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Last cry for help. Husband & I incompatible in attitude to sex

Community Member

Married 29 years. Both Christian upbringing. No sex before marriage.

I was naive, especially when I was young & loved my husband. I could never believe he could hurt me. 5 years into our marriage, I saw he was looking at porn. I was devastated. Same issue resurfaced 2 more times over next 15 years. It’s to the point where we agree we both have a diff view on what's right & wrong. I classify porn as cheating &he thinks having a look is ok. In our arguing he says looking at women is enjoyable, just as looking at men is pleasurable for a woman (I did enjoy watching Magic Mike) & it doesn't mean he loves me less. We compromised 7 years ago, porn is not allowed & he can look at anything else long as it doesn't cross the line we made. This was a fair compromise &he has kept his end of the bargain, but Ive not been unable to recover from the damage he did in the past. We cant watch a movie together if nude/semi clad female, is on screen. We cant see sexy women walk by. These things just make me so angry that I know my husband is "enjoying" looking & feeding his desire to look at things that fuel his sexual thoughts.

Like most men, he's a very sexual person with a high sex drive & wants orgasms often. He is very unselfish in the bedroom & takes even more pleasure than I do, about seeing me satisfied every time. I don't have the same drive & wouldn't miss it if we stopped but I have come to enjoy & want it more over the last 15 years. But every time we get to a good place, something happens.He says we need to be on the same page when it comes to enjoying all things sexual. He thinks I should enjoy the topic of sex more, so we won't fight so much about everyday sexual things. He calls me conservative & heavily blames our upbringing for the way I think about sex.

I am still a believer in Christ but he has become sceptical over the years. Even though he betrayed me by looking at porn, he is very loyal & has never physically cheated on me. We’re both proud that we’ve only had ourselves as sexual partners.

I have deep issues in me that have been caused by his actions & now this problem has invaded every other part of our lives to the point that we now have a sexless marriage. He can't believe that I haven't pleasured myself in months & can't understand it's not important to me like it is to him. We went to a counselor and it didn't solve much as we disagree on the topic.
I don’t want divorce but we’re so far apart on this topic I feel we are unable to reconcile

27 Replies 27

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear JennyA~

I'd like to talk about your welfare for a moment if I may. In our modern world porn proliferates and there are differing secular and religious views on the matter, however that is in some sense irrelevant for what I want to say.

You entered in to a bond with another person when young and from a religious background. In your words I can see your realtionship is causing you great distress. A bond should be mutually supportive with care and understanding - you should feel cherished and secure (as I do).

You have kind words to say about you husband's consideration in the matrimonial bed, and his not 'crossing a line' in other circumstances, but also point out that there is a basic lack of appreciation and understanding of your nature as shown in his unrealistic expectations.

Also that early events have left a deep and lasting mark on you.

You have tried the sensible things, talking together and counseling, but this has not helped. For better or worse it would seem your husband cannot comprehend you are unlike him and do not have the same attitudes he does. That does not mean you are in any way wrong.

To try to be fair 15 years is a long time, a great deal of love and emotion will have taken place, and the fact, that even without proper understanding, you husband has continued a degree of restraint is most probably an indication of his love for you.

Unfortunately I'd imagine that is mostly negated by the fights you have and a realization you are not understood and this this now progressed to the state where you are not intimate together, whch can be a very hurtful state of affairs, sex is more than just the physical.

I don't have any answers to offer when two people have differing natures and this leads to destructive behavior. I wish I did.

Perhaps the answer may lie within you. A matter of balancing your pain against the fact the world does not always offer all we want - or even need.

Do you think that if there was some way for you both to forestall these arguments things might be more tolerable for you? While it may not overcome basic differences it might give a chance for a closer relationship even so.

Sometime people with opposing views can be together in harmony, sometimes not.

Please do not think I'm suggesting any course of action, I'm not, just offering some thoughts.

I wish both you and your husband the wisdom to deal with the matter

Agree or disagree with my words I do hope you come back and talk more


Community Champion
Community Champion

JennyA Thank you so much for your honesty and you are not alone.

Some people reading will relate to you while others will see things from a different perspective.

You posted here to express the deep issues in your relationships and the love you have for your partner.

it is hard when you are feeling so upset for others to understand how much your marriage means to you,

Many people have given their thoughts. I just wanted to say I was listening . The goal for you both is find a way that suits both of you . You have a long marriage and love for each other on your side.

Thanks again for your honesty


Community Member

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to answer. It has been really helpful.

I have been really emotional and I wrote this letter to hubby. I hope this shows you how I feel:

"You don't seem to get it. When you speak to me, I hurt. When you look at me, I hurt. Just being near you, I hurt. I just can't be around you. I am angry because trying to be mad makes me cope. I cry all the time. I can not live like this. It's messed up.
I'm mad that you are they way your are. That you have made my life so sad. That you say the words 'I love you' but you don't seem to understand love? Your way of love is hurtful. The words that come out of your mouth, are hurtful.
You want this and you want that and then you say that you want me. It is not healthy. I don't even know how to be in this relationship? It is broken. It is just pure pain. I am shattered. I'm broken into a million pieces. I am all over the floor and every day you walk all over my broken pieces.
Love is kind... Love is patient... Love is not proud... Love doesn't disrespect or dishonour others... Love is honourable... Do you not understand that?
I think it's time we face the facts that this can not go on anymore. Until you learn what true love is, this is over. I just can't for one more second. I just can't...
I want a man who loves me, as a person and not as a sexual being. You need to go back to finding love, for me. Love, for my person and not for my body. Search your heart for the true meaning of love. Just love. Love me!
I am gutted. I am beyond despair. I am so, sorry. My love for you is not enough to bring you joy and happiness. To keep you as my husband.
I am just truly sorry for all the unhappiness and hurt I have caused you.
I will always love you.

I am sorry...


He wrote a response which I'll put in next post. This should show you where we are at at maybe someone can give a piece of advice that can save us?

Community Member

Here's his reply:

You say I don't get it, I say you don't get it.

We are both hurt and both unhappy. Despite your words, I do love you. Perhaps it's you who doesn't truly understand what love is.

Love is all the things you said below but it is also forgiveness, which you've never done. It's patience which you are not, it's persistence and you're quitting, it's desire which you no longer have, it's attraction which you no longer have, it's tolerance which you are not, is compassion and I don't feel like you feel for me, it's unselfishness which you again are putting yourself first.

Of course, I know you love me but we still don't do everything right by each other all the time You are looking at this from only your perspective which makes healing together difficult.

I am not writing emotionally as you did. I am trying to keep it together for the sake of us.

You don't understand how much I love you. You only looking from inside your world. I would've given up on us so long ago if I didn't TRULY love you.

I try every day to come up with ways to make our lives better. Sometimes from my perspective and sometimes from yours. I know my perspective counteracts yours on occasion but that's what love is really about, it's communication and trying to do things to make the other happy.

Your words are all true below but also are emotional and obscure. Nothing exact. Nothing practical. Just you showing how much you're hurting. I know you're hurting but you don't ever want to do anything that will stop you hurting. You just want to tell me how bad you're feeling but not offer practical solutions.

I am always open to talk. I will always listen. I am happy to listen to 3rd parties and happy to keep trying. I agree we can't go on like this but you need to do something as well as me.

I love you even though you can only see through your eyes that you think I don't.
It's not fair you think like that.
I also am so sorry I'm not making you happy. I want to.

Despite the pain, I am still glad you wrote the email because that at least is you communicating which you normally don't do.

I am trying things now to help us and ask you to try to.

I will always love you.

Community Champion
Community Champion


They are two very moving emails.

I am interested what you feel about his reply and if it has changed anything about how you think and what you feel?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Jenny

I left posting to you for a day or two because Quirky had asked a pretty important question. It is obvious how much you are suffering, it fills your letter, and it is also plain one of your needs is to be seen as yourself, completely separated from sex.

From your husbands letter which I assume he writes genuinely and without pretense it would appear to me he loves you and does want to make you happy, a great thing.

You in your turn love him, want his joy and happiness, and regret that it is not there.

Those really are building blocks. You both believe you have tried to be understanding, perhaps more from both might be enough.

I can imagine you read this and think that I'm being unfair to you in suggesting this course, and are de-valuing your suffering, maybe even taking your husband's side. That is not the case, I'm simply offering thoughts to help deal practically with an imperfect world so two people can live together in harmony rather than alone.


Thank you for your responses. Sorry I have not replied until now. Sadly I don't feel any better and it has not changed how I feel. I still hate he loves sex more than me it seems. His priority is still women and all things sexual. He shouldn't be telling me I should change and then he'll do everything I want. He keeps saying I have to be more like him in how I think about sex in order for us to be happy.
By trying to change me to make sex more of a priority, telling me I should like sex, masturbation, toys. That i should enjoy joking about men, read about sex, desire men, ogle them, get myself horny and use it on him. This is not me. I don't have a desire to please myself "just because". I could do lots of things that make me feel good but I don't want to. Don't have the desire or need.
I feel more like a sexual being than someone he loves. I want him to desire me without other factors. To make me happy without provisos. I look at things from a love perspective, he looks at it from a sexual perspective.
I have no solutions. I am lost. I can't see a happy end to this. Shattered...

Hey AussieGal81.

Good to see that you have replied. You seem to be quite upset and overwhelmed by the situation. Sometimes it can be difficult to comprehend or understand each others needs. As long as you clearly communicate what you want and need, this should make it easier for you two to connect.

Sex is important in a relationship because it allows you both to bond, connect and enjoy each others body on an increased physically level. What you both need to agree on is a balance that incorporates something that works for both parties.

Have you and your partner had a more in-depth discussion about what you both need, remembering it's not just about you, its about him too. He needs to listen to you as much as you need to listen to him?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Jenny~

I can understand what you are feeling, and at least on there surface there is no easy solution, you should not need to even try to change your basic nature (which would not work anyway).

I'd again emphasize you are in no way wrong, your view and wants are as valid as anyone's, in fact I would not even mention it except I'd expect in outside life you may have been exposed to criticism and maybe feel undeserved guilt as a result.

So may I ask you something else, if you, for argument's sake, decided to split, what do you see as your futures?


Community Member
Croix, I really can't see any future. We still have 2 dependant kids and hubby is the only man I've ever loved. Or lives are so intertwined, I cannot imagine being separated from each other. I'm sure it will destroy us both.