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smez posted 1/14/2014 13:59 PM

*Please only respond if you have experienced a sexless marriage (6 months or more) due to either lack of desire or a physical issue*.

My husband has a physical problem. One that was not caught until after DDay and after I threatened divorce. It has been treated with medication but he still needs intensive therapy on his own sexual desires. Our therapist recommend someone who specializes in this issue. He saw her once and refused to go back (before his diagnosis). I accept that he has a problem and he accepts that I have a problem.

My question is as follows: How do you deal with the loss of sex?

If I stay with a wonderful, caring man who is an amazing father but has intimacy issues, I am giving up a fulfilling sex life.

It is the part that I am having the hardest time reconciling. I love my husband but I HATE our sex life.

As a PS: Before you post a long diatribe about if I just really threw myself into sex and tried to understand what turned him on...Just stop!...There is NOTHING sexually that I have not offered or tried to get him excited or a reaction. You want to feel shame...I feel more shame at having to whore myself to my own husband and STILL not getting a reaction to any sex I have had with my A.

Jovie posted 1/14/2014 14:10 PM

I haven't had to deal with this since DDay, so not exactly in your position, but I empathize.

Since his diagnosis, what does your H propose you do as a couple to resolve the issue? This shouldn't be a problem you are left to deal with and figure out on your own. And if he doesn't have any kind of solution to offer, have you discussed it in MC?

smez posted 1/14/2014 14:18 PM

My husband just shrugged it off and said..."It is what it is". He hasn't really dealt with the core issues. In MC, I made myself clear. These aren't issues for MC. It's an issue for IC and he isn't that interested. And why should he be...he has a highly sexually (totally lying, cheating wife) that is amazing in bed and will do what it takes to get the job done when I feel desperate. He funny enough said our sex life was AMAZING...I felt like punching him in the face and told him so.

You can't (and excuse my French) masturbate these feelings away and at the same time you don't throw away a 12 year relationship if this is the only issue and you have a child. I feel torn.

Joanh posted 1/14/2014 14:22 PM

Please accept these questions and ideas as serious, I know your time here so far has been a bit rocky.

Sorry, If to graffic I'm sorry.

First off, is it intimacy issues with you because of the affair(during and after) or is it with himself as well. I mean can he aroused looking at porn or fantasizing. this would make a difference.

If its physical, I guess, Might want to look at what people that are paralyzed waist down might do, toys etc?

If its psychological he will need professional help and some really great understanding where it stems from.

And for a man this is very damaging on their mind and self esteem, it almost killed our chance of reconciling. Cause it affects them and us.

AS to what choice you can make , well have you read the book his needs , her needs. It looks like for you physical touch is very important , only you can decide if toys and personal satisfaction with or without you BH is enough.

Not sure that helps, and you may have already looked at this.

longroadhome posted 1/14/2014 14:23 PM

Without going into detail, I can relate.

Here's the deal, smez. You had an A. Its possible that your H is unable to get past seeing you as "contaminated." It happens. Maybe it goes away on its own, maybe it doesn't. That doesnt mean you have to humiliate yourself. Bring it up in conversation and encourage him to do what he needs to overcome this.

The only thing that you couid do to change this for him is go back in time and undo your A. If you figure that out, please post instructions. In the meantime, keep working on you and give him whatever help he asks for.

You have to let time do some of the work. Good luck.

smez posted 1/14/2014 14:32 PM

Thanks Joanh,

I appreciate the light touch to your questions.
He has a physical issue. He has an obscure problem that was only found out through a very through exam by a doctor who specialized in these issues. The symptoms are impotency (meaning having a very hard time maintaining an erection), lack of sexual desire, infertility (this is a big one for us as we struggled to have a baby and he placed a lot of the blame on me when really it was him), lactation in the breast. Its a very weird thing but it's been going on for 12 years and finally got diagnosed.

Is he still having issues with my A? Probably but not in a sexual sense. We spent 12 years where I performed circus tricks in the bedroom trying to maintain a normal sex life. I think he is lazy and is soooo use to that...he had no idea what really makes me tick. We have had many conversations about the art of seduction and that I need to be seduced as well. He read some pretty explicit emails between myself and the A. We have talked about the fact that my desires for one partner aren't the same for another. He needs to figure out what works for us. I can get him off with my eyes closed and half asleep but he would not even know where to start. The affair was had for a lot of different reasons but the sex...

smez posted 1/14/2014 14:37 PM

And longroadhome,

Your comment made me laugh (in a good way)...I was far more contaminated before I EVER had an affair. I was very upfront with my husband about my "colorful" and fun past. He had no illusions about who he was marrying.

longroadhome posted 1/14/2014 14:42 PM

It has been treated with medication but he still needs intensive therapy on his own sexual desires.

Sorry if I misunderstood. This quote from you led me to believe that the medical issue was resolved and now there's a lingering psych issue. That the direction I was headed in my previous post.

smez posted 1/14/2014 14:48 PM


No offense taken. Getting a boner is only half the battle. He can get one now but knowing what to do with it is whole another story. It's hard to undo 12 years of a certain sexual style with a partner.

MissesJai posted 1/14/2014 16:44 PM


[This message edited by MissesJai at 4:45 PM, January 14th (Tuesday)]

TemptedOne posted 1/14/2014 19:46 PM

You're right about not being able to "masturbate this problem away". I've been dealing with disinterest and refusal for over 20 years, and masturbating doesn't help the emotional cravings. I feel your frustration and pain. I've lived it. I still live it. For me, in the end, I made a conscious decision that I'd rather have the 90% good that she is and try to ignore or find a way to deal with the 10% that's bad.

DanteJace posted 1/15/2014 17:13 PM

Yes, I'm dealing with issues of a sexless marriage.

If your definition of "sexless marriage" is "6 months or more without", then I can count: the first part of 2011, the last part of 2011, the first part of 2012, the last part of 2012, and the middle of 2013. Oh, and I'm pretty sure the middle part of 2010, also. Back before that, I can't even remember any more.

It is the part that I am having the hardest time reconciling. I love my [spouse] but I HATE our sex life.
I'm in the same boat, pretty much. Have been since before my affair, and in the seven years since. Except note that I'm in that boat even WITHOUT the affair being disclosed.

Of course the reasons aren't as simple as "it's all her fault"... but, admittedly, sometimes I really like to think so. Then again, sometimes I internalize it and admit "ok, ok, it is mostly my fault". I won't go in to my full story here; won't really help much.

But I'm definitely struggling with this.

When we did go to marriage counseling (about a year after my affair was over), I tried to be honest about these lack-of-sex issues. My rationale was: "if I have issues with not enough quantity and variety of sex, and if these being undiscussed and unresolved with her was a reason why I went wayward, then I owe it to her to try to address them now that we are in marriage counseling."

It TOTALLY backfired, and really really damaged us. Took years for her to let go of the sting of that one therapy session. (I rather blame the therapist for driving us full speed right off that cliff. What a mess.)

Ever since, I've just resigned myself to getting rather little. I've totally lost my appetite for "charity sex". (You know, when the spouse acts like, "alright, alright, just be quick"...)

[This message edited by DanteJace at 6:03 AM, January 16th (Thursday)]

GraceRunner posted 1/15/2014 23:02 PM

I don't live in a sexless marriage but I am going to respond because I can relate with a few things said and also I have some strong feelings on this issue.

I spent years in the bedroom "performing circus tricks". My BH chronically and habitually watched porn and masturbated. It took a lot of work to bring him to orgasm and I used a lot of techniques to make it happen. Many of those things started out as loving, happy acts but over time became just another tool that often led to frustration. So, we had plenty of sex, my BH was satisfied, but it has been empty and frustrating for me. I tried but ultimately did a crappy job of voicing my concerns and feelings. Instead I shoved those feelings down, positive nothing would change, and determined to focus on the positive aspects of our marriage. Besides the A it is the biggest single regret I have and one of the biggest ways I failed myself and let our marriage down.

I have given this a lot of thought and consideration. If marriage is a stool, the 3 main legs are (1) emotional, (2) spiritual, and (3) physical. They are all important and allowing one to be weak threatens the stability of the whole marriage, not just that one leg. If our partner refused to speak to the other, refused to have conversations that created an emotional connection, said "sorry, I don't enjoy talking" -- we would all recognize the strain this would put on a marriage. So why are we so quick to dismiss the strain that lack of sex, lack of physical connection and intimacy, puts on our marriage. It is just as important.

smez, I'm sorry for your feeling like you have to choose between a fulfilling sex life and a wonderful, caring man. However, I would argue about the caring part. He says your sex life is AMAZING but you HATE it. Have you been clear about this with him? If yes, and his response is "it is what it is", that is not caring. That is not caring about your needs and not caring about making your marriage stronger. I would encourage you to not give up on this issue and to not despair. Keep pushing the discussion and keep hope alive. I can't quite understand his physical condition you're describing but it's possible he's feeling embarrassed or depressed about his condition. But that is not an excuse for him to give up or to stop trying to connect with you.

[This message edited by GraceRunner at 11:06 PM, January 15th (Wednesday)]

dogg posted 1/17/2014 12:40 PM

I too am in a sexless marriage. If you read my "My story" thread you know. In a nut shell I got tired of always having to initiate sex and the "okay but hurry up I've got things to do". Or "why didn't you say something yesterday I don't have time". Like I should have made an appointment. What happened to the vows "to have and to hold". Don't get me wrong I take full blame for the horrible thing (the A) that I did to my W. But do these spouses have any idea how that makes us feel. She paid so little attention to me in and out of the bedroom. It made me feel like some worthless piece of crap. My AP desired me sexually, that was a big thrill for me. Someone actually wanted me. My W has no physical issues that we know of. Our marriage for the most part has been sexless for many years. I am a highly sexual person. Like someone mentioned after a while masturbating doesn't cut it.

smez posted 1/17/2014 12:45 PM


I like what you said about a three legged stool. It is a very apt analogy. Marriages do need to have all three and intimacy is major part of that.

The begging and asking for sex is an awful feeling as is the "Hurry up and get it done" attitude.

DanteJace posted 1/18/2014 23:11 PM

So, I wanted to add another reply, because I wanted to try to directly answer the question which my first reply didn't:

My question is as follows: How do you deal with the loss of sex?
So it sounds like I dabbled in all the same options as other posters (gyrations in the bedroom; attempting to do with less or go without; porn/masturbation; and, oh yeah, an affair).

But there is another one that I'm dealing with now. For the past two years or so, I've been engaging in a LOT of emotional eating. I've gained a substantial amount of weight. (It's bad: it is starting to impact my health.) But one perverse "benefit" is that I feel a lot less attractive, and therefore I seem more accepting of my wife's lack of interest in sex, AND I feel less likely that I'll stray again.

This is not a healthy coping mechanism: not for my physical health, my emotional health, or my marital health.

Anyone else dealing with this?

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