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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to ask your advise or opinion on a question that needs some clearing for me ... is it possible at all to find a way to feel "like a woman" while staying in a marriage where my sexual needs are quite constantly not met and without cheating? I mean without discussing anything with my husband and waiting actions from his part. Let me explain a bit.

The thing is, I'm 33 woman with HD, being married for 6yrs now with 10 yrs older man. Either due to his LD or porn addiction or both together (these wouldn't exist together, would they... :D) my sexual needs have been poorly met over at least 4 yrs of that time. I don't remember anymore how it feels to kiss properly or how does it feel to be taken with passion, spontaneously. I've changed from feeling normal confident young sexy woman, curious in sex life into a grey shadow with low self-esteem and whole bunch of complexes. For long time I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong or thought that I'm just so ugly naked or something. Thanks to all the people sharing their own stories in forums I've understood that with a quite big certainty I can suspect that the problem doesn't lie with me.

Yes, I have tried to talk about it repeatedly, he won't really engage. I've been to a counselor who again suggested to talk to him, same result, sad face and silence. Yes, he seems to be very sad that the situation has such an impact on me and even promises to try to change but after a couple of weeks it usually falls into its old routine. As I see it, it is not him having a problem so he thinks that he can get away from getting on bottom of the whole lot of a painful staff. I think it comes from his family, they are masters of pretending that everything is alright when it's not. If I push him a lot then he finds all the reasons why we can't go to the counselling together or him alone, why we can't make love because of the kids or being tired etc.

Sure it makes me angry and hurts me like hell but the reality is that I cannot make him change if he doesn't want to. Here, what I can do is to decide whether to stay or leave. You see, this is my second marriage, I know how painful it is to go through it all and I know that I'm not there yet. He is a good man. He loves me and cares about me a lot, probably not enough to go through all those scary discussions and changes etc. but it's not like there is mr. perfect waiting for me around the corner, not to mention that I don't fancy the idea of being a single mum once again.

So here I am, probably asking advice on mission impossible :D Would there be a chance for me to feel like an attractive sexual human being while staying in that marriage? At the moment I have so much anger in me for "wasting my young years on him being an old lady" that I just shut him out more and more so that he wouldn't get too close to hurt me. It doesn't work, still hurts :D

Would it help if I'd engage in some hobby outside home so that at least partly my mind would be occupied with something else? How do I get rid of all that anger? Probably have to start punching the boxing bag or something...
 

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WORD: At 33 years of age, you are STILL young.
Talk to him and insist that he see a doctor to find out if he is healthy enough to even be wanting sex. If he checks out OK, then he just doesn't want to be with you and you obviously don't need to be with him.
 

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I don't believe I'd call someone with a porn addiction LD. More likely, he has the motivation to have sex but either lacks the ability or he has the ability and the motivation to have sex but isn't motivated to have sex with you. The first scenario could probably be fixed with a little blue pill, or maybe testosterone therapy. Other than in the sexual arena, how does he treat you? You said he doesn't kiss you "properly" and he avoids communicating about something he knows really troubles you but you also said you know he loves you very much. These two seem to be at odds. How does he demonstrate his love for you?
 

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He must really take you for granted.

Tell him that if he wants the marriage to be a success he has to drop the porn. He's not too TIRED for that apparently. This should be a small sacrifice if he loves you. If he's a porn addict there are many sites to get info from.

What a horrible way for you to live, he's getting off on porn while he KNOWS you are sexually frustrated.

No, I don't believe there is a way for you to feel happy given this situation.

Being a single mum might be better than living with a man who is quite content depriving you of what you have been very honest and upfront about.

I would tell him that if things don't improve then a separation is on the horizon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for replies, appreciate it.

I understand your point that there's much I should tell him and I have done so in past but it hasn't really improved our sex life in long term. I still think that apart from sex he is a very good man, helping me out in a house and with kids... very opposite to my ex who was great in bed but in every other aspect no support at all, I know how that's like and I can't take care of everything right now, there's no one else I could rely, we moved to another country and all the relatives live 24 hr flight away so not really an option.

My question was rather is there any ways I could deal with my anger and feel good about myself most of the time and not let our sex life dictate how I see myself. I mean I can control only myself and my actions and that's the part I'd like to explore. Been looking if there would be a good book on that topic but haven't found yet, if you know any, please let me know.

Thanks again!
 

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You are an attractive, sexual person. There are over 330 million people in the United States and half of them are men. Each has their own idea of what's attractive, so statistically, millions of men and millions of women find you attractive. Your husband represents only one opinion. His lack of sexual interest probably has nothing at all to do with you. My wife has no interest in sex. It's not because I'm a troll. Even at my age, attractive women still hit on me and they aint all blind, drunk, or crazy. It's not me. She has no sexual interest in anyone. If a blind person can't see me, it's not because I'm invisible. If a deaf person can't hear me, it doesn't mean I'm mute. You are an attractive, sexual person and you could be knocking boots at this very minute if you chose to. You choose, instead, to be faithful to your husband. You have numerous great qualities. Any squirrel can have sex. The dumbest, ugliest woman on earth can have sex. Plants can reproduce. You have amazing abilities that far exceed these.
 

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I was 31 when I had to leave my sexless marriage. I loved my H, but after 6 years of an, almost, platonic relationship with him, my self-esteem had taken such a bashing that it was making me mentally ill (depression, agoraphobia etc). Knowing that I was an attractive woman didn't help, because it was obvious that my H was impervious to it. After trying very hard to get help for these issues, I had no alternative but to leave.

My question was rather is there any ways I could deal with my anger and feel good about myself most of the time and not let our sex life dictate how I see myself. I mean I can control only myself and my actions and that's the part I'd like to explore. Been looking if there would be a good book on that topic but haven't found yet, if you know any, please let me know.
I tried everything, including therapy, and nothing worked. I was advised by 2 independent therapists that as long as I was in the relationship, I would feel this way.
 
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thank you, Unbelievable! Probably that's exactly what i need to remind myself to keep going!! It's hard to see the situation from a side if ithurts you every day but your words really comforted me :) i think what also makes me angry at times is that there's million men out there who are dreaming of a wife like me (or what i used to be like in bedroom) and i have to hush it all down because i've decided not to break up, not now at least. I bet there are million women out there dreaming about a husband like he, who doesn't bother asking for sex so often :)))) it's like he fooled me into that marriage and then turned it a crappy one like his previous one...where, he used to say, wife never wanted sex etc. He wasn't happy there and now he has managed to turn ours to the same like he described it to me and he still doesn't open his eyes and see that it is his doings and not doings. I guess some point he will realize that he's not happy again and moves on to the next silly one who tries her best and doesn't mind him not changing his ways...for a litt;le while at least.

Thanks again. It was great to be reminded that there are people still finding me ok!! Wish i could convince myself and be happy when looking in the mirror.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Cosmos for sharing your experience! I hope you are ok now when all of has been put behind you.
I do agree with you that until you don't deal with the cause of your problems it can't really be fixed. You know what's especially stupid for me in my situation... i'm sure we would have a great time spending our retirements together, you know...nice companionship, pretty similar interests, calm atmosphere without constant squerrels, would find something to talk about etc. It's the time where i don't think mysex drive will be lower anyway and i wouldn't care so much. I don't want to be alone. If i would divorce now then i would't let any man near me ever again. I would hope :)))
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Thanks to all the people sharing their own stories in forums I've understood that with a quite big certainty I can suspect that the problem doesn't lie with me.
We cannot solve life's problems except by solving them. - Dr. Scott Peck

It is crucial you recognize your role in this "dance."
Has your therapist discussed codependency & addiction with you?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wish I knew my role in this "dance". I don't have a therapist, last time I had she suggested me to talk to my hubby and I did. He listens, says that he's sad that I feel that way and promises to change. He won't engage me into that so I don't know my role in it and it will not be us working on our relationship together. Now when I think of it then there are things which seem to be more important to him and then he won't discuss it with me first but goes and does it or goes and buys it. Probably just to make sure I couldn't object it, he will not give me a chance at all beforehand.

He did see GP, got some blue bills but didn't really change anything. He hasn't seen anybody else after that as long as I know.

My role in aggravating the situation is getting more and more unattached, not showing that much affection and not trying to find ways anymore for us to talk about our marriage to make it better for both sides, I'm giving up slowly. I'm sure he can feel that as well and is even less encouraged to show me affection. I'm sick of getting hurt and feeling embarrassed or feeling like a freak who despite stressful life still wants a regular sex life.
 

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I had a sexless marriage for many years. She wanted no part of me, or sex. I had the lowest self-esteem you can imagine because of it. Now she is on her own in her own little neurotic world, and I have remarried, and my wife has a normal sex drive and assures me there is no problem in that area. :)

My point is: don't let his problems make you start questioning your desirability. It sounds to me like he has a serious porn addiction, and it wouldn't matter how sexy you were. He needs professional help.
 

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Still in a similar situation myself.

Only advice I can give you is this....
Your self esteem does not have to be based on his level of affection.

If you never had sex again, you would not die. Seriously.

It's a vague concept at this point in your life, but really you should base how you feel about yourself on something else. It varies for people. For me, it is based on how I treat OTHER people. What kind of person I am being. Do I help others? Do I treat others with respect? Do I have boundaries, and assert those when people do not treat me with respect? (the boundaries is HUGE).

Getting to know yourself is a huge task. It can be fun, though. Gives you somethign else to do besides think about what you don't have, and lets you focus on what you DO have. Your own personality and responsibilities. And nobody can take that away from you, and it's NOT dependent on someone's mood or ability to do what you want.

Long term, this is healthier. Things will always come up in life where your partner isn't able to give you exactly what you need. That does NOT mean you are not loved, or special. It's not dependent, although most of us naturally view it this way. It's just easier when you have outside validation. That's all.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
My point is: don't let his problems make you start questioning your desirability. It sounds to me like he has a serious porn addiction, and it wouldn't matter how sexy you were. He needs professional help.
Glad you're all good now Terry!
Yes, I've been suspecting the same... the porn addiction and not being able to "cope with the real situation and real woman anymore".
I understand that when I get in love with someone then I kind of become blind and deaf for other people's compliments, he is the one who's opinion means the most and when I found out that it might be only me who found him irresistible then my world collapsed. Even after telling him how much it hurt me after finding out that while I was waiting for him in bed he'd been on these sites and telling him how deeply it affected me, he still went on with these (obviously after he had promised to stop right away). So after a few more times I was unable to trust him anymore. I developed depression and anxiety, every time in bed or in shower when he can see me naked I worry that he find me ugly etcetc when he is the only man really I'd like to be beautiful for.

So yes, you are right! I have to learn to love myself again whether he likes me or not. Or just like deejov said, my self esteem does not have to be based on his level of affection.
 

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The only way to save your marriage is to be willing to risk losing it and putting it on the line.

Your husband has no incentive to change because you have shown him that you will stay with him no matter what.

You need to shake him up, and wake him up.

Tell him this is it, he either gets help and stops the porn, goes to counselling along and with you and makes a real long term effort or you leave.

Then start getting your ducks lined up and let him see, get your finances in order, look for a place to live, job if you don't have one etc

If he is then not willing to change, LEAVE. Do not waste another good year, month, week or even one more day on a man so selfish that he will not put you first and love you the way you deserve to be loved.

Also I have no doubt he is a porn addict and it's definitely his problem.

You deserve to feel loved and sexy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just came back to see if I could find a topic here which would reflect the situation I'm in now but could not find one. I'm sure there are, I just didn't manage to find these.

My last drop fell a couple of weeks ago when we had some wine with dinner and as usual it meant that after falling asleep during night some time I would wake up finding him initiating sex. I just couldn't take it anymore - the embarrassment that he would be having his 2 minute sex only after drinking and in the middle of the night. I rejected him. And did the same after couple of nights time when same happened. This is not normal and I'm not going to take that anymore!
So, last week I finally told him that I'm thinking of divorce and if he doesn't step out of his cave and start communicating then I most certainly will not play that game along. He said that What a coincidence!! He had JUST found some kind of relationship program which he wants to follow and wanted to tell me about it that same night!
Just mentioning, the main problem with us is the lack of communication - we almost never have had arguments during 6 years and that not because there are no things to discuss but because when I want to talk about a concern he will just physically shut down. If I have a problem and need his support I tell him. He has never done the same, completely closed book... my friends tell me I'm very easy to talk to and I accept people for who they are so that they don't need to pretend all the time. Somehow he can't trust me enough to make our marriage function as a relationship.
4 yrs ago I caught him several times with porn while I was waiting for him in bed with my unmet desires, all these times I told him how much it hurts me etc. and he promised to stop and harder to show his love to me etcetcetc. Pretty obviously seems he had/s porn addiction because his performance in bed was not good to be honest. Unfortunately, I have no idea how he has progressed, has he ever taken any steps to fix it or not. We still have the same problems in bed, most of the time meaning that my drive is not met by his and sex is too short (and I'm quite quick myself). If I have tried to make it last longer, he just goes soft. If I initiate, he won't get hard. Same pose all the time or it will be even shorter or his erection won't last.
Last time I was quite desperate and started to look for a lover. At the last minute, before I had done anything yet I decided to talk to him. He made an effort and we had sex more frequently, he even read a book how to be better but after a few weeks it dropped back into its old way. What frustrates me the most is that I used to be very open and curious when it came to sex and he told me once that his ex was the opposite and it was so extremely hard for him to get her to open up at all. Now I'm probably like his ex, somehow he makes me feel so ashamed of my body and my actions, like a freak because I'm not doing it the same way all the time (well, now I am doing it the same way for years already). He is the one who is extremely closed and with complexes it seems and I have created complexes due all that too.
Last time he also rushed into the sex shop and brought us some toys, we did try them but it's all so unnatural, like forced or something. I don't know, it kind of feels like he is trying to play the porn scenes he has seen but it's all so awkward at the end.
I loved kissing, passionate connecting kissing with tongues... he doesn't do that... I don't remember how it feels to be properly kissed, haven't done that for 6 yrs now. His kissing is something I can't explain, it's like little kisses you do on somebody's cheek only he does it on my mouth, it's not passionate, it's not sexy, for a year or so I kind of prefer not to be "kissed".

So, this time, he has promised that if I want to go to counselling he will come. And he is going to do his "what ever relationship program" he is talking about. He wants to show it to me too but somehow we can find time to watch a tv series together but we can't find time to watch this program. I don't know... it all smells to me the same old way... he is trying to fix everything without really engaging me which is exactly the opposite I am trying to tell him.
He said that he understands now that he needs to start showing me his real feelings so for the first 3-4 days after I had told him that I've had it, he kind of groped me all the time, followed me everywhere and tried to look into my eyes and tell me that he loves me etc. It all seemed so unnatural to me, after months and months of getting more distant and all of a sudden he would be doing this. And also trying to initiate sex and coming to watch me in shower and putting his hand on my bits. I kind of freaked out, it was too much for me, for God's sake - I have been trying to shut down my desires for him for months just to be able to cope with not getting them satisfied and the fails in bed and all of a sudden he claims that HE has figured it all out and I need to be like a newly wed all ready for him!!

So basically what I feel now is that he is panicking. He thought (lets say unconsciously) that I just need to get sex more frequently for a couple of weeks after what he can drift back to his nice world again until there comes another time I've had it and he can keep doing it forever.

Only that, this time I have actually worked very hard to feel no desire, to want no sex, to feel as little as possible to still remain friends and be good parents to kids. Now it has like turned against himself - he wants it but I'm not ready. I honestly don't want sex, my body has shut down and is so freaked out that doesn't open. I don't want my kids (and myself) to go through the divorce but I'm too scared to open myself up for him - he says that he wants to fix it but at the same time it seems to me that he is trying to do it alone again, without engaging me, without making himself vulnerable.

We can't afford counselling right now, just before Christmas. How can I see that this time he is really willing to learn working on marriage WITH me (obviously he had exactly the same problem in his previous marriage), where should we start? I'm so confused right now, so hurt and scared to let him close again but without that it's impossible to fix it. I don't even know what should we talk about really. Probably we should schedule a specific time to sit down and make some kind of plan what we can do together and how we can discuss the progression with each other so that the other side doesn't feel like shut out?

Ohhh :( Sorry for such a long post.
 

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I am the same age as you, 33. I have a similar situation as well.

I am attractive, get lots of looks and/or compliments, questions, etc.

Too bad the only opinion I value is his!

Anyway, I keep my self-esteem high by shopping for panties that I think are sexy, cute, what have you.
I take long showers (wink, wink) and make sure to appreciate my body myself. You are NOT in attractive. Try making love to yourself! Sounds silly, but try it for a while. Appreciate yourself. I think those things shine through and others take notice.

Just wearing sexy clothes/lingerie under my regular clothes makes me feel like a hot mama.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the advice :) I should go for shopping.

I think I'm kind of past that stage where the only opinion I value is his, I suspect that I have been unconsciously tell myself that it doesn't matter what he thinks but it matters what I think. Too bad it way too long since I was thinking well of myself so this seems to be the part I need to work on :)
 
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