I have been married 9 yrs and since the honeymoon, myhusband has lost interest in me. I had an affair for about 2 yrs, but when the husband found out, I had to call it off. He and I have been intimate one very unsatisfying time in the last year. He is otherwise a good guy, not very close with anyone but me. I am not ugly and I could have another affair. The constant rejection is tearing me apart. We have tried counseling, medications, nothing works. He feels bad, I know, but cannot change this. This is his second and my third marriage. My kids neither like or really dislike him. We have a nice home, pretty good kids, money, otherwise, doing well. I am, however, miserable and missing something I think is important. Is it important? Should I leave or go? I know his issues are mental and started well before the affair, it took three years for me to build up to having one. Do you think he is having an affair? He is a passive guy and I am a "go getter", maybe this is why he doesnt love me, but he says he loves me. Please let me know if I am building this up more than it should be built up. I am 46 and he is ten years older and life is ticking by, but divorce is going to be ugly and hard.


Answers


bella
1966 days ago
Hi,

I don't think you're building this up more than what it is and you should be concerned because sex is important in a marriage. I don't advocate having an affair. Is he depressed and has he had a complete physical lately. He should have one and ask the doctor to check his hormone levels(testosterone). Is he having prostate troubles - this can affect his sexual performance. Also if he a smoker then this could lead to circulation problems and erectile dysfunction. What medications has he tried and for what problem? What does he say, when you ask him about your sex life? Is he having trouble with erections or does he just lack desire? Whether you stay or go depends on the whether or not you both have exhausted all avenues of help to imrpove your sex life. I don't think you should stay if you're unhappy. just because divorce will be ugly -it doesn't have to be that way. What does he say is the main reason for lack of sex?? I bet its because of his prostate acting up and making it hard to have erections(having orgasms) and he feels bad about it, so he's withdrawing instead of dealing with it - maybe his confidence is down.

Write us back and let us know what he considers to be the reason for lack of sex. Physicals causes can manifest into mental reasons as well. I hope it all works out.



Edahn
1966 days ago
I have a few questions too. 1. What type of psychotherapy did he try? How long did it last? What did the therapist believe was going on? 2. What type of medication did he try, and what was the medication for? 3. What is the nature of his problem? Does he have erectile dysfunction or is he just not into sex with YOU? 4. Do you have kids with HIM?

I can see how this can be really painful. Whether or not to get divorced is a very serious question that I think you need (and want) to decide on your own. I don't think you should be miserable in a marriage, but I also think it's important that you investigate what is making you miserable and try to cure that.

The reason I asked all those questions is because sometimes what looks like a physical problem can have an emotional root. You said that your husband doesn't have any friends. To me that suggests that he is either depressed or avoidant. An avoidant personality (google it to learn more) deals with difficult feelings of apprehension by avoiding the situation entirely. So, what might be happening is that he has some deep discomfort with intimacy (with friends or with sex) and is dealing with it by avoiding the situation entirely. I'm not sure what is giving him so much anxiety - maybe associations he has with sex, maybe he's dwelling on his performance, maybe sex makes him feel inferior - but that is where I would look for a solution. It's difficult in part because for guys, this issue brings up a lot of shame and if he's avoidant, he'll avoid topics that bring him shame. This is why I asked about the type of therapist and drugs used: to gauge what type of disorder, mental or physical, he was given.

The other thing I was wondering is whether you both considered having an open marriage. I know nothing about them or their success, but I wonder if that might be a solution to your problem.

There was a guy who recently posted on a very similar topic. I would encourage you to read through this. It's very eye-opening:

http://answers.psychcentral.com/RelationshipsandSex/sexless-marriage---long-term-problem/

And check this out too:

http://answers.psychcentral.com/story/title/stay-or-go--my-sexless-marriage-1



LWTAZ
1966 days ago
Being a nurse, I asked him to see his PCP, which he did and they tested hormones, etc. No problems. No other medical issues going on (i.e.hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, etc.) Tried Viagra and all of those...not very successful. He does have deep discomfort with intimacy and he is avoidant. Right on with those assessments. He has premature ejaculation when we try anything at all anyway or just loses the erection entirely...for nine years now. THe counseling was a CHristian marriage counselor who specializes in step families, very knowledgeable, but overall not helpful for us. Would tell my husband, now go sleep with her,(kind of coach like). I know it is important. I cannot even think about it without bursting into tears. None of our kids are "ours". He has one now grown and I have three, only one still at home. I do not think he would consider an open marriage, although I would be happy with that....well, at least less miserable. He is a very conservative person. I hope that answered all ?



LWTAZ
1966 days ago
The first link sounds like my husband, actually....however, he denies having any problems with any other woman but me, but how could I verify that? He has a child by his first marriage.



Edahn
1966 days ago
I'm not sure you need to verify that. Maybe he had a different relationship with them that wasn't as intimate. (It did break up, eventually, anyway.)

If you think he is avoidant and uncomfortable with intimacy, then I would suggest seeing a therapist who has worked with attachment disorders. Hopefully, he can see how there may be a connection between his social isolation (fear of intimacy and being exposed) and his sex life (fear of intimacy and messing up). In the first post I linked to you, I included a really long explanation of how I would advise someone to overcome something like that, week by week. Maybe that's something you can try.

If he has been like this for 9 years, he probably has made some conclusions and associations about sex; namely, that the topic of sex only bring up misery and anxiety. Based on his experience, he may not see any hope in trying to overcome these issues. But it's important that he consider that there MAY BE a way to make sex in this marriage work. He doesn't have to believe it WILL happen, just that it might, and therefore be open to exploring and trying some things. Trying that plan in that post I linked is one thing you can try. If he ends up not performing up to his own standards, just let him know that it's really no big deal and that you really appreciate his courage. I would suggest, as I did in that post, that you start off not having sex at all.

Another solution is finding a therapist who treats attachment disorders. You might even consider visiting a sex therapist together.

As long as he's a little open to the possibility of making some changes and having a sex like with you, I think you have some things to try out before giving up on this marriage.



Edahn
1966 days ago
Here's a book that your husband might be interested in reading. It's the book I believe the poster in that linked post read. There's a good chance he (KyleC) will not respond to you since it's been 80 days or so since he wrote you. Maybe your husband could read this and mull it over for some insight.

http://www.amazon.com/Attachment-Adulthood-Structure-Dynamics-Change/dp/1593854579/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243985006&sr=1-3



LWTAZ
1966 days ago
Thank you so much for your insight and input. I dont know if anyone considers, though, what this does to the woman involved. I am disgusted with the whole thing and I am basically sick and tired of dealing with it and his issues that he successfully kept from me. I think what I should do is tell him I think he has some psychological issues and get them fixed or get gone. This has been damaging to me in so many ways, blaming myself for so many years. I know I am supposed to love no matter what, and in some ways I do love him, but I dont want him anymore either, I dont think. So many horrible experiences with sex (and remember, I have my own issues) with him and I am just sick of it all. I am a horrible person for feeling this way, but I cannot help but look at him as a failure.



Edahn
1966 days ago
I understand how hard that must be, especially if you're blaming yourself. It sounds very heavy and full of a lot of misery. I would not judge you if you were too exhausted to keep trying.

One thing I try to remember, though (even though it's very hard, especially when you feel you've expended a lot of emotional energy on something unnecessarily) is that people don't always have insight or the strength to own up to their problems. They are often too deep into their pain where they can't see what's going on. Putting all the pieces together -- even looking at the pieces themselves -- is hard for some people.

I think whatever you decide to do is something you're entitled to do. You've kind of "earned" the freedom to do what you think you have to do.

I wish you both the best.

P.S. I just wanted to be clear about terminology. There is a personality disorder called "Avoidant Personality" which is different from the term "Avoidant Attachment". The second term, which is the term we've been talking about, comes out of the attachment literature, which deals with the way children relate to adults, and later, to their partners. I realized it might be confusing. There is probably some overlap between the two and it might be worth reading up on both topics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_in_adults



LWTAZ
1966 days ago
Thank you so much. Just knowing I am not alone...



Slick
1966 days ago
You are definitely not alone. I am 48 years old and have been married 16 years. In the 16 years, we have been intimate 7 times total. I am in the middle of a divorce. He does not have any physical issues as he went to a doctor and was checked out. His problems stem from his controlling mother. He just does not trust women. I am a very attractive woman and that doesn't seem to matter. I would ask your husband to get checked by a primary care physician and a psychiatrist and then decide what you want to do. I wouldn't suggest an affair as the answer as that clouds the whole issue. Remember, you are number one and have to take care of yourself. Good Luck!



LWTAZ
1964 days ago
Can I please ask what finally tipped you "over the edge" to leave him? I keep thinking I will leave my husband, but then after one graduates high school, then after his mother is situated...just never seems to be the right time and time is clicking by and I am miserable?



bella
1965 days ago
Hi LWTAZ,

I'm glad Edahn was able to help, by giving you the resources. If he suffers from premature ejaculation, then this would explain why he has so much anxiety about sex. When couples argue about sex and then anxiety comes in - it affects desire. I'm sure he doesn't want to be this way. As women we can still perform when we have anxiety, but men can't - it like mixing water and oil - anxiety and erections don't work. I don't think he's avoiding you because he doesn't desire you. I think he's very troubled by his lack of performance and can't relax about sex anymore. Has he tried holding the base of the penis at the first sign of orgasm? This delays the ejacualtion so he can go longer.

Try not to take it personal and be mad because I bet this is agonizing for him too. I think if he could rewrite your marriage, it wouldn't be like this. A man's self esteem is very much related to his ability to perform sexually. I would imagine he feels alot of shame and wishes it could be different. Try to have a heart to heart talk with him, where you both compassionately talk about your feelings - neither should be pointing fingers. I can imagine he's in alot of pain about this and hates hurting you and only knows to hide his feelings(doesn't know any other way). He's 56 and time isn't on his side and old patterns are hard to change - especially if he can't control it. I don't think anyone would blame you, if you divorced him - therefore it shouldn't be ugly. I hope it all peacefully works out for you both.



NothingButJoyful
1964 days ago
Your story is similar to mine, I am also a nurse. In fact your entire senario sounds identical to mine almost. Of course not to get religious but the Creator of the human family and the originator of marriage states we must not without the marital due from the other. What this tells me that it is equivalent to air and water--an essential--a need. Another thought is this scripture: (Exodus 21:10-11) If he should take another wife for himself, her sustenance, her clothing and her marriage due are not to be diminished. If he will not render these three things to her, then she must go out for nothing, without money.

Of course this was when they practice pologamy and had concubines but the importance the Creator puts on the husband despite how many wives he has must render to each wife her due and if he does not he is suppose to let her go.

I found that interesting because I have always underestimated the importance of the marital due both depriving myself and my husband of it. I am learning now how important the marital due really is. I am learning how I am getting the deep intimate needs met in substitute ways. Its weird how it will show up in other behaviors I do that appear unrelated until I analyze it. And nothing will satisfy it because what is needed comes from the one-flesh bond marital due only the spouse can provide--hence the importance of providing it. Affairs are not the answer. How do I cope? Good question. I make it a matter of prayer and ask for help to repair and restore our intimate relations and help me to communicate my needs to my husband. I am starting to see now that I really need to teach my husband how to please me. Alot of his inadequacey in ED comes from failure to make me orgasm. Plus its such performance anxiety for him. Plus alcohol is an issue too--thats probably the main problem with causing the ED.... Anyway I figure if the Creator knows how important it is to marital health that each get their marital due, then he will help me to do his will by helping me either cope with the dysfunction and alcoholism or help me communicate and train my husband to please me sexually. Have you noticed how hard it is for females to be sexually pleased? I have often wondered why female anatomy was designed in such a way that it was hard to stimulate it with intercourse as the male's penis is easy to get stroked in the right places. Actually however the female's clitoris can also be stroked by a penis internally on the back internal side of the clitoris! Now I am thanking the Creator I discovered this at age 40plus but there is so much to how to get in the right position to achieve pleasure. Plus the emotional component for women--the need to feel loved, wanted, held--all goes along with wether the sexual experience will be orgasmic. Ok I think I better hush for now. I just wanted to let you know I feel your pain and the Creator is aware of the importance of we females recieving whats due us....Try not watering a plant and see how much it happily thrives without water. Finally, don't take it personally. It not really rejection of you. Its head problems and maybe biology problems, communication problems.... My thought also is that I need to schedule time to do the marital act and in that time teach the man how to please me. Final answer. Stay in your marriage though if at all possible.



bella
1964 days ago
Thank you to NothingButJoyful for sharing your thoughts on how to put new life into a sex deprived marriage. I think you attempted to open, what would otherwise be a closed door. You're right that if one person(the man) has ED or premature ejaculation, they can still have a fulfilling sex life. You're also right, that we need to teach our partners how to please. Let's say if a man has a freak accident and no longer has a penis(guys plug your ears - shivers...LOL) he can still give his partner pleasure - orally, with his hands, various toys and the woman can pleasure herself during the love making.

I'm speculating here, that in LWTAZ's case her man might be feeling very discouraged, that he can't please her through intercourse. I think if you both are willing, you should experiment pleasing each other in every other way, except intercourse(for now). This will take the pressure of him to maintain an erection and all he has to do is stimulate you in any of the ways, I mentioned above. Later on, you can re-introduce intercourse again and it doesn't matter if he doesn't last long - because then you can shift to the other pleasure modes - that way he doesn't feel like a disappointment to you. Another thing you can try, is during intercourse - stop moving(so he doesn't orgasm) and he/you can stimulate your clitoris by hand and then when you're satisfied , he can start moving again. I think this would make you feel better and it would do wonders for his self esteem.

I suspect your husband feels like a failure in the sex department - but if you're willing you can encourage him to fullfill you in other sexual ways, which would benefit his self esteem and make you happier.

I want you to know that we are trying to encourage you both, to do everything you can to preserve and save your marriage. He needs to know that just because of the premature ejaculation problem - he's still a viable sexual person, capable of pleasing you. I hope you both can re-discover each other. All the best to you both. :)

PS - NothingButJoyful: now I know why you picked that name -cause your husband makes you so happy, LOL - just kidding :)



Clyde
1963 days ago
It really sounds like the wounds from the affair are the huge part of the issue. Not to undermine his not being close or anything to you, because that is important too.

Perhaps you both should go together, instead of just him or whatever?

Best,

Clyde



kmctlr
1963 days ago
I sometimes think that people forget what sex is really all about. It is supposed to be a time of caring and sharing. It can not be demanded and it is not an obligation. Who would want to do it under those circumstances? If a person has a mind-set of getting their own needs met instead of giving to the other, it is sure to fail. I had a relationship with a man who had premature ejaculation. I couldn't have cared less. What I loved was him and being with him. He would get embarrassed about it and I assured him that it didn't matter. Due to a physical condition that can not be changed, I now have my own sexual limitations which my husband and I work around. There are all kinds of physical and mental reasons that can make sex difficult for a couple and most of us encounter one or more of them at some time in our lives. If sex is more important to us than our spouse, then we ought not to get married. One day we will all be old and impotent but if we can still kiss one another with heartfelt love we have found the true meaning of "til death due us part".



bella
1962 days ago
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Good post!