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So Lonely, Sexless Marriage

Agreen
Community Member
My husband and I have been together for 14 years and have 1 child. Over the years I have had some body image issues and have not always been forthcoming in answering his requests for sexual intimacy.
Then about 12 to 18 months ago, it is hard to say exactly when it started, he stopped asking at all, and earlier this year I tried to speak to him about it and it just turned into a big argument.
I feel totally alone in my marriage, he does not even attempt basic intimacy anymore, like a kiss good morning or good night, no holding hands, we hardly speak at all, there is no discussion on futures or anything past some of the most basic pleasantries. We both work, and so when I get home, he does not talk to me, doesn’t ask me how my day was, I need to always ask him how his day was and things like that.
When he talks to his mates, on the computer, he sounds happy enough but when I go to talk to him it is like I am annoying him or something, it is short sharp responses, to make matters worse even something simple like going for a walk as a family he now avoids.
I feel so lonely it keeps me up some nights and I can’t sleep. What should I do?
9 Replies 9

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I think this situation cries out for some couples counseling. There is too many possibilities of the real reasons for his lack of togetherness that its best I dont assume.

There is a few ways in going about the process but as you know you have body image issues can I suggest you chat in the first instance to your GP and he/she might recommend an expert to address that first?. When you are ready you can advise your husband of this course of action.

If you make an appointment to couples counseling I suggest that there is a risk he wont go (particularly if he doesnt think it will be beneficial). In any case attend there yourself but upon him asking about any progress I'd refrain from letting him know, rather that he should attend with you in a future visit. This is because you are not a counselor and you might not convey progress well, he could think you and the counselor are on a path of criticism of him.

Relationship Australia is

https://relationships.org.au/contact/

I hope this helps.

TonyWK

Hi TonyWK
Thank you for the reply.
You are right, I had to deal with the body image issues and have done so a few years ago, I saw a GP who sent me to a therapist and they helped me out.
You are also totally right about the couples counselling and how he would feel it is an attack on him, I mentioned we have had some arguments in the past, and when I suggested the couples counselling sometime ago, his words were basically “it is a way to make the women feel good about leaving the husband”. So I imagine that it isn’t going to go well.
What worries me though, is that if the couples counselling says “leave him” that’s not what I want, I want to get back to what it was like when we were first together. I feel like I have pushed him away so often that he now has just checked out completely and that I have lost him.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Agreen

No counsellor will ever say "leave him". That's not how they are trained.

Your account of how he might react is, well a concern- “it is a way to make the women feel good about leaving the husband”.

There is a good percentage of success stories with counselling. They are the experts and those that aren't trained can claim all sorts of things to avoid an effort.. But therein lies another problem in that while your attitude is good, it takes two determined people to find success. In such situations it's sometimes the case that there is little chance of finding the love you once had. If the reality is same then you could end up knowing that from counselling but that is far different to the counsellor having that intent.

If he attended with you to counselling there is a chance deep feeling will be exposed. He could be holding resentment but also concealing his love for you. None of that will be exposed with his absence.

TonyWK

Hi TonyWK

Thanks for the reply.

I am confident that he won't go to counselling, we have previously spoken about it and it has never been positive. I took your suggestion on board and have started to look for a couples counsellor to to go and see what happens, even without him coming along.

I think he holds alot of resentment towards me and I am not sure how to cut through that and revive our relationship, or if that is even possible.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

You are stepping forward, that's good. Clarity, purpose, responsibility and effort. You have all that.

He may or may not. How much he values you and the relationship is a quest.

TonyWK

I think you mentioned the resentment, and speaking from my perspective as the male half that is in a similar situation you may be very correct. I am at my witts end. We were intimate once last year in January 2021. I love my wife i still lust after her and we have been married 26 years. She says she loves me but also that she doesn't find me attractive anymore. That floored me and has left a massive whole in me. We have 2 children and the intimacy really dropped off after the birth of our second. Our second child is now 15 and the intimacy dropped dramatically about 10 years ago. I can count how often we had sex in those 10 years with both hands. I shared house duties and while she finished dinner i would bath and dress the kids - most nights. But the funny part is i could understand her diminished sexual desire during that period. Our kids are now self sufficient - but i think she is still in that mothering phase and i have been pushed to the outer for the last 10 years. I don't go out with my friends regularly - i am always available to her and the kids, pick them up from school, drop them off same as for sport and music. We sat down the other day and i asked her what her favourite feature about me was - she took a few minutes and her response was that " I can fix anything". I am quite talented with any physical task, from carpentry, auto repair, computers, IT and electronics etc. THAT was my most redeeming feature that came to her. The constant rejections, excuses have taken their toll on me, especially because its attacked my ego and feeling of self worth. She will go out of her way to help anyone and anything. She drop what she is doing and help someone - yet when i need something its overlooked. So my resentment has steadily grown - to the point where i will not initiate a good morning kiss, a goodnight kiss i don't even feel the desire to hug her anymore. She possibly has some unfounded self esteem body issues and is not confident in the way she looks. I still see her with the eyes of the young man that saw her 30 years ago. I still stare at her over the dining table and think how beautiful she is. But she's shredded my belief in myself. As i said we had the talk maybe a fortnight ago - to try and see what we can do to change things. She was all enthusiastic for about 4 days and now is back to the same pattern.

I have started a fitness campaign and plan to get myself back into the shape i was before we got married. I have told her that i am forcing her to do things with me like ballroom dancing and perhaps the gym. I give myself 2 years to see if i can turn the tables and get her interested in me. She doesn't see a problem by the way with the lack of intimacy. I asked her "Do you see us together in 10 years"? her response was "Yes!" I just can't live like that anymore. If i can't do it in 2 years i will leave. Sorry i probably didnt do anything to answer your question - but i feel better for venting.

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Agreen and LostSoul, I'm pleased Tony has replied back to you.

Long term marriages as I was in for 25 years, intimacy changes as the marriage extends and it's certainly nothing like it was when you first meet as all the circumstances are completely different, you have children, work hard to buy a house and you begin to age.

One problem that hasn't been mentioned is that we try and improve our image because there is someone else we're interested in talking with, and that's where our mind is focused, so we lose interest in our spouse and try to improve how we look to impress this other person.

The trouble is we don't know about this until it's too late.

Geoff.

I asked that question and was given a resounding no - which i totally believe. The mental anguish i have is the repetition of the sentence " i dont find you attractive anymore" going through my head a thousand times a day.