There’s been a lot of discussion about “sexless” marriages, many focusing on how to define “sexless. Honestly, I don’t want to have to turn to a so-called “expert” or another couples’ definition of sexless — I want to determine if my relationship is sexless based on whether my sexual needs, and those of my partner, are being met. And, for anyone who has watched Woody Allen’s classic Annie Hall, even couples themselves have radically different definitions of what’s “too much” or “not enough” sex.
Enter the discussion that’s going on over at The New I Do website. The post dates back to 2014, but regardless — the recent comments indicate a certain percentage of wives and husbands are not getting their sexual needs met, even though in many other ways their marriage is comfortable and their husband or wife (and, despite the stereotypes, their are more wives complaining about disinterested husbands than vice-versa) is “wonderful” or a “great father/mother.”
As I’ve written before, there are many ways spouses can betray each other beyond just affairs or denying the other sex — being “neglectful, indifferent, contemptuous, asexual, demeaning, insulting, as Esther Perel says — often is as — and sometimes more — damaging as physical abuse. In my poll, people overwhelming thought those behaviors were just as much of a betrayal as infidelity
Still, tell people that you sexual needs aren’t being met, and you’ll no likely hear about how you only “need” sex X times a week or month to be “normal,” or that you should focus on the other great qualities your hubby or wife has. Great, but it’s little consolation for those who are literally starved for sexual contact.
Just listen to the comments. From Katrina:
We have not had successful sex in 19 years. He has no interest in rectifying his problem. Wonderful man in all other ways, but I am very depressed over this. tweet
To me, it’s not merely the act of sex. What I’m missing is being desired, having the intimacy and spontaneity that we had before. Breathing each other’s air, cuddling up, caressing faces, shoulders, derrieres, all of it. Secret looks, anticipation. Where did it go and do I have to go the rest of my life without it? This is not the relationship that I was “promised” when I bought the idea that we would be lifelong partners. I am in no way interested now in him. It is, in fact, a betrayal. tweet
it is so hard to go without any physical connection. I feel cheated and misled. I didn’t sign up for this and don’t know what to do. I get where I am very angry with him and don’t want to even be near him. It helps to know I am not alone. tweet
From Sally Jones:
Doctors often ask if one is “experiencing a lot of stress”. For me, living in a sexless marriage is very stressful. Is that a normal reaction? tweet
From Lonely Wife:
I live in a sexless marriage where my husband thinks it’s ok to brush over this because he loves me and we’re otherwise happy. Well I’m not. I don’t want to leave him because I love my kids, I have nowhere to go, I gave up my career for his etc. I cannot stand being trapped here for 20 years wasting my life away with a friend when I want a lover too. I feel so disgusted in myself and hate myself so much. I used to feel attractive but not I just feel worthless. tweet
And from the guys, including Bern:
It’s been three and a half months since we have been together and I’m starting to consider other alternatives. This isn’t what I signed on for, but the phrase for better or worse still means something to me. If we can’t improve things I’m afraid I’ll be someone who will cheat, and that isn’t who I want to be. tweet
My wife, who is 7 year older than I and I love deeply, has fallen into a not uncommon phase where she has no desire for sex. She attests to find me attractive still, but she just doesn’t feel the desire for sex anymore. Waxing a little selfish, this leaves me in the lurch as a healthy 40 year old male who loves his wife, finds her completely desirable and desperately wants to consumate that love… Two wrongs don’t make a right, but the hole created lends to such other problems as blocks in communciation, unconscious distancing, wandering eye syndrome and the desire for the intimate touch even if it’s from another person/lover. It’s a terrible place in an otherwise very happy marriage. tweet
And, finally, from Sam:
My wife tells me she cant decide if she wants to be in the marriage anymore. And she has no energy for sex. We have kids. She has asked me to be patient with her, but its two years now. I really want my marriage to work, but I am feeling frustrated and confused. Some woman do not understand how damaging withholding sex in a marriage can be. tweet
Actually, Sam, I think many men and women realize just how damaging withholding sex can be, if they’re the ones who are victims to the withholding.
So some of those commenting said they felt justified in cheating. But while that solves their problem temporarily, it creates its own new problems.
If medical issues have been ruled out and your spouse won’t make any effort to help bring desire and sex back into the marriage when you lovingly and honestly express your needs, well, that’s telling you a lot.
There’s no easy answer for the unhappy and sexless masses if they don’t want to divorce except to turn their marriage into a parenting marriage, if there are young kids at home, or an open or monogamish marriage.
What do you think?
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