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Moral dilemma

(16 Posts)
Rockandahardplaice Sun 25-Oct-15 07:33:01

Sex can be painful for my wife due to a medical condition.

As a result she has withdrawn from any sexual contact, since that might lead to sex. This has left me feeling very rejected and frustrated. Although I know she still loves me, it's hard to feel close to her without this kind of contact, and it's hard for me to look ahead and see several decades of an asexual life.

With hindsight we should have tried to develop a sexual relationship which didn't involve penetrative sex a long time ago, but while we used to have a good sex life it was always quite narrowly focused, because she doesn't like snogging, oral sex (giving or receiving), anal sex or handjobs/mutual masturbation.

The medical condition cannot be treated further. It has improved to the point where, if we do have sex it doesn't hurt her for the first 2 or 3 minutes, which if I am turned on enough can be enough time for me (probably not supposed to admit that...). But I think the association between painful intercourse and all other sexual activity is already firmly entrenched, so she just tries to avoid doing anything sexual. We have already had a lot of sex therapy, which didn't help. All this has been going on for a number of years.

Last night we had a painful conversation about all of this. In which I said I didn't think I could cope anymore. I told her I might possibly be able to cope without ever having actual sexual intercourse, but not without any sexual activity at all.

She played the "in sickness and in health" card - she asked if I would leave her if she was paralysed in an accident, and pointed out that her condition is equally not her fault. This hit home and I suddenly questioned myself. I guess there are differences - in her case she is capable of doing some sexual stuff but chooses not to, but on the other hand it was probably partly my fault that the stuff she can still do became associated with the stuff she cannot.

What do people think? Would it be morally wrong of me to leave in these circumstances?

Wotsitsareafterme Sun 25-Oct-15 07:42:29

No, it wouldn't be morally wrong. You have to assess whether the relationship can survive. Do you have children?

Joysmum Sun 25-Oct-15 07:47:06

This really isn't easy for either of you.

She's entitled to her sexual preferences and I can't see how you enjoy giving or receiving a 'service' you know she doesn't like.

Likewise if you're not happy to remain in a sexless marriage then you shouldn't have to.

I'd never advocate an affaire and some marriages are helped by them being open marriages.

I could never be happy in an open marriage and if your wife couldn't either than you only option would be to leave.

The killer for me in your situation would be the lack of affection. I could cope without sex but not without affection.

everybodylovesdogs Sun 25-Oct-15 07:48:31

It sounds from your post as if you put no value on other aspects of your relationship other than sexual. If you don't care about her it seems your relationship is over.
No one else can judge. We don't know the nature of her illness or her. As you point out there are other ways to have a sexual relationship than penetration. You need to look together without any pressure at why she wouldn't enjoy other things.
You can't take this in isolation. You need to look at the whole relationship and see if there is something to work for.

Rockandahardplaice Sun 25-Oct-15 07:55:01

Wotsit: yes, we do have children.

Joy: there is affection, in terms of holding hands, hugging etc - but nothing that could turn into sex.

Everybody: everything else in the relationship is great and we love each other very much - it's just lack of sex/intimacy. I have looked at the relationship as a whole, but no matter how great the whole is - being with, and in love with, and desiring someone who cannot bring themself to have a sexual relationship with you is really hard.

Wotsitsareafterme Sun 25-Oct-15 07:59:02

Being honest I was a bit like this at the end of my marriage. Not for medical reasons and the relationship was grim anyway. However I thought exh was v unreasonable until I experienced sexual withdrawl from a man in a more recent relationship. Jesus it makes you feel all kinds of awful and I couldn't tolerate that very long -a few weeks in that case. I'm not sure what the op should do but I just wanted to say it's emotionally very traumatic when a partner withdraws intimacy and it's nothing to do with make entitlement around sex.

Branleuse Sun 25-Oct-15 08:02:54

It sounds to me like you are great friends and co-parents, but without being lovers too, you will always feel empty. She doesnt want to sexually please you, she doesnt get anything out of doing the things you could do together.

I would probably leave too, with a heavy heart sad

ChiefInspectorBarnaby Sun 25-Oct-15 08:04:08

I think if you love someone then you'd accept no sex. But it's not just about that - it's about you wanting intimacy. You need proper advice- maybe a counsellor for you both. I think if you left you'd feel even more isolated to be honest. But I am not married so what do I know. flowers

niceupthedance Sun 25-Oct-15 08:13:46

I think that if you have had a lot of sex therapy, and this has been going on for a number of years I would leave, on the basis that you are (no longer) compatible.

Rockandahardplaice Sun 25-Oct-15 08:17:45

Nice: does that sexual incompatibility override my moral obligations though? I did indeed promise "in sickness and in health", and my wife's sexual problems (and thus our sexual incompatibility) come partly from health issues...

Joysmum Sun 25-Oct-15 08:32:38

I dont hold with 'moral obligations'. I think you get one life and it's up to you what you want to do in so much as accept and stay or leave.

When DH and I first got together I was the one with the issue. He stuck by me and together we worked through it. He had the choice to stay or go too but things were changing.

I think you need to decide what your marriage needs to include for you to be satisfied. Th n you need to try one last time to discuss it with your DW to see if this minimum for you could be achieved. If it can't then you need to leave.

I think it's ok to admit that sometimes love simply isn't enough.

Branleuse Sun 25-Oct-15 08:56:45

only you can decide that, but we are not locked into unhappy marriages forever anymore, thankfully. Youve tried to make it work. Its not as if youre going out cheating on her

7to25 Sun 25-Oct-15 09:09:44

You do have moral obligations.
Try and make it as pain free as possible for her and the children. Discuss what she is happy with.
We have all seen amicable splitting couples when suddenly the big guns come out and he wants his family to move, sell the house and they are forced into poverty.
Are you able to handle a split with no rancour? Would you live in poverty to ensure that your family do not? Would and further relationships be compromised because of this? Would you have no further children so as not to financially disadvantage your existing ones?
Life is not fair.

Rockandahardplaice Sun 25-Oct-15 10:24:25

Hi 7.

I'd give them everything, and live poor, but even then my wife and kids would be worse off than they are now.

I don't want any more children. I'm happy with the ones I have!!!

everybodylovesdogs Sun 25-Oct-15 12:38:51

You say you don't want any more children but if you are leaving because you want a relationship with sex your new partner may want children.

everybodylovesdogs Sun 25-Oct-15 12:40:54

If you don't care about her enough to stay without sex that sort of moves the moral goal post. Would she really want you to stay under force?

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