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I can't stop crying today...

Community Member

I’m 68 and have been with my ex-fiancée since 1980. We were both divorcees and the first thing we said to each other was “Ain’t never going to get married again!” We married in 1984.
My wife is a bit of a control freak; mostly fine by me. I refer to her as She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO). People ask me how come we’ve managed to stay happily married for 35 years and I respond “Just find someone worth obeying and do so.”
When we first met SWMBO told me how she used to cheat on her husband and race home at lunch-times to have sex with other men. Rather offputting, I found this exciting and adventurous. I have a healthy appetite for sex and thought we might have an interesting sex life together. At first it was. We were in lust. Gradually though SWMBO diminished the amount of sex I am allowed and it trickled down to nil about a decade ago.
It’s not just sex; I crave affection. I really like to be hugged. I can only have a (brief) hug from SWMBO if I ask. She says she doesn’t spontaneously hug me as I always take it as an invitation for sex. When the spontaneous hug from someone who inspires lust only happens twice a year...
During the last crisis I persuaded her that we should go to marriage counselling. The marriage councillor told us there was nothing wrong with our marriage and we should be grateful for what we had. 

SWMBO says she doesn’t want sex because she doesn’t enjoy it. When tasked with my observation she says she doesn’t enjoy it.
I am partially crippled; I have a chronic lower back problem. For a couple of years I was incapable of sex, but have gained control of my chronic health problems and my libido returned. Being crippled means I don’t get out much. I live in a rural area and my closest friends are dead. I am a gourmet home cook and invites to my dinner table is deemed a privilege I’m told. On Saturday I was expecting two friends as dinner guests. SWMBO was to confirm the time as she has a busy social life. She didn’t tell me until the meal was in an advanced state of preparation that she hadn’t bothered to let our friends know it wasn’t happening.

I try to explain how I feel, but she misinterprets what I say.

13 Replies 13

"you say your wife enjoys a very busy social life. Where does she go? What does she do? Are you interested in joining her in these social events?"

She indulges in a physical sport with a number of older women. Better not say which, but it occasionally takes her overseas and I cannot travel these days. The last two times going through airport security was extremely painful. At one airport I wasn't allowed to use my walking aid, or wear shoes. I slipped and fell. At the next I was required to remove the braces that hold up my trousers. That meant my trousers fell down while I was allowed to use my walking canes. My infirmity is now considerably worse and I use a rollator (a type of walking frame) and that has been very liberating.

My wife's team is as I said, all women. Men are definitely not welcome and I am a man. Occasionally they have social events where men are "welcome". One such I had cooked ten litres of potato and leek soup (cockaleekie) for. It was a fund raiser for the team to go to Europe. My soup was labelled "pea and ham" and I requested that it be correctly labelled. The response was: "What would you know?".

"Could you be happy without sex if your wife treated you with kindness..."

I was sort of for about two years. One of the side-effects of some of my medications is a drying up of testosterone. This didn't cause erectile dysfunction; it just prevented all of the pleasant feelings. I gradually managed to come to grips with the various drugs and learned which did what. I also worked on losing weight (about 20 kg) and now need fewer drugs. The ones I resent the most are the opioids; they are very numbing.


Community Member
A general thankyou to you all. It has been a very great help to "talk" this out without being judged/criticised. I also want to say that SWMBO might appear to be some sort of ogre; she is not. In some of my darkest moments she has given me a remarkable amount of support. I am really grateful that while she has been unwilling to grow with me, she has allowed me to mature and grow wiser in many ways. She does see things very differently to me as do all neurotypicals. For example she said she had put far more into our marriage than I, specifically financial support. I analysed the data for 23 years (some older records have been trashed). While her income exceeded mine for more years, I had contributed 60% more dollars than her. This despite being ripped off for over $100,000 (a frequent enough occurrence for creatives). I also took a couple of years off work to build our architect-designed home. The knarchitect went more than a hundred percent over budget so I had no alternative if I was to fulfill SWMBO's desire. I saved nearly $200,000 on what the builders quoted. SWMBO said that doesn't count for anything until the house is sold. I said I thought it counted for more since we didn't pay any income tax on the virtual $200,000.

Hi JonathanP,

Sorry for the delayed reply. I just wanted to say that I am really encouraged by your responses. It’s great news that your mental health has improved, and that the bout of depression you had didn’t last so long this time. It seems like you have developed some great strategies of managing it, and it doesn’t affect you as much as it once did. I’m also glad to hear you are having some good conversations with your wife lately, and even though this hasn’t changed anything yet, it seems like you are making some progress with expressing your feelings.

I hear your frustration in not being able to travel with your wife, or engage in the activities that she does, such as sport. It sounds like you enjoy participating in activities with her, but your health is preventing you from doing all the things you would like to do. You mentioned that she is in charge of inviting your friends over for dinner. I was wondering if this is something that you could organise yourself? It sounds like you really enjoy cooking for your friends and are terribly disappointed when your wife doesn’t pass on the invitation. Perhaps if you were to invite them yourself, you would have more control over the situation? I was also wondering if there are any other ways you could maintain your social supports? Are there others in your community in a similar situation to you who you could connect with? Just some food for thought!

Thanks for keeping us updated, and feel free to report back here anytime you like!


Hi Jonathan Wazowski and any readers 🖐

Also apologies for late reply I've been in hospital with limited access to here and a few other things going on.

I'll be back just wanted you to know I'm still around and supporting you just from afar for now 😊

See you later hope you're getting along ok