Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Lonely and unwanted...

Community Member
Like others here, I find myself in a marriage devoid of any sort of love, attention, or affection.
My wife has lost all interest in me and I have no idea why or what to do about it. A total lack of affection or attention towards me has left me feeling desperately lonely and with a constant feeling of rejection and depression.
I honestly don't remember the last time she cuddled up to me just because she wanted to be close to me. It would have been a couple of years ago at least... On my birthday or our anniversary she'll always post some "lovey dovey" message on facebook where anyone who read it, would think we were teenagers in love, however the reality at home is vastly different where I'm lucky if I get a passing cuddle.

I often try to cuddle up to her in bed but when I do, she either totally ignores me like I'm just not there, or she pushes me away almost like she can't bare for me to touch her anymore... A cuddle while she's cooking in the kitchen or laying on the couch results in her either walking away, or just totally ignoring me. Never will she just cuddle me back.

We still have sex, probably every couple of weeks on average, but I know shes just letting me out of a feeling of "duty". The last time she initiated having sex was probably 5 years ago. When we do have sex, it's always something I initiate.

I help out around the home and always make sure she knows shes appreciated. Sometimes I pick some flowers out of the garden or take her out for a romantic dinner or give her a back rub while laying in bed, stuff she used to enjoy and appreciate, but nothing seems to have any effect anymore. I've even tried giving her space, almost to the point of staying well clear of her for a few weeks like a kind of a "let's see how you like it" kind of a thing, but in all honesty, I think she enjoys the separation.
I still love her and don't want to leave her but it's left me desperately wanting to feel the love and attention she once gave me. I'm almost at the stage where I feel like looking elsewhere to find the attention and affection that I so badly desire. It's not that I want someone else, or that I want to cheat on her, but I am desperate to find some love and affection again and feel the touch of a woman who wants to be with me.
I feel kind of stupid posting on here because I know there are many people doing it a lot tougher than I am. However, this feeling of desperate loneliness is starting to have an effect on my daily life. How do others cope???
12 Replies 12

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Jimmy

Welcome to the bb forum and thank you for sharing your story. I know it takes a lot of courage to post for the first time, so well done.

I'm really sorry that you currently find yourself in a marriage devoid of love and affection and that this is affecting your mood. Sounds like you are doing everything "right", which makes me wonder if your wife is going through something.

There could be many reasons that she's lost intetest in sex that have nothing to do with you or how she feels about you. Is she under a lot of stress or pressure at work? Is she tired? Is she experiencing low mood or a physical change that could make her feel as though she's unattractive? Has she suffered a loss or upset that she may still be recovering from? Is she going through a particular phase of life, such as menopause? There is no pressure to answer here (only share what you want to share) but have a good think.

I've been married for 30 years and I love my husband dearly but we have had difficult times too. It does happen but it's really important to talk about it.

Perhaps you should try telling her how you feel and see if she feels like she's in a bit of a rutt too. See if she can give you a clue, if not a full answer, as to what's gping on. If it's too hard to talk about you could try writing her a letter.

Kind thoughts to you

Thanks Summer Rose,

To answer a few of your questions, she has only recently taken up part time work after being a stay at home mum since being pregnant with our first child, now 9 years old. She often complains of being tired but to be totally honest, I think she's just a bit lazy. I don't like to say that about her but I believe that is part of the issue. She really doesn't do much around the house on her days off and with both kids at school full time for a few years now, seems to have plenty of spare time.

I believe she suffers a bit with Bi-polar. It runs in her family. Her mum has tried talking to her about it and I have spoken to my GP about it too but she's in complete denial about it. It's hard to work though a problem if you don't, or can't recognise it in the first place.

She's an attractive person and I often tell her I think she's sexy or that she's my little hottie so I don't think it's a self image issue?

She did loose a close relative a while back but our problems started well before then and there was no noticeable change, good, bad, or otherwise, around that time so I don't think that had any bearing on the situation.

Not sure about menopause, but not that I'm aware of?

I've tried talking to her about how I feel many times but every time I bring it up, she just says that I'm saying it to make her feel bad... I don't know if she says that just to shut me down or if she genuinely doesn't see that there is a problem? I honestly can't see how she would believe that everything is normal though. The simple fact that she won't come near me should be evident enough to prove that.

The thing I really don't understand is that both of us were in a similar situation in our previous relationships. We left our previous relationships to be together and now here we are, basically back in the same position we gave up on all those years ago. I don't understand why she can't see that we are right back where we left off last time and why she doesn't recognise the risk of it happening again??? Not that I want it too but at the same time, I can't see myself going on the rest of my life like this... :o(

Hi Jimmy

Thanks for sharing more information. From what you've said, it's entirely possible that your wife is experiencing a mental health condition. I'm not a doctor, but I don't know that it's possible to "suffer a bit with bi polar". It's a pretty serious condition that requires treatment.

If she is experiencing a mental health condition that would explain why she is often tired and could explain her lack of intetest in intimacy. It takes a lot of energy just to get through the day when you're unwell and I'd imagine sex might be one of the last things on her mind.

Having also worked part time with school aged children, I can also say that it's harder than you might think. You end up cramming five days of work into 3 or 4 days and are still responsible for the lion's share of child caring and home responsibilities. It's exhausting.

I often felt stretched to the limit and that I wasn't doing my paid or unpaid work to the best of my abilities. It can leave a person feeling unsure where they really belong and like their not goid enough. Don't know if this is the case for your wife but it's certainly a possibility.

My guess is that your wife responds to you raising the lack of sex issue with "you're trying to make me feel bad" because she knows you guys are heading to a place you don't want to be and she thinks you are blaming her. She probably does feel bad but is currently unable to bring about the change you are seeking.

If she is experiencing bi polar or another mental health condition she needs progessional help. Perhaps you could offer to make her an appointment with her GP and go with her to provide support?

Kind thoughts to you

Thanks again Summer Rose,

I'm not a doctor either so my "Suffers a bit with Bi-polar" may not be the right description? The thing is, if she flat out refuses to admit that there is a problem at all, then there seems very little I can do about it myself.
Any suggestion of such issues results in a complete "spitting of the dummy" and total denial of any such issue.

I'm not suggesting that dealing with the kids is a walk in the park. They can be hard work at times, there's no doubt about it but I do my fair share with them too though. They are at school full time and have been for a few years now so surely that has given her plenty of time at home to do the things she's wanted and needed to do?

Also, it's really not a lack of sex thing and it's not a lack of sex I bring up. We still have sex every couple of weeks on average but that's not my complaint. It's the total lack of interest in me as a partner at all and that's what I have said to here when she says I'm just trying to make her feel bad.
Other than the sex, there is no personal contact whatsoever. No interest in what I do at work or anything else I do. Nothing.

I'm self employed and on paper, she is a business partner. You'd think she'd have at least some interest in what was going on. Nope... Nothing. As long as the bills are paid and there is money in the bank, she wouldn't know if Id been at work or on holidays for the past 3 years...

Her Bi-polar could be the problem but if she absolutely refuses to admit or accept it even as a possibility, I simply don't know what I can do about it?

Hi Jimmy

Seems like I wasn't really getting what you were saying. Sorry.

If I've now got it, you just miss her having an interest in you as a person.

Sorry hit post by accident ...

Was going to suggest you try doing things together that you used to enjoy pre-kids and/or try something new. If it's a rut maybe you can break out of it and reconnect.

Kind thoughts to you

Yes, that's it precisely. I do just miss her having an interest in me. I'm not alone but I feel so lonely. It's almost like being single, except without the freedom to go and socialise with others if I want to.

I've tried many things. Things we did before and new things as well.Nothing makes any difference.
To make matters worse, if we go and do something with friends or family, she kind of excludes herself from the group and then later accuses everyone of not wanting to talk to her. It's so draining... I'm just about at the point of giving up on the relationship. If it wasn't for the kids, I would have done so already.

Hi Jimmy

You really are to be congratulated for putting in so much time, thought and effort to turn things around. I really feel for you, it must be awful not to feel loved or cared for and to be so lonely in your marriage.

I don't think it's healthy for you to ignore your feelings. And I don't think it always works to stay miserable in the hope of providing a stable home for the kids. I grew up in a home like that and the scars take a long time to fade. But that's just my experience.

If you are going to stay, I think you need to find a way to get beyond unhappiness. You need to get back to good communication, making love not having dutiful physical sex and closing the distance between you. But it takes two.

I think you need to have a good talk with your wife and consider marriage counseling. At this point there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Maybe if your wife knows how serious the situation has become she might be willing to work with you.

Kind thoughts to you

Thanks for the kind words Summer Rose,

Yes, I think you may be right. A good talk and maybe some marriage counselling might be the next best move.
As you say, there's not much left to lose...