most of you have to deal with this, though few of you have brought it up. I’m a Christian and I don’t just call myself that. Even so, I never viewed sex as just for pro-creation. I’ve always viewed God as an unseen father figure. I have prayed about my marriage, and the response that I have gotten is that I should wait. I wondered what I was waiting for, and it occurred to me that if I do wait eventually this problem will resolve itself one way or the other. Like an ever growing bubble, eventually we will be forced to either reconcile or divorce. I still love God, I don’t blame him. I believe the problems in my marriage come from faults in both myself and my wife, but we are human, and so I guess marriage is human also. Sometimes divorce may be as inevitable as sin itself.

    I sometimes wonder if I am going crazy, but then I pick myself up, dust myself off and put on a brave face. Tomorrow is another day.

  • Alan

    To Screwed – Thank you for the kind words. The combination of a failed marriage, a financial crunch, and basically nothing to look forward to at this age is depressing. At age 45, if I live to my life expectancy of age 80, what do I have to look forward to over the next 35 years? I have no immediate family. My friends are all married raising families. When I am 75 and need medical care, who will be there for me? No one takes better care of you than family. I have some complicated civil legal issues going on that could bankrupt me if I lose. If anyone ever saw the details, you would not believe this is the judicial system of the United States. But I digress.

    For you my friend, I see hope. I can tell you are a good man. You and I have similar religious beliefs and concerns for children. Turn the clock ahead and think about how your child will feel when he/she finds out you stuck it out for “his/her sake”. Then he/she could have serious issues as an adult. Suppose your child were in your situation in 20 years. How would you advise him/her?

    Suppose there is no hope for your current marriage. And suppose you divorce and both you and your wife end up happier. Would that not be better for your child? What if do not make the same mistake again and find “Mrs. Right”. Could that not set a better example for your child? Why expose your child to parents who are actually only roommates?

    I wish you the best of luck.

  • http:www.groups.yahoo.com/group/swage James

    I am a married man in a sexless marriage. It’s been over three years without any sex.

    For the entire marriage, I’ve been a sex positive male and my wife has been a sex negative woman. She just has no appreciation for sex.

    This situation is the dirty little secret of married life.

  • hopeful

    I would love to hear from someone…anyone who actually fixed the problem. Please tell me there is some hope out there. I don’t want to end my marriage but I’m not sure how much longer I can go on this way.

  • Hangingon

    I have been doing some searching on the internet for some kind of answers. Has anyone else investigated Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder? I believe this is what my husbands condition is. It states all the symtoms we are dealing with. It’s by no means a cure, but maybe more important, some answers. If we can understand this maybe we can deal with it.

  • http://url Neo

    Can man ever be complete? Can anyone ever be truly happy? Whats really happening to you when things are not working your way?

    Hi all! My name on this site will be Neo. I, like most of you here have suffered and currently am going through some sad realities in my our marriage. I’m 32 years and I’ve been married for almost 9 yrs now. I came across this site after surfing the web due to the sad lousy way I was feeling not only about marriage but life in general, though I must say my marriage has quite a big chuck to do with it. I found the articels on this site, though written mostly by women, quite enlightening and comforting in some sort of a strange way, yet disturbing also. I suppose thats because misery loves company. It’s always been a comforting thing to know that you’re not alone.

    The reason I started my own input with questions was simply because I’ve found sometimes that the best way to find answers to any situation is to ask questions. One thing I think most people with marital problems here would agree with me is that it can be spiritually draining. It is my personal notion that marriage is more than just a physical/emotional setup and whether its happiness or saddness in it, the source of that starts with the spiritual condition of each partner. Some of you might have already guessed it… yes I’m a christian. And what I’m trying to say here is that; maybe for all of us experiencing all this sadness, maybe we should seriously consider the spiritual alternative.

    I can not speak for any other faiths as I know of only one, but I can say that for the christian faith a man or husband rather, is commanded by God to love their wife. This can be quite a challenge sometimes. But for the sake of time, what I’m really trying to say is that maybe the solution lies in trying to live a life thats above living for physical and emotional satisfaction, but more spiritual. When you know that your sacrifies, your hardships and your going without that which you would rather have honors God, then you can be spiritually complete. Its very possible to be emotionally/physically lacking (though not desireable) and yet be spiritually complete. This might sound as an unusual phenomenon but I personally believe it to be true and possible. Ever heard of that man called Jesus? Thats how I believe he made it through life on earth. Made in true human form just like you and me, he was never emotionally or physically complete yet he was spiritually.

    It’s never easy, but at the end of the day I think its really about finding value and completion in your life. Knowing that you made vows before an almighty and all knowing being when you got married and your staying committed to those vows because they honor God should help fill in the gap of emotional or physical neglect. There is always hope. True joy comes when you deny self for a higher and more noble purpose. And theres no one higher purpose than knowing that you’re living right according God and honoring him with self sacrifice. Not even our own personal desire of pleasure can compare with that.

    I hope this makes sense to somebody. I hope this helps someone find that spiritual completion that we all seek to fill through one way or the other. Shanda lavanda… this is for you too. I really think as a people we all want the same thing, but what makes us different is how we go about it. Divorce is never what God wants. You can still live with and love someone who does not love you only if you know that your every act and sacrifies is noted and apperciated by a being much more greater and powerful than any other. We are created to honor and worship God. That is our truest purpose, and anything else in between are just time fillers. If you don’t believe me just wait till you die and you’ll soon find out. I meant that as a light joke too; not to scare anyone, even though I truly belive it to be true.

    God is really a good God who has nothing but the best of intentions for every human being. All we got to do is learn to trust what he says, obey it and be expectently patient. Whatever we might want or expect from our partners, if we (creatively and lovingly)communicate this to them and they don’t respond as we want then we should turn it over to God in prayer and leave it there. Theres always hope, not just for our marriages, which are but temporary time fillers, but for each one of our individual lives. There really is hope.

  • Hangingon

    Amen! Neo…..Thank You for that. I believe that to be true. It is our physical that longs for the love God intended us to have. My husband and I are both Christians. God is what gets me through each day. I know and believe what you have said, but it still hurts and I look everyday for hope, for answers, for something. Everyday I know God loves me. For this I am Thankful. Everything happens for a reason. God knows the reason and I have to accept that.

  • http://sexlessmarriage elaine

    I have been in a long term relationship for 18 years we havent had sex in 10 years i never bothered about it because of the kids not having sex doesnt seem to bother my defacto

    now that the kids are older and i am through menopause i want to enjoy my sex life with my defacto who does not seem interested in sex. I decided to put my foot down and told him that i want us to be sexual still not interested

    we are both in our 50s and i am very young looking petite and weigh 43 kilos also i have men still interested in me. i have never been with anyone sexually in all those years until the last two years in which i had a lover who i hate to say was a womeniser and very good in bed and me being satisfyed sexually with this lover has made me irritated with my defacto with his lack of interest in sex. i am no longer with this lover because he has another women.

    I have said to my defacto that we dont have to have intercourse that we can masterbate or have oral sex any form of sex is better than none.

    We finally got around to having sex and he said to me that i didnt need it as much as you do and i do it to make you happy i didnt take much notice about the comment

    still no sex i told him that i wont live like this anymore and if my needs arn’t met i will get my needs met elsewhere and he got angry and said that i would be sorry.

    I asked him what he was doing all this time when we weren’t having sex he told me he was having sex but not with women that he was masterbating and i also found some porn magazines i believe him because i know what his values are.

    As i said to him before we dont have to have intercourse if he is not up to it we can masterbate in which i enjoy and oral i am very open sexually he still not interested.

    My defacto knows that i am sexually fustrated as i have told him this but he doesnt seem to want to do anything about it its like he doesnt seem to care. i wonder if he is asexual.

    My defacto when as a child and his mother were physically and sexually abused and he has bad anger issues in which i told him to do somethibg about i had to put up with his anger for 18 years he was also adopted and had bad childhood issues. he went to see a physocologistto sort these issues out sex life still hasn,t improved i am at my wits end at the moment i would like some feedback on this

  • ariznem

    Wow, this has been the best thread I’ve ever seen on this sad subject. Everybody was shockingly intelligent sounding and well spoken.
    I’m a 42 year old man who has had sex once in the last five years of my marriage. I feel like I am slowly being asphyxiated by it. How horrible is that?
    I have such the typical story: great sex life at first, a woman that loved to be spontaneous and naughty and fun. Worked out with me every morning while dating, doing “Body for Life” and just caring a lot about how she looked.
    Married almost seven years now, and she has not worked out ONE day in the marriage. Immediately out the window when the ring went on were the little thongs I used to love to see her in.
    After a while, I just started to lose all interest in her. I’m not saying it’s all her fault. As a man, I’ve always suffered a little from the “drudgery” of monogamy – meaning I just can’t seem to help wanting some variety or thoughts of other women, and what it must be like to just have a different sexual experience with them.
    I really love my wife and don’t want to hurt her. We also have a three year old son who is the joy of my life. Forget about what divorcing might do to him – I worry more about what it would do to ME without him.
    Sure, I’d probably meet another woman and have some hot sex again? But wouldn’t some of the same problems crop up again for me?
    Wouldn’t I get a little bored again? But if I don’t give it a new shot at something that might be better, I have no balls or guts, right?
    I battle these conflicting thoughts ALL THE TIME now.
    Our sex life was bad when we were trying to conceive, so we actually had to go to a clinic, where I’d jerk off into a cup watching porn in the bathroom, and she was inseminated with it.
    Any other guy out there ever had to do that?
    I’m just most concerned about what a divorce would do to my son. Things would be real tough financially if we split too.
    So, often times I just tell myself to shut up and take it like a man. Be a martyr. I made my choice, and I should just live with it, for the good of the kid. Besides, like I said, I get along with my wife. But we’re just roommates. I so crave that feeling of being ALIVE, the way great, intimate love and sex can only do.
    To compensate for my inner pain, I’ve unfortunately started trying to numb some of it with alcohol. Nothing severe, but that one glass of wine I used to have a day has turned into three, sometimes four.
    Sometimes it’s the only way I can seem to cope with what has become a situation where I feel I’m slowly sinking to the bottom of the sea.

  • http://URL Passionless

    My husband is 15 years older than I am. Unfortunately, I became pregnant when we were dating and we did get married 18 months later. I should have known there would be problems as there was no sex on my wedding night. I gave up my family and moved out of state to be with him. I was so lonely and then we did not have sex for one year. I was going to leave but he talked me into staying and I had another child. Another sexless year went by and many others. I am not fat, attractive size 4 but he does not find me interesting and it could be the age difference; not quite sure. It had been 3 years and 3 months with no sex and another man was seeking me out with a vengence and I caved in. That was a mistake because it only brought more problems into my life. My children are everything to me but I lost track of who I was and so it ended. My husband found out and seemed to want to repair our marriage and things seemed to be better and I was hopeful. That was over 5 years ago. Now it has been over 3 1/2 years with no sex. I am pretty upset about this. I have spoken to him about the fact that he could lose me and he does not seem to do anything although he states that he wants to be married to me. I asked him if he was worried of an affair and he believes me to be very trustworthy. No one would ever believe I would have an affair. I don’t fit the part but I have to say that it is awful living like this. Mostly, I just live for my kids. I just worry about the day that someone is interested in me outside of my marriage. Luckily, it takes a lot to impress me. Although I am going to school at age 38 and have possibilities. Others find me attractive and I just don’t know what’s wrong with my husband. He is a good guy but terrible in the attention department. I just keep holding on because I am a very happy person otherwise and try to focus on everything else and just keep busy. But I have been married for over 10 years and have had to put on the busy act for a while and it gets old.

  • Jenny

    I ‘ve been married for 15 years and had both my kids in the first two years of my marriage. The sex stopped after I got pregnant with the first and then resumed again after the baby was born but only like once a month. Then when I got pregnant again the sex stopped for good. After the first baby was born he did have some problems. Sometimes he couldn’t get an erection and when he did he could never have an orgasm with me.

    After a year of no sex I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn’t know. I finally talked him into going to the doctor about his sex problems and he had all these tests and it turned out he was fine physically.

    To make a long story short I discovered he was maturbating to porn on the computer every night.
    When I confronted him about it he said it is the only way he can have an orgasm..masturbating alone to porn. We went to therapy but it didn’t help. That was 10 years ago and we have been sexless since then. He is a good man and a great father and it would be financially difficult to leave. But knowing I will be sexless for the rest of my life is very difficult to cope with. It is nice to see I am not alone with this problem.

  • Al

    I’m involved in what is basically a sexless marriage, 7 months now and my wife has not been interested.

    And she wonders why I’m not nice to her anymore.

    She wonders why I’m depressed all the time. She wonders why I’m not happy.

    She tried hugging me last night. I got up and left, slept downstairs.

    You know, if you make your man feel like a worthless and unwanted schmuck, don’t be surprised when he begins to perceive himself as a worthless and unwanted schmuck.

    This morning she began the endless chatter about the day. I walked away.

    I’m not one of her girlfriends.

    Geez, I need to find a woman who knows how to treat a man.

    We are actually very simple. Toss us a roll in a hay now and then, tell us we are a good man, and we’ll do just about anything for a woman.

    Hoard the sex? Think that will get you somewhere?
    No.

  • Anon

    Mike hit the nail pretty well on the head. I get sick of hearing how husbands change after marriage… like wives don’t? Like you really worry about that 10lbs you put on as much as you did before the ring went on? After all, he won’t leave for that right? He’d be crazy to, since family law in this nation is so stacked against men that he would lose his children and be in financial hell for the rest of his life.

    If a man can’t keep a job and meet his family’s financial needs, nobody would think twice about his wife leaving. But if a wife doesn’t give a damn about his physical needs, that’s ok… he’s superficial and should learn to deal with it.

    Women hold all the cards in this matter. A mediocre wife will be treated better than a stellar husband in a US court of law. Women know it and, whether consciously or subconsciously, use it to their advantage. Why put in all that extra effort when you already have everything working for you?

  • RB

    Wow, I’m not alone.

    I have the same situation as AL.
    Our sex life was sparse at best. It used to be once every month or so and even then she took the “dead fish” aproach, then about a year ago my wife had a hysterectomy and we have had sex about 4 times since. She said she spoke to the doc about it, but I can tell its just not that important to her.
    To me its more than just sex. For one its the emotional connection that I just can’t get from any one else, and also it just feels good to be desired every now and then.

    Lately I’ve taken to sleeping on the couch. If the subject of sex comes up, then she always throws in the “well, how can we have sex when you’re on the couch?” to which I say “If you really wanted me I’d be in the bed.”

  • Bob-o

    The more I look into, the less I think marriage is a worthwhile pursuit.

    I read nomarriage.com, laughing at the testimonials and things expressed; however, apparently what was written there rings true. For males, I think marriage is definitely a bad idea, with the law against men who divorce (even with prenup), and our general need for variety.

    With respect to marriage, everyone says, “you just know who the right one is.” Funny, the divorce rate does not substantiate that assertion. American men, at least, may fare better with Latina women because of their values and how they are raised to treat men. But if you’re a guy, you might as well “lease” and keep most of your money unless you need kids, because it seems most guys just end up unhappy in marriages (sadly, women, too).

    The societal pressure placed on women to marry and have children is unfortunate, sure. And women are also on a clock. But even in the face of these things, men and women should be with each other because they WANT to be with each other. If kids are not in the plans, men and women should have their relationship open and not bound by a contract, that way people will stay in the relationship because they want to, not because they are facing the prospect of dissolving a contract, and the obligations of life are too great.

  • SR

    Jenny – you could have written my story. My husband and I have been married for 8 years, and we have two children. My husband is a wonderful man, fits the job description of a good provider and father, and I do love him.

    After we were married he lost interest in me. I quit work to take care of our children ( a mutual decision) Since then we have had a great business like arrangement, and we occasionally have sex, but he would rather have sex with a computer screen than with me. He is playful and fun with our children, his friends, but never with me. He rarely initiates conversation, or physical affection. The most recent time he did was after watching a dirty movie on the computer.

    It is as if when I became a mother, so he started acting like his father (they are divorced). I’m not sure if I can stand it. I don’t want to have an affair, I don’t want to ruin my children with divorce, but I don’t want to feel so absolutely rejected. Before I was married I was in a long-term relationship with a man who was horribly unfaithful to me but he at least was affectionate, attentive, and interested in me as a person. This is much more damaging to my self-esteem. I wonder if it is because I am financially dependent on him, or perhaps he is modeling his father’s married behavior. I’m afraid if I don’t leave him he will just end up having an affair and dumping me after decades of neglect like his father did with his mother.

  • Rayna

    Bob-o, Anon, RB – need a man’s perspective please. What is ‘normal’ sexual behavior for a guy? In past relationships, men I’ve dated have always been “ready to go” – no prompts needed. Over the course of several long-term relationships, I think I’ve ever only been turned down for sex a total of twice within a 15-year span. Anyway, I got married 2 years ago (no kids) and I’m experiencing the same problems as everyone on this board. I’m lucky if I get it once a month and I think my husband would be totally happy if we skipped the intercourse in favor of BJ (this is new to me – is it normal for a guy to want a BJ in place of sex?). We’ve talked about this and he assures me he loves me and has said that I can be a little ‘rough’ and that he responds better to gentler approach (which I have tried). There’s always some excuse as to why its never the right time. He has no problem beating off on his own and when we do have it I feel as though its a struggle for him to complete the task, preferring instead to be beat off. I’d be grateful for some feedback. He’s a great guy – like all of the other husbands on this board seem to be. Each time he rejects me I die a little more inside. As manly men – give me clue. Thanks!

  • Bob-o to Rayna

    Bring him back to you. Do you find it degrading to give him a bj? Randomly blow him. Blow him when he has a morning wood. Talk dirty to him. Just change it up. I had a girl who would do these things and she moved back to Denmark after college, so she is no longer around. But I loved how she gave me affection, did things that she knew felt good to me.
    Many women do things guys love before marriage, then once married, there is no incentive for women to offer that affection. And, I love performing cunnilingus, before anyone asks. Women orgasm more frequently from oral and clitoral stimulation than they do penetration. I know this and see to it that my girls have explosive orgasms. But you have to want to pleasure that other person, even if it means you don’t get your cookie sometimes. These are just my experiences, what I think. All of that said, I think most marriages eventually go this way (sour) because of human nature unless the people involved are truly best friends and partners, as opposed to Men=mars, Women=venus, or whatever that silly adversarial tripe is.

  • Rayna

    Thanks for the feedback Bob-o. The thing is I like switching it up – but after a while of getting nothing in return (um…what’s oral sex again – get that 2x year if I’m lucky. The last time I got it, it came begrugingly with the line, “Well I don’t want to be selfish) you just lose the impetus to keep trying. And as you pointed out, that’s where the real problems start. The thing is it takes 2. So here’s a question for you – if your SO comes over and pushed you up against the fridge, starts unbuttoning your pants and grinding on you – would you turn her away? It just seems weird to me- totally NOT normal. I’ve never met any man that walks away from an opportunity to get laid. It completely baffles me. Maybe there’s something to be said for chemistry – its there or its not. I love my husband so dearly, but I don’t know if I can continue as a solo act – literally. It breaks my heart.

    I’ve read through this entire board and perhaps the answer to everyone’s question can be found in the old adage, “If you have to ask for advice, you already know the answer.”

  • Jenny

    After a 10 year sexless marriage my husband has started asking for an “open” marriage telling me I could go out and get my “needs” met if he could do the same. Suddenly not only am I not arousing him, it looks like the porn isn’t arousing him any more and he wants the real thing.

  • Grenough

    Has anyone watched “Tell me you Love me” on HBO?

  • Kavita

    Its a similar story for me too. I married my husband 12 years, because my boy friend left me in the lurch. I didnot knew anything about my husband before marriage. My marriage was a rude shock, however I accepted it thinking that things will change. Right from the beginning, I had a terrible love life. In fact I met my gyne in the third month to check why I dont enjoy sex. She said probably its because I have not been able to forget my boy friend. I never had full sexual relationship with my boy friend.
    I never wanted a child to be born without love between us. But somehow, despite all precautions, I got pregnant in the second year. I have a wonderful 12 year old daughter who has held me together till now. I was so pissed off with my marriage that i concentrated only on my career and my daughter. Somehow, after 5 years of marriage, I convinced my husband to stay away as till now he was financially dependent on me. He had a very troubled childhood and could never make any decisions.
    He had a strange fetish for cleanliness and would treat my body like dirt. He never kissed me as exchange of saliva was quite disgusting for him. As he could never hold for more than a minute, I insisted on foreplay and oral which he couldnot do on his own. His face had such expression and at times i got infuriated and hit him badly. In return, he would beat me up indiscrimatory. I remember one such episode while i was 8 weeks pregnant with my daughter.
    I met an old college friend 2 years back. through him, i discovered myself back. I had lot of guilt initially as i had strong familial value systems which didnt allow me to go ahead with a physical relationship. But my body and soul were dying for it. I separated from him for 3 months after the initial 3 months, but this time giving up all the guilt. I knew that it was my need at the moment. I treat my friend as my life partner. He is married and committed to his wife. For me I may be just a deviation from the routine, but for me he became my pillar. We have been wonderful friends other than just bed partners. I am now pregnant after 12 years with his baby and i have no qualms about it. Lukily my husband was around at the same time and we have a quickie once. So he thinks that the baby is his.
    Now morally, ethically, or whatever the society says.. What is the way forward for me?? I divorce my husband for no real fault of his except that he is terrible in sex. Or I keep quiet for my both children and continue with life…
    Would appreciate if i get some good advice.

  • Ali Auston

    Married to an abusive man physically verbally and emotionally for 30 years. He was an alcoholic .Should of left him along time ago but the fear of divorce just kept me from leaving. Now looking back I have wasted 30 years of my life on a man that I haven’t slept with in years.He was so cruel. I am emotionally distraught. I miss the tenderness and closesness of a man. I even had an affair for 7 years with a younger man.Just to have him touch me and lay next to me kept me alive inside.That craving for love was so intense. I felt so guilty and then finally made the decision to let him go so he could move on with his life. All I wanted is to grow old with someone. Hold hands, go for walks and enjoy the simple things in life. I am struggling to take that step towards divorce so I can finally set myself free.

  • Sue

    My husband of 8yrs left me two months ago, walked out without hardly a word.

    We had been in a sexless, loveless, emotionless marriage for 5 1/2 of those 8 years. He stated he loved me, put on a good show in public but at home no affection, no sex, no emotional intimacy. I never really focused on the sex part, but I longed for emotional intimacy. Regardless, he said he “just didn’t have any drive” and I could deal with that. He is 53, I am 43. I couldn’t deal with the lack of emotional connection and for the last couple of years was really trying to get him to open up to me about what was going on…he of course would not.

    I have researched this problem for the last several years prior to him leaving. I have tried to talk to him about it as well. He has refused counseling, says he is not gay and as of two years prior to him leaving started to say “he loves me but the way a husband should love a wife”

    In my research I have found several great books, “living with a passive aggressive man” and ” Emotional Unavailability : Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding Its Trap” both have been very eye opening. Since he has left I have been reading “Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t” which I should have read prior to ever getting married.

    My husband was so affectionate when we were dating and after we were married, but something happened around the 2 1/2 year mark and it all changed. Looking back I know see he displayed the same pattern as he did in his first marriage.

    Since he left I have filed for divorce, and he has admitted he “can’t emotionally connect” to anyone and he needs help. He has stated he is now seeing a counselor and that “who knows what the future will bring for us” I know, as I am filing for divorce. Sadly I still love or the man I thought he was and the life I thought we had. It hurts more than anything I have ever felt. Why are men this way?

  • tj

    I’m a male, married now for 8 yrs. I too am living in a sexless/loveless marriage. I haven’t had sex with my wife for a year. Im in my early 30s. I have two kids. Life is a journey, I constantly struggle with the question of Why? How much on my happiness do I repress for the Happiness of the kids. Its getting increasingly difficult to pretend to be happy. I love my wife and have been faithful. My Wife told me a year ago that she didn’t love me anymore and that her feelings for me have changed. I’ve stayed around hanging on to hope which will probably always be there. I know that eventually I will have to Keep Moving Forward in life. Its so easy to stay in a realationship because its comfortable. We only have one life, Its difficult sometimes to step outside the box but I think thats what I’m going to have to do.

  • honeybee

    I cannot believe that I am reading so many posts, I honestly thought no one could possibly be going through what I am going through. You never hear anyone talking about this subject. I have been married for 2 1/2 years and sex is not something that happens in our house. We have sex only at my insistance after months of pleading, crying, begging him to do it. The one thing that I have not seen that makes my situation different is that I do know why we dont have any intimate connections, he is on pain pills for his back, he has been on them since before we met and he has told me that when we met his back seemed to get worse so therefore he has to take more pills. He has gone to the doctor to get help and they tested his testosterone levels and found out that they are almost non existant, they put him on a hormone patch to try and bring the levels up, but he forgets to put them on unless I remind him and then if it has been a few days he feels sick till he gets used to them again, so he quits putting them on. Its a horrible cycle that doesnt look as though its going to end. Because of the lack of physical connection, our emotional connection is suffering. I even went so far as to have a full hysterectomy in hopes that it would reduce my sex drive to match his. I didnt have to have one but conviced my doctor that my monthly cycle was too out of control to handle any more. Guess what, it didnt work. I have had sex with my husband 2 times since then and both times it was only an average of about 1 min before he would say that his back was hurting and no matter what position it wont help. He has told me that he has no sex drive anymore but that if I could have just known him in “the good ol’ days” I would have seen some sort of sexual dynamo, great, just what I wanted to hear, how great you were with other women and I get to be your nanny and bus driver. I’m only 36 and in super shape, I work out, dress nice, keep up on fashion and take really good care of myself. He tells me that it is not me but him. He says that he does desire me but just cant get the feelings going. I feel betrayed because he knew he had this condition before we were together and I thought he would get better over time. No such luck, now its barely a peck on the cheek and off to work. We have 5 kids total, 3 are mine and 2 are his. His previous wife left him for another man, I think I know why!! I do not want to have an affair, I have had someone do that to me and so has he. I just want out at this point, its not that I dont love him, I do. I just dont want to be married to someone that I have no connection to anymore.

  • Billy

    Wow. What a read.
    I am in the exact same situation, except reversed. I love my wife, to absolutely no extent. I provide in every aspect. I do everything I know how to do. Today was Christmas, and I provided her and the kids with absolutely everything they could imagine. I am alone. I feel neglected, unloved, and most of all, I am terrified. How did this happen? Why doesnt my wife ever want to hold my hand? Why doesnt she want to kiss me? Why doesnt she want to show any emotional or physical love to me? I -AM- a zombie.. a working husband, that works all day, comes home to clean up where she’s been on the internet, and the kids have been running around. All I wanted for Christmas was to be loved. My wish did not come true. She’s waiting for me in the bed. Guess I will go lay down and watch the jewelry channel and go to sleep now, while she doesnt even realize how dead I really am.
    thanks for the rant, I’ll add more later. Its nice to see Im not the only one in this situation.. and I am SO sorry for everyone who is in it with me.

  • Doing the Right Thing

    These stories are all too familiar. I have been married to my wife for almost eight years. It only took her about three months to completely lose interest in sex.

    We met in college almost 15 years ago and had a great sex life. After graduation, she returned to her home country and after years of staying in touch we decided to marry and settle down in California.

    I thought that her lack of interest in sex was due to her move back to America so I foolishly agreed to move to her country. It worked and we started having sex regularly until she got pregnant. At that point I think she knew that I would be forced to stay no matter what. If I left her, I would have visa problems and would have been forced to return to the States. She knew that I would never accept that kind of distance from my child.

    After years of struggling I finally got my visa issues sorted out and left her. I had a girlfriend waiting for me. When she found out about my new girlfriend, she tried to buy me off with copious amounts of sex. Up to this point, sex was “physically painful” to her, but once I was ready to leave, sex was suddenly something that she couldn’t live without.

    I moved back in with my wife a few months ago because she couldn’t make ends meet financially. With a four-year old daughter I have not choice but to support her and I needed to consolidate our expenses because I just couldn’t support two households.

    The worst thing that my wife ever did to me was to act like she wanted sex only to turn me down. After months and sometimes more than a year of wandering in a sexless desert she would come to bed naked and start kissing and fondling me. She would wait until I tried to make a move and then say “I’ll just lay here with my legs spread and try to sleep while you do your thing”.

    Now she wants to work things out and acts hurt when I am short tempered with her. I’m forced to live in the same house with her and can’t date other women simply because she can’t earn a living. Even though she is willing to have sex now, I just want to get away from her.

    Cohabitating has allowed me to save some money and I am once again looking to move out. Maybe this time I’ll have enough money to support my daughter and still have something left for myself.

  • Full of emotions

    I forgot I bookmarked this site. I have been with an emotionless, sexless man for seven years now. At first I thought he was respecting my privacy, my husband had just died. But five years later we went to therapy, four different therapists and very little happened. We tried once to make love. It was awkward. He laid on top of me like a brick of cement. No emotion, no feeling, nothing. What I don’t get are the promises. I have heard promises of making “things okay.” “I will” I hear, but the words and the actions don’t come together.

    I am in therapy now to learn how to walk away from this marriage. I feel stuck. I feel like I am letting this person down when in reality he let me down. I feel guilty for wanting to get my life back. Feel guilty for wanting to feel again, to be passionate, loved, wanted.

    If it were just sex, maybe I could get over it, but its the lack of feeling. I had a lump in my breast. I had to go for a biopsy and I went myself. Then a few months later I broke my foot and my husband told me, “hurry up, or screw you, I am going ot be late for work.” That was when I had the cast on my foot and couldn’t keep up with him.

    To make life even more complicated, I met someone who made me realize I was human, hadn’t lost my feelings. No relationship came from this, but my husband won’t let me forget that he is not always on my mind. My husband snoops in my email. Tapes my conversations on the phone. He recently told his family and my sons from a previous marriage that I was a cheater. Everyone looks down at me now. They don’t understand that I have never consumated my marriage.

    I watch how my husband’s father treats his mother and I see my future. I don’t like it. My father-in-law sits in a chair all day and complains. My husband sits on the sofa and plays his computer games.

    I pray that therapy will help me get out of this dead marriage.

  • Craig H

    Nice to read about a problem that I cannot talk about with people – especially my guy friends… THey all talk about having sex and such and it just makes me more angry. I have been married for 11 years and the last 5 has basically been sexless… I havent had sex in the past year and a half. It is hard to write that. My wife is depressed and an alcoholic and she has no intentions on having sex.. and beleive me – I have asked for it. I dont want pity sex.. I just want someone who wants to have sex with me. I know I can find someone out of the marriage but I am just not wired to have an affair. My wife had an affair and it nearly killed me. I dont think I will ever understand my wife or the reasons wh sex is off limits. I can really relate to the writer of article #117. I am sad – but trying to pray about it and learn why this is happening. Now I know there are men like me out there…. That is at least some support.

  • Curtis

    I feel badly for the woman who’s husband lost the drive for sex. I’m on the opposite side of this spectrum. It is my wife. At night, we just watch Leno, turn off the lights and go to sleep. It has become a nightly ritual to the point where I do not expect anything any more. I have learned how to manage without.

  • lonleyland

    Yes I am too in a sexless marriage, been married for 6 years, been sexless for the last three. DH is a nice man, kind, fun to be around but no sex, Ive tried all to get him into the mood to the point of almost begging for it, nothing, when the matter is open for discussion I get the ” I will fix it”, “I will seek help” nothing happened and 3 years of my youth just went by… I have not had sex since I was 33 i am about to turn 36. My situation is that as long as I don’t bring matters into discussion the relationship works fine on a roomate level, a good friendship, a good parenting team, a good economic household but no intimacy. If i dont bring the subject out of the closset then it can stay there forever… every month when my hormones kick in I remember my desires but I know better now, why put myself into those horrible feelings of rejection as I know I will not get what I wish to get..

    I compared my situation with friends they all seem to have husbands who can’t take their hands away from them. I been feeling many things, rejected, neglected, ugly, sad, depressed, you name it. Enough is enough, all this has also lead the way to fall apart from eachother, to disconnect ourselves from the intimacy level on the emotional part, and now is too late, I care deeply for him but not enough anymore to stay and sacrifice my youth like this. I dont even bet to find someone else, but I rather be lonley alone that lonley with someone that reminds me every single minute of this bargain of marriage that somehow I manged to got into and that I have built myself with all my romantic believes that it could work, that I was going to be happy etc,

    I don’t blame him, probably is hard for him to come to terms with the source of whatever it is that makes him not interested in sex with me, I feel sorry that he believes this life is happy the way it is, because is not, he is also human and could be maybe happier with someone else. I been feeling all this time that he is probably not happy, that he should leave, but nothing happened, now I wont wait for him to leave, is me who is not happy, or satisfied, is me who wants more than this, then is me who needs to gather the courage to leave, face my life alone but feeling that I am living the life I chose to live and not the conditions impossed by him. I wish him happy, and fullfield, but most of all I wish to regain again my life, heal my heart, find myself and perhaps find love again, but if not, at least I will know I did not settle for less than I though I deserved. I will leave this marriage knowing that we tried all, therapy several times, communication, love, patience, etc, I will leave this marriage knowing that I prayed and work hard for it.

    I know I wil be able to be again the happy woman I can be once this frustration is out of the way, I know that this sexless marriage has made me a grumpy mother and woman. I know that apart we will be able to be friends and good parents because intimacy and sex is out of the equation and no longer will be an issue… We will survive better apart, of that I feel quite sure.

    Thanks for listening. Wish you all you find a solution to your problems.

  • Jeff

    I was doing a search about sexless marriages and came upon this one. I am amazed there are so many other people out there like me. I have been married at 25 and have been married for 22 years. Sex was great the first few years but it slowly dwindled over the past 5 to the point last year was 1st year I had no sex. I tried talking, treating her nice, not bugging her, bought books on the subject but she just doesn’t want it. She says she has no interest in sex so I suffer. I had sex once in two years! I could turn to a hooker but who wants to pay for sex it is fake and who knows what you can catch. So I don’t know what to do. I am fustrated and do not deserve this. How does this even happen or get to this point. I am so fustrated. I makes miserable all around in your life. I know the feeling all to well.

  • Paul H

    36 Year old male here. The day finally came. My wife and I have decided to part after 11 years of marriage and about 5 basically sexless. I feel that a weight has been lifted. Dont get me wrong – I am devestated that our marriage did not work. We have a home and one 3 year old. I think the last time we had sex was about a year and a half ago and about once or twice in the past 3-4 years. I was a basketcase. I still am. I never cheated. She did however. I was mainly hurt that she sought love and affection outside the marriage when I was waiting for her at home. I was not always the nicest person.. but to be honest – the more time that passed without sex – the angrier I got. I know men and women are different – but men need sex to feel close and to be nice. That is just my opinion. I know women need closeness and kindness to have sex.

    Our marriage should have ended three or four years ago.. but this is gods plan and not mine. I will take from it what I can and move on. I am hurt, angry, and depressed.. but that too shall pass. I hope and pray that everyone on this site has the strength and courage to do what is right for them. Do not stay in a marriage for anyone but yourself. Do not cheat on your spouse without telling your spouse you need to separate/divorce to see other people. Affairs do not work. Affairs destroy lives.

    This site has been a strong support for me because I can see other men (and women) out there are hurting and lonely like I am. I couldnt talk about this issue with anyone. Its taboo. I always thought that married people should be having sex – or at least have sex on a regular basis… For gods sake – I would have been estatic with once a month. However, marriage was nothing what I thought it would be. For me, it was a nice sunny day that turned into a spring shower, that eventually turned into a devestating tornado. I never dreamed a marriage could destroy every part of me.

    I will pick up the pieces and move on. I know I will. I have to feel the pain now so that I do not fall victim to the pitfalls of relationships that ended this one.

    I wish you all the best and hope that everyone finds happiness in their lives.

  • Michael Miller

    There is an ultimate truth buried in this self-excusing tale of woe.
    “It was just too late”.
    Where have we heard this before? Seems this “Olencia” spent too much time watching Gone With The Wind and pretending SHE was Clark Gable, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
    A man walks out on a frigid wife, he’s evil. A woman does it and she gets accolades.
    What kind of world is this, where evil in female form is exalted?

  • GeorgeH

    Hello ladies,
    Just so you know, you’re not alone in this situation. My wife is acting just like the men have been acting in your accounts. We haven’t had sex in over 1 year and she’s not interested in doing anything else. I offer to do things for her (rub her back, sit next to her on the couch, and more intimate things) but she’s not interested. She won’t go to the doctor or to a therapist. Even before we stopped making love she wasn’t really into it. After more than a year of sexual neglect I’m starting to just not care anymore. I’m putting up with the situation because my daughter is only 5 and I want to wait until she’s a little older before I move out.
    It’s important to remember it’s not just men who lose interest in sex, it happens to women too.

  • Tom Falck

    Marriage sounds awful. A survey of many message boards only confirms that generally it is not pleasant. There are so few happy couples out there. A good marriage, it seems, requires a great deal of luck that you have even found the right person. Of course, marriages require work, but there is only so much “work” one can put into a relationship. In other words, when your late 20s come around, don’t try to force a family!

  • anon man

    Just came across this message board searching answers for my dilema. I agree with the post recently by Tom. Marriage is something that people should research more than like just buying a car. Hindsight is always perfect vision. Just looking at my in-laws and the turbulent relationship they had at the time i met my wife which is over 36 years ago the picture was before me. Had i known then what i have just come to realize in the last 4 to 6 years I could have painted my future. My father-in-law who has been dead for a few years became a heavy drinker in his mid 20’s. This came about at the same time or shortly after my mother-in-law had her complete hysterectomy. From discussions with my father-in-law shortly before his death and talking with their oldest and closest family friends I have been able to piece together a pattern of behavior by the siblings of my in-laws. While it was not directly revealed I finally had bells and lights turned on in my head that my father and mother-in-law basically lived a long married life without intimacy or sex. My own wife has become this way and sees nothing wrong with it. After my wife and I were married we had wild sex until after the 2 kids came along. She was a stay at home mom and the sex came less and less. In my late 20’s I masterbated because our sex life sucked. That pattern has continued and that is now the only sex I get. My wife could care less. She has recently been asking if I am horny or suggesting sex. Hell no I won’t have sex with her, she withheld sex from me for so many years and always accused me of being oversexed. It went from 4 times a month to 2 times a month and then I always joked, can I have my Christmas sex or my birthday sex, of course at first she would say yes. Now of course because of her health issues we don’t have sex.(she’s castrated) It’s a real turn on when she has recently offered to just lay there and let me “do it”. She says I need to go to the doctor and get viagra. She won’t allow foreplay, no kiss no hugs, no oral sex it makes her gag(didn’t seem to bother her before) She launched into a tyrant fit when I suggested we shower together the other morning. She said don’t ask anymore because you know I’m not going to let you. She is 75 lbs overweight and at her height thats a lot. A few years ago I found out about her gambling habits. I have had many confrontations with her about missing money from our bank accounts. She becomes very arrogant and loud about how dare I question her. Well after some research on my own I have discovered that if a spouse is stealing money from another and is indignant about it and lies its “cheating”. When I read these posts from young people in 5 and 10 year marriages with little or no sex I am agast. At that point divorce, at least you have time to reconstruct your life. After many years of marriage I have to admit to the young bucks out there. NO MARRIAGE is your safest bet. Keeps the women out of your pocketbook and when things go sour it is much easier to settle things. Take this from a guy that has put 2 kids through college and put up with a nagging wife for the majority of my adult life. Looking back makes me sad, so I’ll finish my working years and start my golden years wondering what could have been.

  • alljane

    This is a great forum, I am so glad to have stumbled on to it. First, I had no idea that there are other women and men that share this horrible secret pain that I have carried around with me for so long. Second, if I didn’t know better, I would swear that Betty, in one of the earlier posts, is married to exactly the same man that I am.

    I have been with an emotionless, sex-averse man for 29 years now. We married young, after knowing each other for only 6 months and have had difficulty with sex our entire marriage. Even though our libidos may have been mismatched, I believed that he loved me and that he was trying. We had one son and when our son was 2 years old I wanted another baby. He refused to have sex with me, all the while telling me that he wanted to have more kids too. The problem is, I couldn’t get pregnant without having sex. I asked him to see a doctor and he said he would, up to the point where he was expected to produce some semen for the cause. He refused and finally admitted he didn’t want any more children.

    Sex seemed to be the only big problem we had and I felt guilty making too much of it. He was thoughtful, remembering my birthday and our anniversaries, helped around the house, took care of the cars, helped with our son and was an excellent parent, he even used to tell me I was beautiful. He was very affectionate, generous with hugs and touching, sometimes almost childlike, because I knew it was what it was and would not lead to sex.

    After another decade of infrequent sex (once every 4 to 6 months, if I initiated it) I asked him see a doctor. He was furious, acting like it was an unimaginable imposition and breach of his privacy, and he refused. Then, with the help of a marriage counselor who convinced him that there were good reasons to know why a man has no libido, he went to a specialist who gave him a prescription for Viagra. He was still very angry and refused to use the drug.

    I have suspected that he might be gay, but he has always been adamant that he is not. Eventually he figured out that using sex to manipulate me was a pretty easy thing to do, so he filled the prescription and then used it when he wanted to dole out enough sex to keep me thinking that things might actually be able to change. He would use it when he wanted to go gambling (he has a gambling addiction) and would offer to take me on a “romantic vacation” (to Vegas, where else?). Then once he had done the deed, would get up out of bed, put his clothes on and go down to the casino for the rest of the night. I would cry myself to sleep and beat myself up for falling for the same old thing, time after time, hoping that each time he really did want to work on our relationship. Until finally I gave him an ultimatim about the gambling. That is when the sex stopped completely.

    Now, I havent had sex with another human being for a year and a half. It is so hard to admit that. I feel sad that he is satisfied with this life the way it is, because I am not. It is settling for a dysfunctional fraction of what a real marriage could be. I blamed myself and my self esteem dropped to the bottom of a dark pit. I felt that if I wasn’t even worthy of his touch, even a hug, I wasn’t worth anything and I became very depressed. Gaining weight gave me another logical reason to let him off the hook and blame myself, but in reality the rejection was always there, even when I weighed 105 and looked great in a bikini. Because it wasn’t about my body or me, it was his way of manipulating me and punishing me. It was very effective.

    For awhile I was panicked because I thought I was experiencing heart failure. My chest hurt and I felt like a couldn’t breathe. I went to a heart specialist and had a full workup. He told me that my heart was definitely broken, but there was no physical reason for what I was experiencing. At that moment I began to realize how insidious the emotional abuse that I have been enduring for all of these years really is. A marriage which is filled with neglect and withdrawl of love and affection definitely has the power to destroy you.

    I filed for a divorce because I know now I want more than this, but we are still living together and sleeping in the same bed. I need to find the courage to leave, face my life alone, a life that choose that includes self respect, passionate love and fulfillment. I wish that for him too. After all he was my mate for 29 years and I thought, the love of my life. (now I think I let my “real” soul mate get away years before I met my husband) I want to take back my life, heal my heart, restore my self esteem and find love again, with someone who is capbable of loving me in return. But if I don’t find that, at least I will know I did not settle for less than I deserved. I know that I tried to do what I was able, like marriage counseling, patience and prayer.

    I feel I have given this marriage a fair chance. I have tried everything, from offering to rub his back, inviting him to sit next to me on the couch in front of the fire, even come snuggle with me in bed, but he is not interested. His body goes rigid, he steps away from me in a exaggerated way in order to avoid touching me as we pass in the hall. If I enter the room and he is sitting in a chair, he gets up and goes outside. When I come in, he always finds a reason to go out. When I go out, he is in for the night, too tired to do anything that involves the two of us. He is ultra polite, almost formal. He won’t go to the doctor for viagra or to a marriage counselor, claiming it is too expensive. Since he doesn’t read, giving him any kind of a self-help book would be a waste of time. After this last stretch, more than a year of sexual neglect I’m starting to just not care anymore. I will pick up the pieces and move on.

    I asked him why he was so angry with me that he felt the need to inflict all this pain on me. He said it was because “I filed” for divorce. I filed! OK, well that explains everything! How convenient to place the blame on me because I finally couldn’t take it anymore. He has told me that he feels like he has become a nothing but a paycheck. If that is true then it is because he chooses to feel that way. He doesn’t like to read or take classes and learn anything new. In conversation he can cite what was on the Discovery Channel, but that is the extent of his quest for knowledge. I have included him with my friends from work and school and tried to suggest new ways that we could spend time together as a couple. But, there is always a conflict or an excuse for why he can’t get away to watch the sun set, go to a party with me or go out somewhere together or even plan a vacation. Usually he uses work as his excuse. But whenever his brother wants him to get away for the weekend it is arranged immediately, magically no conflicts!

    One by one every activity we used to do together fell away, and our friends did too. Now all that we have left is eating and watching TV. Half the time we don’t even eat together. If he doesn’t like what I am watching on TV he goes to another room and watches what he wants in solitude rather than ask if we can watch something together that interests him. He makes it very clear that he prefers to be alone. I was so lonely and isolated that I couldn’t bear it another minute, so I started volunteering with a local nonprofit and then went back to school to get my masters degree. At school I found friends and stimulating conversation. I was so busy doing the work that I had much less time to dwell on my dysfunctional marriage.

    I have been thinking for some time about leaving. A quick peck on the lips in the morning and at bedtime just isn’t enough for me. The reality of our marriage came crashing down on me one weekend when he got up before me and went to take a shower. He came back into the bedroom, fully clothed, and opened my eyes. I asked him if he had to go to work and he said no. So I asked him to come back into the bed with me for awhile. He just said no. I said we don’t have to have sex, although I really miss making love to you, just come lie down with me and we can hold each other for a little while. He just said no again. The rejection was overwhelming for me and I started to cry. He sat down on the bed and watched me cry with no expression at all on his face. He saw how much he was hurting me and it had no effect on him whatever. After a few minutes, he said flatly “I’m sorry” and got up and walked out of the room. There is no doubt in my mind that he chose to act the way he did. It was a deliberate and hateful act of control to inflict pain and punishment on me.

    It’s not that this is the only time he has blatantly rejected me, this behavior has been going on for almost 3 decades. It was hard for me to hold him and embrace him, to feel his body and not pay attention to how aroused he made me. But at least I got a hug.

    I have begun to tell myself and my close friends that I have taken a voluntary vow of celebacy or that my husband and I were both asexual. My friends have told me that I was nuts to stay, and I love them but wonder if they really understand what I am dealing with. I thought I could do without the sex and convinced myself that people do all the time. But now it has come to the point of him avoiding other kinds of physical contact, no hugs, no touching, no holding hands.

    It hurts so profoundly, so deeply in my soul, that I need to get away. It is a pain that is so laden with guilt that it paralyzes you and cuts off your oxygen. I am like a moth to a flame, constantly coming back, attracted to the warmth, and getting burned. If I try to talk to him or (God forbid) send him an email, he gives me the silent treatment for days. As for saying “I love you” it is interesting that he says it all the time, usually over the phone when I can’t see his face. I don’t believe it anymore.

    I started to keep a journal to help me process my overwhelming feelings of sadness. Here is what I wrote in February of 2008.

    How do I put words to the way he rejects me? How do I describe how deeply it cuts? My blood should be drained by now! Why do I keep going back for more pain and humiliation? What the hell is wrong with me? God help me. I miss holding him, feeling his arms around me. It’s not even the penetration I care about. It’s the holding, the kissing the caressing.

    He said goodnight like every other night with the lightest touch to the lips as he handed me the remote and bent next to my chair. It’s the same thing every night. “I’ll get the bed warmed up,” is what he always says. I feel my stomach wretch and I will it not to spill its contents at that moment. Who kisses their spouse that way? That is how you kiss your mother.

    I want to feel loved like a woman. It has been so very long I don’t remember what it feels like to have my loving gestures returned. I am completely empty inside. I go to him and he’s there in the bed, but not asleep yet. I ask him to move over, and he does, turning his back to me in the process. I slide onto the bed next to him and wrap my arm around him. I caress his ear with my mouth. The coarse hairs in his ear tickle my lips. “I wanted to kiss you, I said. Sometimes I forget what it feels like to kiss you. What part would you like me to kiss?”

    “My ear, he replies.”

    “Ok, but I’ve already kissed this ear just now, shall I kiss the other ear? It’s buried.” “No, just that ear is ok. I’m sorry I’m just so tired, he said.”

    He’s too tired, not asleep but too tired to engage in playful caressing with his wife. I get up and leave the room. I don’t want him to see my tears. I don’t want him to know how much he hurts me, and yet I do. If he knew wouldn’t he stop it? Maybe he can’t stop hurting me any more than I can stop going back for more. What in the hell is wrong with me? I have to find the switch that he found and turn my love for him off or I will die.

    My needs are not being met and I can’t force him to meet them. But for me, like for many others, leaving means leaving my home that we have worked hard for together, and leaving my dog that I have had for 12 years and is my sweet and loyal companion. It would also mean letting go of the dream that we could actually love each other and share a life together. I know I have been fooling myself for years, there is no sharing going on here, except maybe the bills. I told my 20 year old son that I need to leave and why and he cried. He said he knows exactly what that feels like and doesn’t blame me for leaving. My heart broke when he cried to know that he has been treated the same way.

    My biggest obstacle now at this point is finding the words to tell my husband I am going. My mind starts to resist and I draw a blank. Please help me anyone out there who can suggest some ways to put it into words gently and respectfully. I am too fragile to face yelling, name calling and threats. I want to try to say it in a way that won’t encourage that type of response.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman Diana Hartman

    alljane,

    It is gentle and respectful to tell the man you’re leaving him because you need more from your life as a woman than he is willing to give.

    He will not hear it that way, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t that way. He will hear and feel rejection. You can’t control what he hears (no matter what is said) or how he feels (no matter how you say it).

    It’s always interesting to me how compassionate and careful the neglected spouse is with regard to the neglectful spouse – so much regard and consideration for someone who has no regard or consideration for their suffering spouse.

    Put to him in terms of what you need, you may hear yourself say this (or just read it) and think this is not reason enough to leave. It is, though, because if you read back over what you’ve written, you can see how many years and how much of your heart has been sacrificed on his behalf. He will only continue to take, and continue to withhold from you.

    I’ve heard so many times, “It’s never too late.” That’s only true if you’re not about to die – and since we don’t know when we will, it could very well be any day now. Life is to be lived; and we mustn’t waste a single moment of it on those we know for sure have no interest in what makes us feel alive.

    Get out now – before it’s too late.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman Diana Hartman

    from Olencia, the woman in the article at the top of the page:

    alljane’s journal entry reminded me of one I had written before I left my husband. Hope it helps:

    I don’t love him. How could I? There’s nothing to love. Sure, there’s his paycheck and what he does around the house, and that’s wonderful, but a reason to love? We love people, not things. We love people, not deeds. People are not what they do and have. If that were so, we wouldn’t loathe gold diggers. What’s the difference between those who give but don’t take, and those who take but don’t give?

    He doesn’t want me to love him. He wants me to love his paycheck. It’s like he wants me to have sex with his paycheck. He seems to want me to be desperately in love with what he does rather than who he is. I can’t do that because that’s gold digging. I am not capable of loving something rather than someone.

    He’s the gold digger – in reverse. He wants to be loved for what he has and does, not for who he is. Is that any less superficial and selfish than what motivates a gold digger? Is that any less exploitive of another human being? Is that treating another person with any less regard than a gold digger does? I say no. I say he’s the same as a gold digger.

    He holds me in the same regard as a gold digger holds her “spouse” – which is to say little if any regard. He is using me to get what he wants, just like a gold digger. He wants to prove that he doesn’t need anyone – and he does this by rejecting me over and over. He hasn’t quite convinced himself of it yet, which would explain why he still wants me around. He can’t prove himself if there’s no target to reject. Without me, he can’t assert his independence from me.

    He complains that he is the very thing he’s reduced himself to: his paycheck and what he does around the house. I didn’t do that to him – he did. Perhaps that’s another one of my functions in his life: I give him reason to complain. Without me, whom would he blame? Who would he complain to? He’d be left with himself – and I know he will never take any blame or see himself as the source of his complaint.

    He sees his paycheck and what he does around the house as primary – and at this point, only. He doesn’t see himself as a husband or a lover. I used to see my lover and husband – and secondarily I saw my lover and husband earn a paycheck and do things around the house. He only sees the latter. He places no importance on himself as a husband and he has no use for, much less appreciation for me as his wife.

    It’s no surprise then that he said he loves me because of what I do around the house. He has no use for anything I might do for him or to him. In his mind, if I love him, I clean. If I care for him, I cook. If I value his existence, I do laundry. He has no use for, appreciation of or desire for anything more. As long as what is done is done outside his person (no affection), then he’s good to go. That’s not regard for me as his wife. That’s regard for me as his mother. He bristles at the suggestion and rejects my saying as much outright.

    I need closeness, physical affection, and a way to express and celebrate how I feel. Unfortunately, the longer he withholds, the less I have to express or celebrate. I now believe he’s never felt anything worth expressing and that our marriage, our love, our union is anything worth celebrating.

    Then there’s that: the withholding. We don’t withhold from others for no reason; we do it because we don’t want someone else to have something. Clearly he doesn’t want me to have him. I ask him why, I beg him to tell me why. He never answers. He jumps around talking about money, chores, children, the future, and the past and on and on. He never says, “I don’t share my body with you because…”

    So where does that leave me and what does that say about me? what do we say about those who marry gold diggers? We say they’re chumps who can’t find true love. I didn’t know this kind of person existed. I knew gold diggers existed, but I didn’t know people existed who wanted to put things and deeds between themselves and those they professed to love. Honestly, had I known, I wouldn’t have said, “I do.”

    Now I do know, so I say “I don’t.” I feel indifferent toward him – and I now know this is how he would have wanted it from day one, but just like a gold digger, he knew he could never say why he was really doing what he was doing.

    So now he has what he wanted without ever once having to lift a finger to get it, and I have nothing of what I wanted despite every ounce of energy I dumped into the effort. I am a chump, and I’ve always been a chump, but now I’m a chump who says, “I don’t.”

    I would say, “I hope he’s happy now,” but I know he isn’t. He deserves every unhappy moment in his adult life; he earned it, of his own accord no less. I always wondered what kind of person would dedicate his life to this level of mediocrity, and now I know.

  • alljane

    I am more compassionate and careful with him than I am with myself. Judging by stories from others in similar circumstances, it’s pretty common. Maybe that is part of the “disaffectionated partner syndrome”. With so many people going through this we should have a name for it.

    I am concerned about his mental health and care deeply about what he is going through. I just don’t understand it or know what it is really. I have been there for him all these years. Whenever he asked I would drop anything I was doing to help him, pouring over his reports, writing his memos for work, putting his resume together, teaching him how to use technology, encouraging him to reach for more because I truly believed in him. It worked and he became a Vice President of a company with a six figure salary. But he’s not proud of his accomplishment, he throws it out there as though it was proof that my pride in him equates only to my appreciation of what his money can provide.

    I feel that I am closest to the truth when I view his behavior as the abuse that it is, but every molecule in my being wants to deny that he is capable of such cruelty toward someone who loves him. I have been considering the idea of just walking out with no explanation at all. Would he really need one? After all he has lived in this hell with me and watched me digress from a beautiful, healthy confident woman to someone who is needy, fearful and so pathetic that I have to pay a massage therapist just to be touched at all.

    I don’t think he would care what my needs are, so to try to put them into words for him would probably be a waste of breath. When I read back over these words I am appalled that I could write them. This is the love of my life I am talking about. My knight in shining armour. I have made him sound like such a jerk. I would give anything just to be able to say that it wasn’t the truth. I think about what you said about living life and that it’s only too late if we are about to die. What would I say to him if I was about to die? I would probably tell him how much I appreciated him staying married to me all these years and that no matter what, nobody could erase the good times we shared. I wouldn’t say that I have suffered for years with a broken heart and a broken spirit. What difference would it make? Perhaps it is best not to say anything at all rather than stumble with words that are destined to miss the mark.

  • anon man

    To Alljane, Wow, I just read your post and can relate to your situation. Although the roles are reversed as it’s my wife who does this to me.
    I have to admit my situation is not as severe as yours. My wifes indifference to affection is mostly due to hormonal imbalances and health problems. It sounds cruel but looking back at my early and mid 40’s I should have seen this train wreck coming and as well should have headed it off.
    I am mid 50’s now and am totally distressed and devastated that my married sex life is over. I have recently discussed my situation with a therapist(waste of money)and was given the stark reality choices. My children are grown and we have grandchildren, the grandchildren keep us together as we enjoy their presence.
    I recently read a book about people who enjoy success in life, one subject that was widely covered was this, men and women, must chose their mate very carefully. This choice of a mate will have such a profound impact on the chances for success in life it is compared to a life and death situation. Now, I have to admit that we all can be fooled but it was strongly worded to indicate we must choose our mate very very carefully.
    My wife and I share only the interests of our grandchildren, she has no desire to share in any other common interest or hobby. She is a gambling addict(won’t admit it)I love to camp, walk in the woods, and collect antiques. She could care less and reminds me in subtle ways how little she cares, I beg her to walk as it would benefit her, she rejects it. Because of her slowly failing health, addiction and attitude I just tolerate and go on with my life, I have read and been told by the therapist that lack of affection will slowly kill closeness and can be mentally devastating. These posts remind me I’m not alone with all this pain, Best to all of you.

  • honeybee

    Well since my last post in December life sure has changed, some for the better some not. I did finally ask my husband to leave, he did and my life has changed for the better ever since. The reason for my additional post is that from the moment he walked out the door, he has constantly called me and made sexual advances at every opportunity (mostly inappropriate timing) and tells me that now he would give anything to be with me. I just stare at him and shake my head and walk away. I had not slept in the same room with my husband in months and now all of a sudden he is ready to go??? Miraculously his back is now on the mend, his stomach problems are a thing of the past and all of the pain medicine he was taking now is no longer required, he has even taken up downhill mountain biking!! I am stunned, appalled and down right disgusted. How is it possible that now he is back to the sexual dynamo he claimed to be 10 years ago? I am not saying that I would ever be back with him, that is never going to happen but it sure is amazing what the closing of a door can bring. Good luck to you all.

  • One of Many

    I have found this site a few days ago, the last post is over a year old , so I am not sure I still can. I felt like my marriage like the Titanic- unsinkable- or so I thought. After floating around in the ocean hanging on a piece of the boat wreckage- I am not alone in the storm! I don’t see a life boat yet, but I feel better to know I am not alone, even though the water is ice cold and I am turning numb and blue.
    Like the titanic, I needed to find out why this happened- and the man who designed the ship had the reason, that made sense. The only reason that makes any sense to me came when I read the comments from the men- resentment. He won’t tell me what he resents, I have not been unfaithful, no money issues, I am physically fit, maybe in-law issue, that I was powerless over, but I have already apologized for every thing I could think of and asked for forgiveness. I kept denying “the boat was sinking” like the Titanic, but now that I have found some articles/ answers, etc. that fit my situation, there is not denial, we will continue to sink unless we find a lifeboat, no use pretending, and there are not too many available.
    I had to laugh at the person who wrote “Marriage sounds awful” because I can’t imagine reading all this as a young person. I still think it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all- even though I would ever want to get married again. I am learning Life is Not Fair again, again and again.
    My faith gets me through, I am not religious, but I believe there is something more that always has/will help me, so I am not afraid.

  • Canadian-American

    I won’t say “wow” to this site, the original article or to all the comments, which I’ve read carefully. Only because I’m very familiar with the story myself, and did lots of research and reading to get to this point.

    My short story is this: unlike most here, I’m male. I’m 45, married for 19 years, the last 16 without sex (she sort of agreed to try sex once or twice in that time, but both times it was because of copious amounts of alcohol and on vacation; in other words, it felt insincere and definitely not what she really wanted). No kids here.

    The first few years without sex, I was a naive 20-something. We were both virgins when we got married, and have had sex only about 15 times since then, mostly all within the few 2 years or so of the wedding. In my 20s, I thought (in part for religious reasons), that I could just let it go and hope (pray) it would eventually turn around.

    Then, after a few years, I began to press for professional counselling. She refused, only wanting to continue discussing our general marriage with our pastor, but didn’t want to get into the specifics of our sexless marriage, and I was so embarrassed that I, too, didn’t want to expose this to the world.

    Eventually, after 8-9 years, I opened up to two close male friends, and this made me feel better. What I didn’t know, however, and what I wasn’t admitting to myself let alone anyone else, was what many of the commenters have been bold enough to say: a sexless marriage eats away at your soul, no matter how much energy and time and love and prayer (or whatever you do to try to make things better) you give it.

    We’ve tried counselling a number of times, first me on my own (I used to drive 5 hours one way once a week to see someone) then both of us. Twice she ended it because she was dissatisfied. The last time it lasted 8 months and cost a pretty penny, and even then it happened only because I ended up with a female friend of mine in her hotel room (walking her back from dinner), her throwing herself all over me and me getting the hell out of there before I made the big mistake. I immediately told my best friend (he) and also told my wife’s best friends and the women staged an “intervention” to get her to see the seriousness of the situation.

    Then we had the counselling which lasted 8 months. A few months later, I practically begged her to try again because things were difficult for me. She agreed to do so that summer, but it didn’t happen, primarily because she was so busy with her work (she is a very impressive professional, known globally).

    Anyway, after that last refusal, something shut down in me (that was 2 years ago). Last summer, I asked for a trial separation, for which I had little honest hope would turn things around. Initially, she was dumbfounded (honestly saying she had no idea things were so bad, that she thought I was “happy” with the present arrangement) and wanted to try counselling again. The problem was I had accepted a 1 year posting out of town (for which we had previously agreed/assumed that she would stay in the home city and I would travel back and forth). So I said no to another round of counselling.

    The year of separation is now up, and in the meantime, I’m about to take a new position 3000 miles away. For the first 4-5 months of the separation, I felt alive and free in my apparent release from the pain of my marriage. I did have the opportunity (more than once) to have sex (I’m fairly attractive and educated and a nice guy) but didn’t want to go all the way. More accurately, there was something inside of me holding me back, maybe it was because I thought the marriage could be still saved, I don’t know.

    She, on the other hand, was angry herself at me (and our marriage) and decided most of the problems in the marriage related to me. (I will take ownership of many things, by the way). For the past 5-6 month, she has insisted that a legal, formal separation is the only solution and that she wants me to start a new life somewhere else on my own and that she will “see” later if I’ve changed enough for her to consider having a relationship again (although the sex part she says must wait for much later, after I can gain her trust again — after all, it was me who wanted the separation). But she doesn’t want a divorce, she says. Why I’m not sure, other than a) she’s not completely sure what she wants and/or b) she doesn’t want to be the one who is seen to be blamed.

    So …. my “short” story has turned out to terribly long, I apologize. But let me share what I know, in summary: marriages are highly complex, complete with some very mysterious dynamics — and some less mysterious ones. I’ve read some quite horrid stories here about not only sexless but truly abusive relationships. That is terrible for you all. I think, however, most relationships are not of that type but they are caught in traps, these sexless marriages, whether because of bad communication, fear, whatever.

    I used to think there was NO way my marriage would ever end, that I could ever love someone else. And I’m not even sure it is completely over yet. And even if it is, I’m not sure I could love someone else. But, like most people here, it feels GOOD not to be ALONE anymore in the struggle. This is what COMMUNITY is all about, being open and honest in our weaknesses, in our struggles, so that we have a chance to pour out our hearts and hopefully have the words come back to us that we are not alone.

    Many of you here have done, and for those who are reading now who have felt alone and trapped, I would just encourage you to grab hold of hope. Not for your marriage per se, but for you. I had lost myself somewhere in the process, lost the light of who I was. A sexless marriage can rip open something deep in you that hardly anyone can understand. But I do, we do.

  • onewhowaits

    boy, what a fascinating commentary! I have read every post….and found a little bit of myself in almost every one. It boggles my mind truly to see how many people out in the world that are really suffering from this heartbreaking problem.
    This is a latelife remarriage for me and I had such hope and positivity to bring to this union. For the first time in my life I was ready to give heart and soul to a man without holding back anything, what a surprise I have been in for.
    While my current husband and I were dating I was aware that he did not have a red hot sex drive, but I attributed it to our distance apart (60 miles) and the fact that we only saw each other on weekends.
    I could not have been more wrong. Now that we have been married for nearly a year I can say without any doubt that I am in a sexless/loveless marriage. I should have seen it coming when on our wedding night I had to ask “you mean we are not even going to have sex?” He assured me that he was “tired” and that was all. The most painful part of all of this for me is when we have many arguments over this subject my husband will not discuss it or show any emotion whatsover when I am crying or heartbroken over his rejection of me! I cannot believe the level of cruelty that he shows me, but I see this echoed over and over in many other posts, no feelings at all for the rejected partner. What is really going on here?? I ask myself this over and over….is this really a passive aggressive ploy just to show hostility and hatred for women in general, or just ME? It is so frustrating that sometimes I am truly numb emotionally over this.

    I have just recently moved into a spare bedroom and he seems very unaffected by it. I can honestly say that I have never felt so useless and unattractive in my entire life. I have always been told how sexy, pretty and desirable I was all of my life and now….this just has gutted me emotionally. I have also noted that most of the women on here are also very attractive, what is this REALLY about? I can’t help but think that this is a mans way of showing hatred for every woman that has ever rejected or hurt him in his life ( how else could one be so cruel to someone that they claim to “love”?)
    I really am at wits end here and although I don’t want to give up so early on this marriage I certainly feel that I have an uphill battle at the very least.

  • MS

    We have been maried for 16 years and we have not had sex for the last 12 years. I would like a loving relationship but he does not. Is this some sort of record, I wonder? Why did I let it go on so long? I have found a counsellor and will be seeing them soon. My husband seems to regard this as my problem not his. However, I don’t watn to divorce.

  • Sue

    I too agree that you are all beautiful women. I’ve been married for 28 years, the crummy thing is my home life before I was married was dysfunction palooza! My father was a very angry and abusive person. I had no gauge as to what a good marriage was supposed to look like. For all the garbage I had in my life I was blessed with beauty and could be choosy. I didn’t go for the the “arm/eye candy” at least not seriously. I never played games, slept around, or lied. My dream was to meet a nice man, an honest man. I thought that man was my husband. He wasn’t the best looking man but he was nice and I thought he would be good to me. He wasn’t wealthy and my being young and innocent felt we could build our life together and make our dreams come true together. Good rule of thumb ladies if it takes more than 3 months for him to make a move RUN!!! My stupidity ruled there, when the magic moment happened (and I mean “moment”) I was shocked I guess. But assumed he was nervous and that the next time would be much better. Well 2 weeks later it wasn’t. That was pretty much the routine every 2 weeks. Being young and arrogent I assumed I could change things. On our honeymoon I wore what I thought would be a sexy pajama, he just laughed, turned over and went to sleep. Well no honey on the honeymoon at all! He explained that he was pre-occupied about his job and he was sorry. For about a year it would be sometimes every 2 weeks sometimes once a month and the time span would increase to every 5 months even longer. By the time I was 27 I desparately wanted to have a baby and no shock here, he was unable to father a child. 12 years of infertility treatment with nothing to show for it pretty much ended the sex life permanently. The last time we had sex was 19 years ago and along with the loss of intimacy comes the loss of caring and self worth. I cannot tell you how many times friends of his or mine (male) have told him how lucky he was and that if I were single they’d kill to have me. He doesn’t nor did he ever respond to those comments not even a smile or yeah I am lucky. It would have the same impact as someone commenting on the weather! The worst is when the “boys” get together and say “boy” things like isn’t this one or that one hot, wow what I wouldn’t do for a piece of that, he’s right there with them. I sit there and think if they only knew!

    I did ask him to talk to a doctor and he would have no part of it, I bought books thinking he could read them in privacy he wanted no part of them either. I cried, I tried to reason with him, I never insulted or said negative things to him. I tried to be understanding and non judgemental. While talking to my doctor in confidence she gave me a sample of Viagra which I gave to him and they never even left the car.

    What I am beginning to think is that some men just want no part of sex or the intimacy involved. Could it be that it’s how they’re wired? It’s just not “manly” to be that way and heaven forbid their alpha buddies should find out they have no sexual prowess. We’ve all read, heard and seen what happens to the “frigid” women and the men who are not shy in shaming her with that title as a defense for “getting it somewhere else”. Is this a disease held openly only for the “weaker sex”?

    I’m at that stage of should I stay or should I go right now. Being 51 and alone truly is daunting and scary. But there really is nothing with him. Pretty empty now I feel as hollow as a store manaquin. Haven’t celebrated a holiday, or occasion in many years. On our 25th wedding anniversary he bought me a hot dog and went out to play poker for the night. So the sex and intimacy IS the first to go.

  • matt1941

    Just to share my experience!. My wife and I have been married for 43 years and they have been great ones. And we haven’t had sex or used the word sex for about 30 years now. We didn’t have sex on our wedding night, because my wife wasn’t ready for that. We ended our honeymoon the next day and went back to work. Some how in our marriage we had two accidents known as kids, there grown and gone.Now we are good friends and partners with the same last name who happen to sleep in the same bed. Were in our 60s fatter and unattractive , but having a great time with life.

  • RS

    I have been married for 38 years and have stayed in a marriage that has been sexless and with absolutely no other affection (hugging, handholding, etc.) for the past 6 years. Prior to that our sex life was awful for me. He was selfish and demanding. I kept thinking if I tried harder things would change and now I am amazed that I let time pass me by. He has over the years erroded my self-esteem with negative comments everyday, although, I have been successful at work and have good friends I cannot stand up for myself with him. When I have tried, he makes me feel that it is all my fault or that something is wrong with my thinking. Now, at age 62 – I know that I should have never stayed in this marriage and wish that I could just quietly die in my sleep. I am writing this in hopes that someone else does not make the same mistake.

  • shirley

    This is my story except there was just never a time when there was romance. My virginity was taken in hostility the day after the wedding. It felt as though I was reading my own story.

  • brenda

    All I can say is that I am not alone. I thought this was just my story. Sex I could have tried to live without but absolutely no affection and the hostility to the children and myself was too much. Conversation was not stimulating either. It mostly consisted of pointing out other people’s shortcomings. I am soooooo much happier now that he is gone and I don’t have to hear his voice or see him on a daily basis.

  • Ron & Sue

    I have to say my wife and I gave gave up sex 30 years ago. Felt it was something we didn’t need or want. When we were first married wife thought it was messy,smelly and
    totaly discusting. Were mid 60s fat,ugly, unattractive. So we decided to leave sex out of our lives. We didn’t miss it at all.

  • Amy & Ron

    We are both writting this comment.
    I Look at this problem as being fixable or not. If fixable it leaves scares to haunt you forever.
    My case isn’t fixable, married 43 years and really not much sex or love. I think we are still virgins. Back in the day we were young and happy, we should have seen this all coming, but no! By then it was to late and here we are in our 60s and have no desire to have sex ever again. We wasted our lives. Alot of things happened that got us to this point that I won’t get into. Maybe some othet time.

  • Ron

    I’m one of those who dosen’t crave intimacy or sex from my wife. Wife is a great person but I don’t want to have sex with her or any one else. I’ve been without any kind of affection for about 30 years. And I like it that way. My wife wasn’t happey with the
    arrangement, but over the years she has gotten use to it. In our 60s and still love my wife. We have become good friends who sleep in the same house.

  • Ann

    My husband is a great guy except in the intimacy department. His up bringing is the problem. No one in his family showed any intimacy toward one another. They all acted like friends and neighbors at a party. He was the only child and thats how he saw life. This all didn’t raise its head till after we were married and he didn’t know what intimacy or what sex was. He worked hard and long hours to provide us with a good life. He developed cholestrol, high blood pressure, depression, ulcers and ED. With the meds he takes what little sex we had vanished. That was about 27 years ago! I haven’t been real happy about all this. I was very depressed and took meds for that, that didn’t help my sex life. I wanted sex but the urge wasn’t there. I thought of leaving him but I didn’t want to find another man. And I wasn’t educated enough to find a well paying job. So I’ve just hung in there with him for the last 40+years. A real BUMMER !!!!!

  • lonelyme

    It was humiliating, but also good–a relief somehow–that he finally said it out loud, “I have no interest in you anymore.” I’d known it for years, but knowing it and having your husband of nearly 20 years say it to while calmly driving home from a weekend Costco run is something else altogether. More and more for the past several years it’s been me to initiate sex. There’s been a physical disconnect for a few years, though the emotional distance has been there–if I’m honest, he’s never loved me how I needed to be loved–forever. Our sex life used to be terrific (even if I was the one asking), though I’d nearly always feel ashamed and used in the days following because the emotional relationship still remained as cool as ever. I’d feel close and connected during our lovemaking, but then be left feeling cast aside during the hours and days afterwards.

    When I read through my journals from prior years, I see a pattern. Months of existing, hoping and resentment, puncuated with a big blowup (tantrum, crying fit, arguement), followed by a week or two of real effort on his part to be considerate, thoughtful, and affectionate. Over a period of nearly 24 years together, I have told him tearfully that I feel unloved dozens of times. He can stare at me, or the TV, and say dispassionately that he does love me and that I’m overreacting and being irrational. By unloved I mean more than just not having a sex life, I mean no affection of any kind: no hugs, no kissing, no goodnight, no “hello” when he comes home from work, no “good morning,” no handholding, no cuddling, no back rubs…NOTHING. It’s like I’m living with a monk or my brother. The humiliation of being rejected is crushing. I am heartbroken to be spending my life like this.

    Now, here are the reasons I remain: he is a fabulous, warm and loving father to our two boys. He’s involved and devoted. Still, if our finances allowed, I would leave and share the boys with him. We are good parents and I think we do a good job of the business of raising a family. Our children are happy and successful with their school and sports. I don’t think there’s anything outwardly visible to friends or family. My only source of comfort and love is the children. I tell them always how dear they are, how much I love them, how special they are. And they are warm, affectionate and considerate little people.

    Most of the time I can exist in a place where the lack of intimacy doesn’t get to me. I need to find my way back there. Normally I am not so whipped up and emotional. I’ve spent the past two days crying and writing in my diary whenever the kids are at school. This neglect is a form of abuse. I know it is. Somehow I know that if it was physical abuse that I wouldn’t stay, wouldn’t tolerate it, but the fact that it is my heart and my soul that are being battered doesn’t seem enough of a reason to leave.

    At times I believe that he simply cannot love me and cannot show love, at others I feel that he’s choosing to torture me. I feel such shame for the many, many times I’ve pleaded with him for kindness, affection and intimacy. I hate that I’ve continued to humiliate myself. I am powerless and pathetic.

    I remind myself to stop looking for something that isn’t there. Sometimes I remember, and sometimes I get so lonely that I swallow my pride and go asking for more abuse. When will I learn? When will it be enough? When will my heart break for the last time?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ diana hartman

    lonelyme, the article you read has a follow-up. Please read it. Saving A Loveless, Sexless Marriage: The Miracle of Retrouvaille

  • lonelyme

    Thank you for your response. I read the article. I’m happy and hopeful for the exes in the story.

    For myself, I’m thinking that self-preservation is the key to my mental health. I have to find a way, either through my own soul searching or with the aid of counseling, to accept that he doesn’t love me and doesn’t want to make love to me. By accepting I mean really acknowledging that it’s there, not denying or hoping it will change. Like a lost limb, I have to see it for what it is and learn to live without it.

    No one’s marriage is perfect. I talk to many girlfriends about the deficiencies in their marriages, and I know the reasons for unhappiness are vast and varried. The fact that my husband doesn’t love me or show me any affection is my burden to carry. I am very fortunate that he is a wonderful father and a good provider. There are worse things than living in an empty marriage. We have a great family, even if we have a horrible marriage. Now, as I write this, I am crying and have been crying most of the morning. I’m sad and lonely, but I’m trying very, very hard to find a way through this without losing my mind.

    I’ve lost my self-esteem, my pride and my dignity, but I’m trying not to lose my mind. Reflecting on the years of humiliation and hurt make my lose my breath. Divorce at this point would mean losing my home and my children. I don’t want to put them through that. They don’t deserve that.

    Once he said on Sunday that he didn’t have any “interest” in me any longer, I knew that I couldn’t continue the cycle. The cycle of neglect, fighting about it, the apologies, the week or two of reconciliation. The feelings that he didn’t love me and didn’t want me were always present, but following the arguements and subsequent make-ups, I’d convince myself that I’d overreacted, that I’d been too emotional, that I was just too needy. Basically that I’d made something out of nothing. Surely, it was ME and not HIM. When he said it out loud, something snapped, I couldn’t undo it, I couldn’t convince myself that I was imagining it. He said it, and he can’t take it back. It was real, undeniable and permanent.

    It’s up to me now to find my own peace with it. It’ll take time, I know. But I can’t keep expecting it to change, because when I “hope” I leave myself vulnerable to the cycle. And maybe to those of you that have ended your marriages because of the lack of emotion and affection, this approach seems naive. Perhaps it is. Time will tell, I suppose, just how much I can tolerate. Finding a counselor for myself will be my first baby step toward finding peace. Over the years when I’ve suggested counseling for us he’s always refused, so this will be just for my sanity.

    I’ve applied for membership on the heras_women site, but haven’t heard back.

    I’m so sad and low that I would really welcome conversations with other women in similar situations. Thank you. I’m so grateful to have found this site.

  • Amy

    Super article !!!!
    My husband of 40 plus years is a prime example of what not to do in a married relationship. Unfortunatly I went along with it. For the last 28 years or so my husband hasn’t had sex or any kind of intimacy with me. Our lives have been horrible. He slufs off any question regarding sex and intimacy. I would say our relationship is just like apartment living.
    He eats and sleeps down stairs where he’s built a extra bedroom and a small kitchen.
    Every thing we do seperately. He takes his 6 week vacation with out me. He hasn’t any friends and goes no where except on his vacaton. He wants to left alone and don’t bother me attitude. He built a two car work shop out back of our property! Thats where he spends all his time! The only time he comes in the house is late at night. He has his dinner downstairs, watchs TV then goes to bed. Hes not gay or into porn! Why I stayed in this situation I’ll never know, I guess I thought things might change. Was I ever wrong and dunb. I bet I had sex with him maybe 30 times in over 40 years.

  • Amy

    My husband of 40 plus years hasn’t had sex with me for 30 years. He said I was boring and sex with me wasn’t exciting and totally not worth the effort for so little in return. When he was working he worked nights so we didn’t interact in any way. He stayed on nights for 30 years, he didn’t take any of vacation all those years so again there was no interaction with me. Also I explained my needs and he wasn’t interested in my problems. I was told find something that would occupy my mind and forget about sex. He had no desire for sex or me, I was cast aside like I was nothing. He now lives downstairs by himself. He turned himself a very lonely person. I’m old now but still I wish I could find some one to hold me and kiss me.

  • Amy

    My husband and I hadn’t had sex,intimacy,love what ever you call it in since we were married 45 years ago. Thats right 45 years. After the I DOs were done and the wedding night was over sex was gone forever. The next day he move all his things down stairs and built a small apartment. Weve done absolutly nothing together. I guess after the shock and years of depression I finally accepted my fate in life. So here I’m over 40 years later no nothing from husband and totally beaten down.

  • Louise

    Have any of you looked into a term called intimacy anorexia? It may shed some light on what you are going through.

  • eureka

    This modern age has brainwashed people on believing SEX IS IMPORTANT. BUT in reality, SEX IS NOT IMPORTANT.
    One can live without sex. You just have to make of it as habit. But there’s a saying, once you’ve tasted it, you can’t resist it. Sex is like addiction just like any other addiction. If you don’t do it, you never need it. It’s all in your head.

  • eureka

    So, don’t make fuss about it too much.
    Having less sex makes people live longer, as they say.

  • eureka

    As for Amy who’s husband is living downstairs, I believe 100% that he’s either having affair at night time. He doesn’t want to part with his mistress so he doesn’t even go holiday because he is getting all the fun he needs at work. OR he goes to visit prostitutes at night time occasionally because as you know prostitutes are better at serving male than wives.
    If none of these, then he is certainly mental. or depressed. something is totally wrong with him.

  • eureka

    As for my situation, my husband and I haven’t had sex for more than 4 years.
    I don’t regret that I stopped having sex with him. Instead it made me happy because I did it with him, I never felt happy. I don’t know why. We’re still married but I don’t feel like having sex with him at all for many more reasons. One of them is he digs his nose and scratches his bums infront of me vigorously.
    I don’t know how is he fulfilling his sexual desires or whether is a saint, but as for me, I’ve become totally celibate since the day. I felt very lonely at first, but that loneliness has made me even more stronger.
    I have kept lots of hobbies and have lots of friends to keep me busy. And it’s working.

  • Amy

    My husband has only had sex and intimacy with me once in over 45 years. The one time we had sex was on our wedding night and that lasted maybe 15 minutes. The rest of the evening he sat out by the pool of our hotel. We had no honey moon he refused to go. I was confused and lonely and at the time only had sex the one time. Little did I know that I would never experience it again. He moved all his things down to the basement and told me to leave him alone and don’t talk to me. I have the upstairs sort of like apartment living. I began to hear him go out around 10 pm every night and I thought he had something on the side , I followed him a few times but he was going to work, he transfered himself to the midnight shift. I was totally alone, I cryed sometimes all night. I tryed to leave him but couldn’t afford it and my folks didn’t want me back home, they had there own problems.Being lonely and insecure is a terrble feeling. I was stuck but we never had enough money for me to leave him. So here it is over 45 years later I’m still here, still don’t know what went wrong or when. My life has been a waste and I pray every evening that GOD will take me away.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Amy, your story is so upsetting I wish there was something I could do to help you.

    Please know that this situation is absolutely not your fault and that it is never to late to change your life situation if you want to.

    I don’t believe in gods but if they did exist I hope they wouldn’t want to see you just yet and I really hope you find the courage to improve your life.

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