Pushed hubby to find girlfriend now i regret it!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2006
Pushed hubby to find girlfriend now i regret it!
14
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 10:02pm

Anyone think there's hope for my marriage?

I'm new here but I gather "LL" means low-libido? that would be me.  It's more like "NL" meaning NO libido.  I hate sex and want no part of it. 

I went along with it to save my marriage but couldn't do it anymore. just couldn't. cut him off 9 mths ago. I thought we could have a friendly marriage and he could just "take care of things himself".   I told him i would understand if he had to find a girlfriend.  Never thought he would... but now I caught him texting someone and he came clean and said it's someone he wants to date, they've been talking & texting but nothing has happened yet.  He apparently has been talking to her about our situation and she has been very sympathetic and asked him out for a drink but he was fishing with a buddy and said maybe another time.

I feel sick to my stomach!! Do not know how to handle this! I do not want him to have a girlfriend! I dont know what to do!  In all other ways we are so very married.  We get along great, but I have not been warm cuz I didn't want to give a mixed signal.

I asked him if it's too late and he kind of said yes, but then spent the next 2 days crying.  He's at a baseball game tonite with his friend and I was sick to my stomach that he is with this girl so he txt'd me pics of the game & his friend.  I asked him if it's too late (texted him at the game) He told me to stop harassing him - he doesn't have an answer to that.

Sick to my stomach.  Anyone think this is a lost cause??

I have been a basket case all night-- tried very hard no to let my kids see, but I think they could sense my anxiety.  I hope this is not how its going to be.   

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2012
Fri, 11-16-2012 - 12:51pm

Terrible as it may sound to you, my advice is to "own it." In other words, let it go. You suggested he find someone and he has. Adjust to it. If you cannot adjust to this, well, then get a separation. I suggest separations because they are a good way of discovering your feelings for someone. If you are only going to be jealous, then what's the point of being married except to imprison him in your little grey web and to torment him with your turnoffs.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011

Now ironically I was rather LL w/ my 1st DH which I'm sure lead to the breakup of our marriage.  Then at age 43 I met my 2nd DH and our sex life was much better--I felt much more uninhibited & tried new things that I had never done before.  And I can't explain why it was different '

Musiclover, I think you and I are in a very small minority, my situation is very similir. I would have stayed with ex for the kids for years, if he had not kept cheating. But I had no interest in having sex with him, and I would have classified myself as LL back then. But along comes SO, and wow now I would say I am HL. And its NRE, we ahve been together for a few years now.

For OP, did you have a good sex life before menopause? Look into medical options, as there could be a physical cause. Also, you said your world revolves around your family, maybe find some outisde interests. Make sure you are happy with your life as a whole, as they say..."if Mama aint happy, aint no body happy"

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2009

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2012

Hi, Involvedmom. I feel really terrible for you. It's a heartbreaking situation. But, I appreciate you sharing your story because I don't think I fully understood what it must be like to have a LL and all of the fall-out that can result. As far as the biological factor, have you researched possible treatments like hormone therapy or medications? It wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor about it or maybe do a little googling first. As far as the mental and emotional aspect, your feelings of being "dirty, like a prostitute" seem extreme. Were you raised with a very reserved and conservative view of sex? Did you have some sort of traumatic past experience? I agree that you should seek therapy to help you explore these feelings and clarify them. And it would probably be best if you went alone at first so you could feel completely comfortable opening up to someone without stressing about your husband's reaction.

Barring all of that, if the possibility of sex is really out of the question for you but you really love your husband and want to grow old with him, in time you may be able to accept the dynamic of an open marriage. It's not something that he should flaunt in front of you and in fact, you can both agree that you need never be aware of his activities - don't ask, don't tell. Consigning a man to a future with no sex is obviously not an option as you very selflessly acknowledged in giving him the option of a girlfriend. Of course that was much easier for you in theory than in practice. I can completely understand that it feels like a "punch in the gut"...right now. But how will it feel when you lose your life partner and your world is turned upside down? Chances are, you may not find a man who wants a sexless relationship with a new woman so why not try to keep your marriage in tact, enjoy the day to day of having each other, cuddling, vacations, family, memories, meals, laughter, the history that belongs to the two of you and the future that could?

Good luck to you. I wish you both the best.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
This brings us to a good point, not all HLs see open relationships as a cure for ML. Some see it as rejection because they are wondering why this person who they love so much is rejecting sex with them and telling them to go seek it with someone else. Most HLs express their love thru sex so if their SO doesn't want it that means that they love them less. My DH takes it this way, so for me it is like "what am I gonna do?" The LL is stuck.

So, there are some LLs who are willing to open the relationship, but sometimes the HL does not want to. I'm not a jealous, possesive person, so it wouldn't be an issue of jealousy. Maybe if society finally got real and changed its views on monogamy then maybe we can breathe fresh air without it being labelled a failure of a marriage. And I think it would do good for children if we took away the stigma as well.

Just my two cents...
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I find it interesting that you said that when your DH threatened to leave before that you had "better sex" for a while--that would indicate to me that it wasn't that the menopause killed your sex drive, because you were able to get past that at some point--so then what happened?  I can understand being LL and not wanting to have sex but I don't get feeling like a prostitute when you are married & that's what married people do to show their love for each other.  Did you always have an underlying belief that sex was dirty?  It would seem logical to me that if a woman once enjoyed sex, then her hormones went all out of whack so that she lost her sex drive, it would be upsetting--it would to me--and I'd try to find out if there was anything that could get it back.

I think it's totally unrealistic on your part to think that your DH would be content w/ a sexless marriage.  I could see if a HL was married to a LL, that there could be some sort of compromise on how many times a week to have sex, but there's no compromise with zero.  And you know that since he threatened to leave before.  I'd also say that your DH must love you since he ended up crying after you told him he could find a GF--so to him, this must seem like you are totally rejecting him & don't love him.  I don't read anywhere that the 2 of you have tried marriage counseling, so I'd definitely recommend it even if you don't end up staying together.  At least you won't hate each other which is good when you have kids together.

Now ironically I was rather LL w/ my 1st DH which I'm sure lead to the breakup of our marriage.  Then at age 43 I met my 2nd DH and our sex life was much better--I felt much more uninhibited & tried new things that I had never done before.  And I can't explain why it was different.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 10:42am
magnaniman beat me to it, I was going to say something close to his post, but I have some things to add. I know the pain you are feeling. I've been in your shoes. Of course the right thing to do would have been to start seeing a doctor (or a LOT of doctors) at the very beginning of the problem. Hormone therapy to help you enjoy sex and want sex more, a therapist to help you change your attitude about sex, etc. However, it is probably much too late in the game to go down that road. It is doubtful your husband will continue to be patient while you try out a bunch of therapies at this point. Besides you already have a mindset that views sex with your husband as an onerous chore. That's not likely to go away easily or quickly, but it is worth a try.

I see there is more than one choice here. Either you can reframe your way of thinking as magnaniman says, which once successfully accomplished will make sex with your husband less of a problem, OR you can BOTH reframe your view of what marriage is and open the relationship up to other partners. The problem you are having with this (and most likely the problem your husband is having) are based on long held beliefs based on nothing more than social conventions. If you do some reading on open marriages you will see that not everyone believes that sexual monogamy is necessary for a good marriage. You will see that sexual infidelity is not the death knell of a relationship. It can happen that non monogamy brings a couple closer and breathes new life into the sex that happens between them (I am not saying it WILL, just that it CAN.) It can also happen that when you are freed of being your husbands sole source of sexual satisfaction, that your relationship improves outside the bedroom. One book I can recommend is "The Ethical Slut" by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. I found the book to be very helpful in my quest to be fair to my husband without sacrificing my integrity or self image.

I have also heard that "Opening Up" is a good book as well as "Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless and Hopeful" although it is written entirely from a heteronormative slant. I guess my point here is that you DO have options that can foster honesty, trust, respect and love, but they will require you both to work at it. You will have to reframe your expections of marriage and love. You will have to do a lot of internal work on yourselves. But it could be worth it. Only you can decide.

Good luck, and if you have questions, go right on ahead and ask. My life is a pretty open book on this board.
Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
I think magna has focused on the crucial issue. Can you learn to see sex as a loving gift you gift your husband, in return for all the wonderful things he does to make your life more fulfilling? Can you learn to take pride in bringing a smile to his face? Can you learn to frame sex not as something your husband takes from you but something you choose to offer to him out of love?

If you cannot learn to view it that way, then I agree you guys are going to have a hard time staying together, staying monogamous, and staying pleased with the situation.

This is not easy. Nothing wrong with you not enjoying sex. Doesn't make you a bad person. But maybe makes you the wrong person for your husband if he gets lots of emotional connection from having sex.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2004
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 10:04am

I think your issue with sex is one of framing and attitude. You have chosen to see your act as one of prostitution rather than reframing it as an act of love. And maybe that attitude is not something you can change on your own, but I think it's very possible to change it through therapy of some sort. But if you are not willing to do that, then there is no point in continuing the RL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
I'm a LL woman, but I understand your husband's position and I think you do as well. It wouldn't be fair for you to ask him to stay with you and give up sex. That's not an option to consider for even a second. So you're left with opening up the marriage for him or going your separate ways. It may be worth discussing these two options thoroughly with him and seeing where it takes you.

F.

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