I feel like a closet heterosexual. I hide my sexuality at home because it is not welcome. So I have become this sexless creature hiding my true self. Also is it wrong to speak openly about being in a sexless marriage due to your partner. I feel I have few real friends because I have acquired many hang ups over the years - too unattractive; you bore people; you eat too loudly etc. Also I have to fake conversations when friends talk about sex and intimacy. But I realise I pretend so he can pretend to be interested in sex to the outside world. As long as I am married am I obliged to keep up the pretence? I have no idea why I am celibate because after he ran out of excuses for my failings he could only offer a shug of the shoulders. I think my life would be improved if I could be more honest with myself first and foremost. I got myself into a situation I could not have predicted but tried to make things work. There is nothing wrong with me. I like sex and I miss it. But I also missed out on intimacy.he created the situation and I messed up by having children with him. All of this I am not embarrassed about anymore. All of this has shaped who I am now and I like myself more and more. After all that ranty nonsense I am asking do I have to live as a closet heterosexual and do I have an obligation to keep up the lie? Any thoughts would be very welcome
Post by worksforme2 on May 20, 2021 8:00:26 GMT -5
This is a hard question to give a good answer as there are so many unknowns in your marriage. You stated you have children but not their ages so coming out so to speak involves more than just what will the effect be going forward? You should not have to hide your sexuality, especially in your own home. Back in my married days this wasn't an issue for me because my then W used to go to her asexual friends for reinforcement for her refusing behavior. So our friends knew the score, but the sympathy was for her having to endure my constant desires for intimacy. Toward the end I finally decided to drop the pretense of a marriage and took off my ring and distanced myself from her. I had also decided to start looking for intimacy outside the marriage. We divorced 1st so that didn't come about. The shrugging of shoulders speaks volumes to his disregard for you and the marriage. After 30 odd years of brushing off your needs he clearly figures you aren't going anywhere or doing anything that will rock the boat. Is he right? If it were me I would think in terms of a conversation about perhaps opening up the marriage along the lines of "don't ask, don't tell". If his ego and need for the tapestry of a marriage is really important for him he may be receptive since it will allow him to keep the façade of a happy union in front of friends and peers. A conversation might get you the answers you need if you are open to that idea, while staying in the marriage at least until the kids are out of the nest. You know him better than anyone here. And if you have done much reading here you should also know the only 3 options that are open to you. The question and decision for you is which one will you choose.
Your question Sister mishy - "I am asking do I have to live as a closet heterosexual and do I have an obligation to keep up the lie?"
I think you already know the answer to this question, based on where you say - "I think my life would be improved if I could be more honest with myself first and foremost".
I reckon that approach (being honest with oneself) is pretty much sound advice for us all in this group.
The thing is however, that doing this (being honest with oneself) is bloody hard work, very challenging and painful. There is not much in the way of instant gratification or immediate pay off in going down this path. The rewards / consequences emerge incrementally bit by bit. It's a long term process.
Good luck with your process Sister mishy .... it will really test you. Sometimes a therapist / mentor for you could be very valuable.
I feel like a closet heterosexual. I hide my sexuality at home because it is not welcome. So I have become this sexless creature hiding my true self.
Also is it wrong to speak openly about being in a sexless marriage due to your partner?
... I have to fake conversations when friends talk about sex and intimacy. But I realise I pretend so he can pretend to be interested in sex to the outside world. As long as I am married am I obliged to keep up the pretense? ... I like sex and I miss it. But I also missed out on intimacy. he created the situation and I messed up by having children with him.
All of this I am not embarrassed about anymore. All of this has shaped who I am now and I like myself more and more. After all that ranty nonsense, I am asking: do I have to live as a closet heterosexual and do I have an obligation to keep up the lie?
How bad does he want the appearance of a wholesome 50's style marriage? Enough to tolerate a FWB for you?
I have shared my frustration with my wife with other people over non-sexual things and it was counterproductive. I'd wager sexual matters would be no better. It gets the spouse angry with you, which may produce desire for defiance. An effort to avoid control. Controlling a refuser's behavior is often viewed as a non-starter at this forum.
Were you to get a discreet FWB, he could retain his dearly beloved public perception, you could tell the truth when you share in naughty innuendo about how spicy your sex life is, and perhaps little else changes.
But do you want more than just the sex to change? "I messed up by having children with him." If that's fully literal, I have a friend who is a working mom who tells me she's terrible at motherhood. She embraces that truth. Men who aren't enthusiastic fathers are not judged, yet the double standard applies. Perhaps you meant nothing by it. Being stuck with a refuser can feel like punishment. Being trapped by commitment to children can be yet more imprisonment. If you had visions of your future that seem out of reach, this may be more of that self-honesty you spoke of. Before any further commentary, I'll see if I'm off on a tangent that doesn't actually apply.
My children are the best part of my life. Being their mother has been a joyful experience. I just meant that I felt I had to keep us as a family unit under the same roof. That was my choice. Posting on this forum and being able to be truly honest about myself and my life feels like a huge leap forward. I am not looking for solutions as such, I want to become more of myself more of the time. Right now this is enough. Its fantastic to read and hear from people who know how such a seemingly small thing (so people say) can be so devastating and soul destroying.
Post by northstarmom on May 22, 2021 12:10:23 GMT -5
What saved me was therapy with a woman therapist whom I was comfortable with and who accepted my concerns about my lack of sexual and other intimacy in my marriage. While I didn't enter the therapy thinking it would enable me to divorce, over the several years of therapy, I became increasingly independent of my husband and more welcoming of my own personality and desires. Finally, I realized that my marriage didn't offer me the things that I felt were important. The things I loved about me and valued about me were things that my husband didn't value. We were not compatible. I talked to a lawyer to find out how divorce would shake out for me, and I was relieved to learn that in my state, Florida, a spouse in a long-term marriage (10 or more years) is entitled to half of all assets and debts acquired in the marriage. That was a relief. I had been married 34 years and was 60 when I divorced. However, I was at the point of being willing to live in a rented room as the price of getting out of a marriage that had become only misery to me. (I didn't have to do that. I am now living a comfortable life with my post SM partner. Even if I'd never had a romantic partner again and had had to live more economically, I'd still prefer that existence than remaining in my dream house with my ex). I have never - not one time - regretted my divorce. And, when I finally opened up to my friends about how I had gone 8 years without sex in my marriage, my friends wondered why it had taken me so long to divorce. I wish I'd earlier shared my situation with them. By telling them the truth about my marriage, I learned that sex is not something that my friends regard as trivial. I also learned that my friends weren't as admiring of my husband as I'd thought.
Therapy is my next step. I clearly have many issues to work through most but not all relating to my marriage. I am 52 and I haven't had sex since 2007. I am interested in working how that has been acceptable to me. Despite the lies and manipulations I wish I had been stronger. But I am also so bored of myself and this situation. He won't/can't change so I can only control my space. I know the options and I am not about to leave tomorrow, maybe I never will. So the search for a therapist starts in the morning 😊
Post by worksforme2 on May 23, 2021 18:44:54 GMT -5
mishy....your original post ask several question leading me to believe you were seeking possible guidance going forward. Seems that is not the case. Knowing your age now I'm guessing the kids are grown and probably out of the nest so it is just you and your H. You are correct that the only person you can control is you. Moving forward in a SM often involves the services of a therapist. Your seeking out one is a good start toward regaining the control that you need to live life on your own terms. Good luck.
I think I was looking for guidance. But sharing my story, reading the replies and other threads I have decided I need to do something to become unstuck. I need to have 'the talk' again to let him know know where I am at. He always gets angry and defensive so it's something I have to build up to. Reading this site has helped me see I do something to offset the pain and loneliness of a sm. I don't have everything figured out, any and all advice is still welcome
See a lawyer in your jurisdiction to establish how a divorce would shake out for you - theoretically. From within that legal framework, start putting together a - theoretical - exit strategy. Shore up your support network to help you through such a scenario should it arise. Research everything you can find about shepherding your kids through such an event.
None of this commits you to anything. It is simply you getting some facts. You might act on them, you might not. It is information any married persons need (whether the marriage is great or awful) because ALL marriages end from divorce or death.
With this knowledge, you can conduct "The Talk" from a position of knowledge and confidence.
So my suggestion is to diligently do your information gathering, and don't attempt "The Talk" until you are prepared.
Post by northstarmom on May 25, 2021 15:01:11 GMT -5
mishy, and do keep in mind that even if you decide to never divorce, your husband may choose to divorce you for reasons of his own. When I finally asked for a divorce, it became clear that my husband had deliberately been distancing himself from me because he wanted our marriage to be over. He wanted to live overseas. He also thought he had fathered a child overseas and had been paying child support for 2 years. (It ended up the child wasn't his....)
I visited 4 therapists over a decade and all of them suggested I stay in the M and try to make it work. They are supposed to put information in front of you and you make the decision. Then I went to a therapist when I told my H I would be stepping out of the M for sex. She said my M would not work and I was opening a can of worms. I gently guided my own marriage with books and 2 mentors that showed me how to open a M properly and ethically. I did the best when I told him to accept that I needed a sex life and I accepted that he did not. I started marriage building with some of the concepts from marriage builders, Divorce busters and books when he flew off the handle. I was forcing him to accept it or leave but I could no longer be in a chastity belt.
Any content is not advice to be followed by a user of the website. You should always seek the advice of a qualified health professional.
You have to honest with yourself first Mishy. Are you happy with who you are as a person? If you are happy with who you are, but not the life you are living, then you need to find out what is causing that unhappiness and whether it is fixable without making some drastic changes (divorce, etc.). For example, if you are happy with who you are as a person (or are working on counseling to get there), then you have to look at the rest of the things around you. Most of us are here because we are in various levels of unhappiness related to a sexless marriage. If you have had that discussion with your partner and they are putting all the causes of the sexless marriage on you, you need to assess whether any of the blame is warranted (Maybe you work too much, maybe your hormones are out of whack and it is impacting your desire, maybe you aren't emotionally connected with your partner, etc.), and if it is, do the work you can to fix it on your end. If you do so, you may quickly discover you aren't the issue or cause of the sexless marriage at all.
I spent 4 1/2 years in marital counseling with my soon to be ex-wife (at her request) and working on what I needed to do for myself to be a better person (work less, connect more with my kids, try to be there for my spouse, be emotionally available, etc.) In the end, I did all of those things for myself and feel much more in-touch with who I am as a person, but ironically I didn't feel like marital counseling was actually working and my relationship with my wife got way worse. Despite over four years of counseling and knowing I was a physical touch and words of affirmation guy, she chose to show no affection and would nit pick and criticize every little thing I did. I honestly couldn't remember the last time she gave me a compliment. We went six years without having sex because she refused it and avoided it. I finally started seeing a different marriage counselor on my own who suggested a different course of action. I raised this course of action with my wife and asked her to go see my new counselor with me and she refused and called me "broken".
I decided that was the last straw and that I wasn't going to live in an unhappy, sexless marriage as a roommate for the rest of my life and give up on physical intimacy. Sex and intimacy and passion are too important to my happiness. In addition, what kind of message were we sending to our kids by sleeping in separate rooms and never kissing, hugging, etc. They needed to see that that wasn't a normal, loving relationship as I don't want them to ever end up in this situation. Interesting side stat from a management seminar I attended a few days ago - On average happy people live 9 years longer than unhappy people and make $750,000 more in their lifetimes. I'd rather be happy and divorced rather than unhappy and sexless. I'll live longer and have less stress in my life.
I can honestly say that although going through a divorce is a pain in the ass, you will be amazed when you find someone who loves and values you for exactly who you are and doesn't want you to change, AT ALL! You may, in fact, learn there's absolutely nothing wrong with you at all and that your sexless marriage is because of your husband. I happened to reconnect with someone from my distant past after I filed for divorce and it's been truly awesome. She is amazing and everything that has been missing from my life. We have no walls from either other and can talk about anything and everything 100% honestly, including anything sexual/intimate you can imagine (likes, dislikes, fantasies, positions, fetishes, masterbation, porn, toys, fears, hopes, aspirations, bucket lists, retirement, etc.). I can't even describe how refreshing this openness and honesty is. I never had this level of communication and trust with my soon to be ex-wife and this has opened our eyes to a whole new level of intimacy that neither one of us has ever had with anyone else. We discover new things about ourselves regularly, which is really cool. My special friend actually calls me her "unicorn" - her definition of me as sexy, smart, successful, driven, emotionally available and unlike any other man she's ever been with. I love that I can be that for her and that she can be that person for me. We are going to have an amazing and adventurous life together, including a passionate and intimate love/sex life. Man have I missed sex!!!
I tell you all of this because there is absolutely hope for you, but sometimes it is going to require some painful and deep soul searching to see whether the relationship you are currently in is really the right one for you and the one that is going to make you happy for the rest of your life. I was in mine for 20+ years, but ultimately decided I needed to walk away from it for my own health and well being. Interestingly enough, a few days after I filed for divorce, I actually got multiple calls from members of her family confessing to me that they've never agreed with how she treated me and wishing me the best for my new life. Crazy right? Her own family! That's one of the signs that I know it was the right thing to do in order to live the rest of my life happy.
Sometimes you have to walk through that dark tunnel to find the light at the end, and ultimately, happiness...
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