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Old 08-04-2015, 09:24 AM   #1
NextDoorSecret
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Sex once this year

We've had sex once this year, 14 months actually. 3 times the previous year.
How do I accept that this is my life now, or do I not just accept it?
I'm starved for touch, for real companionship and yet loyalty, history and love keep me here.
I've tried everything under the sun. I'm out of ideas.
Maybe someone else has some?
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by NextDoorSecret View Post
We've had sex once this year, 14 months actually. 3 times the previous year.
How do I accept that this is my life now, or do I not just accept it?
I'm starved for touch, for real companionship and yet loyalty, history and love keep me here.
I've tried everything under the sun. I'm out of ideas.
Maybe someone else has some?
If we had a little more information it might help.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:56 AM   #3
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I know those feelings, zero this year, twice the year before, zero the year before that, once the year before that, and I'm not in a position to leave either, for very personal reasons. It's not an easy situation to cope with, and I don't have any magic answers for you, I'm afraid. All I can suggest is try and find what works for you, whether it be go, stay, or something inbetween. Just wanted to say that you're not alone in this situation, there are others out here in a similar boat, even if it might be for different reasons.

This place has been a godsend for me, lots of good, non-judgmental people around, who just seem to accept, advise, and help where needed. That's my experience, anyway. As for the pressures of dealing with it, I channel it into words, put it into my writing, and try to release it that way. One of these days, I'll get more of my stuff finished to my own satisfaction and submit it here, but for now it serves it's purpose.

Good luck, and sorry I'm not more help. And you can always pm me if you need to.

Take care.

SV
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:39 PM   #4
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Sometimes we become so focused on "doing something" that we forget that listening is also a way of doing something. If you haven't already, I might suggest beginning by asking your partner how (s)he feels about your relationship and the current sexual status quo. I think that it's important to first understand if (s)he thinks that there is a problem. From there it's equally important to make your view of the relationship understood, including explaining your perspective. (S)he needs to understand that the status quo is a problem for you.

Both of you deserve to have your needs met in your relationship. What do you think that the real problem is? For example, you wrote about being starved for touch and affection. Are you starved for affection in part because non-sexual communication has broken down? That is a different approach than saying "The problem is that (s)he doesn't want sex." The former provides some insight into things that you can do to help make your relationship healthy again given what you may learn about her perspective.

What do you think the ideal resolution to this problem would be? Can (s)he meet those needs at least in part through changes in your every day nonsexual routine, for example through hand holding and back rubs? Where is the middle ground in this impasse? If age, changing hormones, or health are contributing to the problem then what can you do as a couple to still maintain a healthy intimate relationship?

Many people decide to stay in sexless relationships. Some discover that in spite of their love for, and commitment to their spouse that those feelings feed resentment that eventually wears them down and eats away at their relationship. I think that it's particularly important for each spouse to understand the problem and constantly work towards rebuilding intimacy in whatever form is possible. Each has to know that the risk is real.

If one partner is willing to blithely continue knowing that the other is hurting, then it probably says something about the reciprocity of the love relationship. That may provide some insight into the value of the shared history and feelings.

Best to you both
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefishfryer View Post
If we had a little more information it might help.
Like what? There isn't really a physical reason for it. He just isn't interested. He's not interested at all, it isn't even that he isn't interested in me, he just isn't interested in sex at all any more.
We're in our mid 40s but this has been going on 10 years now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeView View Post
I know those feelings, zero this year, twice the year before, zero the year before that, once the year before that, and I'm not in a position to leave either, for very personal reasons. It's not an easy situation to cope with, and I don't have any magic answers for you, I'm afraid. All I can suggest is try and find what works for you, whether it be go, stay, or something inbetween. Just wanted to say that you're not alone in this situation, there are others out here in a similar boat, even if it might be for different reasons.

This place has been a godsend for me, lots of good, non-judgmental people around, who just seem to accept, advise, and help where needed. That's my experience, anyway. As for the pressures of dealing with it, I channel it into words, put it into my writing, and try to release it that way. One of these days, I'll get more of my stuff finished to my own satisfaction and submit it here, but for now it serves it's purpose.

Good luck, and sorry I'm not more help. And you can always pm me if you need to.

Take care.

SV
Thanks. I'm sorry for your sake that I'm not alone... but it's good to know someone can relate. I've spent years thinking it must be me... but I've realized through time it really is him it's just hard to reconcile that this is my life now. I've always had a high drive and the idea of going the rest of my life with this non-existent just makes me sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pplwatching View Post
Sometimes we become so focused on "doing something" that we forget that listening is also a way of doing something. If you haven't already, I might suggest beginning by asking your partner how (s)he feels about your relationship and the current sexual status quo. I think that it's important to first understand if (s)he thinks that there is a problem. From there it's equally important to make your view of the relationship understood, including explaining your perspective. (S)he needs to understand that the status quo is a problem for you.

Both of you deserve to have your needs met in your relationship. What do you think that the real problem is? For example, you wrote about being starved for touch and affection. Are you starved for affection in part because non-sexual communication has broken down? That is a different approach than saying "The problem is that (s)he doesn't want sex." The former provides some insight into things that you can do to help make your relationship healthy again given what you may learn about her perspective.

What do you think the ideal resolution to this problem would be? Can (s)he meet those needs at least in part through changes in your every day nonsexual routine, for example through hand holding and back rubs? Where is the middle ground in this impasse? If age, changing hormones, or health are contributing to the problem then what can you do as a couple to still maintain a healthy intimate relationship?

Many people decide to stay in sexless relationships. Some discover that in spite of their love for, and commitment to their spouse that those feelings feed resentment that eventually wears them down and eats away at their relationship. I think that it's particularly important for each spouse to understand the problem and constantly work towards rebuilding intimacy in whatever form is possible. Each has to know that the risk is real.

If one partner is willing to blithely continue knowing that the other is hurting, then it probably says something about the reciprocity of the love relationship. That may provide some insight into the value of the shared history and feelings.

Best to you both
I have listened. If only it was that easy.
Thanks for listening.
I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:51 PM   #6
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it takes 2 to tango

Good advice requires good data. Your spouse needs to want to be part of the solution. At the very least he has to realize that there is a problem. If he can admit there is a problem then a test for testosterone levels is probably in order. If the medical checkup doesn't reveal any causes for low libido, then a very heart to heart discussion is definitely in order and if there is still no joy, some discussion with a therapist is next.

But it still comes down to your partner recognizing your unhappiness and being willing to look for causes and solutions.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:48 PM   #7
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NextDoorSecret, let me join others in expressing real concern for you and about the 'cost' of your situation on your wellbeing. Please allow me to say a few things randomly:

In your opening post you wrote, "I'm starved for touch, for real companionship". It seems to me that this is a more profoundly bad situation than the almost absence of sex for you. Doesn't this amount to neglect? Isn't neglect cruelty?

People speak glibly of 'cheating', and yet, isn't the most severe cheat of all the kinds of cheating, to cheat another person out of the loving they need in order to thrive?

So I'm being harsh on your man. Please defend him for me. Please tell me all the things he has tried and is trying in order that he can rise to being the partner you need him to be.

My wife and I are turned 60. We touch each other lovingly several times every day. Often enough it is much more than that. If we are apart for a whole day or longer there are the sweet nothings on the phone or by text. Of course all this is a pleasure for me; but it is also the fulfillment of a vow - "to love and to cherish". Did this man marry you? What of his vow?

You say you are into your 40s. Please don't allow yourself to feel that your desire to be held, touched, shown affection, made love to, is going to fizzle. It is not.

This man must take action to change himself - there is so much help out there! - or he must allow you to find what you need elsewhere.

I am rarely harsh like this on Lit. Forgive me please if it is no help.

Simon.

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Old 08-04-2015, 05:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suckonsimon View Post
NextDoorSecret, let me join others in expressing real concern for you and about the 'cost' of your situation on your wellbeing. Please allow me to say a few things randomly:

In your opening post you wrote, "I'm starved for touch, for real companionship". It seems to me that this is a more profoundly bad situation than the almost absence of sex for you. Doesn't this amount to neglect? Isn't neglect cruelty?

People speak glibly of 'cheating', and yet, isn't the most severe cheat of all the kinds of cheating, to cheat another person out of the loving they need in order to thrive?

So I'm being harsh on your man. Please defend him for me. Please tell me all the things he has tried and is trying in order that he can rise to being the partner you need him to be.

My wife and I are turned 60. We touch each other lovingly several times every day. Often enough it is much more than that. If we are apart for a whole day or longer there are the sweet nothings on the phone or by text. Of course all this is a pleasure for me; but it is also the fulfillment of a vow - "to love and to cherish". Did this man marry you? What of his vow?

You say you are into your 40s. Please don't allow yourself to feel that your desire to be held, touched, shown affection, made love to, is going to fizzle. It is not.

This man must take action to change himself - there is so much help out there! - or he must allow you to find what you need elsewhere.

I am rarely harsh like this on Lit. Forgive me please if it is no help.

Simon.
Thanks. I think I needed to hear that. It is harsh but you aren't wrong. I have tried any number of things. He doesn't cuddle, he doesn't snuggle or hold my hand.
He doesn't really try and when I push the issue at all, it gets turned around on me and makes me feel bad.
He doesn't see a problem.
Yes. We've been married over 20 years. We have 2 children who are far past the walking in on us stage or keeping us up til all hours.
It is neglectful and I don't know how to fix it.
I'd rather have found out he was cheating... I'd know how to respond to that.
Last year I was sure it had to be me, no matter what he said. And so I lost weight, I worked out, I changed my hair, I looked better than I did the day we got married.
Still nothing.
I'm tired. I'm disillusioned. I'm frustrated.
At least now I know I am not the only one living this way, though that makes me sad for the others that are as well.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NextDoorSecret View Post
Like what? There isn't really a physical reason for it. He just isn't interested. He's not interested at all, it isn't even that he isn't interested in me, he just isn't interested in sex at all any more.
We're in our mid 40s but this has been going on 10 years now.i
I am guessing that for a man in his thirtys to lose interest in sex suggests a medical condition of some sort. However, from what you have said, it sounds like he is not prepared to seek help. Does he have an interest in life that excludes you, or does he appear to have no interest in anything?

Ultimately you may have to decide whether you can continue to with this situation and what your options are.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:58 PM   #10
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I am guessing that for a man in his thirtys to lose interest in sex suggests a medical condition of some sort. However, from what you have said, it sounds like he is not prepared to seek help. Does he have an interest in life that excludes you, or does he appear to have no interest in anything?

Ultimately you may have to decide whether you can continue to with this situation and what your options are.

Video games.
That's about it
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:25 PM   #11
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Video games.
That's about it
Perhaps they give him an escape from a reality that he is far from happy with himself, if you are to survive this as a couple you need to get him communicating at some level. It's a long shot and maybe a tough one, but have you tried taking an interest in the games he plays.

It's way past my bedtime now, but if you like you can send me a pm and we could chat even if it is just for you to vent.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:18 PM   #12
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Sounds like you both are in a rut, and need a change. Not a change in partners, but a change interests. Find something exciting that you both would enjoy. It doesn't have to be sexual, but if you both enjoy doing it together, it will probably lead to sex. Doing something exciting together usually does lead to sex.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:40 PM   #13
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Video games.
That's about it
I have a total and complete understanding of how video games can destroy a marriage. It's a tough addiction to compete with, trust me, I know this only too well.

I wish I had words of advice to offer, but you do know that you are not alone. I've been married for 15 years to a video game addict. It's his escape from all things reality, as mentioned above.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:25 PM   #14
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Maybe I missed it but I didn't read where you talked to him about it and what he actually said, other than he doesn't think anything is wrong. Something is obviously wrong. If you don't find out what it is then you are never going to get anywhere, no matter what you try.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:46 AM   #15
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Maybe I missed it but I didn't read where you talked to him about it and what he actually said, other than he doesn't think anything is wrong. Something is obviously wrong. If you don't find out what it is then you are never going to get anywhere, no matter what you try.
That was the first thing I did.
And the 2nd, and the 4th, 5th, 6th, probably 7th and 10th. I don't know. I've tried to talk about it so many times I can't name them all. I've been playful about it, I've been serious, I've broken down in tears, I've begged him to look into what might be wrong... I've tried to talk to him in the living room when and where he's most relaxed, sitting at the kitchen table, somewhere neutral, in bed to see if I could coax a reaction, and through it all it comes down to him telling me that he just doesn't have any real interest in sex. He's assured me it's not me, though at times I remain skeptical.
I'd feel better if I thought he was having an affair, at least there'd be a reason.
I've wondered if he's gay but there's no other indication.

The video games are a real problem, but another one that "isn't a problem"

When I said I've tried everything.. I really think I have. I've been patient and waited to see if it was a stage. I've talked to him.I've read books, I've watched movies, I've tried to entice him with porn, I've tried reading sexy things to him, I've tried starting without him to see if I can get him to join in. I've suggested the doctor, I've suggested counseling. I really am out of ideas.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:24 AM   #16
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A question to you, please, you lovely patient woman.

Would you care to list for us - and for yourself I guess - the things your husband has said and done over these years and after those conversations you mention, - the things which are his attempts to express some concern or affection or gratitude for your patience with him: Flowers; Notes; Jobs done around the house which you have been waiting for a while; A suggestion you make a date with your girlfriends and some spending money from his account; An attempt at an explanation of his inability towards you, however incomplete; A promise that he would talk to someone even if he has not yet.

Any of these? Anything else at all? Some kind of signal that he has noted that you are left unfulfilled and he regrets that?

Just if you wish to respond. Please, if it won't help at all to try, ignore me! It's your thread!

Simon.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:39 AM   #17
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Sometimes he's more attentive for a day or two. I really had to stop and think. Occasionally he'll bring home my favorite ice cream or a treat he knows I might not buy myself, but there's not really any change. He never follows through even if he agrees in the moment to try something.
I think that was why I finally feel like I'm out of patience. I realize and know that that isn't going to change.
He loves me in his own way. We live very much like roommates much of the time. There is the kiss goodnight but it's a touch of lips in passing and more out of habit than desire I think.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:12 AM   #18
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I'm assuming that you had an active sex life early on in your marriage. When did this disinterest start to manifest itself. Was it a gradual diminishing of interest or fairly abrupt. Are you able to think of any possible triggers that may have lead to the situation for instance the birth of your children. I know some men have trouble with the shift from "lover" to "mother" so to speak. Maybe loss of a job, anything?
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:49 AM   #19
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Sometimes he's more attentive for a day or two. I really had to stop and think. Occasionally he'll bring home my favorite ice cream or a treat he knows I might not buy myself, but there's not really any change. He never follows through even if he agrees in the moment to try something.
I think that was why I finally feel like I'm out of patience. I realize and know that that isn't going to change.
He loves me in his own way. We live very much like roommates much of the time. There is the kiss goodnight but it's a touch of lips in passing and more out of habit than desire I think.
That's called a rut. You can love ice cream and cake, but if you have a straight diet of ice cream and cake for 20 years, it gets stale and tiring. You both need something new.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:17 AM   #20
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I am the husband you describe and i'll tell you why I act the way I do:

I don't love my wife. I haven't loved her for a long time. But there's more.

I don't like her. I often think to myself I've married the worst person in the world.

But we have young children and I don't think I'd get full custody and I don't trust my wife to take care of the kids.

I fear if we split up the kids would end up in dirty clothes without food in the house. I want better than that for my kids.

So I stay and give the kids the most normal life I can.

We don't have sex. I'm really not interested in her that way anymore.

I've told her to go have an affair if she wants - just don't put it in front of me and the kids. keep it confidential is all that I ask.

I don't think she has but I really don't care as long as its not publicized.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:43 AM   #21
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I am the husband you describe and i'll tell you why I act the way I do:

I don't love my wife. I haven't loved her for a long time. But there's more.

I don't like her. I often think to myself I've married the worst person in the world.

But we have young children and I don't think I'd get full custody and I don't trust my wife to take care of the kids.

I fear if we split up the kids would end up in dirty clothes without food in the house. I want better than that for my kids.

So I stay and give the kids the most normal life I can.

We don't have sex. I'm really not interested in her that way anymore.

I've told her to go have an affair if she wants - just don't put it in front of me and the kids. keep it confidential is all that I ask.

I don't think she has but I really don't care as long as its not publicized.
In the long term you're not doing anybody any favors. Best move that ever happened in my life was when my wife left and I ended up with custody of my kids. Raising kids in a loveless marriage is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:52 AM   #22
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I'm assuming that you had an active sex life early on in your marriage. When did this disinterest start to manifest itself. Was it a gradual diminishing of interest or fairly abrupt. Are you able to think of any possible triggers that may have lead to the situation for instance the birth of your children. I know some men have trouble with the shift from "lover" to "mother" so to speak. Maybe loss of a job, anything?
A little bit of diminishing... then things just seemed to stop. He had a temporary change in his shift at work for about 6 weeks and then we never seemed to make it back from there.

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That's called a rut. You can love ice cream and cake, but if you have a straight diet of ice cream and cake for 20 years, it gets stale and tiring. You both need something new.
A rut. I'd have agreed. I did agree. That's when I tried a vacation somewhere stress free with him, no kids, no pressures.
So, how does one break out of a rut or do you believe that people can't stay monogamous and there is no solution?

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Originally Posted by sjt2424 View Post
I am the husband you describe and i'll tell you why I act the way I do:

I don't love my wife. I haven't loved her for a long time. But there's more.

I don't like her. I often think to myself I've married the worst person in the world.

But we have young children and I don't think I'd get full custody and I don't trust my wife to take care of the kids.

I fear if we split up the kids would end up in dirty clothes without food in the house. I want better than that for my kids.

So I stay and give the kids the most normal life I can.

We don't have sex. I'm really not interested in her that way anymore.

I've told her to go have an affair if she wants - just don't put it in front of me and the kids. keep it confidential is all that I ask.

I don't think she has but I really don't care as long as its not publicized.
That's really sad, but not really applicable here I don't believe.
My house is clean, my kids are fed, and are not small. I work hard, both at home, and at work.
I'm not the worst person in the world. I'm caring and loving and have put his needs above my own for a long time. I'm smart, I'm educated, I'm supportive and loyal. I've actually asked if he wanted a divorce, I wouldn't make it hard for him and he knows that. We've been friends a very long time as well as a couple. I care about him on many, many levels as well as love him.
If he wanted out, he has that choice.
I am curious why you felt it necessary to try and make me feel bad and like I am somehow at fault here. Does spelling out what might be my deepest darkest fear get you off or are you just an ass? I don't quite understand what you were going for here.
I don't feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for your wife, because you clearly aren't being honest with her.
I've been honest with my husband.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:01 PM   #23
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....That's really sad, but not really applicable here I don't believe.
My house is clean, my kids are fed, and are not small. I work hard, both at home, and at work.
I'm not the worst person in the world. I'm caring and loving and have put his needs above my own for a long time. I'm smart, I'm educated, I'm supportive and loyal. I've actually asked if he wanted a divorce, I wouldn't make it hard for him and he knows that. We've been friends a very long time as well as a couple. I care about him on many, many levels as well as love him.
If he wanted out, he has that choice.
I am curious why you felt it necessary to try and make me feel bad and like I am somehow at fault here. Does spelling out what might be my deepest darkest fear get you off or are you just an ass? I don't quite understand what you were going for here.
I don't feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for your wife, because you clearly aren't being honest with her.
I've been honest with my husband.
Hey you lovely. I want you to know that as I read that post by sjt I was really, really angry, because you so obviously and clearly are not like that woman. Not remotely like that woman. Nobody reading your thread would even consider that you were 'the problem'.

So, well responded darling! Good on you!
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:05 PM   #24
sjt2424
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not trying to hurt you - just giving you a view from the other side.

I don't know you at all - don't know if you are a great person or a terrible person. Sometimes people stay in marriages for various reasons - I've given you mine.

Everything I've said in my post I have discussed with my wife. Not sure where you are getting that I'm dishonest. Every single person who knows me would say I am brutally honest.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:11 PM   #25
sjt2424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suckonsimon View Post
Hey you lovely. I want you to know that as I read that post by sjt I was really, really angry, because you so obviously and clearly are not like that woman. Not remotely like that woman. Nobody reading your thread would even consider that you were 'the problem'.

So, well responded darling! Good on you!

What you think of a woman (who you presumably know through the internet) and what someone else thinks of that same woman are often very different things. I didn't say anything bad about this woman - I don't know her.

I've told you my story. I didn't say anything about her story.

Maybe the husband isn't being as honest with her as she thinks he is.

OR maybe he is and just doesn't want sex anymore.

IN MY OPINION if he doesn't want sex anymore and she does there are 2 reasonable solutions: break up over this issue or allow her to find sex elsewhere.
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