Post by dawgxl on Feb 22, 2023 9:41:12 GMT -5
I am new to this forum. I apologize if there is already a thread like this. My wife and I.. our marriage became sexless almost immediately. I never ignored it.. I asked her what she needed from me, I asked her if I was the problem… I let her know how much I was hurting, and after a few years she finally confided in me that she didn’t grow up in a house hold where there was ever any affection of any sort and she thought that is why she has little to no desire for sex. I realized then that I needed to make a choice… and I chose to stay because I loved her and she’s my wife and I loved her more than I missed sex… even though I missed it terribly.
Then she cheated on me. For three months ten years ago she cheated on me with a coworker. The confusion I felt… nothing made sense. It was literally the darkest moments of my life. We entered counseling, and things got better. The year following me finding out she was having an affair.. that was the only year of our marriage that we had a normal sex life and I could really see that she was REALLY enjoying sex. Maybe I’m foolish and she was just thinking of him.
After that year… up to today, we are again in a sexless marriage… and so much just does not make sense to me. If she is not interested in sex, why did she have an affair… is she simply not attracted to me in the slightest and she loves me too much to admit that to me.
She desires sex about once a month to two months… but even then it feels more like she’s doing maintenance. The only time she seems to really be into it is if she is intoxicated.
I guess my question is.. is anyone else in the same boat as me… in a sexless marriage… but then your partner/spouse who is the one in the relationship who doesn’t want sex had an affair.
I struggle so much. So, so much.
Post by northstarmom on Feb 22, 2023 11:38:20 GMT -5
Yes many here have experienced that, including me.After 34 years of marriage, the last 8 years of which and at least 5 others were completely sexless, it ended up my husband (then 61) thought he'd fathered a child 2 years ago. We divorced (I filed) and I'm now with a man who is sexually attracted to me. Just because your spouse isn't sexually attracted to you doesn't mean other women won't be.
It's important to recognize that a partner who doesn't like sex may simply be sexually incompatible with you. They even may think that they don't like sex in general but may find that they do like sex when they meet someone whom they are sexually attracted to. Also, some people choose partners based only on personality, finances, values, and/or interest in having a family. People may do this because they have been taught to not choose a partner based on sexual attraction. However, while it's unwise to chose a spouse based only on sexual attraction, for people who like sex - it's important to also pick a partner who is sexually compatible with you. Making such a selection may be hard for people who are sexually inexperienced or who were taught to ignore their own sexual feelings.
In advice columns, I've seen many people -- particularly women -- post about considering marrying a man who's a good friend, potentially good provider and good future husband/parent, but the women have no sexual feelings for them. Sometimes the women's friends and family are urging her to marry him because he's a "good catch" or because her biological clock is running out.
There also are men who think that women who love sex are whores to only cat around with. Such men can think that a woman who dislikes sex or withholds sex before marriage is the type of woman to marry, and then the men get upset when their wife isn't interested in sex despite being married.
Post by Apocrypha on Feb 22, 2023 13:31:32 GMT -5
I was in that situation.
Initially, for several years, she pursued me romantically. I was eventually won completely over and invested in a fulsome relationship (she was my best friend).
Sex dropped off immediately, starting with the wedding night, then further with our first pregnancy and child-rearing years, further, with a house purchase, and flatlined with the second pregnancy. Other intimacy disappeared as well, and then she began picking fights. Same thing as you - complained she had no sex drive, a mismatch, and an ever shuffling deck of relationship/life issues that anyone has, with each one presented for me to solve, only to be replaced by the next one. Especially during counselling, I got to be exceedingly good at addressing her issues, including adapting my own behavior dramatically.
I later discovered she'd been having a months long affair with a co-worker (hotels, outings). And that she'd kissed yet another co-worker.
And that she'd been having an affair with a third co-worker at the time we got engaged, some 13 years earlier.
Those are the ones I know about.
We have now been separated for maybe 7-8 years and I've had time to reflect. Maybe something in what I came to believe will help you sort yourself out.
I came to realize that almost every significant reduction in intimacy (of all kinds) coincided with a significant investment in the relationship and the closing of other options. Mrs Apocrypha is a very "conflict averse" person, and wages her wars passively. She will agree to something in a moment or even suggest it, but if her heart isn't in it, she will passively ruin it through inattention, carelessness or outright sabotage and then blame others for becoming upset. She will suggest things independently that she doesn't want, in the service of what she sees as helpful, only to extract a cost later on in some other way.
I think she said "yes" to getting married when she didn't want to be married to me. So, the marriage became a prison to her and me, the jailor. I have mountains of clues pointing to this, from her actual words when I proposed, "Why not?" to the written copy of her bridal speech, in which she and her maid of honour both go on at length as to how getting married had never been in her plan (I thought, and likely it was intended as a compliment to me, or at least a "life's like that" realization). I recall multiple instances during the engagement and even on our honeymoon when she raised the topic of chucking her whole life and moving to another country for months to years on end, and if I thought I could handle that (I said no). I note that the intimacy dwindled and ultimately collapsed with every marker of permanent investment in the relationship, starting at the wedding, then house, moving, babies. It wasn't gradual, but stepped.
In short, we had a wedding ceremony, but she never joined me in what I or even "we" would have agreed is a marriage.
I invested in the relationship and our lives together, but her priority became in establishing unilateral independence.
I can see this all very plainly in hindsight, but when I was in it, I was not able to connect the dots. Or, maybe not courageous enough to push her to define the feelings behind it.
What became clear from before the marriage and after it, and during it - was that despite clinging to the "mismatched libido" nonsense, she had a very robust and adventurous sex life. It may be that exercising that sexual adventure was important to her defining herself in opposition to her associations as a married woman. While I was objectively good, giving, and game, I was simply not someone she wanted to have sex with while within the circumstance of marriage. It shouldn't have happened - she shouldn't have said yes, and in the engagement I should have tested what we had and whether she really wanted that with me, and let the consequences fall from the truth.
Once I came to this irrevocable realization (seems so obvious and simple in hindsight), I was able shift my perspective from solving the problem of sex (by making myself into whatever seemed to catch her muse), and instead anchor on the true nature of our relationship - which was something much less than a marriage and more akin to co-habitors or ex-spouse co-parents. I did not have a sexual relationship with that woman, and we would all feel better if we just dropped the pretense and proceeded from truth rather than my fantasy.
Post by baza on Feb 22, 2023 22:38:07 GMT -5
Quoting you here Brother dawgxl
..."I guess my question is.. is anyone else in the same boat as me… in a sexless marriage… but then your partner/spouse who is the one in the relationship who doesn’t want sex had an affair."
I'd bet good money that within the membership others have in the past, and maybe even now will have had this experience you have posted.
is probably the resident expert in this area of ILIASM so it might be smart to read his assorted posts on this (and other) issues.
Anyway, we all arrive here along our individual path to ILIASM.
And from there we all start even with each other,
The roads IN to ILIASM vary.
The road OUT of ILIASM is far more limited and difficult. There are 3 options ...
1 - You stay in your ILIASM deal
2 - You cheat (outsource, open the marriage in some form)
3 - You leave
They are all perfectly legitimate choices (and ALL horrendously difficult i their own way).
A lot of reading in here is what I'd suggest Brother dawgxl
Find your feet in the group, use what you find useful.