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I don't want physical intimacy - is this normal?

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showmetheway posted 10/18/2013 09:28 AM

It is just over 4 years now since I discovered my H had been unfaithful. We are kind of reconciled but I still feel I am reserving judgment, I don't feel completely comfortable about my situation, my H's seeming lack of emotional intelligence and understanding still concerns me, his inability to express feelings, feel empathy... But, he provides me with a comfortable life, we work pretty much as a partnership, we get along, we care about each other...

However, I would be quite happy to just live with that - a partnership. But he wants a relationship - and that involves physical intimacy.

I sometimes wonder if my lack of desire for a physical relationship with him is really a sign that I shouldn't stay in the marriage. Does it really mean the love is dead? The thing is, I do love him, but more in a caring way. And I don't know if that is enough.

The thing is, I don't even know if I would feel differently with someone else. For me, the whole issue of sex and loving has been ruined by what he did. It used to be something unique to a couple, something special shared by two people who loved each other. For me, now, it has just been reduced to a primal, animalistic act and no amount of persuasion that there is a difference between love and sex can cause me to think otherwise. For me, now, sex is disgusting and something I don't want any part of. I think it's a kind of self-protection really. I feel safer keeping a distance from it. If I try and allow myself into the realms of love and sex, I find it too painful to deal with - it almost brings me too close to the very thing that has caused me so very much pain and heartache. So I just want to walk away from it.

Does anyone else feel this way??

loveisareddress posted 10/18/2013 09:55 AM

To me, feeling this way is completely understandable, especially if you are with a gaslighting denier who has no empathy or remorse.

I am leaning toward the self-protection theory.

It's very hard to completely expose yourself like that to a person who has no clue what it means.

Sex doesn't make me all triggery like it does some people-mind movies and such. My "mind movies" are flashbacks of gaslighting and denial.

Anyone who values their personal comfort enough to let you think you're crazy and lies to your face while doing so is absolute scum and cannot be trusted.

So, yes-I feel it is completely normal in some situations.

Drowninginitall posted 10/18/2013 10:27 AM

I have been on both sides of this with my husband. Both not wanting the physical intimacy and both needing it in order to survive. I think both or either can be normal in situations like this. I don't have any advice for you but I'm sorry you're going through this.

TrustGone posted 10/18/2013 12:18 PM

I think it is perfectly normal. How can you feel safe with a person that betrayed you and then won't own up to the hurt he caused? I feel the same way now. Then I feel guilty for feeling this way. Then I get scared that my lack of interest will cause him to stray again. Then I get pissed if he doesn't seem to want it either. It is a vicious cycle and I am not sure how to break it. I am afraid I don't have the answers, but I wanted you to know you are not alone.

Crushed1 posted 10/18/2013 14:27 PM

(((showme))) Ummm, if I didn't see your name here I would have thought I spaced out this morning and wrote most of this myself. Eight years out and I feel much the same as you. I don't have any answers. Just know you're not alone. If it's the way you feel it must be normal for you and me and anyone else who feels this way. Maybe it is self-protection from pain and hurt.

I was always a willing participant in sexual intimacy before his A and enjoyed what I told him was something "sacred between us". So that was ruined. Despite initial HB, I don't really desire that type of intimacy anymore.

TheBestMe posted 10/18/2013 19:08 PM

Thank you so much for posting this. I have felt this way towards him when I became suspicious of another woman. Then his gaslighting, lying and deceit did not make me warm and fuzzy toward him.

Now since he is so in luuuvvve with me he can't keep his hands off me. Any physical contact with him sceeves me.

His impotency from prostate cancer surgery is fine by me. All I need from him is financial security.

purplejacket4 posted 10/18/2013 19:38 PM

I think it perfectly normal to feel this way after an affair. And actually for a lot of women it's perfectly normal without there having been an affair. Often we treat women with some estratest if the low libido is considered a problem. And let me tell you, despite the commercials, there are a lot of pissed off older women out there about this Viagra thing. They feel the drug company has gypped them out of their calm Retirement years. My grandmother is one of them. Imagine an 83 year old women bitching about her husbands staying power!.

PricklePatch posted 10/18/2013 22:08 PM

I feel this way. I am sad to not have the connection. I miss it. But I am not going there if I don't feel it.

Buckeye Wife posted 10/18/2013 22:34 PM

I don't have any desire for a physical relationship. My FWH has been remorseful and has changed for the better. I didn't have a lot of drive before the affair. Now it's nonexistent!

whatnow8 posted 10/18/2013 23:06 PM

5 1/2 years out, and I could've written your post myself. I feel exactly the same way. We're kind of like business partners. I have my responsibilities and he has his. As long as things are that way then everything is ok. But I don't want anything to do with sex. Sad, cuz I used to really enjoy it.

I also wonder if I'd be like this with someone else, because of my general lack of trust in people. Or if I'd be more like the old me.

Sadly, I think it's normal. I hate my new normal.

[This message edited by whatnow8 at 11:07 PM, October 18th (Friday)]

silverhopes posted 10/18/2013 23:09 PM

For me, the whole issue of sex and loving has been ruined by what he did. It used to be something unique to a couple, something special shared by two people who loved each other. For me, now, it has just been reduced to a primal, animalistic act and no amount of persuasion that there is a difference between love and sex can cause me to think otherwise.

Completely understandable. That feeling of sexual specialness was one of the costs and losses of his infidelity. Does he know you feel this way now?

showmetheway posted 10/19/2013 01:55 AM

Wow, I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who has responded to this post! At last I don't feel so alone.

This is one topic that I scour the SI site for... trying to find other people who feel the same as me, but I see very few posts about it. And the ones I do find seem to be from people who haven't been put off sex, but maybe have problems with mind movies etc. I was beginning to feel that I was the only one who felt the way I do.

My H knows I struggle, but I don't think he can really identify with my feelings - I don't know if he has the emotional capacity. I think a sexless relationship scares him. He's nearly 8 years younger than me for a start, while I'm 50 and menopausal. Maybe that's part of it, I don't know. Maybe the desire will return some day, but as I said before, the whole intimacy thing has been ruined. It's so sad.

trynhard posted 10/19/2013 06:13 AM

Showmetheway… I have read much about this and also been in therapy. I will share what I have learned am some thoughts. I come from this in more of a man's perspective.

Yes, your feelings are the normal for someone who was cheated on by her man and still not yet at a good peace and happiness. Just because your feelings are normal for a woman with your past, does not mean it is “right.” I know this is not normal for the happiest marriage couples. The sign.. you know it.

You are right to believe this is a sign to end your marriage. It is a sign. Or you can look at this as a sign to get a therapist who can help you get to a different place in your marriage. I read something like only 33% of all marriages are most happy. And sex is a key in that 33%. It is now your choice to decide if you want to stay in the place you are at or change it.

Infidelity is a sex killer. This goes back to the beginning of written time and is nothing new. It is a ten commandment for a reason wise men already figured out.

My bet is deep inside you have a most powerful sexuality to be released. You are a young woman and it is not gone. Oh yes, you would feel far different if the right man came into your life and brought that out. Oh yeh, you would likely be very sexual in the beginning of a new relationship what is called the romance phase. You make a choice to end your M, and you do things to make yourself available, you will have those feelings again.

I know this.. You are in a most difficult problem.

I have found not many men know how to bring his woman’s sexuality out after the romance phase ends in the relationship. It takes a special man after infidelity to understand and execute all the things he needs to be doing to get you back to the feelings you sound like you miss and want. And many men I know who now, “know” what to do after they hurt someone this bad, are still unable to bring it out of his woman.

It depends on if that woman has disqualified her man in her mind unwilling, hurt so bad, unable to forgive.. and certain personality… It will not matter what he “does”.. his woman makes the choice to stay closed down. A woman who disqualified her man will keep him around for reasons... it seems mostly for security. Perhaps you are not this woman? Perhaps you want those feeling for the happiest relationship. Perhaps in the deepest part of your being.. Your H is now disqualified. And this is about you right?

I am pretty certain your H does not understand nor doing the things he really needs to be doing to bring your sexuality out. If he did know how to do this, you would not be feeing the things you feel.

Since your H did not leave you, this means he makes the choice to stay with you. He is still very attracted to you. It might be for promise made, to God, to you, your family, it might be for kids, security and it might be all the behaviors you do that are just enough to be attractive. All very valid attractions to stay married. But don’t you want real intimacy?

Your problem is this is his choice, his ignorance, his unknowing, not yours. You can only control the things you do.

I do believe you have the ability to lead him. If you really want the most happy M, You need to make this about YOU and not your H. You cannot fix your H, he must want to fix himself. And perhaps the things he has done so far are things he felt he needed to do to fix himself. Just making the choice to stop a sin is only a start. And to think a one hour a week IC or so is the fix might not be the fix.

First, you must know yourself what he needs to give you, in order for him to execute. It will take great strength by you. This is where a good therapist can help you. A therapist can help you change the current behaviors you have so you will lead your H into choices he will make on his own, so he will change his own behavior and be “that attractive”… so you then desire the most personal precious gifts with each other .. sex.

He may not want to change. Humans tend to stay in comfort, the same ole, repetition.. no change..

What you can control is you. You can make this about you. In fact, I will tell you if you want a healthy sex life, an intimate M (not just maintenance sex), then you must make this about you. Stop all thinking about fixing your H and fix you. It will be an attitude change by you which I think I read that quality in your post and willingness. You seem to have a strength about you.

Fixing you might bring some discomfort. It may take months. You need courage.. I think if you start searching in this direction a peace will come.

Menopausal? I do not doubt this might be chemical too. Yes, I know sex is chemical and I am weak understanding this part..

I am far better an understanding what a man must do.. A good man I know showed me this site for woman. It might be more about picking the right man but worth a look. Perhaps you start here..

Peace be with you and all the fine woman here..

[This message edited by trynhard at 6:23 AM, October 19th (Saturday)]

imagoodwitch posted 10/19/2013 06:38 AM

It has become my normal and I don't like it.

I like sex and the intimacy that goes with it, I just don't want it with my H.

It is a perfect storm of an A, looking back on my marriage before the A and realizing it was shit and hormones.

Before the A I accepted my H, after the A I don't.

Steelergal posted 10/19/2013 10:22 AM

It will be seven years tomorrow since D-day, and I feel exactly the same way. You are definitely not alone and even brought me out of lurkdom.

[This message edited by Steelergal at 10:25 AM, October 19th (Saturday)]

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