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My wife and I have been married 17 yrs and been dating 5 years prior to marriage. We have never had sex weekly as a matter of fact sex was at best monthly. Most of the time it was quarterly and although we get along very well the last ten years sex has been almost non existent.

We have two children a teen and a autistic son who is younger.

My wife has been diagnosed now with MS with has now driven her libido to nothing.

I am now faced with what to do about the situation? What can be even expected when I have let the situation get to this point.

Bitterness and anger from what has been lost and now a situation where little can be done is driving me to the point of wanting immediate resolution. I feel badly about our situation but I can see no resolution or even middle ground.

She wants to got to a Dr. for some medical help but I am reading that little can be done about the MS and sexual response. I feel like after 20 years of lack of intimacy our relationship will take years to fix and at my age I may not be able to get involved with a reclamation project and invest more time when nothing is likely to change.

Answered my own question lol.
 

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I am proof positive that going without sex for long periods of time won't "kill you". However, it has a tendency to harden you and make you appear to be anti-social. Other than to suggest you give yourself "a hand", I'm afraid that I have no helpful suggestions.
Sorry for your situation as well as that of your wife.
 

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Well, it sounds like sex in your relationship is out of a sense of obligation. That married couples are supposed to have sex every once in a while.

I could be off but a woman will respond better if you put in just a little extra effort to romance her. Leave an "I love you" post it note on the bathroom mirror after you've left for work in the morning for her to find. Compliment the way that she looks. Like you love that blouse on her. She looks beautiful in it. Send her flowers with a note on it saying " Just because it's Tuesday." And if she works have them delivered to her work! Trust me on this one! Her female co-workers are going to give you soooo many hero points! "MY HUSBAND NEVER SENDS ME FLOWERS!!!" She'll hear that all day long. After a long day, beat her home and cook her favorite meal. Draw a bath for her and get the opportunity to wash her back as she soaks. Be romantic about it. Have some scented candles lit.

If you make her feel special, then she'll make you feel really special!

If the MS is going to be problematic, then you really need to sit down and talk about what will work for you two sexually and what (if anything, normally MS victims usually have numbness) is going to hurt for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You are supposing that all of which you speak of hasnt happened in the past, the extra effort has been going on for many many years. Has never stopped until now.

I realize I can sound very cold and I am not at all like that but this situation has me beaten down and flat for some time.

I just feel like if there is not going to be a physical relationship then other things have to change for the marriage to continue. That will probably be the showstopper, but you cant have some things and not others. There has to be an emotional detachment from my part to be someones room mate. The dynamic of the relationship has to change. Sleeping arrangements, financial considerations. Atleast until my son is old enough to figure out where he wants to live or I have to stay to help my wife through what are sure to be some challenges going forward.

Marriage is a give and take, what this will become from here on out will be a relationship but most definitely it will not be a traditional marriage. Really sad.



Well, it sounds like sex in your relationship is out of a sense of obligation. That married couples are supposed to have sex every once in a while.

I could be off but a woman will respond better if you put in just a little extra effort to romance her. Leave an "I love you" post it note on the bathroom mirror after you've left for work in the morning for her to find. Compliment the way that she looks. Like you love that blouse on her. She looks beautiful in it. Send her flowers with a note on it saying " Just because it's Tuesday." And if she works have them delivered to her work! Trust me on this one! Her female co-workers are going to give you soooo many hero points! "MY HUSBAND NEVER SENDS ME FLOWERS!!!" She'll hear that all day long. After a long day, beat her home and cook her favorite meal. Draw a bath for her and get the opportunity to wash her back as she soaks. Be romantic about it. Have some scented candles lit.

If you make her feel special, then she'll make you feel really special!

If the MS is going to be problematic, then you really need to sit down and talk about what will work for you two sexually and what (if anything, normally MS victims usually have numbness) is going to hurt for her.
 

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You are supposing that all of which you speak of hasnt happened in the past, the extra effort has been going on for many many years. Has never stopped until now.
Of course I'm supposing! Your first post was pretty vague except for the fact that you've made it clear you're not getting laid.

Well, the your really need to sit down and have a massive heart to heart and really lay it out there that this is really bothering you. Now, you'll probably tell me that you've spoken to her at length about this.

SO! If you're looking for someone to tell you it's okay to leave or cheat on your wife...sorry, I can't advise you on that.
 

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Thanks for your reply, I have spoken to her at length and she recognizes that there has been a problem all along. I appreciate the replies also very much. Let me say further that I am not at all looking for justification on looking elsewhere for intimacy or to get laid outside the marriage. I would prefer to figure out some coping mechanisms so that my frustrations don't spill over to the rest of my family and my work environment (it has in a big way already)

I also need some suggestions on how to make sure that I begin to pull away and be able to ask for separate beds and maybe to separate our lives in certain areas. My interest is not to hurt the good parts of the relationship since I really need to be there for my son. I guess I am making the choice to stay because I love him more than I need intimacy. But make no mistake I need to emotionally separate as a husband and spouse and become more about being a caregiver to him and a room mate to her and possible a caregiver to her down the road. Marriage is a contract and when one party reneges on one portion of the contract there has to be ramifications. If one party has all the benefits of the contract but none of the responsibility there has to be renegotiate the remaining portions of the contract. I guess I need to figure out what is susceptible to negotiations and what is not? Any ideas?

I feel the need to be rational and logical in this situation since there was a choice made many years ago by her to not repair the relationship and now due to health circumstances it probably cannot be repaired to a normal healthy relationship.

If this seems to be cold I apologize as it is not meant to but sometimes writing about this situation has been cathartic and I need an outlet.



Of course I'm supposing! Your first post was pretty vague except for the fact that you've made it clear you're not getting laid.

Well, the your really need to sit down and have a massive heart to heart and really lay it out there that this is really bothering you. Now, you'll probably tell me that you've spoken to her at length about this.

SO! If you're looking for someone to tell you it's okay to leave or cheat on your wife...sorry, I can't advise you on that.
 

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If this has been going on for so long, I'm sure you've tried a million things. But...have you tried talking about your sexual fantasies with each other? Even your sexual fantasies from your youth. My very first fantasy is very precious to me. Or things you've always wanted to try but never got a chance. It could maybe be the beginning of opening up your sexual selves to each other.
You can talk without pressure to act. Just talk in order to know each other better. Best of luck!
 

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You might not be able to achieve this. Just as you feel the lack of sex tainted the whole marriage and impacted your feelings for her, she might feel that the lack of that which you now want to avoid (sleeping in the same bed, for one) taints the marriage from her perspective. And, while you are willing to stick it out to spare your son from custody hassles, you cannot say she is willing to do the same.

At the same time you cannot keep this from her forever. Noting she may be fearful of your reaction as it is (after the MS diagnosis is an odd time to decide to work on the issue) you need to be simultaneously sensitive and honest. If I were you, I would simply say "I intend to honor my marriage vows. But, the fact that you knowingly allowed our most physically capable years to slip by is triggering significant resentment in me, and I need to find my way through it."

You are not passing judgment on her - by saying she "squandered" those years, for instance. You are simply noting she chose to not
ct on the problem - a fact she pointed out herself. You are owning your resentment and your responsibility to deal with it.

IMO, if she really is remorseful she would accept your current feelings as a natural consequence of her conduct and work hard to regain your trust. But, she may reject your position, arguing that sex is not that important, as the man you should be serving her needs first, her illness should outweigh your issues, etc. If that happens you will need to be firm, communicate what you will or will not do, and be prepared to set boundaries to protect yourself.

Good luck.

Thanks for your reply, I have spoken to her at length and she recognizes that there has been a problem all along. I appreciate the replies also very much. Let me say further that I am not at all looking for justification on looking elsewhere for intimacy or to get laid outside the marriage. I would prefer to figure out some coping mechanisms so that my frustrations don't spill over to the rest of my family and my work environment (it has in a big way already)

I also need some suggestions on how to make sure that I begin to pull away and be able to ask for separate beds and maybe to separate our lives in certain areas. My interest is not to hurt the good parts of the relationship since I really need to be there for my son. I guess I am making the choice to stay because I love him more than I need intimacy. But make no mistake I need to emotionally separate as a husband and spouse and become more about being a caregiver to him and a room mate to her and possible a caregiver to her down the road. Marriage is a contract and when one party reneges on one portion of the contract there has to be ramifications. If one party has all the benefits of the contract but none of the responsibility there has to be renegotiate the remaining portions of the contract. I guess I need to figure out what is susceptible to negotiations and what is not? Any ideas?

I feel the need to be rational and logical in this situation since there was a choice made many years ago by her to not repair the relationship and now due to health circumstances it probably cannot be repaired to a normal healthy relationship.

If this seems to be cold I apologize as it is not meant to but sometimes writing about this situation has been cathartic and I need an outlet.
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Discussion Starter #9
I have been searching for a marriage counselor for the two of us, we have been speaking about this and she would like us to go out alone on a sort of date every so often. She said that throughout our marriage that I have gone out with friends and have spent time away but it never seems to be with her. I have agreed to that and will try to make it as often as possible. i think i would like that as well to try to re connect.

I have told her that part of any agreement will have to include frequency levels of intimacy. After 20 some odd years of hardly any activity that I need some performance level guarantees. That may seem to be harsh but at this point in my life I am going to swing for the fences after being denied intimacy and companionship. The penalty clause here will not be departure but a life size real doll that resembles my wife (although enhanced in certain areas that is kept for companionship) The doll may lack intimacy but half a loaf is better than no loaf. When i take it out and dress it up and bring it to family functions then it will sink in that I am serious. At approximately $5,000.00 I will be hard pressed to give it up and the hilarity that ensues will be great to watch. Sometimes you have to make a point and best to make a grand point. I may even draw up a contract, it may make me feel better if I get it in writing.

I am sure that I will get shot down by either her or the therapist but I now have a WTF attitude where I am going for broke. If I things don't get fixed then I stay and spend my retirement money on sex toys and pornography.
 

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If this has been going on for so long, I'm sure you've tried a million things. But...have you tried talking about your sexual fantasies with each other? Even your sexual fantasies from your youth. My very first fantasy is very precious to me. Or things you've always wanted to try but never got a chance. It could maybe be the beginning of opening up your sexual selves to each other.
You can talk without pressure to act. Just talk in order to know each other better. Best of luck!
This is a good idea....even if its casual talk about whats hot or interesting. Could make a huge difference.


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What does she say when you tell her how utterly miserable you are without a sex life? What did she say when you told her that you needed a guarantee of a certain level of frequency? I don't get her at all. Does she feel too secure that you would never leave her? Have you told her that this is a deal breaker? She need a wake up call. Have you come out and said that you love her and want sex once every two weeks, or you'll have to live as roomates but seek what you are missing on the outside. Just because you were complacent in the past does not mean that you have to be that way at this stage of your life.
 

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since you are willing to swing for the fences-----why not tell her how often you want/need sex going forward? ask her what she wants too. give it a try.
 

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What does she say when you tell her how utterly miserable you are without a sex life? What did she say when you told her that you needed a guarantee of a certain level of frequency? I don't get her at all. Does she feel too secure that you would never leave her? Have you told her that this is a deal breaker? She need a wake up call. Have you come out and said that you love her and want sex once every two weeks, or you'll have to live as roomates but seek what you are missing on the outside. Just because you were complacent in the past does not mean that you have to be that way at this stage of your life.
I spoke to her about performance guarantees, I said that at this point in our marriage I would need at least three times a week to satisfy my needs. She did not seem to react to that at all, I am sure she will concur with whatever the Therapist says.

Unfortunately we want what we want, I would prefer to recoup my youth and reclaim some of what was lost. I explained that I have no interest in any but, and or ifs, just performance based guarantees. I am very logical person and have no desire to fight about this either, if I even get an inkling that she isnt into it or it becomes pity sex then I stop and renegotiate.

Funny I even say renegotiate, what can be negotiated. I try to do half the chores and I am a big part of my sons life. I guess renegotiation could be my further emotional withdraw and to have negotiated time for myself. Every other weekend away and three weeks vacation every year. lmao, its not like i can negotiate less chores.

My biggest problem is that with her lack of drive ( she likes sex quarterly)I like sex every day. The problem may re appear later when he symptoms get worse. ****ty situation and I fear there is no good way to remedy for either one of us. The person who has an extremely low sex drive always has their needs met and the other person has to either lower their expectations or move on. sucks to be the person with the high sex drive I guess.
 

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I am thinking about writing a marriage contract going forward. It can cover everything we both want and let the therapist mediate this.
 

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When she was healthy you were afraid to assert yourself, but now that she needs you it is ok to be aggressive and make demands.
 

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When she was healthy you were afraid to assert yourself, but now that she needs you it is ok to be aggressive and make demands.
I would be very curious to hear her side. Op, by your own admission you said she was hurt that you didn't take her out, favoring your buddies instead. Now you want to take her out but only under a "getting laid" guarantee?
Is this false bravado or are you really this way?
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When she was healthy you were afraid to assert yourself, but now that she needs you it is ok to be aggressive and make demands.
The low libido and coldness has been from the beginning, I have been as assertive as possible without leaving.

She is still relatively healthy but she has some side effects from the medications she is taking.

I guess I was willing to live with the situation but always trying to make it better. The situation for me has gone from bad too much worse to the point where I need to either see a therapist 3 times a week or repair the situation. Unfortunately, I am not a perfect person and I need to have some affection and intimacy. After 22 years of trying to be a better person and a better husband and father there has been a certain resentment about aspects of our relationship. I wish i was Jesus like but i am not and haven't pretended to be.

If marriage is a partnership then I want a partner, in every way. I am honoring my commitment to love, honor and be there for her but I need her to do the same. Everyone has needs and I am simply stating what my needs are and what I need going forward.
 

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I would be very curious to hear her side. Op, by your own admission you said she was hurt that you didn't take her out, favoring your buddies instead. Now you want to take her out but only under a "getting laid" guarantee?
Is this false bravado or are you really this way?
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In our conversations I do feel as if she was hurt by us not spending time alone. I admit freely that I withdrew many years ago emotionally when our physical relationship stopped.

Our detente started early on in our marriage, we had a period of a year or so that we had no relations whatsoever. the further our physical relationship slipped away the more detached I was.

When i wrote that I went out with friends more than I did my wife, let me just say that I am a homebody, this was never a frequent event. I am home almost every night. There are chores around the house to do and laundry not too mention yard work so i stay home quite a bit. My wife goes out frequently with my daughter and her relatives and I am home with my son and doing work.

When i use a term such as performance level guarantee I am trying to describe what I feel i need from the marriage to be happy. As cold as that may sound she can say "Like it or Lump it" if she is so inclined. Then i can proceed with what I have to do. Everyone makes choices in this life, I am laying out my case to her and communicating that I want to stay but I feel cheated from our past experiences. If she feels as though she needs something that I am currently not providing, this is the time to fix our relationship and ask for what she needs.

I have no problem if she says no, but as I am asking if my needs are not being met what am I obligated to provide in this marriage? here is what I am asking:

Am i expected to sleep in the same bed?
Am i expected to participate in family functions and holidays?
Am i expected to provide care?

If she feels being intimate and having a physical relationship with me is out of the question, what is my response to be? I am asking those questions here as well as to her.

My wife is a very nice person who I love very much and it would be sad if she did not want to participate in the marriage. You can never force someone to love you or be in love with you. But you can state to the other person what you need to be engaged in the relationship.

I am very much the way i am, unfortunately the media in which we use forces us to try to get to the point without some nuances. I am sometimes a black and white person. Thank You for the response.

I didnt write for everyone to tell me I am wrong or right, more to help with suggestions on coping or may be approaching the situation in a way that will help us both.
 

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In our conversations I do feel as if she was hurt by us not spending time alone. I admit freely that I withdrew many years ago emotionally when our physical relationship stopped.

Our detente started early on in our marriage, we had a period of a year or so that we had no relations whatsoever. the further our physical relationship slipped away the more detached I was.

When i wrote that I went out with friends more than I did my wife, let me just say that I am a homebody, this was never a frequent event. I am home almost every night. There are chores around the house to do and laundry not too mention yard work so i stay home quite a bit. My wife goes out frequently with my daughter and her relatives and I am home with my son and doing work.

When i use a term such as performance level guarantee I am trying to describe what I feel i need from the marriage to be happy. As cold as that may sound she can say "Like it or Lump it" if she is so inclined. Then i can proceed with what I have to do. Everyone makes choices in this life, I am laying out my case to her and communicating that I want to stay but I feel cheated from our past experiences. If she feels as though she needs something that I am currently not providing, this is the time to fix our relationship and ask for what she needs.

I have no problem if she says no, but as I am asking if my needs are not being met what am I obligated to provide in this marriage? here is what I am asking:

Am i expected to sleep in the same bed?
Am i expected to participate in family functions and holidays?
Am i expected to provide care?

If she feels being intimate and having a physical relationship with me is out of the question, what is my response to be? I am asking those questions here as well as to her.

My wife is a very nice person who I love very much and it would be sad if she did not want to participate in the marriage. You can never force someone to love you or be in love with you. But you can state to the other person what you need to be engaged in the relationship.

I am very much the way i am, unfortunately the media in which we use forces us to try to get to the point without some nuances. I am sometimes a black and white person. Thank You for the response.

I didnt write for everyone to tell me I am wrong or right, more to help with suggestions on coping or may be approaching the situation in a way that will help us both.
Your response cleared things up a bit. I don't think you can ever come back from this. Anger and resentment are words often over used and I think it by those who have a mindset of "get over it". I too have been married nearly as long as you. Rejected from almost the moment the honeymoon was over. Now he is all in and cannot figure out why he makes me recoil. That's why I said I wanted to hear your wife's point of view. My husband now will tell anybody who will listen about how I don't want sex anymore. I do, just not with him. He had his chances over and over and he threw me aside for friends, hobbies, etc. My point to my story is I suspect that your wife feels as I do. I could be way off but I wanted you to hear the other side. As I said, difficult to go back. I am planning to divorce and yes, I do understand your anger/lost youth/sadness. I am a recent cancer survivor and while he was great through it all, I cannot fight back tears that I missed out on 20 years that could have been spent with someone else.
There is no magic pill. Sadly, once it is lost, it is lost in my opinion. I feel for you. Its a pain I wouldn't wish on anybody.
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I don't ever want to make it sound like she is the "bad guy" in this marriage. I am sure that she is overall a very good person and I think she probably would say the same (atleast I hope so lol) about me.

I know we both want this to work, I tend to fix problems with solutions that work immediately. I see this broken and want to repair. By stating their is a problem and what I see as the repair it only seems sensible in my mind that here is whats needed to repair our relationship. As with every relationship i am sure that she needs certain things for it to work also.

Being honest about needs is the best way to find solutions, no matter what the label is (Performance Guarantee). The failure on my part would be if I didn't say anything and ensure failure. I hope i am not too late as it is.

There are those that probably question how I could put a number on acceptable number of sex acts per week. I say to them, i have waited for the problem to fix itself but it has not so i am asking for what I feel i need to be happy. Hopefully this will lead to emotional intimacy as well with counseling. Many years ago we went to counseling where the therapist said i was wrong for wanting sex every other day, i am pretty sure i wanted it every day and asked for every other as a median number. I am not leaving what i want and need to a therapist. Hopefully the new therapist will find my candid responses a breath of fresh air, but if she doesn't the i will find a new therapist lol.
 
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