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Lady Girl

Sexual Compromise & Support

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festiff
2 hours ago, AM2 said:

I hadn't realised until the BBC article that she may be asexual.  She hasn't been diagnosed formerly, if one is, but her story is a lot like members on asexual posts describing how they feel. 

Hi am2 and welcome to the forum, hope that it can help you with your wife :)

 

Asexuality would be self-identification like homosexuality and heterosexuality etc rather than being diagnosed as such

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AM2

Thank you iff. 

 

One of the hardest things to deal with is that I believe my wife's asexuality (I would emphasise it is something I have identified and am discussing with her) means that I sometimes tell her that she doesn't really love me.  When I get into bed she turns her back.  If I reach over to give her a hug she "lets" me for 20-30 seconds but then says she is hot or she is trying to go to sleep.  She will never naturally reach over and give me a hug or a kiss.  I often say to her that the fact that she says she loves me isn't enough because I don't feel loved.  Normally when she say she loves me it's following an argument about me not feeling loved.  I often feel quite lonely and I am not sure she understands how depressed that makes me (even if she says she understands).  I wonder why she isn't interested in me physically.  She often complains that she is very tired and needs her sleep.  She works part time and also looks after our children and so I know she has a full on day but then so do most people. 

 

I have said to her that our relationship sometimes feels like a close friendship / companionship rather than two people who love each other.   I understand that there are different types of love and it is not the same for everyone but when we married I thought we were on the same wave length.

 

I couldn't ever have an affair because I couldn't cope with the guilt but I sometimes wish that I had it in me.  I would love to feel that my wife wants me even 50% of how much I want her.  Again, when we discuss this she says that she does want me and she does need me.  I respond "yes, to do the paperwork around the house, sort out the credit cards, the cars, the insurance etc, not because [she] you need a physical or emotional connection with me.
 
I don't want to go through the rest of my life feeling unloved and feeling that there is something missing.  I get that this (life) is not a trial run.  I sometimes wish that i didn't love my wife as much as I do because then i wouldn't get so upset or care so much or feel so lonely.
 
So that's my out pour.  I'm very interested to hear what others think or to receive any advice and will be reading more posts from others to see if I can find answers / comfort.

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brassyhub

AM2, we're clearly in much the same kind of place. In our case, 30+ years of an increasingly sexless marriage. When I finally insisted on therapy together, my wife finally came out to herself and to me as a lesbian. Could this be true for your wife? My wife's a self-defined asexual lesbian. Her long years of pretty fruitless struggle to be delivered of the 'sin' of her same-sex attractions seem to have burnt out in her any capacity for sexual desire. So we share a good friendship, a good life together, but there is and can be no desire. And my desire, even more than sex, is the desire to be desired! We're now too far along in life to be able to envisage parting and trying to find new partners, and in any case, our limited finances wouldn't allow it. So I struggle on. My wife's at peace as we are, and I am not... I do have a little hope that fate may bring a new love across my path, whether we part or not. My wife's said, more in anger than a peaceful proposition, 'If sex is so important to you, then why don't you look elsewhere?' But I seem to be constitutionally monogamous. I've never been seriously tempted to stray, never come close to being unfaithful.

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wooyoo

AM2

Everything in your post I have experienced in exactly the same way with my wife of > 30 years. I learned that because in our earlier years I always took a hug to be more like part of foreplay and I would then try to escalate it toward sex my wife feared even a hug. Hence the turned back wasn't her passing an opinion on me it was genuine fear that I would push her to do more. She now tells me that she often cried herself to sleep because she knew how much it hurt me but it was still better than being cajoled into having sex. We hug long now and often because she knows I will not mistake it as a come on. Same with kissing. I would take a simple kiss and arms round the neck as meaning "I could be on here,"  and I'd start to "test." So we stopped kissing. That was when the relationship felt more like brother and sister than lovers.

 

The big break for us was when I stopped thinking there was something at fault or wrong and realized that this is just how my wife feels in herself.  Actually deep down she was miserable and wracked with guilt that I had inadvertently made worse for years by accusing her of no longer loving me and that all I have become is a bill payer. Yes, I fear I have said all the things you mention in your message. Finally, when we could talk about it without me being defensive or guilt throwing I felt a bit ashamed that I had been so lacking in empathy for so many years. I still shudder at some of the things I said in frustration. I just didn't understand at the time.

 

It took me a long time to get it and I still feel lonely at times, but mostly we have a great time, do everything else together, cook together, walk together, laugh at the same stuff together. The only bit that is missing is the sex, and to be honest whereas once it seemed so important  and like a great wall in our relationship it is now just bits of rubble that remind us of how dumb we were for not breaking it down sooner.  Sorry, for the bad metaphor but it is what comes to mind when I think about it.

 

I also could never have an affair although there were many opportunities. I don't know the right and wrongs of that, but it always just seemed too complicated and intrusive for me.

 

I do regularly go to an energy healer/body therapist type who somehow manages to get all my twisted thoughts and energy unwound. I find that helps a lot. My wife goes to see her regularly now too. Definitely helps and I pour that sexual energy into other creative endeavors that have worked out better than anyone might otherwise have imagined.

 

Happy to chat more if it helps.

 

I also only just discovered this forum. Wish I had known about it years ago.

 

 

 

 

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CatBug
4 hours ago, wooyoo said:

AM2

Everything in your post I have experienced in exactly the same way with my wife of > 30 years. I learned that because in our earlier years I always took a hug to be more like part of foreplay and I would then try to escalate it toward sex my wife feared even a hug. Hence the turned back wasn't her passing an opinion on me it was genuine fear that I would push her to do more. She now tells me that she often cried herself to sleep because she knew how much it hurt me but it was still better than being cajoled into having sex. We hug long now and often because she knows I will not mistake it as a come on. Same with kissing. I would take a simple kiss and arms round the neck as meaning "I could be on here,"  and I'd start to "test." So we stopped kissing. That was when the relationship felt more like brother and sister than lovers.

 

The big break for us was when I stopped thinking there was something at fault or wrong and realized that this is just how my wife feels in herself.  Actually deep down she was miserable and wracked with guilt that I had inadvertently made worse for years by accusing her of no longer loving me and that all I have become is a bill payer. Yes, I fear I have said all the things you mention in your message. Finally, when we could talk about it without me being defensive or guilt throwing I felt a bit ashamed that I had been so lacking in empathy for so many years. I still shudder at some of the things I said in frustration. I just didn't understand at the time.

 

It took me a long time to get it and I still feel lonely at times, but mostly we have a great time, do everything else together, cook together, walk together, laugh at the same stuff together. The only bit that is missing is the sex, and to be honest whereas once it seemed so important  and like a great wall in our relationship it is now just bits of rubble that remind us of how dumb we were for not breaking it down sooner.  Sorry, for the bad metaphor but it is what comes to mind when I think about it.

 

I also could never have an affair although there were many opportunities. I don't know the right and wrongs of that, but it always just seemed too complicated and intrusive for me.

 

I do regularly go to an energy healer/body therapist type who somehow manages to get all my twisted thoughts and energy unwound. I find that helps a lot. My wife goes to see her regularly now too. Definitely helps and I pour that sexual energy into other creative endeavors that have worked out better than anyone might otherwise have imagined.

 

Happy to chat more if it helps.

 

I also only just discovered this forum. Wish I had known about it years ago.

 

 

 

 

Thank you both @AM2  and @wooyoo so much for posting these - by describing your wives, you have just described me. My husband and I have been together for 8 years and for the last 5 - since I started to equate physical closeness with sexual expectation - I have been continuously wracked with guilt because I have felt exactly this. Hugs are terrifying because I know I will feel compelled to turn him down later, going to bed together means i have to behave as if i am exhausted and simply too tired for sex, otherwise I would have to tell him I simply don't want it, and that is too much for my already guilt-laden self-image. I love him so much and I know his needs are equal to mine, but being pushed and pressured because of his reasonable lack of understanding - and my own - has put a barrier between us that needs to come down.

I am very into physical contact outside of specifically intercourse (which i'm also often ok with, though it's for his sake, which he hates and feels guilty about) and I am very much willing to compromise on many levels, but having to explain to him that sex itself can never, for me, produce the same type of fulfillment and rightness that it does for him just kills me inside because I know he wants to share that experience with me. I have tried so many things to "jump-start" what I thought was my dormant ravenous sexuality (we're both 26 years old so I just expected it to wake up at some point) but nothing has ever worked. I still haven't used the word "asexual" to describe myself to him because I am terrified of how he will react in the moment.... I'm considering suggesting marriage counseling so we can talk openly without getting too emotional to think and speak objectively.

I am terrified that I am slowly killing him from my near-constant rejections, so something needs to change soon. Your story gives me hope that we can work things out in a way that can be fulfilling for both of us.

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Sally
12 hours ago, AM2 said:

Thank you iff. 

 

One of the hardest things to deal with is that I believe my wife's asexuality (I would emphasise it is something I have identified and am discussing with her) means that I sometimes tell her that she doesn't really love me.  When I get into bed she turns her back.  If I reach over to give her a hug she "lets" me for 20-30 seconds but then says she is hot or she is trying to go to sleep.  She will never naturally reach over and give me a hug or a kiss. 

That very likely does not mean she does not love you or feel emotionally affectionate toward you.  What it more likely means is that she is  afraid that any physical affection toward you in bed would mean that sex would follow, because you would interpret her affection as an invitation to sex.  As an asexual, I had sex with my husband and then with my partner because I loved them and wanted to please them.  But that was on occasions when I could stand to deal with it, and there were times when I couldn't.  Thus I did not want to encourage it.   Many times I would have just liked to hug, but knew that could very well mean "sex!" to my partner.  

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Serran
28 minutes ago, Sally said:

That very likely does not mean she does not love you or feel emotionally affectionate toward you.  What it more likely means is that she is  afraid that any physical affection toward you in bed would mean that sex would follow, because you would interpret her affection as an invitation to sex.  As an asexual, I had sex with my husband and then with my partner because I loved them and wanted to please them.  But that was on occasions when I could stand to deal with it, and there were times when I couldn't.  Thus I did not want to encourage it.   Many times I would have just liked to hug, but knew that could very well mean "sex!" to my partner.  

Same. I got into the habit of not touching my partner because it meant sex was likely to be expected and I'd rather not be affectionate than have to go through that. 

 

With my current partner that does not want sex from me, we can barely force ourselves out of bed / to stop cuddling/kissing/hugging... so it's not that I am not into affection, I just am not into affection if it risks sex being asked of me. 

 

But, then, some people also just aren't into physical affection. I know sexuals that are touch averse and prefer to not hug/kiss etc and only really touch when sex happens. 

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MrDane

...but it takes time to find a new rythm and to get away from old ways of doing things. I can relate to giving an 'innocent hug', but as our bodies meet in the embrace, my hands started to wander and see how much they could get today. Not very nice for the acer. And not very nice to be constantly met by a 'stop', but I were putting a constant pressure on her, that must have felt like: "oh, you touch me on my elbow, I wonder if This is a sign that I can ravage your body tonigth in a steaming hot sex-session?" 

 

I am getting to terms with some facts:

1: we love each other

2: we show our love differently and my way has been the same all the way. Her way has changed since she found out that a lot of what she did, was actually not nice for her.

3: I need/want my orgasms. It is like a drug that keeps depression away. It works best, if she happily participates and even better when she, on a good day when the stars are aligned and the feeling is rigth, enjoys my touch as well.

4: I want her to be happy and vice versa. 

5: we need to be more open and share our feelings more, since it hasn't worked very well, when we tried to guess what the other part wanted. Sometimes it is also easier to know what I want, as I put it into words.

 

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citradelic

wow... what a thread.  I was brought here by a therapist because I am really having a hard time with the compromise of being a celibate when in fact I am very sexual.    I am going to read it all... I have read a lot and so much of it speaks to me and my wife's situation.  I handled it pretty well for the first batch of years. But the last three have been very difficult to me.   We were very sexual and she had a very high drive that just went away.  
 Thank you all for sharing.

  

 

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blackberrya9

My girlfriend of a year recently told me that she's asexual, and while we haven't gone past kissing anyways, I asked her if she was comfortable with that and she said "since it makes you happy".  We went out for a date tonight, and when she went for our usual goodnight kiss, I just couldn't do it.  I didn't say anything, just let her kiss my cheek instead, and I don't know if she realized that something was wrong... I just can't kiss her now.  It feels like I've manipulated her, that it's basically pressured rape.  I'm already confused about my own sexuality -- I have no idea if I'm demisexual, ace, or just traumatized from previous experiences.  I honestly don't know if I can stay in a relationship with her... I don't know what I want, how I can deal with this, if I could ever let her "compromise" because it just feels like she's being pressured to do what she doesn't want.  Tbh any advice at this point would be appreciated... I'm too confused

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roland.o
14 hours ago, blackberrya9 said:

It feels like I've manipulated her

If she's doing something out of her own free will, then you haven't manipulated her. Everyone who has a partner will do some things for that significant other about which they are less than enthused. Even if it's just watching a movie together that they're not really interested in. It's still time spent together, and that in itself is of value. Or think of giving presents to someone... isn't the real joy in the other's reaction? Do you also have to be enthusiastic about spending money on it, or about finally getting rid of that inherited piece you never ever wanted to own in the first place?

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blkr

Just found this forum today.  Having read a few of the threads pretty closely, its offered me some real-world explanation of a notion that I've had an increasing fear of for 18 years now.

 

Very much like AM2 and the other sexuals here, I've been coming to grips with me and my wife's growing disconnect on this front.  At least now I have a reasonable explanation for it outside of "unattraction", "attraction in someone else", or even "pathological prudishness".

 

I don't want to repeat much of what has been said here.  My story is really similar to those in here.  The differences for me are that

 

1) I truly believe my wife very much loves me (emotionally speaking)

2) not quite a dead bedroom: we are still intimate, but with decreasing frequency (far below average - being a geek in search of objectivity, I've charted it) and the ever-growing clinical nature of it

 

I keep thinking that "we are just getting older" or "she's exhausted" or "I'm not helping out enough" or "I've just never really been her ideal type, we married young (20) with kids and she made the best of it".  There's the coping thoughts of "take as much of the load off her as possible" or "I'll try harder to romance her" or "maybe something unconventional in bed" etc etc.

 

The only times I have noticed a sincere interest is when I start to give up even trying to be affectionate and weeks go by with nothing.  Then she's concerned, handsy, and eager.  We're intimate, my hope is renewed, we're back to square one - rinse/repeat.  To me, this is troubling behavior and points to a "maintenance needed" type of reaction on her part.   I don't want that. 

 

Whether or not she's asexual, grey, or just low libido, I dunno.  Here's what I do know:

 

The good: 

She truly cares for me, deeply.  I am a person she wants in her life.

She wants to keep me happy, but there's clearly an internal hesitation beyond that.

 

The bad:

Since marriage, there has been a complete lack of interest in all things related to sex: dressing sexy, porn, dirty jokes, a hot guy or girl walking by.

She's not concerned about our own intimacy at all until its obvious we're disconnecting in a hurry.

She's completely unaware of the rejections she gives, but extremely intolerant in a change in behavior from myself (IE, most affection originates from me). 

 

I have moments where I'm ok with it, and I have moments where I question our future.  This post might seem harsh, as I'm in the latter phase right now. 

 

But here's what keeps my tossing and turning at night:  I wonder if we're right to stay together.  I wonder if we're just gritting our teeth through it like we have every other struggle.

 

I worry that  I don't believe there's room for compromise, here.  The physicality being the least of my concerns, its where her head is at regarding our intimacy.  God knows I love this women - we've been through hell and back marrying at 20 with a kid shortly after (2 now, both late teens), the external family trauma, hard financial times, and just beating the odds the entire way through, always together.  But its growing harder and harder for me to imagine the last 40 years of my life with this only intensifying only to look back and wonder if, after a heart breaking separation, we both couldn't find someone better suited to growing old with.   I don't want a roommate.  I want my wife.

 

Reading this, I can at least accept that there's not any pre-meditation behind her actions - that it could just be how she is.  That is helpful.  But I'm not 100% there, yet.  And like I said, even if I was, I don't know that that will be enough.  I've watched her parents and my parents take no action with the pain in their lives, and watched it magnify in old age.  I will not live like that.

 

 

 

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brassyhub

I totally share your pain and frustration. I could say almost exactly the same, word for word. Except that we're coming to our 38th wedding anniversary. And we have a totally sexless marriage now. We have an excellent marriage in the eyes of others, bar the no children and now no grand-children. But after years of frustration and struggle with her lack of desire, my wife finally 'came out' to herself and to me as a lesbian. Albeit now an asexual lesbian. But all her deep attractions have been towards other women, and not towards me. Deeply destructive of my sense of self and identity. It's hard to feel desirable when one is not desired!

So is it worth throwing over all the good things that we share in the hope of us both finding new and better loves? At our age (69 for me, 71 for her?)? Could we afford it? Could we untangle our shared web of friendships and life together? Is it worth the risk? We've looked at the dreaded 'd' word, and decided that we stay together. But our marriage vows have explicitly changed to 'until death do us part, or until one or the other meets a new love of our lives, but we're not looking'. But that permission to entertain the possibility of another, new love makes a big difference.

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blkr

I can't imagine how painful that is.  My heart goes out to you, too.

 

Your situation is what I fear most.  We're just shy of 40.    We have plenty of time left to make a big difference - I don't want to lose that.  I'm not willing to give this another 10 years let alone 30.  With each passing 'cycle' I get closer to having the "come to Jesus" talk and begin making sweeping changes.  "Get busy living or get busy dying" is the quote that comes to mind.

 

I have no idea how to raise my concerns without appearing to be a completely selfish asshole.  Worse, I'm worried she'll capitulate to keep me around instead of really considering the options as objectively as possible (she struggles with objectivity).  At best, she'd put on a mask in that situation, and I'd probably go along with it out of sheer hope when I deep down know better.

 

Then there's this other voice in my head saying that I'm making a far bigger deal out of this than it ought to be.  "It's been nearly 20 years now, and you aren't happy but you aren't unhappy..."

 

Its only because of reading other people's posts on this forum that I realize that I'm not crazy, and I may not be wrong, either, to feel this way.    Thank you all so much for sharing.

 

I guess my real first step is trying to identify where she stands (asexual / grey / low libido), and probably turn her on to this forum.  That will be an earth-shaking conversation.  She likes to bury her head in the sand, and I'll be bringing a lot of stuff up. 

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