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Is there a way to live happily without sex?

(51 Posts)
MagentaSpunkTrumpet Wed 30-Mar-16 19:03:37

Following on from past threads, I really think this could be a possibility for DH and I sad

Problems with ED, lack of privacy, opposing shifts and wildly mismatched libidos has culminated in a situation where actually, I would rather not try than try and be rejected or have to "abort mission" as it were.

I'm worried we've got to a stage where the recriminations are too great now, and yet I have no desire to break up. I love DH with all my heart, and the idea of leaving due to a lack of sex is almost absurd. We have so much more going for us.

It's not like we're detached in every other sense because we're not. We hold hands, we kiss, cuddle etc, it's just the final act that has become a sticking point.

I figure that my choices are to either leave, or to stay but acknowledge that sex is just not on our agenda anymore. That way there's no pressure on DH and I won't be disappointed. I just feel that I could cope better if I knew that was how it was going to be, rather than hoping at every opportunity that this would be the time IYSWIM?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

TheNaze73 Wed 30-Mar-16 19:12:17

I think it's all down to personal preference. It's a massive deal for me, so if it was made off limits, I'd have to walk. I love my partner to bits however, no sex would be a deal breaker for me.
It sounds like it is really getting you down. On the face of it, staying and accepting would only be a temporary solution. The urge will come back. Hope you get to work it out though. It isn't absurd for it to be a reason to go, so don't beat yourself up. Lack of sex & financial issues are the two biggest reasons that marriages dissolve.

MagentaSpunkTrumpet Wed 30-Mar-16 19:49:56

I thought it was a dealbreaker for me too naze but, when push comes to shove I just don't think I could do it.

It's not as if DH is in the wrong or hasn't made an effort. It's just that his desire to fix a difficult situation is much less than mine due to his lower libido.

I'm also aware how this would be viewed if it was a man posting. I'm painfully aware that he wouldn't be told to leave an otherwise loving wife just because he wasn't getting sex <shrug>

Arrowfanatic Wed 30-Mar-16 19:50:31

The way I see it is a relationship is about love, companionship, friendship, respect and loyalty. Sex is a wonderful bonus, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker in a relationship as there are so many more layers to a loving marriage than sex. I hope that if I couldn't have sex anymore that my husband would stay with me because he loves the person that I am more than intercourse.

TrixieBernadette Wed 30-Mar-16 19:52:15

Has he seen anyone about his ED? Is it linked to any other health problems?

DP has ED, and it doesn't just affect your ability to get a hard penis. It affects libido and emotions too, and is bloody hard to live with - both as the girlfriend and the sufferer.

AnyFucker Wed 30-Mar-16 19:52:24

There is more to sex than PIV.

Is the lack of PIV the deal breaker for you ? Do you have an otherwise full sex life ?

nearlyhadenough Wed 30-Mar-16 20:01:21

Magenta, I tried to do this....

It was about 13 years into a sexless marriage (me 35 him 36), had tried couples counselling and psycho-sexual therapy as well as generally trying to live with a DH who did not want me sexually.

I decided that would just not expect sex any more - no pressure, no nothing, I just turned my sexual side off.

It lasted for 5 years before I could bear it no longer.

I told DH that I couldn't carry on, that I had really tried but I couldn't live that way. He said that the 5 years had been good for him - he had 'breathed a sigh of relief' when I said I would no longer want/need sex from him. We are just about to divorce - sex is a huge issue within our relationship but far from the only problem.

As you have a solid sounding relationship with your DH, and are affectionate, it may very well be worth giving it a go. I may have lasted longer if there had been even a small element of affection.

TheNaze73 Wed 30-Mar-16 20:05:16

AnyFucker is bang on the money. Sex is so much more than PIV. Is there anything else happening?

HelenaDove Wed 30-Mar-16 20:06:37

Also agree with AF Many women dont come from PIV anyway.

FilthyRascal Wed 30-Mar-16 20:14:58

We had similar issues though I was in your dhs position and dh never indicated he would leave me, though I know he found it very hard.

I felt unbelievably crap, I just couldn't make myself want to, though I adored my dh.

We didn't take it completely off the agenda but dh would only initiate VERY occasionally and no pressure was put on me at all. It worked! Slowly things started improving and gradually we have got back on track after several years of very little sex.

I think it's a minor enough issue that if all things in a marriage are otherwise good it should be achievable but if it will fill you with resentment eventually perhaps think again - you need to be truly ok with that decision.

BMW6 Wed 30-Mar-16 20:28:27

DH & I haven't DTD for about 5 years - ED and crashed libido (both of us), but are relatively old gimmers (nearing 60). Still kiss and cuddle, so not an issue with us.

Sounds like your relationship has a lot going for it so why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

MagentaSpunkTrumpet Wed 30-Mar-16 20:40:58

Thank you for all your responses thanks

For the poster who asked, yes DH has seen his GP. He has ED medication prescribed but it's not been wildly successful and also involves a certain degree of expectation IYSWIM?

Unfortunately I typically am one of those few women who do come during PiV.

And I do feel like that BMW6, it's just a question of how it works out in reality.

TrixieBernadette Wed 30-Mar-16 20:45:12

The expectation thing is so hard. As is the stress when it doesn't work very well. We have been there, it's been so frustrating at times.

My fear for you is that you aren't happy to have no sex, you're reluctant. And settling. And I'm not sure long term that you'll be happy.

Does DH talk to you?

AnyFucker Wed 30-Mar-16 21:38:48

I would not judge you if you left. But do it ethically if you do.

MagentaSpunkTrumpet Thu 31-Mar-16 01:12:47

<sigh>
We're not talking much at the moment hmm

Though in fairness we do normally, it's just that on top of everything else we are both a bit inexperienced at actually discussing sex. That means we are constantly on edge and it's easy for me to seem judgemental and DH to become defensive so it becomes a self perpetuating problem.

DistanceCall Thu 31-Mar-16 01:38:54

I think you should see a couples' therapist. ED is not an insurmountable problem these days, and, as PPs said, there is more to sex than penetration (although I do understand the importance of penetration). The physical causes of ED can be dealt with, but psychological aspects also need to be treated.

And if you are unable to discuss sex in a way that makes the problem worse, I do think having a third party help you would be a good idea.

avamiah Thu 31-Mar-16 01:53:31

I've just read this thread now and I would like to know how many years you have been in a intimate relationship.

MagentaSpunkTrumpet Thu 31-Mar-16 03:07:22

In all honesty distance, any sort of therapist would be like a last chance saloon for us (particularly one concerned with sex grin)

ava we've been together 10 years. If I'm honest we were never, even in the first flush of love, a couple who were at it day in day out so I'm not hoping for a sexual marathon or anything like that.

avamiah Thu 31-Mar-16 03:37:47

Thanks for your reply MST.
So what do you actually want from this relationship?, as you seem to have the answers already .?

MagentaSpunkTrumpet Thu 31-Mar-16 04:08:50

Truthfully, I'd like the relationship we have now but with regular sex as well.

In the absence of regular sex it's a question of whether I can live without, or whether I walk away from an otherwise loving relationship, with all that entails.

I suppose really I just want people to come on and tell me that it will be fine, I will manage perfectly well and one day it will all be normal again sad

Euphemia Thu 31-Mar-16 04:19:07

I agree about seeing a therapist.

DH has ED and he was devastated when it first started. Good thing is, he is able to talk frankly and openly about it. We have had tearful discussions at midnight, failed attempts at PIV galore followed by discussion of other things we can do ...!

Things will never go back to "normal" again for us. This is the new normal. We love each other so we support each other through failed attempts, etc. There's no awkwardness or bad feeling because we've been completely open with each other.

We have a big weekend away coming up - much talk of lots of sex. smile But we also know that if no sex can happen, we can have fun other ways and enjoy being together. Knowing that we still fancy each other after 20+ years feels great! grin

Moocowface Thu 31-Mar-16 05:16:43

I'm in the same position. Been with DH for 8 years. Sex life was great to begin with. We've now not had sex for 14 months. We were ttc for two years but he could rarely manage sex once a month, which resulted in us needing IVF. This is the second dry spell of our relationship with the last one being no sex for 12 months.

He doesn't have any much of a libido. He's been checked over by GP and physically he's fine.

Last week we had another mammoth row about it, and he suggested we go to sex therapy with relate. I feel pretty resentful about this, but I will go. Not entirely sure what will come of it, but we'll see.

But yes - if there's not some sort of improvement, I would consider leaving. I'm 36 and do not want a sexless marriage. Heartbreaking.

DadWasHere Thu 31-Mar-16 07:40:21

Also agree with AF Many women dont come from PIV anyway.

So what HelenaDove? Often when I see PIV brought up I wonder if the person has the holistic view of sex they claim or a personal axe to grind over the validity of a woman enjoying intercourse.

If you want to get down to brass tacks your 'many' is actually a majority of women. Of the 30% or so who orgasm through intercourse alone the vast majority do so in a female superior position, because it provides the best chance of clitoral stimulation, while also being in control to proceed at a pace that best matches their own arousal. So much for mansplaining statistics and mechanics.

Sex is about more than intercourse just as sex is about more than cunnilingus. A banquet is about more than just one dish. I had lovers who did not orgasm during intercourse, they would have been mortified if I was unwilling or unable to share that sexual experience with them. Women are allowed to find intercourse the most validating/exciting/whatever thing of their sexual experiences. If you believe an orgasm is required as the seal of approval for that I think you are deeply misguided.

AnyFucker Thu 31-Mar-16 07:54:28

Is that just the female orgasm you are dismissing, DWH

Or is it equally valid for males to have sex without an orgasm being the endpoint ?

Keepithidden Thu 31-Mar-16 07:59:18

I think it's equally valid AF.

However, I suspect DWH may have misunderstood Helena and your posts, as I read his post (assuming he is a he) as reinforcing what you both say. I.e. sex is more than just PIV.

There does seem to be an assumption within society that sex without PIV isn't "proper" sex which is wrong IMO.

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