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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been with my wife for 15 years, married 10. We are like roommates at this point. We have had sexual issues for years and it is basically all but stopped. She sees us more as roommates and best friends more than a husband and wife.

I want us to work long term, but I also need passion and the feeling of love in my life.

We have talked and talked about the lack of sex, we have tried different toys, books, ect...she just cannot 'feel' it with me. I think over time she has been through so much and I have ALWAYS been there to pick her up when things were rough that she now sees me as an older brother. She did have a short EA a year ago because she needed to feel that passion with someone because she cannot feel it with me. While hurt and extremely mad I can get over the affair, however I deserve that same passion and yet I havent ever stepped out.

We have talked about me having a sexual partner on the side to fill that need then come home and play house with her. Most guys would be all over this set up, however I have never stepped out on her over the past 15 years and I do not plan on starting now. It's not my style.

I am a great guy, make good money, good looking, I'm in good shape ect, so I am not afraid to be alone.

She is the love of my life but does not love me the way that I deserve. We all deserve to be loved, wanted, desired.
So

Do I tell my best friend that after 15 years she needs to leave?
Do I suck it up and try the sex on the side?
Do I just let the dice roll and see if I can be happy long term with just a roommate?
 

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I've been to the place where you two are at. We've been married for over 10 years. There was a time in our marriage that I saw my husband more as a best friend than a lover. To this day I still have moments where I see him more as a best friend.

Somewhere along the line because of our issues, I've lost a lot of respect for him. This definitely made it so he felt more like a friend than a lover to me. Because of our life circumstances, I've now gained my respect back for my husband. I now view him more as a lover than simply a best friend/living roommate situation.

We now have more love for each and have sex on a fairly regular basis. We don't have the passion that we had for each other during that infatuation stage. But I highly doubt any long term marriage have both partners infatuated with each other like when they were first dating.

Definitely do not try the sex on the side thing. It's simply best to divorce and find another lover, then the hurt/betrayal of a physical affair. Have you asked her why she feels the way she feels about you? Does she truly respect you as a man? Does she read a lot of romance novels and compare you to those fictional heroes? Did she seek counseling to figure out why she can't view you as a lover/husband? How do you feel about her?

I think marriage requires a lot of work from both partners. It takes work to keep that flame alive after so many years. If she's the love of your life and your best friend, then it's worth exhausting all your options before you end it.
 

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I had a similar thing happen to me. I would not suggest an affair. It may help short term, but it will only complicate things. If you are posting here then this lack of intimacy is a big deal, and you need to be clear and confront your wife about it, and tell her if she's not willing to change you will leave. Then if the problem still exists or she is not willing to change, then you should leave - or maybe re-evaluate your priorities then. Bottom line is you would be surprised that she might think there is no problem, or not realize how important this is to you - make it clear before you do any drastic options. Good luck
 

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She is the love of my life but does not love me the way that I deserve. We all deserve to be loved, wanted, desired.
So
Ok, you know what's important to you and what you want in your life.

Do I just let the dice roll and see if I can be happy long term with just a roommate?
You've been doing that already and you haven't been happy. Why would you think that you'd become more happy over time instead of less happy with the status quo?

Do I suck it up and try the sex on the side?
Contrary to what you said in your OP, most men would NOT go for this. Because it doesn't actually get you to the outcome you want - feeling love and passion from the "love of your life."

Do you really want a string of damaged lovers (and a woman who willingly has sex with you while knowing you are married is in some way emotionally damaged or she wouldn't give you the time of day) and STD tests for the rest of your life?

Plus, it's not that easy to "try sex on the side". It can leave you even lonelier and colder when the sex is done if what you long for is passion and a connection with someone who loves you deeply and whom you love deeply.

Do I tell my best friend that after 15 years she needs to leave?
That might be your best option for future happiness. 15 years may seem like a long time, but imagine another 15 years with a woman who has no passion for you.

It might be the wake-up call she needs to start working on what is getting in the way of passion. Or it might free you both to find love and passion with someone else.
 

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Have you read Married Man Sex Life by Athol Kay? I also recommend Rollo Tomassi's blog Rational Male and alot of guys on here like Roissy's blog Chateau Heartiste. These blogs are pick up artist (PUA) type stuff. MMSL incorporates PUA into long term relationships and Rollo is really good about intergender dynamics and touches on long term dynamics but doesn't think the dark triad of persionality traits is a requisite for attraction like Roissy. Roissy is a straight up cad, so beware of the love them and leave them advice on his blog.

This stuff has somewhat worked for me. In late May I got "I'm just not that attracted to you" and "I never really was that attracted to you" and "I had also hoped the passion would grow, but it just didn't." (Keep in my mind we have two kids who were both accidents because we got carried away). In June she started her EA/PAlite (kissing, "heavy petting") and then I got ILYBNILWY (I Love You But I'm Not In Love With You). In July we separated. In August, I had a couple isolated but fairly passionate hook ups with her. Nothing for a few months, and I started reading a bunch of PUA and evolutionary pysch stuff about women's attraction. Then I started platonically dating a couple of really hot younger women, and covertly and overtly let her know I had other options. Now in December other guy is totally gone, and she is digging the changes I have made both physically and mentally when it comes to her attraction to me. We are sorting out whether we want to still be married.

So you need to start spinning plates and covertly communicate other women's interest in you. Stop negotiating her desire...it will never work. But a shirtless ripped version of you who has other options will kick her limbic system into action. Run MMSL's MAP up to the ultimatum. I agree with Rollo Tomassi that ultimatums are declarations of weakness and will only come off as negotiating for her desire. Right now she is mating in captivity, and sex with you is a chore. She needs a big fat wake up call that while you may not cheat, you could if you wanted too.

Bottom line for me was I found talking about my desire and need for passion comes off as negotiating and weakness. Having expectations of intimacy kills the chance of intimacy. Doing more housework with an expectation of getting laid makes things worse. Being too understanding of her moods communicates that you are a doormat. Taking what you get means you will only ever get scraps.

I suggest studying up on what the science says will make her "feel it" for you. And like Athol Kay says, if it doesn't work on her, it will work on someone else. Good luck.
 

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I would suggest reading Intimacy and Desire by David Snarch and find a good MC who can help you in this type of therapy. Buy a copy for yourself and for your wife. Read a chapter and then compare notes. It is not abnormal for long term relationships to be on this place and there is hope. Both of you have some growing to do. PM me if you would like more info on snarch's approach. Best to you....
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I'm in such a similar boat, Todd. My husband and I have been married since 1999, and dated for approximately two years before marrying. The sex was lousy even before we married. It left me just not wanting him in that manner at all. Yet we did get along very well otherwise. I was 31 years old, and had been through some rough relationships. I've dealt with a lot of rejection in my life, and I was scared I'd never find the right man (and partly convinced that true love didn't exist anyway) -- so I "settled" for him. He's a decent guy with a decent income, he's not abusive, and my biological clock was ticking. We haven't had sex in 10 years. We don't sleep in the same room. We are, for all intents and purposes, roommates -- which doesn't exactly set a good example of what a loving marriage is for our two boys, 9 and 11 years old. (Yes, the last time we had sex was when our younger son was conceived). I've been on SSRI's for a good chunk of that time, (and he has too), which if nothing else dulled emotions and killed libido anyway. We NEVER talk about "our situation". The whole thing is a farce.

I've recently been through somewhat of a "reawakening" of my soul triggered by something I'd rather not go into detail about here. Suffice to say it's not about "finding God" or an affair. I've stopped taking the SSRI's, and my emotions have come back to me in torrents -- some of them are pure bliss, some are painful, and some are loaded with anger. But the anger feels GOOD believe it or not. I feel alive again. And I have SO MUCH love to give. I've realized how sad I am and how much I long for physical intimacy and REAL love with a man. I'm fairly certain at this time that my husband doesn't realize I'm feeling this way. I also think that he's likely capable of putting on this charade indefinitely. But I need to tell him sooner or later that I CANNOT.

We are trapped at this time which kills me. We own a house that is surely upside down on what we owe. We have another set of assets that will be VERY hard to liquidate at this time due to the economy. We have a large debt burden on credit cards as well. There is no way one of us can move out of the house and afford an apartment. I worry about our two boys and how they would take it. It's not like my husband and I are fighting all the time. We don't hate each other, and we're very good friends. I think my younger son will be VERY confused and distraught.

I do think the answer is to make a clean break -- both in your situation and in mine. The "sex on the side" scenario isn't going to satisfy you. There's really no intimacy in that kind of sex anyway. It's just f*ck*ng -- which is all well and good -- but it isn't a long term solution. The "permanent roommate" option is a crying shame and waste of your own happiness for the rest of your life.

Now we just need to figure out how to DO this in our respective circumstances. I have a feeling that declaring bankruptcy may be our only option. :(

I have been with my wife for 15 years, married 10. We are like roommates at this point. We have had sexual issues for years and it is basically all but stopped. She sees us more as roommates and best friends more than a husband and wife.

I want us to work long term, but I also need passion and the feeling of love in my life.

We have talked and talked about the lack of sex, we have tried different toys, books, ect...she just cannot 'feel' it with me. I think over time she has been through so much and I have ALWAYS been there to pick her up when things were rough that she now sees me as an older brother. She did have a short EA a year ago because she needed to feel that passion with someone because she cannot feel it with me. While hurt and extremely mad I can get over the affair, however I deserve that same passion and yet I havent ever stepped out.

We have talked about me having a sexual partner on the side to fill that need then come home and play house with her. Most guys would be all over this set up, however I have never stepped out on her over the past 15 years and I do not plan on starting now. It's not my style.

I am a great guy, make good money, good looking, I'm in good shape ect, so I am not afraid to be alone.

She is the love of my life but does not love me the way that I deserve. We all deserve to be loved, wanted, desired.
So

Do I tell my best friend that after 15 years she needs to leave?
Do I suck it up and try the sex on the side?
Do I just let the dice roll and see if I can be happy long term with just a roommate?
 

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ToddWilliams - you sound like my husband. He is in your very situation.

Hubby and I have lived as roommates for over 3 years (been married for 4). Zero sex 'nor do I want it.

I have told him to find someone on the side - he says he will not commit adultery.

He's a good man, but the passion is gone. I care for him, but do not love him. I know that he adores me.

We share financial responsibilities only. Live pretty separate lives for the most part (no children - was a late in life, first marriage for me).

It's very sad. We have tried counselling - I have no interest. It is what it is.
 

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Well said and feeling in the same situation with the exception that my wife has never offered the sex on the side option (which I don't know if I could turn down this offer). Married 10 years and see no light at the end of the tunnel. I am curious to read the advice you get.

Can offer you any advice, but misery loves company and I'm there with you.
 

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needprogress - I agree.

The situation is tolerable.

Boils down to survival of the fittest. Perhaps he'll find someone else and move on.

He's gone over 3 years without intimacy - I KNOW he is not getting any on the side. He's not the type that would - ever. And I am not naive.

I think he knows he'd be in a bad situation financially if he did go anywhere (unless she was rich :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First off all THANK YOU to everyone who has replied. Your comments and feedback have been a major help and have given me a lot to think about.

I wanted to give this a few days to really see what many of you had to say.

Moiraine
Does she respect me? As a person YES, as her husband NO.
Does she read a lot of romance? She reads alot, but not much romance.
Has she sought counseling? Yes, but I don’t think she is honest with herself or the therapist.
How do I feel about her? I love her, however I deserve more than she is offering.
She has major intimacy issues and Im not sure she truly knows how to love and trust.

Toffer
Solid points, hard to argue. No over thinking the situation.

Devotion
You are the 2nd to say do NOT have an affair. Interesting. We have both been very upfront and honest. We know there is an issue. She cannot change her feelings. So I have to decide what I am willing to tolerate from this marriage.

Norajane
You have made some great points. I understand that sex on the side could leave me feeling more alone then I do now. That is one thing I have thought a lot about. Asking her to leave after 15 years would be the hardest thing I ever have to do, however you are right about me having at least another 15 with her could be a very hard life for me.

Wtf2012
I have not read any blogs or books. It sounds like your overall advise is to become more of a mans man, try to make her jealous, show her other women want me and would be happy to take me off her hands. Honestly your approach makes a lot of sense, however I do not know if I am willing to play that many games to try to convince her that she should want me. Maybe it is all part of working the magic to keep the marriage alive I guess. I will start by making a couple changes your way to see how it goes.

HealthyMe
Thank you for a very clean straight forward answer. I will buy a couple and toss out the idea. If she is willing I am too. If she is not even willing to read a book and compare some notes I guess I know where she really stands on making us better.

SecondSkin
I am truly sorry that you are in such a bad spot. I know it cannot be easy for you. I am sure my wife says the same thing as you do. She had some bad relationships, “settled” for me out of fear that nothing better would come along, now feels stuck with this really nice guy that she doesn’t truly love as a wife should. No way out.

Good luck to you. I hope everything works out for you.

katc
wow… scary same situation. So why do we bother? Don’t we all deserve to be truly happy and loved? My wife and I can talk about anything and feel that we have the potential to grow old together and be great friends until the day we die… but is that enough? I am a man with NEEDS so do I give up a best friend to grow old with for my urges? I really am stuck. I do not know what I want more.

needprogress
Sorry to hear brother. It sucks and it is frustrating to no end. I will not go down without a fight, but I also refuse to go down with a sinking ship. I think my story is a long way from over, but I will toss a couple notes in here from time to time.

katc
If you know that it is a bad situation and you know he is really unhappy why don’t you end it? If he is too in love with you to leave but you know you are both not in the right situation why keep either of you there? I’m not trying to pry, just trying to understand.



Seriously THANK YOU to every one who posted so far. You have provided great feedback, solid reading ideas, blogs, questions to consider, female perspective, and even a little bit of hope.

I know that no matter how my situation ends that I will come out of it on top. With or without my wife I will do great things and continue to be a good man.
 

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ToddWilliams: You ask:

katc
wow… scary same situation. So why do we bother? Don’t we all deserve to be truly happy and loved? My wife and I can talk about anything and feel that we have the potential to grow old together and be great friends until the day we die… but is that enough? I am a man with NEEDS so do I give up a best friend to grow old with for my urges? I really am stuck. I do not know what I want more.


I suppose the "why" is because I no longer respect him. We've had our history of him calling me an f'ing bit**, telling me to "f off", etc.
Lack of respect for his daughter, ex wife, etc. There's so much more, but that is the jist of it pretty much. Respect is huge in a relationship and when it's gone, so too is the relationship pretty much.

There was a day I loved him. Remember telling my best friend "every woman deserves to be loved how he loves me". Shortly thereafter, it all went downhill. There's so much more - but this post would be far too long.

In a nutshell, stay for financial reasons. It was my investment that bought this house. Was a single Mom for 28 years, I cannot walk from what is rightfully my son's when I am gone. I can't afford to buy him out - 'nor can he afford to buy me out.

I have my "moments" where I can't stand the sight of him and could easily walk, but won't/can't. We have a lovely home, 3 great dogs, great jobs. I have always said that if he would leave, all would be right with the world. If we sold, we'd lose alot (of my years of saving prior to him coming on the scene).

Perhaps it sounds like I'm "material" - in a sense, I am. As a single Mom I scrimped and saved to get to the financial position I was in when I met him - THAT is for my son, not a man who I have lived with for a mere 4 years.

It works for us. My concern is that if I die - he'll get it all, I am currently without a will. (Working on that now). Am also filing for divorce to ensure my assets stay where they belong.

He too could walk, but won't. He says he would be homeless if he did.

So we stay, he pretty much has the lower level of the home, I have the upper level. He cooks, we share the bills. He's free to come and go as he pleases, as am I.

I have given you the reasons why I stay, it's not the right situation for either of us - especially him, he is younger than I. It's comfortable, but I'm jealous of those who have great marriages - always wanting that for myself. I guess that's the reason I married so late in life for the first time - never met the right one. Even walking down the aisle to him I knew ... it didn't feel right.

I often wonder what husby does with his "needs". I mean, how long can a man go without? He says he will not commit adultery and I believe him. If he did have someone on the side ... good for him. Maybe she'll be the ticket both of us need.

And here I am.
 

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If your wife does not feel passion with you, and already started the process of adultery, there is a tremendous possibility that she will be unfaithful to you...The only way you are "safe" in your marriage is if it is passionate.... Getting a girl on the side is not a solution and what kind of idiot female would be willing to date a married man is anyone's guess.... My vote, leave and start over.. Unless you have kids, then I would possibly adjust my advice.
 

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Todd:

The old standard test still applies: If you KNEW you would be dead three months from today, is *THIS* how you would have wanted to spend the last 3 months?

If she is TRULY your friend and TRULY loves you, she would want a healthy happy relationship for YOU (and for herself). That is what *I* want for my friends! You're not getting that in this marriage. Time to move on.

I think you and your W will BOTH be surprised by what you find in your NEW lives!
 

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Todd.. wow. I am so glad to read your post.. My husband is not passionate or affectionate with me at all. I crave it.. I tried talking to him but it doesn't do any good. Not sure how he can live in a house with so much distant between us. He seems like it does not bother him.

I don't think an EA is the answer but I to see why people have them... especially if you love the person and don't want to leave or due to financial reasons you can't leave. I think we all need and deserved to be loved.

Good luck in rolling the dice and being happy with a roommate.. I doubt it.. mine seems to be worst as the years go by. Wish I had an answer for you...wish I had one for myself.
 

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Kelgirl - my husby and I have lived together "as friends" with ZERO benefits for 3 plus years. Works fine.

All is amicable. We share expenses.

Is it what I had hoped for in my marriage - never. But then again - marriage isn't the fairy tale we'd like it to be. Could it be close, I'd like to think so. Sadly, mine isn't. Never will be. But this works for us ... for now.
 

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I think in some ways i was ok with the roommate session and my STBXW was not. So, she ended it, since it takes two to be roommates or any sort of couple.

Funny thing is a good roommate is also hard to find, too :)
Oh well, she went the whole EA route, so it made accepting her decision easier, as I didn't want to be with someone who hurt me like that. If she didn't do the EA and we stayed in status quo... well, don't know. I probably could have been fine in that ignorance. Tough situation.. good luck to all.
 

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To some cohabitation is enough, but for me life is too short for that kind of life. I would like to recommend a trial separation prior to moving to divorce to help gain perspective.

1. 30 day separation with limited contact. Contact should only be for financial or child issues.

2. next 30 days should be for dating to help reintroduce romance back into the relationship. This needs to be without children distractions.

3. Final 30 days should progress to physical romance, including intimacy in various forms, to include sex. Also you need to develop a plan for reuniting and how to better communicate and keep the intimacy.
 
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