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Coming to Terms With My Sexless Marriage

I love my husband and the life he has made possible for us.  However, there is a side to our marriage kept hidden–a side almost no one is privy to. 

My husband is a lot of things to me: a friend, companion, provider, co-parent, and roommate.  He fulfills my need for stability and security.  This is a modern-day marriage of convenience, a partnership of collaboration.  We wanted to be parents, but being a single parent wasn’t as appealing as coming together to raise a child together.  For the most part, we have the same values and belief systems. We share the same enjoyment of parenthood and yet can appreciate the differences each of us contributes to our son’s upbringing. (Not to say we don’t ever fight about it; we disagree on a lot, as two independent-minded people do.) By combining our assets, we are able to make our lifestyle work and create a life that keeps us both comfortable and less stressed.  We are gaining financial independence and can afford things that on our own would be out of reach. 

While we never sat down and made a mutual decision that this is how it would be, it was an unspoken expectation . . . or so it seemed. I was naïve and thought the rest would fall into place.

Coming home and knowing there will always be someone there meets a most basic human need for connection.  I have a stressful job, coming home just to eat, shower, and sleep before doing it over for several nights in a row. Through all this, I have total confidence that he will take care of the rest and keep things humming along in my absence.  I extend the same courtesy to him.  I give him uninterrupted time after work to watch sports, play on his phone, or run an errand by himself when he needs it. 

As introverts, having each other around during family events and social outings takes a huge burden off of both of us.  He isn’t the greatest conversationalist; his thoughts and ideas are kept mostly to himself.  He is a private person, so pressuring him to talk will backfire.  Our conversations are far from deep and I still feel like I hardly scratched the surface of who my husband really is.  After 10 years, he has yet to tell me anything about his childhood, his travels abroad, his philosophy on life, where he sees himself in the future, or any other profound insights.

In public, my husband and I hold hands, hug, kiss, and look like most other couples.  At home, we show some (more subtle) affection in front of our son.  Mostly because we want him to be secure that his parents love each other. There is definitely more affection towards our son than towards each other. In all honesty, we love our son more than we love each other.   

Sounds great, right? Not quite.

My husband and I share no romance, no intimacy, and we are not lovers. 

This doesn’t mean we aren’t monogamous…we are.  This is, and always has been, a lot harder for me than for him.  I was always in relationships where the physical aspect was the best and easiest part.  Even going back to our dating days, sexuality didn’t seem to be on his radar at all.  There always seemed to be some stressful life event to attribute his low libido to.  On one occasion, I met him at my door in new lingerie, and his only comment was, “My favorite show is on.”  It was (and still is) a tough struggle when other guys showed interest in me. I miss being desired, and it was near impossible not to jump at the chance! 

Side note: Anyone want to take a guess at how hard making a baby is when your husband (who is not gay, and claims he is attracted to you) seems disgusted with the act?  Near impossible!  

There have been a couple of times where it got to be too much, and I got resentful and wanted to explore other options.  I gave him several options and ultimatums: separate our sex lives entirely, go to sex therapy, divorce, etc.  I couldn’t in good conscience cheat on him without his permission or knowledge.  If I was going to admit failure and go that route, then I needed everyone to be comfortable with it. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I needed something.

Something. 
Anything.  
I wasn’t happy. 

I needed to figure out what I wanted and what was important long-term for me and my soul.

my sexless marriage

Living in a marriage devoid of romance, passion, and intimacy has been a slow process of acceptance and nuance.  I have made a conscious choice every day to stay in this marriage.  It could be a lot worse.  I rationalize that I would rather have a marriage where I know my son and I are well-provided for and loved by a partner that is always present, supportive, and respectful. Furthermore, it is a lot of pressure to expect one person to fill all the roles of companion, contributor (financial and workload), supporter (emotional and otherwise), lover, involved co-parent, conversationalist, and roommate that happens to share the same values, practices, and ideals as you without being TOO much like you. 

But I still miss the passion every day.

My sexless marriage, devoid of passion and romance, has been a very hard adjustment for me to come to terms with. It is far from ideal or what marriage was built-up to be in my mind, and I have been okay with that . . . until now. 

Writing these feelings and seeing it in front of me has made me really question:  

How did I get here?  

Why have I stayed this long? 

Life is too short to submit idly to someone else’s comfort while ignoring my own basic needs and what I want for my future.  Today, I am taking off my little white gloves and asking for a divorce. 


 

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12 Responses to Coming to Terms With My Sexless Marriage

  1. Sarah April 18, 2017 at 9:51 am #

    Bravo to you for realizing you need more from a relationship than just companionship. I can’t imagine the courage you must have to make this decision, and I wish you a lifetime of happiness and orgasms!!

  2. Angela April 18, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    You’re not alone – we have a couple very close to us going through this same thing right now and I believe divorce is their last and only option left. Cheers to your health and happiness! Listen to Erykah Badu “Kiss me on my neck” 😉

  3. Megan Jeffery April 18, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    I have to dissent. You made a deal, you knew what you were doing. You were an adult. You created a child and gave him parents and a home. No one is hurting you. You are not in danger. You should remain married for the sake of your son (yep, I really think your son’s wellbeing trumps your sex life). Please reconsider before destroying your son’s entire world and honestly, scarring him for life.

    • Sherri
      Sherri April 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

      Megan, I do not know the author of this blog, and neither do you. What I would bet my life on, however, is that these words she wrote on the blog are but a tiny grain of sand in the ocean of her marriage, her motherhood journey, her personal story. You seem like someone who truly respects and values marriage, so I can imagine that this seems like an affront to those things you hold dear. I get it. I bet if you had an hour or two to listen to her story you would learn a lot more about her that might help you to understand. Then again, you may walk away from that hour still holding firm to your belief that she should stay, and that would be your right.

      Life is hard. Marriage is even harder. And motherhood is the hardest of all. I applaud you for your convictions. I would challenge you to reset your default reaction to reading someone’s story to one of compassion. I would challenge your definition of marriage–being safe and free from harm is hardly the bar I would like to set for a fulfilling partnership. I would also challenge your assumption that by leaving her marriage she is not valuing the institution of family and motherhood.

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that this woman also respects and values marriage, family, and most important, her son and his well-being. It’s probably, at the end of the day, the reason she is deciding to leave. To model love, respect, and family for him. To show him that family comes in all forms, that to have a mom and a dad is more than two people living under the same roof.

      P.S. I’m sure she expects that the reactions to her story will be wide-ranging, and would include those that will judge her. I’m sure glad she decided to tell it anyway because I’m sure it will speak to someone who needs it today.

      • Megan Jeffery April 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

        I don’t know her whole story, that’s true. I only know what she posted here. If she had posted that she was in danger, that she was being hurt, I would say she should run with her child, far and fast.
        I am a mother of 10 children. I was married and got divorced, as was my husband. We were each left – and given no choice in the matter. We each had a young daughter. We know what divorce does to children. We learned the hard way that children are broken, scarred and left with pain for the rest of their lives by divorce. If you are not being abused, if you have a choice, choose to honor the vows you made.
        Biological family, but all accounts and studies, is far superior to step parents, or any other parent. She can model love, respect and family by maintaining her current family. It’s a sacrifice, yes. But again, she is not in danger. Her happiness should be secondary to that of the child she brought into the world.
        This title is about to be released. I highly, highly encourage anyone considering divorce from a non-violent spouse to read it before making huge changes.
        https://www.amazon.com/Primal-Loss-Now-Adult-Children-Divorce-ebook/dp/B06XSCJJ2N/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492538940&sr=8-2&keywords=leila+miller
        Blessings, Megan

        • Sherri
          Sherri April 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

          Sometimes I think we react strongly to others’ choices when we have had a situation in our past where we *didn’t* have choices. It makes me think of your situation and how awful it must have been to have your first husband leave you and you didn’t get to make the choice. I’m sorry for the pain you have experienced. Sounds like you have found happiness times nine with your big family now! Let’s wish the same for this woman and leave her to make her own choices, in her own way, for her own family.

  4. Nicole
    Nicole April 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    Megan, I’m sorry you feel your children are broken! Violence can be tacit and insidious, not solely physical. I’d imagine that the lack of intimacy could be a control issue or a form of emotional neglect – which is what her post screams to me. It does not sound healthy at all. Children with two loving parents that might have made a right decision to have a child, but a wrong decision in their marriage would be doing a disservice to all involved by staying miserable and showing that child a distorted and dysfunctional idea of what marriage SHOULD be. Personally, I’d feel like a better parent by modeling happiness and an unwillingness to settle for a marriage like the one the author is describing. I’d rather they not marry than to stay unhappy. I doubt her child will be one of the broken children since she fully discloses that both parents love the child so fiercely, even if that is their only common ground. There doesn’t seem to be any malicious intent from either side. I think she needs support and if there are any other women that can see their situation in this piece, I hope it empowers them to think and weigh their options. Because, the options DO exist.

    • Megan Jeffery April 18, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

      She says in her blog that her marriage is loving, compassionate and full of respect.

  5. April April 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    As a mom, newly divorce woman from a sexless marriage, feeling as if my own husband didn’t want me is extremely hard to cope with. It takes a toll on your heart, mind and the person that you are. I found myself nodding to what this woman was writing, I know and knew where she was. Life it too short to not feel as if you are good enough for the person you wanted your whole life with. I w8sh nothing but the best for this woman, her husband and her child.

  6. Amy May 5, 2017 at 7:58 am #

    I wonder if he has a thyroid problem or some other health issue that is causing low libido. It’s worth checking out

  7. www.fixmarriagetip.com May 11, 2017 at 10:55 am #

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  8. Venus E May 20, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    I blog about sexless marriage regularly and participate with others living in sexless marriage. It’s not a spot I wish anyone to be in.

    Regarding the article above, my guess is he’s a survivor of child sex abuse and has never addressed it. I have a similar relationship with my husband (also a survivor) of now 20 years, with two children and we’ve found a way, though unconventional, to make it work.

    I wish the author luck in this journey and hope she has sought counseling so she can practice self-care, and realize that she is beautiful and deserving of being loved the way she wants to be loved.

    XOXO
    *V

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