??? to LL's / HL's...Sexless Marriage..

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
??? to LL's / HL's...Sexless Marriage..
35
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 2:32pm
DW and I had things come to a head yesterday. She has lost all desire. We have been married 26 years and this problem started with menopause 5 yrs ago. We till this point HAD sex 2 maybe 3 times a week. Her interest was so/so you could tell she didn't want to be there. We have been talking a lot the past two days and i've tried to get her to TELL me what her expectations are of frequency. She seemed to not mind 2 a week, but things hit the fan on time #2 this week. She has said she has no interest in having sex and wants me to stop persuing her! We talked about the fact that SHE alone is the only one that can meet that need for me. I told her if she is asking me to say goodbuy to my sexlife at 48 years young and have a sexless marriage we have a big problem. We further talked about how to resolve the problem once and for all. It's going on a heated 2 years now.

She asked me to respond e-mail and i said basically this:

"If you say that you truly want have a sexless marriage, then there is really nothing to resolve. I have to in this case decide if i can stay in the marriage under those conditions or not. If you are talking about a less frequency, or when and who initiates, or other alternatives to intercourse i want to work with you to resolve the problem. I hate this argument as much as you."

I cannot for the life of me imagine being in a sexless marriage and don't intend on doing so. I would consider sexless twice or less a month.

My question's

Am i being that unfair asking my wife (who swears she loves me) to be intimate once or twice a week??

Am i the only one that would consider leaving a marriage under these conditions??

This whole thing has me so depressed waiting for her answer. I have a feeling she is going to say at this stage she wants NONE and see what happens! Don't know what i'll do then!!

Thank you ladies for giving us guys the privelige of your views.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-1998
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 2:49pm
I have stuggled with this same thought many times. I don't have as much time in my marriage as you, as I have only been married 4 years (this time). I'm not sure I could live in a sexless marriage and I think I would eventually have to say I'm outta here. Now that you have made these statements are you ready to back them up with action?

Oh Ken I am so sorry it has come to this point but at least it is out and now it can be resolved. I hope you get your answer soon.

{{HUGS}}

LR

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 3:08pm
Thanks LR, I'm hoping she comes back with working it out with frequency and not zippo. I tried everything... she won't see Dr for hormone and thyroid checks.. She just doesn't care wether she has desire or sex at all. Such a shame:-(

My hopes are for all of you here HL or LL to work it out. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again.

K

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 3:30pm
I'm sorry Ken, I don't want to get flamed for this but... Your wife has no desire because she's gone through menopause is what you've stated. This shouldn't be a surprise, it happens to very many menopausal women--the ovaries are where a woman's testosterone is produced, no testosterone = no libido. She has a medical reason for not having desire, this was not her personal choice, I'm sure, especially at what I presume her age is.

Now she probably could take hormone replacement, if it agrees with her body, her medical history, and doesn't give her other side effects she doesn't want. She could try testosterone cream, but all of these things are adding synthetics to her body every day so that she might be able to fulfill your needs at a frequency more pleasing to you.

I guess I get really bad vibes about your frustration with this situation that isn't even totally in her control. I guess some of it is (whether she wants to start road-testing HRT's to find the one with the least side effects) in her control but....

I've been in the no-desire-for-medical-reasons camp, and it's not a fun place to be either, I've already written in the past about the guilt regarding my needs or his, my comfort or his, my pain or his. I have felt, in the past, heckled and harassed for a condition that was not my choosing and not my fault, it only breeds resentment.

I hope that you guys can work through this together...good luck with whatever she writes.

Judie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 3:37pm
Hrrrmmm...that's a different problem than what I've described in my post to you. She IS in control of whether or not she wants to work on this problem, and the fact that she's not even willing to look after her own health bothers me. A lot. If she was doing all she could and it still wasn't working, that would be a different story, but to refuse to try anything to make it better...well...I'd have to step back over to your side. I really hope she can see her way to get her hormones and thyroid checked, those can be simple solutions and the blood tests only take a couple minutes. If it were me, I think it'd be worth it to salvage a marriage.

I'm sorry things are this way....(((((Ken)))))

Judie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-1998
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 4:20pm
If she had a broken leg she would see a doctor. It's the same thing. She needs to see a doctor. All he is asking her to do is see the doctor and she refuses. Which makes it her choice to stay in a world of no desire. She has chosen to live that way and the worst part she didn't ask Ken what he wanted.

If she had seen a doctor and hormone replacement didn't agree with her, then Ken would have to be more understanding but she hasn't.

JMHO

LR

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 4:28pm
Basically what I said in the post I wrote next, the one above this one in the outline view...
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 2:58am
KEN!! You have no idea what a breakthrough your post was for me! THANK YOU!!!

You said:" I cannot for the life of me imagine being in a sexless marriage and don't intend on doing so. I would consider sexless twice or less a month."

One of the things that has always made me uncomfortable about my situation regarding staying/leaving DH is that we DO have sex. Its not like people on the board who go for months without any at all. I often feel I don't have a leg to stand on with my DH because its not as if we don't have any sex, and so its more difficult to explain and justify (to myself and to him) that our current sex life is something I can't live with. If we only had sex every six months it would all be much "clearer" in both our minds what was going on and so we could talk about it in the same terms. I too would not consider staying ina sexless marriage, but to hear you come out and say " I would consider sexless twice or less a month" was tremendously liberating for me. My DH and I have sex more than twice a month, but anyway... the point is, it was as though your post gave me "permission" to decide on what I CONSIDER sexless.... not other people's definition.

"leaving a sexless marriage" sound perfectly sensible and respectable, wheras "leaving a marriage where your SO doesn't give you all the sex you want" sounds childish and silly... so THANK YOU for helping me to stand up and say that in my opinion, my marriage is SEXLESS!!! It lacks passion, engagement, creativity... what we do LOOKS like sex, but it ISN'T sex....not really. Its not sex in the spirit of the term, its only sex outwardly.So what if we do whatever-you-want-to-call-it once or twice a week? its still NOT SEX...


So... on to your questions:

Am i being that unfair asking my wife (who swears she loves me) to be intimate once or twice a week??

No, you are not being unfair. It is perfectly normal to ask for what you want. That is not to say you will get it, or even that she has to agree with you, but there is nothing wrong with stating your preferences, and more importantly, there is nothing wrong with being honest about what you can and can't live with. That is, in fact, only fair. Stating your preferences is a sign of respect - for her and for yourself.



Am i the only one that would consider leaving a marriage under these conditions??

No, you are not. As I said above, everyone has their own definition of sexless, but just for the record, I would not stay in a relationship where sex occurred less than twice a month and was set to do so indefinately, and where my partner was basically saying to me "When are you going to get it into your thick head that I don't want this, am not going to do it, and wish you would hurry up and realise it and stop bothering me? What you want is neither here nor there to me, and by the way I love you (and don't want to live on my own) so you ought to love me back and stick around. If you don't you're a b@#tard."

I'm sorry to be so harsh, but really this "I'm not interested and so what I want is for you to shut up and accept it" attitude which some LL women seem to have really makes me see red - for some reason I don't percieve the same vibe about the LL men's refusals (even if those are the ones I suffer). Men can be horrible to women, but for some reason I find something so much more CALCULATED and cold blooded about my own sex's mistreatment of their partners that it really riles me. Men may sometimes hit you where it hurts, but women hit you where it hurts AND THEY KNOW IT. I'm not saying men never so this, but I think they do it less.

Anyway, ken, to come back to your problem, it sounds as if you've reached a crisis and there is nothing to be gained by going back now - so hold your ground and see what happens. You are clear where your limit lies - don't be browbeaten or balckmailed by thr "if you loved me..." crap. Love means respecting out partner, not expecting them to just do what's most comfortable for us. You, it seems are prepared to be open minded about a solution, within certain limits. If she is not, if she simply thinks the soultion is that you "stop bothering her" and is uninterested in the fact that this one-option solution is not acceptable to you and is not prepared to consider alternative solutions then really, what can you do? What basis for a relatioship do you have?

My DH and I are going for our first joint discussion with the therapist on tuesday - i think it really shook him up when I came back from the "reconnisance visit" and announced that I thought she was a reasonable choice of therapist, I was prepared to go, but that she had said she didn't think it was likely we'd get very far because it didn't sound as though he had enough motivation to change for HIMSELF. The fact that I stated this (death knell) truth so calmly really shook him. I have got to the stage where I am confronting the fact that no, I don't want to spend the next thirty years fighting and crying over this and that whatever I do, I am not going to do THAT so SOMETHING has to change. if that something means leaving the marriage, I am ready to finally accept that. I hope that is not the outcome, but I accept that it might be. All this just to say - I know where you're at....
















iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 5:34am
Well my DH and I fight all the time about this, at times when he chooses to bring it up then I feel like we get somewhere. I realize after this he just says what he wants me to hear b/c nothing happens. I have been in this for 2 yrs myself and just got married 8 months ago. Why , I don't know!! We had trouble b4. So last night it came to a head over something else and I blew. I told him he could worry about his job on his own time or with someone else but I am not going to be here. He is a worrier. but it is time he puts effort into making me happy and he needs to work on this. He won't go to counseling, I go alone also for other things besides our sex life. I am about to put an end to things too. Ask her if she is willing to go to therapy w/u. Just know that whatever you do, make sure you feel happy about all your efforts b4 ending the marriage. So everyone keeps telling me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 6:03am
Strawberry,

I really glad my post was of help. Your reply was great, actually better than the original post :-) I guess i just gave you that idea that good writers need sometimes:-)

You bring up the point i struggled with also. DW and i do have sex. But it is obvious she doesn't want to be there. Like the kid who's mother is dragging him through the supermarket! He's there but that about it! You said it well...

"It lacks passion, engagement, creativity... what we do LOOKS like sex, but it ISN'T sex....not really. Its not sex in the spirit of the term, its only sex outwardly.So what if we do whatever-you-want-to-call-it once or twice a week? its still NOT SEX..."

I plan to see this through. It has been going on too long now and i cannot take the emotional roller coaster that it creates. IF she decides to work it out i will insist she/we see a therapist, otherwise nothing has changed.

Strange thing is her sister who is five years older is having sexual problems to! It came out when we were with Brother/sister in law and we were talking about somemthing and he made a comment: "Yea you marry a hot 23 year old and then find out her hormones are all out of wack 25 years later!" Boy, sis in laws glare could have froze the Kalahari!!

I hope things work out for you and dh on tuesdays visit.

K


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:52am
I agree with one of the other posts. It seems that women who are LL do tend to be more resistant to working out the problem than the men who are LL. My DH is LL but he at least wants to find a workable solution for both of us. But like you, we have sex but it lacks the desire, intimacy and creativity that should be a part of married sex. I have a friend whose wife was very much as you describe your wife. They did divorce after not being able to work this problem out. As in most marriages, this problem either lead to other problems or the other problems led to the sexual one. In any event, the marriage ended. Now the wife is single. She has had boyfriends since the divorce and apparently has sex with them. She has recently broken up with her most current boyfriend. Now she wants her ex-husband back. She tells him that she is ready to work on the sexual problem that she was unwilling to work on during the marriage. He has lost interest in her and has a loving relationship with another woman. I think your wife should be very careful that she doesn't give up on a relationship that she may later wish she had taken better care of. Perhaps the reason husbands with LL tend to work harder is that they still have testosterone even if it may be a low level. Maybe the reason your wife is so resistant is that she isn't producing testosterone. Certainly libido is somewhat testosterone dependent. Since she is post-menopausal she also is suffering from decrease estrogen which is necessary for desire and arousal. But generally neither is so low that arousal is impossible. In most cases its just more difficult to produce arousal. It is estimated that only 10-20% of female arousal dysfunction is related to hormone problems. It is thought that psychological reasons account for the other cases of female arousal dysfunction. I think her defiant attitude is a sign of hostility towards sex with you rather than hormonal dysfunction, although I suspect she is also experiencing a hormonal dysfunction. I don't think you are asking for too much by wanting regular intimate sex with your wife. I hope she realizes that her sexual dysfunction is treatable and desirable to maintain a healthy marriage.

Robin

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