I strongly suspect my wife is an asexual. I've done some reading, and am not sure i really understand. There doesn't seem to be a set definition as the term can cover quite a spectrum of behaviors. From what I have been able to gather, she ticks just about all the boxes.
I'm sure if I brought my theory to my wife, it would not go over well. That would mean she is not "normal," and not fit her world view. Yet, such a realization could be crucial to understanding the problem and may even lead to a solution (even if that solution is to separate).
Any ideas on how the subject could be approached? I can't think of any way where it isn't coming across as a negative judgement or accusation (probably because I'm so fed up with the situation that it would be an accusation).
Or maybe I'm just pissing into the wind. It's one of those days.
It's very difficult to change patterns which have been steeping and stewing for 30 years. All the more so if you are concerned about offending her by merely starting a conversation regarding her sexual aversion and your frustration by her behavior.
In reading your past posts, I see that you haven't chatted about your sexual dearth for 15-ish years. Based on what I've read and observed, I imagine she is desperately hoping you never raise the subject again.
I suggest you start by thinking not about whether she's "asexual" but rather about whether you are ready to separate or divorce if your wife refuses to get whatever help is needed to try to change her behavior. If you're not willing to put the marriage on the line, I would question whether you should bother talking with her at all. There's virtually no chance she'll even attempt to change behaviors which you've tolerated for so many years without extreme pressure-like your threatening to leave.
Even then, odds are she may not want to change or be able to change. And you may find you really don't even want her sexually upon considering it's so distasteful or difficult for her to have a sexual relationship with you that you must threaten her with divorce to motivate her to try to change.
But if you decide you still want to talk, I would avoid blurting out anything like "Honey, are you asexual?" I'd leave diagnosing and labeling up to healthcare pros.
Who cares if she's certifiably asexual, has low estrogen levels, has vaginal atrophy and sex is now painful, if she's clinically depressed and tired, if she's sexually repressed due to negative messages she received about sex as a child and never got over it but put up with sex when she was young because she wanted kids and/or felt she had to do it in order to hook you into marriage? The result is the same. No sex! Or almost none. You're miserable. She apparently is not.
I'd suggest saying something like this:
"Sweetheart, I love you. But you know, we never have sex (or almost never) these days, and I really feel sad about that. I love you, but I feel horribly lonely in this marriage because we don't have sex. I just can't cope with it any more. I need for you to visit a therapist with me so we can talk about how to improve things."
If she resists: "Honey, I've thought about this for a long time. We've talked in the past, but things didn't improve. I love you, and I thought our marriage would the one place where I expressed my love and sexuality. I can't do that without your help. If you disagree, I don't see how our marriage can continue."
There you go. Not easy. But not impossible.
Please forgive any typos or poor sentence structure. As I often say, you can have it perfect or you can have it now. Here, I choose now.
If she is not the one googling "asexuality" or asking her friends/family/doctors about why she has no sexual interest your fantasy of her hearing that she is abnormal and rushing out to fix the issue is highly unlikely. I think you are holding onto a false and painful hope that if you present the informtion is just the right way she will have a light bulb go on and everything will change. I am no oracle but I feel 100% confident this is NOT going to happen.
How would you sort out whether she is aesexual from the possibility that she finds herself married to someone who she does not see as a sexual partner?
Did she also not seek intimacy prior to being married to you?
If that's the case, the bigger questions are "How did the two of you envision marriage when you agreed to marry? Was it household management or did it include a sexual relationship?"
If she's "aesexual", what consideration does this data point present?
If she isn't aesexual, but merely doesn't want to have sex with you (a point you already know, as evidenced by ample opportunity and a high potential cost/consequence), how does this change the result?
As baza has pointed out, the "why" doesn't matter. I have wasted years trying to do my own investigating, thinking surely I would eventually solve the mystery and "fix" my W, thusly fixing the SM. But no matter how long you wander around with that proverbial magnifying glass, there are no clues to find. Our refusers simply don't want to have sex with us. Now, if your refuser approaches you and says, "Hey, I am aware this is an issue, and I want to fix it", then it's time to play Perry Mason. But barring any interest on their part, I fear it's a waste of energy.
Damn, certainly no punches pulled here. Not that I expected any less. Thanks for the honesty.
The one thing I would disagree on is whether the "why" matters. I matters to ME. That's just how I'm built - I need to know why.
Having an exit plan... I read you all loud and clear. Both here and in many other threads. I just can't see myself doing it. I know... I know... just being honest about it.
Some years back I started to make a plan. Looked at apartments, had my ducks in a row - lot's of prep work. Some major life events sidetracked those plans. By the time I should have revisited all that, I was too burned out to make the effort.
Am I looking for vindication? Something to pin the blame on her and have her admit it? Sure. But I have no illusions that getting to a "why" will in any way fix her behavior. That's not my goal. What it WILL do is give me some piece of mind, a closure of sorts. Best case scenario, it will give me whatever justification I personally need to actually change my circumstances. That may be a stretch, but I know nothing is going to change (e.g. me making an exit plan) with the status quo.
Maybe suggesting therapy (as mentioned by saarinista) is a good way to go. Again, I'm not expected behavior to change after all these years. But it may provide me the answers I need to either better deal with my situation, or find the strength to change it. My problem with the therapy route is two-fold. First, I have always felt psychologists are all a bunch of witch-doctor charlatans who have no clue what they are doing. Interestingly, a close friend is a psychologist and he recently told me I am very close to correct in this belief. Second, I have run the scenarios in my head, and am not sure I can trust what I would say in a therapy session. There's quite a bit that's been bottled up for quite a while.
FWIW - I'm not afraid of offending her. I just know how discussions on any hot topic go. When I come on too strong she shuts down and there is no more conversation. saarinista is 100% correct - she is hoping I never bring up the subject again. But that goes for ANY subject that would involve some type of confrontation. She desperately avoids confrontation, and I don't help because I always come on too strong.
I guess I knew the responses before I posted. You are all right. I have to find a way to come to terms with the inevitable.
Some "why chasing" is unavoidable Brother apathetic .... but it is probably not something to make a career out of like I did back in the day.
You see, if your missus wants the marriage to continue as it is, then it is NOT in your missus' best interests for you to find out what the "why" is. She has a vested interest in you not finding out what the "why" is.
So if, in your thinking, you need to find out the "why" to get closure on the situation, your missus is best served to make sure you never find thew "why". Or, if you DO find the "why" the smart play for her is to deny that that is the "why".
Suggestion - Run the clock on it. Give yourself an arbitary date ..... Chase "whys" to your hearts content up until that date. Then on that date cease the "why chasing" - and start getting your exit plans firmed up and do-able.
The reason I "why" chase is a to find evidence that the SM isn't all my fault (I was raised in a home where having a penis made you guilty and a bad person, thanks Mom). If the why is that she is asexual, then it would be like being married to a lesbian. She would naturally not be interested in being physical with me, and would only want the emotional connection. My wife loves me getting her off, giving her massages, and other physical contact, but doesn't want intercourse, nor does she have much interest in getting me to climax. She was always into the romantic fantasy of sex, but being a virgin had no experience with the real thing.
I'll stop here as I can describe this issue all day.
If she were a closeted asexual, then it wouldn't be me specifically being rejected, but rather just something she has no interest in with anyone. Wouldn't be her intentionally rejecting me, but rather an asexual marrying a sexual not knowing she was asexual.
Northstarmom Tyler74: your sm is your fault. You chose to marry .......
I don't know about you NSM, but in my youth, not having ex before marriage was pushed so much that if you did have sex on a regular basis, you were considered slightly deviant. I know times have changed so sex before marriage is the norm.
Several other ILIASM members have indicate no or little sex before marriage was their norm many years ago. It was the gold standard for many people because that is what society sort of dictated.
Now that we know no sex before marriage does not lead to the magic that was once promoted as the "right way" and the "magic would happen" once married, more sexual activity happens before marriage.
Choosing to stay married, that part rests on its own merits and problems or solutions. It can be a difficult choice depending on a lot of things and can become "the tail wagging the dog" in my opinion.
This the "Shoutbox" -- basically a site-wide, group chat. (It's only visible to members.)
petrushka: Thank you! Had a great party with the boardgamers group (and BBQ, cakes and cards!)
Jan 18, 2020 20:14:00 GMT -5
misssunnybunny: You're welcome! Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate
Jan 18, 2020 22:10:28 GMT -5
frednsa: yaaaaiiiiiieeeeoooooouuuuuuuuuueeeeeeeekkkkkkkkk ! OK, if feel better now.....
Feb 29, 2020 18:14:01 GMT -5
petrushka: Glad you got that off your chest ;-)
Mar 6, 2020 23:35:38 GMT -5
worksforme2: It is a sad day here in my small town, the only cinema has closed...it's probably close to 30 miles to get to one now...
Mar 7, 2020 19:48:28 GMT -5
worksforme2: Since our esteemed governor has declared a state of emergency here in NC (a total of 12 cases so far) the hording of toilet paper has begun. Is diarrhea a part of covid 19? I see Lowes and Home Depot have quick install toilet retro fit bidets.
Mar 13, 2020 10:34:57 GMT -5
petrushka: I've no idea what it is with the toilet paper hoarding. I walked out of a supermarket yesterday and saw a woman with the jumbo sized trolley and some 4x 18 roll packs of toilet paper. Nuts. Completely nuts. Incidentally, a bidet is definitely the way to go
Mar 14, 2020 6:18:43 GMT -5
petrushka: Even her little 5 or 6 year old was questioning her purchase!
Mar 14, 2020 6:25:44 GMT -5
petrushka: One of my favourite quotes for the last 30 years: "don't ever look a sheep in the eyes, the intellectual vacuum may suck your brains out". Well, let's all drink to the sheeple! (besides, alcohol is a good disinfectant).
Mar 14, 2020 6:31:26 GMT -5
frednsa: so...............i'd like to tell her when she "attempts to placate me": have you ever been invited to a party where you knew for certain that you WEREN'T wanted ?
Mar 19, 2020 15:57:05 GMT -5
worksforme2: Former Miss Hawaii tests positive. Being the gallant lad that I am I have offered her the use of my guest bedroom to "shelter in place"..
Mar 23, 2020 20:34:21 GMT -5
worksforme2: Hey tamara68, there is a covid19 positive cat in Belgium, watch out for it.
Mar 30, 2020 14:05:56 GMT -5
tamara68: @worksforme I think I have to be more careful for all infected people. Most likely I already have Covid19
Apr 1, 2020 3:29:42 GMT -5
worksforme2: tamara68.....it's been a couple weeks since you posted you may have the covid19 virus. hopefully you are feeling better and are on your way to renewed health
Apr 11, 2020 5:31:38 GMT -5
tamara68: @worksforme thanks, yes I am feeling better. How is it in the USA?
Apr 14, 2020 1:57:26 GMT -5
worksforme2: some better and some worse,..virus seems to be slowing down, but people are beginning to refuse to stay inside,...worst thing I see is Biden leading in the election poles,...but that could be fake news
Apr 20, 2020 16:56:22 GMT -5
mirrororchid: Politics? Is that what we want to happen here?
Apr 21, 2020 6:21:24 GMT -5
petrushka: Certainly not American style politics. Toxic echo chambers.
Apr 23, 2020 16:21:52 GMT -5
petrushka: However, I feel that sexual politics, including political moves that impact the relationships between gender (misogynist, misandrist, etc) definitely deserve room in this context.
Apr 23, 2020 16:22:59 GMT -5
fred: just calculated that i've spent somewhere near 19,000 days (& nights) as a "rejectee".AND that allows for 2,000+ days (& nights) on business travel apart from her. i've chosen to "stay" .....would never do that again, and can't as you see doing the math
May 15, 2020 18:01:15 GMT -5