Relationship works without sex

Avatar for nmillerhhi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Relationship works without sex
63
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 3:19am

DH and I have been married 9 years. He is 61 and I am 60. We haven't had sex in about 5 years now and very rarely before that. We are very affectionate emotionally and physically. We are a great partnership in all other ways. We are very happy together.

My DH is a male domestic abuse survivor. He was in 2 abusive relationships, one immediately following the other. Luckily, I have professionally worked with a lot of domestic abuse survivors, some male although not many because they don't admit it. He was abused in all the usual ways - verbally, emotionally, sexually, physically. He suffers from PTSD from that on top of being a Vietnam vet with PTSD. BTW, I am also a domestic abuse survivor but was further in recovery when we met.

I know that it bothers him that we don't have sex. It used to bother me a lot but I've pretty much dealt with it. I used to get angry and would openly masturbate. He was not having ED when we stopped having sex but he did stop being able to have an orgasm. We used to occasionally talk about it but it upset him too much. So, I made the decision a long time ago that the wonderful relationship we have is good enough. I have hot dreams and occasionally masturbate but other than that I try not to think about sex.

I am sure that his problems are from the sexual abuse he endured from the two women before me. It was bad. When I met him, he was a broken man. Now he is a different person. I am treated like a princess. We don't have a lot of money but we have worked together to build a good life.

If I were younger, I might not have made this decision. For those of you who have to decide, there are many variables. But, it can work. My priority was a good, stable, peaceful life. I got it. I am loved but sex is not a part of my life.

Gee, I'm rambling, aren't I? LOL

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2004
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 7:35am

That's great that it works for you

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2009
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 7:49am
...and, a peaceful, stable life can include sex...it doesn't have to be a choice unless one of the partners forces it to be...
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 7:50am
Thanks for the post and so glad it works for you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2009
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 7:51am
...I'm glad you've found peace...most of the HLs here (and, some of the LLs) aren't at the stage where peaceful existence would include an absence of sex...
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 8:23am

Thanks for you perspective, and glad you have reached a point where you have your good, stable, peaceful life.

Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 9:33am
Glad to read you have found peace.

When you see it coming, duck!

Avatar for nmillerhhi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 1:32pm

No where else would I feel comfortable actually saying that I have a marriage without sex.

I was always HL. Prior to the extreme sexual, physical and psychological abuse of his last relationship, DH was HL. I won't go into all that happened in his story but he was involved with a woman who vowed to destroy his manhood for anyone else. She did her best. Prior to his relationship with her, he was married to a woman who abused him in many ways.

During the early years of our marriage, DH tried very hard to have sex but he had developed mental issues around it. Sex gradually faded away mostly due to his mental difficulties with it.

We don't have genital sex but we are incredibly physically affectionate. The love is there and is very strong. With the stress of genital sex out of the way for him, he has developed from a broken man to a strong, gentle, supportive sensitive man who treats me in ways I never thought possible. I would not give up the love he shows me for genital sex. I also developed during this time and now can see that what we have is better than anything I ever had.

I used to masturbate a lot but now I very rarely do it. I'm comfortable with that level now.

I shared my story to let people know that a good marriage can happen without sex. You have to look at the relationship as a whole and decide to prioritize. If sex is important, then you may need to find another relationship. That's okay too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 2:24pm

Congratulations, and I admire the way you've grown through all your difficulties.


At least you've understood what it's like to be HL, and I can myself certainly see a number of advantages to celibacy with loving physical affection and contact.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2009
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 5:24pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2001
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 9:44pm
I hope that you don't mind me asking, but how can a woman sexual abuse a man? I can understand how a woman can emotionally abuse a man, and even physically abuse him, but I'm at a loss to understand how a woman can sexually abuse a man. I'm just trying to understand.

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