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Would you stay in a sexless marriage?


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Old 25th February 2010, 10:54 AM   #1
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Would you stay in a sexless marriage?

and if yes, why? Obviously, this stems from my situation. I need food for thought, because, at the moment, I don't really know what to do.

If we had sex, my marriage would be perfect... well, almost...

Are sex and your sex life so important to you to the extent that you would be prepared to sacrifice your family and your children for them? Is it right to "expect" sex in married life, even after many years together? Am I being selfish? Should I just support my wife regardless? Isn't love supposed to be unconditional? Should I just accept it and get it over with? Why can't I connect to my wife emotionally, without sex? Is the brother/sister type of relationship common as my wife says?

I still can't believe this is happening to me. I always envisaged a happy life with a woman who loved me for what I am and who I am... what have I done wrong?

Sorry for ranting... but please offer your POV... I need to get a clearer picture on this... your help much appreciated!
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Old 25th February 2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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yes and NO

Below are 2 very different questions. The first one asks if you will accept your wife refusing sex with you. The second one asks if you will allow your wife to insist you live the rest of your life celibate.

1. A marriage without sex
2. A life without sex

If my wife adamantly claimed that sex wasn't emotionally important than I would adamantly insist that I have the right to casually have this unimportant activity with other women.

The same woman who claims you don't need sex to emotionally bond to her - will crazily argue that you not have sex with anyone else because she is very aware that sex creates a strong emotional bond between two people.





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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
and if yes, why? Obviously, this stems from my situation. I need food for thought, because, at the moment, I don't really know what to do.

If we had sex, my marriage would be perfect... well, almost...

Are sex and your sex life so important to you to the extent that you would be prepared to sacrifice your family and your children for them? Is it right to "expect" sex in married life, even after many years together? Am I being selfish? Should I just support my wife regardless? Isn't love supposed to be unconditional? Should I just accept it and get it over with? Why can't I connect to my wife emotionally, without sex? Is the brother/sister type of relationship common as my wife says?

I still can't believe this is happening to me. I always envisaged a happy life with a woman who loved me for what I am and who I am... what have I done wrong?

Sorry for ranting... but please offer your POV... I need to get a clearer picture on this... your help much appreciated!
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Old 25th February 2010, 11:13 AM   #3
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I would stay if something happened to my husband and he could no longer, for whatever reason, have sex with me. I would expect some sort of physical affection from him like hugging or cuddling. I'm not saying I would be happy about the sexless part. However, if he truely couldn't help it, I would stay.

Now, if my husband no longer would have sex with me because he wasn't attracted to me or wasn't in love with me, I'd be out the door. In one situation, it isn't his choice, in another it is.

Giotto, I understand you're comming here to work out your problem. The thing is, no one really knows all of your situation. We can make guesses based on what you write, but only you know all the details of your situation at home. Only you know if you can stay married or not. I wish you luck.
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Old 25th February 2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by angie2443 View Post

Giotto, I understand you're comming here to work out your problem. The thing is, no one really knows all of your situation. We can make guesses based on what you write, but only you know all the details of your situation at home. Only you know if you can stay married or not. I wish you luck.
yes, I'm asking for advice, to have a clearer idea and try and work out the problem... of course you don't know my entire situation... how long have you got?


My wife says she loves me, but because of fear of repercussions (if she says no to me for whatever reason), fear of conflict and confrontation, she is unable to have sex with me. She has a block about it. She was crying the other day when we talked about it, so I agreed not to ask for sex or even have sex if she doesn't feel like it. She has to initiate.

This fear of conflict is something she has to solve herself. I always considered our "arguments" in the past as normal rows couples have. Yes, I have said hurtful things on occasion, but who wouldn't after a month of no sex with no explanation. Obviously, the situation has deteriorated with time.

Now, knowing my wife, it might be a very long time until we have sex again. We might never have sex again. So, I'm facing a sexless marriage situation. That's the reason for the thread. I need to have a clear head to be able to take an informed decision and I would like to know what's the "general consensus" on a sexless marriage is here on LS...

I hope this makes things a bit clearer...
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Old 25th February 2010, 1:24 PM   #5
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Hard to say since I'm not in that situation really. However if I had to guess, I would say probably so. I do think sex is important but so are other things, so the "other things" for me might outweigh the lack of or no sex deal. If there were many other areas that we did not get along in, and we had lots of other isues, I probably would end it, but if it was just the sex, probably not. I can't really say for sure though, but I would guess its a possiblity.
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Old 25th February 2010, 1:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
Are sex and your sex life so important to you to the extent that you would be prepared to sacrifice your family and your children for them?
No, it isn't. Sex is not that important to me. But it is to my boyfriend and his happiness is what is important to me. I want sex with him to be intimate however, if he no longer could have sex with me I would be alright as long as he showed me intimacy and love in every other way. BUT that is just me. I do believe it is as important to my boyfriend as it is to you. He told me it is his way of showing me love and to know I love and desire him. When I do not initiate sex he feels less loved and sexy. My desire for him is crucial to his happiness with me.

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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
Is it right to "expect" sex in married life, even after many years together?
In your vows you promise to be there for each other both spiritually and sexually. If your W expects you not to seek sex elsewhere, I would say it is her responsibility to make sure to satisfy you sexually. I would feel that I had been betrayed if I was asked to give up intimacy with anybody else for the rest of my life and then was not given any in my marriage. It would feel like being in prison.

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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
Am I being selfish?
I think you are being human. I think you want to feel loved and desired.

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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
Should I just support my wife regardless? Isn't love supposed to be unconditional?
Love to your children is supposed to be unconditional. Love in a marriage is not. Love in a marriage or relationship is given, earned and returned. She is pretty damn selfish if she expects you to just wait around while she will not give you *anything* to make you feel better. If I could not give my partner sex I would do anything else that I could to make him feel loved and desired.

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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
Should I just accept it and get it over with?
If you can be happy with that, then yes. If you cannot - don't agree to a life without what is for you a core need. I would not agree to a life with someone who would not give me my core needs: kisses and cuddles.

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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
Why can't I connect to my wife emotionally, without sex?
I think for men sex is a way to feel connected to your partner. I know it is for my boyfriend. If we did not have sex I think eventually he would feel like we were just friends.

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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
Is the brother/sister type of relationship common as my wife says?
It might be. It might work for some. But that is no excuse. That is a bull**** excuse to avoid the problem. Maybe that is what would make your W happy - but it is not what makes you happy. Therefore, it is nothing she should even say to you. It is nothing but an excuse.

In the end, like angie said - only you know what truly goes on in your marriage... but this is how I would feel about it if it were me.
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Old 25th February 2010, 2:20 PM   #7
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I am guessing that you know how I would answer, but I will do it anyhow.

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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
and if yes, why? Obviously, this stems from my situation. I need food for thought, because, at the moment, I don't really know what to do.
Yes. And simple...the benefits outweigh the lack of sex. Besides, we do have sex but it is not enough or wanted enough by her. However, I know that as long as I do not let her (in my heart and mind more than anywhere else) control sex, then I can deal with it.

Perhaps my expectations are lower, but once or twice a month is doing enough for me now. If it changes, then I will not allow myself to be powerless over something so important in my life.

What do I mean by not letting her control it? First, my wife will have sex on occasion and I know it is out of love despite her lack of interest in it. Second, based on her own words...even if out of anger (see one of my previous threads), I know that me getting it elsewhere is better for her than me leaving her. Having said that, I feel that sex is enough for now that getting it elsewhere is not a desire right now.

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If we had sex, my marriage would be perfect... well, almost...
Then it should be easy. Being with her without sex is better than being without her with sex. Now if you had someone else in mind who equaled her, then leaving her would be an attractive option. At present, it doesn't appear to be that way.

Quote:
Are sex and your sex life so important to you to the extent that you would be prepared to sacrifice your family and your children for them?
Absolutely not and without a doubt...no.

Quote:
Is it right to "expect" sex in married life, even after many years together?
Yes, but even having sex without love and instead out of duty or as required by you...well, I think your thread would be similar except..."Why can't she love having sex with me?"

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Am I being selfish?
Yes and no. Yes, because you have desires that are not being met. No, because those desires are part of the marriage contract.

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Should I just support my wife regardless?
Yes and no. (Love saying that! ) Yes because you committed to her when you were married to her. No to the point that she is not even attempting to understand why she doesn't want sex and is shutting you down. THIS is where I have became angry and said enough is enough and why my wife said how unimportant to her sex was. I can say that she has seen more importance of sex because she realizes how much I mean to her, but she doesn't really care to have more of a desire to have sex...except to make it enjoyable for me.

You cannot quit trying to make her understand what is missing in your marriage. She is attempting to quiet you on the subject. I know...been there, done that. Don't let that happen. You agreed to her terms....no discussion. Not good. While I have less conversations regarding sex, I know that I will bring it up as needed...and she knows it.

If you quit talking about it and then leave, she will say, "But how could I know it was still a problem when you never talked about it?

Do not keep silent. Just learn a better way to express yourself. (No, I don't know a better way.)

Quote:
Isn't love supposed to be unconditional?
Nobody's love is really unconditional. Marriage is actually a commitment of conditions.

What I think you are saying is...shouldn't she love me enough to show her love to me the way that I want it expressed? And I say yes.

Quote:
Should I just accept it and get it over with?
Accept what? That the sex will get no better? Go back five years....how was it then? The question is....are you better off with her as of now or better off without her? Will you regret leaving her at some point as it stands now?

When leaving her is better than staying in all aspects, then do so. If losing your kids fulltime is better than being with them and not having sex, then leave.

No, it is not easy.

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Why can't I connect to my wife emotionally, without sex?
Because you are a man.

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Is the brother/sister type of relationship common as my wife says?
Yes and no. Many marriages are sexless or have little connection sexually. But then again many marriages are surviving and not thriving.

It is not about the lack of sex but about the mutual expression of love as is needed by BOTH partners.

BTW, your wife must have called my wife or vice versa. My wife has said that she is not unusual among women her age. Many no longer want or need sex.

Or else there is an epidemic out there.

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I still can't believe this is happening to me. I always envisaged a happy life with a woman who loved me for what I am and who I am... what have I done wrong?
Interesting. When my wife and I were first married, I can remember saying to myself that at least we will never have a problem with not enough sex. And my wife would have agreed with me.

Funny how things change. And yes, the question is...why? And yes, I also ask...what did I do wrong? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps something. Unless my wife tells me differently, then at this point, I can only say nothing because she says that to me. If in her heart she thinks it is my fault, then she does us both a disservice by not saying. And so with your wife. If she feels it is all her and not you, then all you can say is "Ok."

Quote:
Sorry for ranting... but please offer your POV... I need to get a clearer picture on this... your help much appreciated!
Hey, I totally understand. When I have the answer, you will be among the first I tell.

What I can offer is that I know inside that as for now, I have come to peace with the idea that my marriage and family are more important to me than having sex and losing them. So I can say that I have chosen to stay. Is that because it is easier than leaving? Is that because it is less traumatic? Perhaps, but inside I can say that I do not feel the resentment and anger that I did a few months ago.

While I cannot see me in an affair, I think by saying that if I get that despondent and desperate again, then getting it elsewhere is a real option. Perhaps simply getting a "massage" now and then will cure the loss. It will never be the same but it will relieve the tension.

And above all, I think it takes away that feeling of helplessness that we both get because our sex life is out of our control. Being powerless over something that should not even be an issue is extremely frustrating. And not being able to reason or "get through" to the one who says over and over that she loves us can make life unbearable at times.

Sex becomes everything in life...until we put it all in perspective. as has been said, when we have enough, it is but a small part of marriage. When we don't, then it is everything.

Reality is....it is as important as you allow it to be. Reality is...this is not just about sex, but about how deep you feel her love is for you.

I totally understand.
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Old 25th February 2010, 2:26 PM   #8
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There is no yes or no answer.... The difference between your marriage and others however is your wife shows no understanding or affection to you. My wife understands how I feel about sex, our lives and knows she has no real answer, but we do have a decent sex life in relationship to othersd (at least so I have convinced myself).

However she still will be affectionate with me (not kissing) but sitting with her feet on my lap on the couch, sleeping together (i.e. spooning....). Little things, but cwertainly shows that there still is love and a spark.... Heck sometimes she even says "let's have sex".... Not often, but has happened even recently......

Giotto, I'm sorry but you don't even have those little nuggets to grasp at.... That is not good...
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Old 25th February 2010, 2:30 PM   #9
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M

However she still will be affectionate with me (not kissing) but sitting with her feet on my lap on the couch, sleeping together (i.e. spooning....). Little things, but cwertainly shows that there still is love and a spark.... Heck sometimes she even says "let's have sex".... Not often, but has happened even recently......
Ditto here. While we may not have alot of sex, she is very cuddly and does like to kiss. Her eyes express her love.

It is these little things that do keep me in the marriage and keep me there by choice.

Without that, then it would be much more difficult.
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Old 25th February 2010, 2:41 PM   #10
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I would stay if something happened to my husband and he could no longer, for whatever reason, have sex with me. I would expect some sort of physical affection from him like hugging or cuddling. I'm not saying I would be happy about the sexless part. However, if he truly couldn't help it, I would stay.

this is pretty much what's going on in our marriage. Am I happy about it? At times, no, not really, because I think he could try harder *if* he really wanted to.

however, at the same time I realize that by not putting any pressure on him, he doesn't feel that he's got to perform, which lessens any anxiety he has about putting out. My thought is, we still cuddle, we still hold hands, we still neck, and still share those passionate kisses, so the "love-making" bit is still there, just doesn't get resolved in screwing.

it'd be much, much worse, IMO, if there wasn't any physical contact in our relationship, and I think grounds for seriously reconsidering the marriage.

look, sex is incredibly important, but other than for procreation, it's not the be-all, end-all of a relationship. There's got to be something deeper that you base the relationship on, something that sees you through the "lean" times.
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Old 25th February 2010, 2:49 PM   #11
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If you ask an older woman.. she would probably say that she would stay in a sexless marriage.. because.. she just don't want sex anymore,.. anyway...

Conclusion: she probably is very happy... being in her comfortable life.. with her grankids around..

If you ask a younger woman.. who has young children.. she might say that she would stay for the sake of the kids... and that she can't financially survive or it would be very difficult..

Conclusion: she probably isn't that happy if she has the higher sex drive.. or she could be very happy if she's always tired because of the work, the kids, the house, etc..

If you ask an older man.. he would probably say that he is struggling whether he wants to spend the rest of his life in a sexless marriage.. and probably will seek massage parlors, or even an affair.

Conclusion: He could be happy or not.. depending if he feels a lot of guilt.. or might get used fairly quickly to the 'guilt' .. or might get very much into 'affairs' because he gets what he wants since his W denies him his pleasure/need.

If you ask a younger man.. who has young children.. he might say that he will sacrifice his sex life the sake of the kids... or most will have sex on the side.. which is way easier.. and less hassles..

Conclusion: same as the older guy...
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Old 25th February 2010, 3:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
yes, I'm asking for advice, to have a clearer idea and try and work out the problem... of course you don't know my entire situation... how long have you got?
Frankly I think your wife is probably cheating on you. It's absolutely absurd of her to contend she has no interest in sex. Women behave the way your wife is behaving when they have emotionally "left the marriage" and generally speaking that often means they have someone else on the side, or at the least, are thinking about it.


Quote:
My wife says she loves me, but because of fear of repercussions (if she says no to me for whatever reason), fear of conflict and confrontation, she is unable to have sex with me. She has a block about it. She was crying the other day when we talked about it, so I agreed not to ask for sex or even have sex if she doesn't feel like it. She has to initiate.
The behavior you've described is sheer and deliberate emotional manipulation by your wife, she's laying a guilt trip on you simply for wanting to have a normal sexual relationship. If she loves you, her husband, then she'd want to have sex with you. Period. No ifs ands or buts about that. She does not want to have sex with you because on some very fundamental level she does NOT love you, not whole heartedly anyway. I'm sorry if that's harsh but it's a fact. Women who truly love their husbands have sex with their husbands if they are physically able. Your wife is physically able.

By the way she is NOT "unable" to have sex with you. She CHOOSES not to have sex with you, and CHOOSES to manipulate you into giving up trying to have sex with her by pure emotional blackmail. (All the signs of a cheating spouse, by the way.) She is perfectly "able" to have sex with you. She can lie on the bed, spread her legs, apply some lube, and let you do all the work if it comes to that. She may have some psychological problems that prevent her from having orgasm. Or your technique may be lacking. But she is certainly "able" to have sex with you.

And she is OBVIOUSLY not fearful of conflict. She is very GOOD at conflict, she's manipulated you into not even trying to have sex with her out of guilt. How did you conclude that she's not "good" at conflict? Someone who is not good at conflict would just keep her mouth shut, lie there, and let you have sex with her.

No doubt at all in my mind she is cheating on you giotto. Sorry but it's the ONLY explanation for her behavior that fits the facts you've presented.


Quote:
This fear of conflict is something she has to solve herself. I always considered our "arguments" in the past as normal rows couples have. Yes, I have said hurtful things on occasion, but who wouldn't after a month of no sex with no explanation. Obviously, the situation has deteriorated with time.
Giotto it is most likely YOU who "fear conflict."

What exactly do you think will happen if you put some macho on, pick her up, carry her into the bedroom, rip her clothes off, throw her down on the bed, and say: "Honey I'm horny as a hoot owl and whether you like it or not it's happening. So get ready, here I come." Have you ever even come close to this?

If she doesn't like conflict, she will LET YOU HAVE SEX with her. She might not like it; she might resent you for it. But a conflict-avoidant person would NOT stop you from doing it.




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Now, knowing my wife, it might be a very long time until we have sex again. We might never have sex again.
That's totally your decision, giotto. The reason you and she are not having sex is simply because you don't insist on having it. You give her a choice: if you want to stay married then we have to have sex. A marriage without sex is not a marriage.

If she truly loves you, and truly wants to stay married to you, she will have sex with you to prevent you from leaving her. If she does not love you and does not want to stay married to you, she will tell you "OK good bye."

You are the conflict avoider giotto because you don't want to have this conversation with her. But it is necessary to have it once and for all. You have no power in this relationship, she has all the power, yet she has conned you into thinking she rather than you is the powerless one. You are her puppet and you are dancing to her tune.



Quote:
So, I'm facing a sexless marriage situation. That's the reason for the thread. I need to have a clear head to be able to take an informed decision and I would like to know what's the "general consensus" on a sexless marriage is here on LS...

I hope this makes things a bit clearer...
A sexless marriage is a marriage in name only. Also you can have sex with your wife.

But you have to actually ask for it, and impose consequences if she continues to deny you. Again she is not "unable" to have sex with you. She has CHOSEN not to have sex with you. And, you have CHOSEN to allow this state of affairs to continue indefinitely.

You might just want to tell her that you know she is cheating on you, you're not mad at her, and you know that's why she doesn't want to have sex with you. See what kind of a reaction you get.
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Old 25th February 2010, 3:22 PM   #13
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Frankly I think your wife is probably cheating on you. It's absolutely absurd of her to contend she has no interest in sex. Women behave the way your wife is behaving when they have emotionally "left the marriage" and generally speaking that often means they have someone else on the side, or at the least, are thinking about it.
Not true. As one who has investigated all angles of low libido in women, cheating is not a requirement.

And no, it does not have to mean she left the marriage emotionally. It simply means that she doesn't need the physical and is content with a strong friendship for whatever reason.


Giotto, could you explain this comment of yours a little better?
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My wife says she loves me, but because of fear of repercussions (if she says no to me for whatever reason), fear of conflict and confrontation, she is unable to have sex with me. She has a block about it.
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Old 25th February 2010, 3:42 PM   #14
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Not true. As one who has investigated all angles of low libido in women, cheating is not a requirement.
Be careful James. When you say "low libido" are you referring simply to a physical lack of sexual desire or a situation where the wife not only doesn't feel like having sex with her H, she ALSO doesn't see the problem with feeling that way? The problem in these cases isn't simply a lack of physical desire; it is the lack of an emotional desire to have the physical desire.

There's a difference between a wife who says "Gee I never seem to be in the mood to have sex and that's really frustrating for me, how do I get myself in the mood more frequently, because I think sex is an important part of a marital relationship" and "I don't feel like having sex with my husband and I'm perfectly happy with that state of affairs."

Both women have "low libidos" but the second situation, not the first, is really what we're talking about isn't it? Not just why the wife doesn't want to have sex with the H; but why that doesn't bother her.

No cheating is not a "requirement." But it's amazing how often these supposedly frigid women heat up real fast when they find the right boyfriend to have sex with.

The bottom line is that reasonably healthy women want and need sex just as much as anyone else does, or almost as much. It's abnormal and extremely dysfunctional for a woman not to want to have sex with her husband.


Quote:
And no, it does not have to mean she left the marriage emotionally.
Of course it does, James. Of course it does. Even if she doesn't want to have sex she must know how badly her husband wants it. Yet she doesn't care enough about him to give it to him. Because she's not there emotionally for him anymore (if she ever was).

That's why when you read about these women who cheat on their H's, one of the interesting things is all the crazy kinds of kinky sex they will have with their AP's that they were never interested in doing with their spouses. Why is that? Simple--no emotional connection, therefore, no physical manifestation of it via mutually expressed sexuality. When a woman loves a man she will do almost anything sexually to keep him happy even if she might not particularly like whatever it is she's doing to please him. It is paramount for the woman to "please her man." When she stops caring about her man, she doesn't feel any need to please him any more. So, she doesn't. She has the minimal amount of sex she can get away with to keep him from dumping her or other unacceptable repercussions. It sounds like that's exactly what your wife's doing to you James. A minimal amount of sex which is unsatisfactory to you but just enough to keep you from leaving her, cheating on her, or making her life completely miserable in some other fashion.

If she love you James she would give you more sex. Even if she didn't particularly "feel like it." Because she would have a desire to please you. She doesn't please you because she doesn't want to. She doesn't want to because she lacks the sufficient depth of emotional connection with you. James if your W truly loved you "that way" she would be draining you dry every night or at least every other night.



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It simply means that she doesn't need the physical and is content with a strong friendship for whatever reason.

Thank you James you just proved my point. A marriage should be much much more than merely a "strong friendship." I certainly don't expect my friends, even "strong" ones, to knock my socks off in bed.

She's content with only a "strong friendship" because she doesn't love you.

Sorry man but that's what you're describing.
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Old 25th February 2010, 4:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by giotto View Post
My wife says she loves me, but because of fear of repercussions (if she says no to me for whatever reason), fear of conflict and confrontation, she is unable to have sex with me. She has a block about it. She was crying the other day when we talked about it, so I agreed not to ask for sex or even have sex if she doesn't feel like it. She has to initiate.
I don't know you or your wife personally but to me this sounds like emotional blackmail. It seems that your wife reacts in a very childish way: she is so fragile and sensitive that she is unable to have a grown-up conversation with another adult = a conversation in which there might be disagreement and frustration initially but where you try to find a common ground.
If she is the way I perceive her on the basis of what you write here, I cannot imagine that sex is the only problem. I presume she also has problems with other adults. Does she work? How does she get on with colleagues?

I don't know what her problem is but it seems to me she has psychological problems with go beyond sex. I think that unless she realizes that she does not function properly and looks for help, things won't improve.

As for the sexless marriage. No I would not accept it, that is not if my partner has no objective reason which prevents him from sex. If he would have health problems which he has no control over and we have always had a good sex life, I would try to be content with other ways of physical contact (although it would frustrate me not to be able to have "normal" sex).
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