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Staying in a sexless marriage

(218 Posts)
StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:12:28

I'd really love to hear from others who are managing to stay in a sexless relationship.

Advice on here is often to leave and that's not at all practical in our situation (low income, I've lost my career, etc etc.) We coparent fine and get on okay.

I'm really finding lack of intimacy hard. Tonight, after months, I tried to initiate and remembered why I don't bother. It's soul destroying .

I bumble along okay for a few months and then have a period of feeling so frustrated at the situation. It's so horrible. I assume he just has such a low drive it doesn't bother him if we "start something and it fizzles off and he goes back to doing what he was but leaves me feeling so frustrated. And then the bigger frustration that I even ended up in a marriage like this.

I know in can work if both partner have a low drive. But I really don't. I need to suppress it really. I have single friends who would love to be in a relationship and I do try to feel grateful for the fact I have a partner, and the kids.

But I was on so stupid getting into this in the first place.

Anyone else feeling the same? Is a rich fantasy solo fun the way forwards or does that just build resentment?

I'm so bloody envious of functional couples but I guess every relationship has it's story and every family it's difficulties.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:12:55

(Ps I've name changed for obvious reasons!! Been on mn 10 years since first child.)

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Feb-18 19:14:07

You say you assume he has a low sex drive... have you actually talked to him about what the problem is and told him how you feel?

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:14:25

I need someone to stop me from shouting at hi m, "what's bloody wrong with you." Or getting upset at him again as theres no point is there really.

gamerchick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:18:01

I wouldn’t! My husband knows this is a dealbreaker.

penetrative sex you can live without I think (there are other ways to have sex) but no intimacy would suffocate me and kill our marriage.

You need to talk to him, tell him how you feel and that if the feels have gone his end then there may be no future for you both.

Wellfuckmeinbothears Sun 11-Feb-18 19:18:15

Hi op,

A sexless marriage really is very damaging to your self esteem. Is he on any medication? Has it always been like this? Is there any intimacy other than sex? Holding hands, kissing, cuddling?

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:18:32

Paperdoll - so so many times but I'm not sure going round in circles is productive . For absolutely years I assumed gay and he has always said he isn't. He did go for a testosterone check a couple of years ago when I was in a "let's talk about it phase " and I'd really hoped that would be the answer. But it came back okay.

He literally goes months without ever initiating anything. If I do he finds it "pleasant" but has no real desire or urgency to turn me on or even to PIV. To be graphic he could take 20-30mins of fondling his bits and then carry on watching tv. No desire to "finish the job" or do more than massage (as in literally stroke my back) me.

So I'm assuming low drive after 10 years of being completely puzzled.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:22:31

It is so destroying self esteem. I've put on weight as a result which I need to deal with. No medication. Always like this - we got together quickly and I believed it would change (my weird Christian upbringing). I have been really stupid but this is the situation as is.

No intimacy but he will do anything to make life easier - cook, make cups of tea, offer to do school runs when working from home etc. I believe he does love me butt just doesn't seem wired that way.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:24:22

If we hadn't had kids I would look elsewhere but we have (almost miraculously - second child conceived after 2 years of no sex on the first time.)

By the time theyve grown up I won't be much of a catch overweight and careerless! I think those are the 2 thi mgs I need to work on.

CthulhuInDisguise Sun 11-Feb-18 19:25:13

My marriage is reluctantly sexless but only because DH is terminally ill and the medication he is on has completely wiped out his sex drive. I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me, it does feel a bit like a rejection sometimes, but then I know he is as frustrated as me that he can't get it up. So we cuddle and are affectionate, which is OK. It's not brilliant but it's bearable. And I feel like a bitch for even missing sex when I know he has far bigger things to worry about.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:29:14

Oh CthulhuInDisguise I'm so sorry to hear your situationsad It must be so hard when you can remember it being different and the future is scary. I think it's natural to miss sex (it's a bodily urge after all isn't it.)

I'm guessing solo fun is the way forwards but it's certainly not the same.

Wellfuckmeinbothears Sun 11-Feb-18 19:37:53

To be honest from what you say it doesn't sound as though you have ever been compatible. Would you/he consider seeing a sex therapist or a marriage counsellor?

Other than that I just don't know what to suggest...I know you said it isn't practical to leave but its either leave or resign yourself to a life of never feeling wanted or desired. I know what I'd choose.

I'm sorry, I know that isn't what you wanted to hear.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:42:20

We've enquired about relate but it's 40-50 a session. He's not anti it but in reality it's me whose going to have to learn to adjust isn't it. Were just about managing on one income between us there's no way we could manage to run 2 homes etc. In all other ways life is okay and were compatible in terms of parenting and interests etc.

But yes it seems not sexually compatible and I should have heard warning bells instead of chance of a family. I wouldn't change my babies for the world though.

If there were no kids, I still had a career etc yes I'd look elsewhere as I really want to be desired and wanted and sexually able to give and receive.

But given we've lived life together, brought up kids together and it's just this area that's rubbish I think I need to learn to live with it - hence this thread.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 19:43:37

It feels awful to be giving up at 40.
But logically there must be ways to deal with it. To work on self esteem in other areas, try to be less resentful etc. People must do it...?

TheSnootiestFox Sun 11-Feb-18 20:37:47

Oh God my darling, I could have written your post almost word for word, apart from I'm in Year 15 hmm my advice would be get out now. I'm in the throes of making a move - life is too short and I'm really cross with myself for letting it go on for so long. Also get a grip of your weight now - I put on nearly 8 stone through finding love with cheese toasties and chocolate and although I've lost most of it now, I'm kicking myself for the loose skin and stretch marks sad as they're going to make it so much harder to find someone else.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 20:45:35

Sorry to hear similar situation. sad I can't see myself getting out as I'm not sure life fat, single and jobless would be better.

(PS how did you lose the weight?! Looking back it so was emotional eating with me.)

I always tell people who are prekids or young to get out while they can when I see these threads but feel I'm kind of trapped.

I need to find another outlet for meaning I think - volunteering or some sort of career.
Sigh. Lots of people must be in this position and have some advice for handling it.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 11-Feb-18 20:49:38

Click on this and play around with some figures. You might find you would be much better off than you thought.

You're far too young to settle for this and he's grossly unfair for not discussing it with you.

TheSnootiestFox Sun 11-Feb-18 21:12:59

I actually lost the weight through falling in love with someone else grin wasn't to be though but he's been so good for me. And I'd much rather be a single mum that bitter and twisted forever!

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sun 11-Feb-18 21:18:28


Have had sex once in the last year. Does that count?!

It’s the lack of intimacy that bothers me most.

DH barely speaks to me other than making plans etc. I think he has no interest in me. At all, physically or mentally.

I am going to suggest a counsellor
again as I can’t believe it’s normal. My marriage is very lonely

Chocolateychocs Sun 11-Feb-18 21:22:33

In much the same situation, so I totally understand what it feels like. So fed up and uber frustrated with lack of sex. DH also has low sex drive and doesn't like it if I try and initiate. I tried to initiate last night, but like you say, totally soul destroying. I'm a similar age to you, also with 2 kids & am a sahm. Would never leave DH, but wish I wasn't always feeling undesired. (Not over weight and not too unsightly to look at, I don't think! )

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 21:31:30

Tried to talk about it and get a complete what I think of as "double talk." He says he wants sex and wanted it to go somewhere earlier , but his actions certainly aren't of someone who wants sex and he just gives up and then leaves it for another 6 months when I foolishly try to initiate again.

It goes in circles with him thinking he is normal with a normal sex drive. Hmmm.

StickStickStickStick Sun 11-Feb-18 21:36:02

Right now I feel so angry with him but that's hardly productive.

Argggggghgghgh. I need to find acceptance really.

TemporaryNameChange13 Sun 11-Feb-18 21:38:44

I am where you are, except we tried Relate when we were first married. We had a short period of slight improvement but then it fizzled out. We haven't had sex since Nov '16, and while there were some (my) health issues in early 2017, I've been fit and well for ages. I weigh less than have done for most of our 11 years together. 2 small DC, a big mortgage on a nice but average 3 bed house - I don't want to leave, but I can't see how I can stay. After all this time I know it won't change.

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sun 11-Feb-18 21:39:50

Do you ever fantasise about meeting someone?

I do but would never do so in real life. But I would love someone to notice me and or even to talk to!!

I crave company of my female friends just for the personal contact

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sun 11-Feb-18 21:41:12

Few of us in this rather awful boat!

Maybe we need a shite marriage support thread. I feel DH and I need counselling soon or I will begin to hate him

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