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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read so many of the threads here on this topic but every situation is different, and I need help...and advice please.

Short background: my wife and I have been together for 26 years and recently I heard the "I have never been truly happy" speech. She says she was waiting for the kids to finish school before leaving...that was 3 years ago and she is still here. She is a child sexual abuse victim and over the years has occasionally shut down sexually for a few weeks. Recently, she announced that we would no longer be having sex until she feels that she has an emotionally connected relationship. She won't say how long that might take and won't say what it is she needs from me aside from patience. She says she doesnt feel loved and cherished and feels little affection for me. She says she is going to take care of herself now.
I am the romantic of the two, love her with all my heart but am angry that she has blocked me out emotionally and doesn't want to work on this problem together.
I read about sexless marriages and don't want to end up there as I know I can't live that way. I'm in counseling and am pouring over relationship books trying to find the right path to save my marriage.
Does anyone have any advice on how to turn things around? I will be grateful for the help. Thanks,
 

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You're in counseling? Individual counseling? What does your counselor advice, if I may ask?

Have you tried going into marriage counseling for the two of you? Has she ever gone to individual counseling?

It seems to me like she goes from wanting to leave to wanting to work things out.

What have you tried doing to make her feel 'loved' recently? And when you do nice things for her, how does she react? Does she know about all the books you're reading?
 

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I second Mr. Lover's opinion.

She needs to go on counselling for herself to deal with her past, and the two of you needs to go counselling as a couple to work out the communication problem.

Counselling will help to reveal things that previously unseen and/or unsaid. This will work wonders if both parties, you and her, are actually still in love with each other, still sexually attracted to each other, and really wish to save the marriage.

If she does not want counselling, does not want to make things improve, does not want to help herself, does not want to save the marriage.. well that means she no longer suitable to be in a marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm in individual counseling, she is in a church group recovery program for co-dependants. She doesn't want to do couples counseling because she says we need to fix ourselves as individuals before we can have a deep emotional relationship that might include sex.
My counselor tells me to find other distractions for myself, continue to be loving and patient. I do talks, walks, flowers, text, rom-com movies, some housework, notes etc. I have talked to her many times, and have written letters to let her know how important the sexual-emotional connection is for me. I love her, don't want to give up but can't see marriage without sex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
John lord....thanks
She claims that she wants to work on her issues....and hopes the marriage will benefit in the long run. She claims she wants to stay married but "not the way it's been". My problem is that I would like to work on the couple as well as the individuals simultaneously and I take her refusal as an ominous sign.
 

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John lord....thanks
She claims that she wants to work on her issues....and hopes the marriage will benefit in the long run. She claims she wants to stay married but "not the way it's been". My problem is that I would like to work on the couple as well as the individuals simultaneously and I take her refusal as an ominous sign.
No no no, you must have hope. Faith hope and love. Sometimes Lord God works in mysterious ways. Muslims, Christians and Jews believes that if God says "Vayikhen/Fayakun/Deus Volt" and so be it.

Like I said, counselling will work wonders if the love and attraction is really there. Let her work her inner problems with the experts of the field, with you as loving husband giving support and adjust yourself whenever necessary.

However, while we trust God, we must also be realistic. Set a time frame for yourself and your wife. Let's say if two full years goes on without even an acknowledgement on her part that you have needs, then the marriage is no longer salvageable. You can define the time frame as you like. Two years? Four years? It's your life. You must decide for yourself.

You must also accept the fact that if your wife enjoy being sexless and you're not, the best way for both of you is to be separated. This is not being cruel, this is reality.
 

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She doesn't want to do couples counseling because she says we need to fix ourselves as individuals before we can have a deep emotional relationship that might include sex.
I understand how she rationalizes that. BUT you/she should have fixed yourselves/herself BEFORE you got married.
Of course, hers is a traumatic problem. I don't have much experience with victims of sexual abuse so I can't say I understand what she is going through. Or what she should be going through. I'm not sure how old she is but you say you've been together for 26 years. And the trauma caused by that is still strongly affecting your marriage, threatening to end it. I suspect, much like John_lord_b3, there are probably a lot of issues with her trauma that are still unseen/unsaid and she isn't over them and it is interfering with her life.

She does need to help herself, yes. But she agreed to be your wife and you agreed to be her husband. You are a unit now. Her problems are yours (trauma, feeling emotionally neglected, etc) and your problems are hers (feeling physically/sexually neglected, feeling emotionally rejected, etc.)

You sound like a great husband. I hope for your sake and your wife's that you work this out and that she allows herself to accept and feel your love and to give you love.

Marriage counseling together is crucial. There's no 'me first' in marriage. You need to work on yourselves as individuals and as a couple AT THE SAME TIME.
 

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I understand how she rationalizes that. BUT you/she should have fixed yourselves/herself BEFORE you got married.
Of course, hers is a traumatic problem. I don't have much experience with victims of sexual abuse so I can't say I understand what she is going through. Or what she should be going through. I'm not sure how old she is but you say you've been together for 26 years. And the trauma caused by that is still strongly affecting your marriage, threatening to end it. I suspect, much like John_lord_b3, there are probably a lot of issues with her trauma that are still unseen/unsaid and she isn't over them and it is interfering with her life.

She does need to help herself, yes. But she agreed to be your wife and you agreed to be her husband. You are a unit now. Her problems are yours (trauma, feeling emotionally neglected, etc) and your problems are hers (feeling physically/sexually neglected, feeling emotionally rejected, etc.)

You sound like a great husband. I hope for your sake and your wife's that you work this out and that she allows herself to accept and feel your love and to give you love.

Marriage counseling together is crucial. There's no 'me first' in marriage. You need to work on yourselves as individuals and as a couple AT THE SAME TIME.
:iagree:
 

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Fix what marriage? Your wife is a single woman with a marriage license. She has told you, flat out, that she is unhappy, claims to have been unhappy for nearly 30 years, and has made the unilateral decision to focus on her own life, and abandon the marriage while doing so.

You do not have a marriage to save. She is already gone. One person can not fight for a marriage. That's like trying to row a boat with one paddle.

It is time to wake up. The counselor gave you terrible advice; rom-coms, patience, and doing the dishes is not going to turn your single roommate back into a wife.

If your "wife" wants to work on her life, then it's time for you to work on your own. Take a good, hard, honest look at your life, and yourself. Does your life look the way you wanted it to? If not, then set about transforming. You can no longer factor in your wife. She is gone. She has to fend for herself.

Educate yourself about the divorce laws in your state/country. Be on the ball, and protect your interests as much as possible, because you two are likely heading here eventually.
 

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Fix what marriage? Your wife is a single woman with a marriage license. She has told you, flat out, that she is unhappy, claims to have been unhappy for nearly 30 years, and has made the unilateral decision to focus on her own life, and abandon the marriage while doing so.

You do not have a marriage to save. She is already gone. One person can not fight for a marriage. That's like trying to row a boat with one paddle.

It is time to wake up. The counselor gave you terrible advice; rom-coms, patience, and doing the dishes is not going to turn your single roommate back into a wife.

If your "wife" wants to work on her life, then it's time for you to work on your own. Take a good, hard, honest look at your life, and yourself. Does your life look the way you wanted it to? If not, then set about transforming. You can no longer factor in your wife. She is gone. She has to fend for herself.

Educate yourself about the divorce laws in your state/country. Be on the ball, and protect your interests as much as possible, because you two are likely heading here eventually.
By the God of Abraham, I say you're right, I second each and every words!
 

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Your wife does not feel loved by you. That means the love you are sending is not being recieved. I recommend the book "The 5 Love Languages". In this you can hopefully see what your wife's emotional needs are.

Your marriage cannot be fixed if your unhappy, unfulfilled wife is "working on herself". Think about that. How could it? Your counselor is giving seriously terrible advice in terms of fixing your marriage.

Your wife has given you all the information you need to get started. She needs an emotioally connected marriage. She needs to feel loved. She cannot generate those feeling internally. They can only ever occur in RESPONSE to something her man does.

Now, the things you do to generate a response in her do not necessarily need to be done direcdtly toward her or with her or to her.
 

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I'm in individual counseling, she is in a church group recovery program for co-dependants. She doesn't want to do couples counseling because she says we need to fix ourselves as individuals before we can have a deep emotional relationship that might include sex.
That would be a red flag for me. Did you ask her why it "might" include sex? Does she really just not want it anymore? That would make me thing quite a bit about the marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the feedback. To those who think its over, you're probably right but I hope you're wrong. I am still in love with her for the time being and that keeps me trying. How long, I don't know. Poor/no sex is, in the long run, a deal breaker for me as I am wired in part to connect that way and , frankly, I like sex.
I like the comments regarding the choices she is making and the sentiment that we have to work on things together. She has agreed to go to couples therapy...I hope that the therapist is on the same page.
One question...for opinions:

As she deprives me of a sexual marriage do I, in the short run,
1) say nothing and continue to be loving towards her
2) voice my displeasure, then continue to be loving towards her
3) voice my displeasure and then leave for a week or so
4) bolt and ask her to call me when/if she has a change of heart


what would you guys do?...in the context that I still want my marriage to work out
 

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Thanks for the feedback. To those who think its over, you're probably right but I hope you're wrong. I am still in love with her for the time being and that keeps me trying. How long, I don't know. Poor/no sex is, in the long run, a deal breaker for me as I am wired in part to connect that way and , frankly, I like sex.
And there's nothing wrong with liking sex, don't anybody tells you any different. It's your fundamental right as a human being to be happy. Maybe you'll be happier with an accomodating partner.

I like the comments regarding the choices she is making and the sentiment that we have to work on things together. She has agreed to go to couples therapy...I hope that the therapist is on the same page.
Good. Let's see how this goes.

One question...for opinions:

As she deprives me of a sexual marriage do I, in the short run,
1) say nothing and continue to be loving towards her
2) voice my displeasure, then continue to be loving towards her
3) voice my displeasure and then leave for a week or so
4) bolt and ask her to call me when/if she has a change of heart


what would you guys do?...in the context that I still want my marriage to work out
1: You think this is going to make you happy? No. Your resentment will build up.

2: No, she's going argue with you, and you won't feel that lovin'' feelin much afterwards.

3: Might work if she really loves you. Why don't you try this while keep going to the counselling.

4: Might work, you can do this while keep going to the counselling. Just watch out for false calls, for example: she calls you just to bait you to get you back, and the next day she'll return to her former self.
 

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The problem is that she is saying "wait right here until i come back. don't do anything, don't go anywhere." without really telling you if she will be back at all.

Look... I'm guessing it hasn't been this way for the past 26 years, right? So it probably has little to do with her past sexual abuse. She was, at most of the times during the marriage, a connected, loving, sexual wife and now she isn't.

You approach has to be that ALL means are needed to correct this. Marriage counseling included. If she won't go, go alone and let her know you are going so she realizes this is serious.

Start doing the 180 as it will do two things. First, it will show your wife that her distancing will have a direct impact on your closeness to her. Second, it will prepare you for the time when you have to move on with your life without her.
 

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As she deprives me of a sexual marriage do I, in the short run,
1) say nothing and continue to be loving towards her
2) voice my displeasure, then continue to be loving towards her
3) voice my displeasure and then leave for a week or so
4) bolt and ask her to call me when/if she has a change of heart
I would choose option 1. If there's any chance of restoring your love than focus on that. If you get there, your sexual life should come to life as well.

In most cases, sudden decrease of sexual desire is a symptom of a bigger problem. Good analogy would be a fever while you're sick.
 
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