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Long post about sexless marriage

(68 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

Darkesteyes Sun 11-Nov-12 16:26:53

Note the mysogynistic comments underneath the article which completely reinforce beyond all doubt what ive been saying.

No wonder women dont speak out. Which is why we get the stereotype that its mainly women who go off sex.

Because women are too scared to speak out when its the man who goes off it because then they get accused of "neglecting their appearance" etc.

And then they have to put up with the nasty comments like the ones underneath this article.

Which suits the patriarchy just fine. Men dont want the stereotype that "they are always up for it " challenged. That is why when affection starved women do speak out, they have to put up with comments like the ones underneath the article above.

OneMoreChap Sun 11-Nov-12 17:19:47


Or when men are starved of sex or affection, they are victim blamed.
"What have you done?"

When these women are starved of sex or affection, I'd like to see a bit more of "Why, what have you done?"

Darkesteyes Sun 11-Nov-12 17:49:15

Oh believe me "One More Chap. i got plenty of "Why what have you done" off my own DM when she found out. I got blamed. And then got blamed again when i had an affair after seven years of rejection.
To give you some idea of my parents attitudes theyve been defending Saviles actions.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 11-Nov-12 18:00:40

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.

Slowloris, get real. People change, people grow apart. No-one gets married thinking they will end up splitting up. It is devastating. It's not as simply as marrying the wrong person, stupidly.

OP, I feel your pain. The indecision is the worst bit, the worst time. I had years of it and it was torture. I think age comes into it, too. 40 feels like the fulcrum on which life tilts, the midpoint, the last chance for change.

I am 41 and three weeks ago I moved out, after years of misery and indecision and months of agony living under the same roof after we reached the point of no return and splitting was agreed (well not really agreed, but seen as inevitable).

It's not easy at all. In many ways it is a lot harder than if there is someone else involved, to share the guilt and the social opprobrium and to provide some love and emotional sustenance.

Maybe you will meet someone else and leave 'with' them. Maybe you will have an affair first. I think this is a bit cowardly, but totally understandable.

It's a horrible situation to be in, the 'should I stay or should I go?'

It's easier once you have taken a decision. I can't see you staying, it's far too grim and unfulfilling. But you won't leave until you are ready and can't bear it any more. I have started more than one thread like yours in the last two or three years.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 11-Nov-12 18:01:54

To give you some idea of my parents attitudes theyve been defending Saviles actions.

Holy fuck.

Helltotheno Sun 11-Nov-12 18:59:58

Slowloris, get real.

Why get real? Slowis has made a very good point. The OP went in to a situation knowing it was the way it was, and suddenly her DH is everything from an abuser to an emotional manipulator. Sorry but I'm not seeing it. He offered her an out that she didn't take. He took viagra for her which obviously physically didn't suit him. She's been free to leave at any time and has chosen not to. All the indicators were there from the start that Hollywood sex wasn't on the cards. Why is it all his fault?

There were red flags here from the very start. Is personal choice/responsibility ever going to count for anything?

toysintheattic Sun 11-Nov-12 19:39:23

I have been where you are, OP, and I sympathise. In my case things were normal-ish until 6 months after we got married. One night when we were in bed I looked at him and he just looked like he was somewhere else. So I stopped and asked him what he wrong, he said 'I'm not that interested in sex and never will be'. I stayed for another 6 years and one child. Why? God knows, though I wouldn't change having had my son. What became intolerable for me was not really the lack of sex itself but the lack of closeness and intimacy. It was like he couldn't cuddle or kiss me in case that somehow led automatically to sex, he couldn't separate the two. It was soul-destroying. I only realised how much after we separated. It has not been easy, I still get angry about the whole situation and how he treated me but I am happier and I know that I have done the right thing for my son. He will grow up hopefully realising that being true to yourself is important. I lost myself for a long time.

I agree with many of the other posters that this is a subject that really can't be talked about. I have not told my family or best friends why we split up and I likely never will. Even writing this out I am blaming myself for not being 'good enough'. My advice? One of three things:
1. If he is very willing to save your marriage then sex therapy/Relate ( I think sex therapy with an accredited therapist probably better than Relate but only if he is fully on board with this.) Expensive yes but think of it as an investment if it keeps you together.
2. An open marriage though I, like you, could never have seen myself able to do this.
3. Ending the marriage, which is what we did. I would have preferred the 1st option but by the time we separated things were too toxic to consider counselling.

Hope that helps, is sometimes a bit therapeutic just to get things out!

middleager Mon 12-Nov-12 13:37:18

Apologies for the delay in replying. Thanks for all your responses. I was feeling too sad yesterday to look. I stayed with him when I knew from the onset what the problem was. At first, I hoped we could sort it out with counselling, hypnotherapy and finally, pills. Then by the miracle of discovering we had twins on the way, we stuck together and hoped that sex wouldn't matter in the long run. However, I didn't realise the extent to which the intimacy matters (more than anything) too. That's what hurts the most. I've had a nice personal message (which I need to reply to) and all the comments here are helpful. I am especially inspired by Geordieminx. I'm going to try to have a sensible talk tonight. The problem is, that after years of living like this, as Geordieminx said, it becomes soul destroying and your sense of worth just dies. I'm only agonising because of the children and that is the only thing stopping me. I've been too scared to put them through a broken home. I had thought could we make it work in same house, split up, but I think that only makes a warped situation worse. In a strange twist of fate, my own parents stayed together for the kids - until I reached 18. Do you know what? I don't thank my Mom for it - I told her she should not have stayed for us. Both parents were unfaithful (for years). I only know that now. I just need some courage and some of the stories on here and kind words are helping, so thanks. I either plod on until the next time or make some changes. Easier said than done x

middleager Mon 12-Nov-12 13:42:00

Oh Toysintheattic, your post is inspirational too. We did go to sex therapy with Relate, but unfortunately it hasn't solved anything. But I did know before kids/marriage whereas you did not, which must have been awful. Your reasons for staying sound the same as mine! At first, I also used the excuse of having small twins for keeping it together - but now they are older and it is getting easier. Thanks to everybody else. I think for those of you who have been there, you realise it is more than sex. It drives you insane and leaves you questioning yourself x

PosieParker Mon 12-Nov-12 13:46:07

Is your husband turned on by anything? Himself? Men?

If sex is required as part of your relationship and you don't get it then I think you should move on.

Take care of yourself.

AboutToSelfDestruct Mon 12-Nov-12 13:52:35

"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"

Sounds like me a year ago, but for me there was a shed load of emotional coldness but the willingness to then flip into somehow having the closeness of dtd every now and then...and by that I mean once every 6 months.

I have just posted now as have had my heart taken and am feeling passion for someone else like i just can't beleive. It will never turn into a physical affair but is fast slipping into an emotional one. I now wish I had left 9 months ago when I was feeling like you are now, as now, if I go its just so messy sad

I still love Dh dearly and the thought of hurting him breaks my heart and the consequences for the children...but the children are suffering now, sensing my emotions, and are also growing up with a warped idea of adult relationships (ie, Mummy and Daddy having separate bedrooms is what they think is normal) I really hope you can find some peace with this one.

Helltotheno Mon 12-Nov-12 14:11:48

Mummy and Daddy having separate bedrooms is what they think is normal

Eh... it is normal for many who have perfectly fine relationships... just sayin' smile
It'll be your bad interaction the kids are picking up, not your sleeping arrangements!

Geordieminx Mon 12-Nov-12 15:56:00

It got to a stage with me that even if DH had come home one night, suddenly "cured" and wanting to bounce around the bedroom all night I couldn't have. Once someone has (even unintentionally) destroyed that part of you, made you feel completely unattractive and sexually dead you can't just turn it back on (pardon the pun). It's probably nigh on impossible to go from here, to having a "normal" sex life because you will always wonder, every single time you do it, whether he actually wants you, or whether its just to appease you, to keep you from nagging at him this week. And that's not a nice thought to be having at any time, never mind mid sex sad

Darkesteyes Mon 12-Nov-12 16:31:17

What Geordieminx said. Geordie im glad your happier now Im carernotasaint. i name changed about 3 months ago.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Mon 12-Nov-12 16:39:42

I think it's likely that thing will get a lot better when you end the relationship with him. He sounds spineless and selfish but not malevolent (a really ethical man with no libido would either have left you, as kindly and fairly as possible, when he realised that a sexless marriage was making you miserable, or he wouldn't have married you in the first place) so he will probably be a great co-parent. Remember that a good co-parent is someone who can look after the kids when you go out on the pull wink.

autumnfrost Mon 12-Nov-12 16:48:48

I am in the same situation although dh is not impotent I think he is A sexual.Hehas never said anything cruel to me about the way I look etc. and we do get on mostly but I know he does not love me and won`t even sit beside me in case he touches me well that is what it feels like to me..We agreed to stay together becase ds2 19 has sn and we both know because of his problems 1 of us could not look after him and we both love him SO MUCH WE ALSO HAVE ANOTHER NT SON 21 tHIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR ABOUT 16 YEARS AND i FEEL YOUR PAIN.sorry caps

autumnfrost Mon 12-Nov-12 16:51:25

I forgot to add I still love him

middleager Mon 12-Nov-12 17:16:30

Don't get me wrong. My husband is a decent, hardworking man who would always stand by his family. Me asking him to leave - and how awful it would be for him - is one of the reasons I am finding this hard. It will hurt him, to begin with. He loves the house. I have offered to go before, but I think he realises that our house is close to the school etc. and that we don't have anywhere to go (he could move back to his parents for a while. Plus, he rents out the house he owned before we met and he could move back there). I'm not going into this lightly and I don't want to pretend I am the victim. Everybody will hurt at the start and it feels so sad to break it all up. Going to see if we can talk later about practicalities. It's easy for me to say this, but I think he (and I) will both be happier in the long run if we go our separate ways - after the initial turmoil. I'm not sure I could be any more unhappy and that thought of a future - without all this upset - is what drives me. What most of you understand is that it isn't just the sex. It's the cold fish, no emotion, no tenderness that is the toughest part. The constant rejection.

middleager Mon 12-Nov-12 17:18:44

Gosh autumnfrost. I'm sorry that you have had this for so long. Would you have gone if it had not been for ds2's sn?

Geordieminx Mon 12-Nov-12 18:11:49

Middleager please feel free to PM me if you feel it would help.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Mon 12-Nov-12 20:46:55

Don't be misled into thinking that you're the bad person and he's the innocent victim. He has not been fair to you and it is selfish to want to maintain a marriage because you are content while your partner is miserable.

eslteacher Mon 12-Nov-12 21:00:27

I don't think it's a question of whose the victim, who should be blamed. Your husband has always been this way, and has been clear about that. You yourself thought first that you could change him, then when that failed, that you could live with it anyway. You have found out you can't live like that - and I absolutely don't think it's fair to level "what did you expect?" comments, we often don't know what we can and can't live with until we try it.

But it does seem that there is no reason to stay in this marriage beyond fear of the initial push you're going to have to make, and the hurt that will cause your children and your husband. Of course it will hurt in the short term, but there is no reason that you won't all in time get over this hurt and find happier lives. The alternative is you yourself smothering your desires and your wish to be happy and fulfilled shouldering all this hurt yourself in the long term, and it will inevitably spill over to everyone else anyway. I think you know what you have to do, and I honestly wish you good luck.

gloomywinters2 Tue 13-Nov-12 12:39:09

i feel for both of you in this situation i feel for you because the lack of intimancy feeling like your not loved or sexy enougth can ruin your selfestem, i feel for him because it,s a situation he can,t help he has gone great lengths to get it sorted but should he put his health at risk taking viagra? maybe he feels if he show,s affection it will lead to sex and he can,t perform. i don,t believe he should have shifted the blame on you saying no wonder i don,t fancy you. on the other hand you new he was impotent so you must have known what was coming the question is can you live without sex maybe you should stay friends and move on. are you moving on just because you want sex or has he got more to offer there,s more than just sex all the time too.

gloomywinters2 Tue 13-Nov-12 12:46:33

just looking back at the thread and realised if he,s not hugging kissing or a touch that,s not too much to ask for that,s pretty cold then no op you should leave.

nightcat Tue 13-Nov-12 20:08:58

autumnfrost, tried to pm you as we are in the same boat sad have you changed your nn? Can't send it for some reason.

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