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Long post about sexless marriage

(69 Posts)
middleager Sat 10-Nov-12 21:27:40

Hi - I have had to change my username for this post as I have finally plucked up the courage to post. Apologies, it's long.

I've been with my husband for 8.5 years, married for 4.5 and was friends with him a few years before we got together. We have twin girls aged six and a half.

When we got together, I realised he was impotent. I was his world (we had been friends and he had wanted to go out with me) and he went to great lengths to seek treatment - Relate, hypnotherapy and viagra. His previous g/f had finished because she wondered why he never wanted sex.

Whatever we tried, sex was uncomfortable for him (and for me - nobobdy wants somebody who isn't keen on having sex - feeling like you are forcing them) even after treatments. I came to the conclusion he was A-sexual and had never had a sexual relationship really. Whereas, I was quite experienced and liked sex. I would initiate sex and he would take viagra, with limited success. In the end, by pure 'accident' we conceived on a one off event.

After the children were born I was busy, but then I practically had to beg him for sex on the night after our wedding. that was 4.5 years ago. No sex since, no cuddling, touching intimacy. when I try to cuddle he just stays cold. no kissing hand holding.

Oh, did I mention we don't get on either? Because he thinks it is normal not to have sex, won't talk or doesn't think it odd - our situation. I have become bitter, feeling rejected. He actively encourages me to go out and said he would turn a blind eye if I met somebody. He has no interest in me, yet my needs are growing stronger every day.

He is a very good father and I hate the idea of asking him to leave, but it causes so much tension. we don't seem to get on anyway and during a fallout today, he said: "No wonder I don't fancy you."

I feel very lonely and unloved and I am dying for sex and intimacy if I am honest. I just don't know where to go from here. I have stuck it out for a few years now for the kids, but as they are only 6, not sure if I can hold it together until they are 18 without feeling sad that a large part of my life has passed without cuddles and kisses - not just that - a closeness that we do not have. I know what it is to have a close physical and emotional relationship and this isn't it. He is perfectly happy to just keep plodding on to, but it is so warped, I feel. Any advice? Thanks

middleager Sat 10-Nov-12 21:29:38

sorry, I should mention, he cannot have sex without viagra - so on the night after our wedding he took this. But it is a passion killer. He goes red faced, sweaty palmed and you have to take the drug in advance so there is little spontaneity. It's not that he won't have sex - he can't. Or maybe it's both. I truly believe this is driving me insane!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-Nov-12 21:44:20

You really have to draw a line under this for your own sake. It's not the lack of sex especially, it's his total disregard for your feelings and the fact that you don't even get along. There are more ways of giving sexual pleasure to a partner than PIV... but if he's saying 'go meet someone else' then he's totally given up. Another 12 years of rejection and frustration? I know you say he's a good father but he's an absolutely rotten husband.

This is probably the time to have a talk, be honest about your feelings and start making arrangements to separate. If you're both mature and amicable about it, your DDs will still have their lovely Dad.. he'll just live somewhere else, that's all. No-one could accuse you of acting hastily

Darkesteyes Sat 10-Nov-12 21:44:34

hi middle ager. i am in a similar situation to you. I wrote about it for the moresexdaily website here

janelikesjam Sat 10-Nov-12 21:44:57

Just wanted to say OP, your feelings of rejection and frustration seem entirely normal to me and it is hardly surprising you are feeling at your wits' end right now. I think its sad (and amazing tbh) that you have tolerated all this as long as this, but no doubt you had your reasons. I don't think its fair either for him to expect you to stay together in this way when he cannot meet your needs in any way physically. p.s. He could still obviously be an caring/involved father even if you went your separate ways.

Darkesteyes Sat 10-Nov-12 21:46:37

Society seems to have no trouble believing that women don’t want sex, but they struggle to come to terms with the idea that a man might not want it. This lack of understanding makes women scared to speak out. What woman is going to stick her head above the parapet and say “I live in a sexless marriage” and talk about it frankly and honestly in public. Actually, I can answer that “NONE”. And so women like me who live in sexless marriages continue to suffer in silence.

We feel that we cannot discuss the issue with anyone. We are made to feel that it is our fault. Magazine articles and books on the subject advise women to buy some sexy undies and make more effort with their appearance etc. Though it’s the man who doesn’t want sex, it is the women who are told to make more effort with their looks. If the situation is reversed and it is the woman who doesn’t want to make love, pressure is put on her (marital and societal) to go to the GP to see what is wrong

middleager Sat 10-Nov-12 22:06:00

I have stayed because I am a coward. I am scared to break up, to admit the family unit has failed. That I could 'save this' as he is a good man. That I will change the kids' childhood forever. But I know I will be happier without all this messed up stuff going on. It really screws you up after a while. We recently had a hotel break with the kids (they were asleep in the other bed). I rested my head on my husband's shoulder, but he simply remained still. I thought how nice it would have been to have that returned and to have some cheeky sex!
You are right Darkesteyes - people say to me, oh my OH has gone off it - not had it for over a week now! Or that we need to spice things up. I tried everything over the years. I became used to it. Then I realised from friends that they actually had sex and that their husbands returned hand holding etc. It's also stupid because I try to look after myself and dress nicely, look feminine, because I feel so darn unsexy because of it all. I think I have lost all self confidence. I guess, because I turn 40 next year, this is a real milestone for me and I realise that I cannot go on feeling 'starved' of love and affection. Even if I remain alone for years to come, I won't feel angry or rejected all the time.

Darkesteyes Sat 10-Nov-12 22:10:13

middle ager youve said "I could save this as he is a good man"
This reminds me of that old mysogynistic saying "its a womans job to hold a marriage together"
Which is crap. There are 2 people in a marriage. Its just as much his responsibility as it is yours.
I turn 40 next year too.

middleager Sat 10-Nov-12 22:26:00

So true. I realised that this has been on his terms. I have given up my physical needs. But they are too intense now. The desire to be close to somebody now seems to outweigh the 'security'. I guess turning 40 has made me think. I suspect he is waiting for me to force the issue and make the decisions, which makes me feel worse. But yes, I need to draw a line under it. Just easier said than done, hey?

Darkesteyes Sat 10-Nov-12 22:30:33

Would he be willing to have an open relationship middleager? As in the relationship being open on your side obvs

Cybbo Sat 10-Nov-12 22:48:17

Imagine it is a friend of yours describing her situation to you.

What would you advise? Stay in there, modelling a messed up version of a marriage for your children just to keep the status quo?

Or do the right thing for you (because guess what, you are allowed to) and start making plans to leave him and begin living .

middleager Sat 10-Nov-12 23:13:58

Darkesteyes - yes, he would be willing. He even suggested it (which made me feel even more frustrated), but I can't do it. I wish I could, but I realise it is a full break or nothing.

Cybbo - I know. Just writing it all down makes me realise how absurd it is. I would advise my friend to leave. I'm great at dishing it out but rubbish at actioning it when it comes to me.

I need to stop being a wimp.

FastLoris Sat 10-Nov-12 23:47:16

I can certainly feel your pain and don't think I could stay in a LTR with no sex or intimacy at all. But there's one thing bothering me -

He's been like this from the very beginning. There was never any reason to believe he was going to be different. So why did you settle down with him, have a child with him and marry him?

Sorry but I really don't get it when people settle into a relationship with a particular person with particular character traits, maintain that relationship on a particular basis and commit to having children within it - and then are filled with righteous indignation that the other party hasn't miraculously changed into what they really wanted them to be all along.

Darkesteyes Sat 10-Nov-12 23:56:20

He is a very good father and I hate the idea of asking him to leave, but it causes so much tension. we don't seem to get on anyway and during a fallout today, he said: "No wonder I don't fancy you."

I have copied and pasted the above from the OPs first post on the thread. He is trying to shift the blame here. Not nice.

keefman69 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:15:52

It can be a vicious cycle for men, of which I've been through myself. It required the DW to insist that I concentrated on her needs every night without me being fulfilled. That broke the cycle after 3 days and now our sex life is infrequent since our 2yo child (every 2 weeks or so) but quality is great.

But the deeper issue here is the lack of holding hands or even cuddling. To me there needs to be this intimacy on a daily basis.

Toadinthehole Sun 11-Nov-12 09:16:36

I think the OP was quite clear that her husband's lack of libido wasn't his fault. So why accuse him of shifting blame when there isn't any to shift?

In any event, it sounds like a throwaway remark made in a bout of bad temper and perhaps therefore best left aside.

kittybiscuits Sun 11-Nov-12 09:47:52

What an awful position to be in OP. I do know the impact of being ignored as a woman over many years, but the lack of any physical contact - even a hug or a squeeze of your hand - it's very cruel. His attempt to shift the blame to you is pathetic - what a prick.
Your physical needs and acknowledgement as a woman are fundamentally important. Please don't ignore them, just because he is x

Geordieminx Sun 11-Nov-12 09:50:07

I have been where you have.

It eats you up, destroys every single shred of self confidence that you have. I felt unloved, unwanted and totally worthless.

Dh was, and still is a good man in a lot if ways, but that good wasn't enough to make up for the lack of physical contact and also emotion in our marriage. Like you we didn't kiss or hold hands... I used to read threads on here, women complaining about their dh's groping them in the kitchen and wish that Dh would do that to me.

I turn 30 this year (Dh is a lot older than me) and like you realized that I couldn't just accept that this was "my lot" forever. And being alone with my ds who is 5, would be better than living my life like this. We split up at the beginning of the year, and it's been difficult at times, but hand on heart it's a decision I have never regretted. He is still an amazing dad to ds, Infact probably better as he devotes all of his time to him. We get on well, probably not "friends" but much better than we ever did because neither of us has any expectations of the other, and that huge elephant in the corner of the room that we didn't talk about is gone.

I have recently met someone else, closer to my own age, and the difference is like night and day. It actually took some getting used to, in that someone actually wanted me, and wanted to have sex 4 or 5 times a night a lot. I really underestimated the difference it would make to my whole outlook on life.

Please don't waste your life, you only get one. You don't want to wake up in 10 years time, your girls grown up and realise that you have wasted the best years of your life with someone who doesn't want you. You are worth more than that.

Offred Sun 11-Nov-12 09:57:40

Darkest eyes has given great advice on here. The main thing I'd add is I agree he is trying to make this all about you and force you to take action over it. I think you need to consider your needs and your children's, the lack of intimacy and the falling out will be especially bad things for them to see. There are more problems here than just sexlessness, be brave and leave as an open relationship, aside from it being something you don't want, isn't likely to improve things in this situation I think given there are additional problems.

WaitingForMe Sun 11-Nov-12 10:01:36

Unless you've been there FastLois it doesn't make sense but trying to fix them, to rescue them can be very powerful. I loved my then boyfriend and he didn't want to be that way. I assumed all relationships took work and there was mine. We stayed together 6 years going on to get married.

Looking back he was always abusive and sex was a part of it as it kept me dependent and insecure. As someone happily remarried I can barely get my head around it but it must be true because I didn't dream up those six years.

Helltotheno Sun 11-Nov-12 10:13:28

So what's keeping you OP? He's offered you an out, so effectively he's acknowledged the problem, but you've decided that's not for you. You married him knowing there were issues in this regard which you decided to ignore (why? Did you just want kids more?). He's taken Viagra, which had a worrying physical effect on him (would you have known what to do if he had a heart attack?). Are you going to spend much longer railing against a situation that was, let's face it, never going to be any different, or are you going to grab the bull by the horns as it were, and just finish it? What's stopping you?

Darkesteyes Sun 11-Nov-12 16:07:09

Toad in the hole a comment like "No wonder i dont fancy you" is more than a throwaway comment in this instance.
it IS blame shifting which proves the point i made in my post on 10th Nov at 21.46.
It is because of blame shifting like this that women who are getting no affection in their relationships (note i say affection so i dont mean just sex) usually keep quiet about it.
Ive actually discussed this with someone from Womens Aid and she called it a reverse form of sexual abuse (her words not mine) I did see an article recently which proves the blame shifting point. i will see if i can find it.

Darkesteyes Sun 11-Nov-12 16:18:42

Darkesteyes Sun 11-Nov-12 16:21:21

Comment from underneath the article.

This is already well researched: usually a woman is keen on hanky panky up until the wedding ring is on her finger, then turns frosty in the bedroom, and shun her husband's advances. By the time she hits her early 30s, her looks have gone, her belly is sagging, her boobs are pancakes, and her husbands stops making moves at all. Then the woman panics, realises she doesn't have any goods to withhold, and starts making the move herself. By then, of course, the husband is sick of her headgames, and repulsed by her hideous body, and has started thinking about that 20 year old stunner at the office who laughs at his jokes and wears short skirts.

- Honest Anthony, Not Sheffield, 31/10/2012

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Darkesteyes Sun 11-Nov-12 16:23:57

When my wife was young and pretty she never wanted sex, now she is a fat trout she is insatiable. Maybe these women in the survey need to spruce themselves up a bit in order to get their hubbies attention?

- dobbyfenton, Chesterfield, United Kingdom, 30/10/2012 19:32

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