Jump to content
Traveler40

Sexual Wife/Asexual Husband - Truce!

Recommended Posts

ryn2

Is it “just” the touch, or what Tele and others have mentioned elsewhere about desire?  I’m assuming from what you’ve written, @Traveler40, that your lover desires sex with you - desires *you*, sexually - on an ongoing basis but is abstaining because of his feelings about having sex with someone who’s already in a committed relationship.  From what Tele has explained, touch in that case could be wholly different for a sexual than it would be from an ace partner.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

Also, even in my ace-ish experience, raging together against “fate”/circumstances keeping you apart - star-crossed lovers, parental bans, geography, commitments - creates a very powerful, almost obsessive bond.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
4 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

...I think much of the emotional clout of sex is from combination of touch, physical arousal and , and you're getting at least a two-way of those from your lover, even if it's not technically sex. 

 

Is possible there's a certain 'type' of sexual who gets into sustained relationships with asexuals; maybe more tolerant of our own needs not being met, or less sure that lack of sex is a legitimate reason to end a relationship? 

I’m not sure what the three things are as one seems to have dropped, but I agree that physical intimacy is crucial for my mental and emotional health.  

 

I’ve wondered about your secondary thought Tele as well.  I’m certainly more tolerant, empathetic and patient than most and have the ability to see a goal and wait for it as I work towards it.  Does that make me better suited to stay in a relationship where my needs aren’t being met?  It only makes me less selfish perhaps, but I’ve also been here for 15+ years building a life so maybe you’re onto something.

 

I love my husband and do not want to hurt him.  I love my kids and do not wish to change the world they know and depend upon.  The full 360 isn’t simple, and I’m learning to live each day as it comes. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
On 6/14/2018 at 2:55 AM, Midland Tyke said:

It's possible that your husband withdrew from touch because he feared that was merely the precursor to sexual desire, and the inevitable disappointment and tension that would result. It's definitely a possibility (because that's where I got to).....

 

Maybe you need a further conversation with him explaining your (revised) needs/desires more accurately. And he may well be delighted to provide them. You might then be able to reduce from TWO to ONE. I'm not too sure how much you'd like that, though, reading between the lines?!?

You’re so wise Midland.  Perhaps he did withdraw, perhaps he has zero desire for touch.  I’m not sure, but we have covered this topic thoroughly with zero attempt at meeting in the middle. Although, he has professed a desire many times recently to fulfill that which I need - holding. 

 

What I left out of my update was my husband’s perspective on all of this; He’s not thrilled.  Since the original break with my lover, he had some form of an epiphany.  So, he began counseling and has professed a desire to be here for me physically. What has actually transpired is nothing.  There have been a lot of words and emotion, but no action.  I am not surprised and didn’t expect different as I know him and the limitations.  

 

As an aside, I always have carried some hope, but understand after so many years that it’s all words and wistfulness.  My husband means well - always and earnestly.   He simply is incapable of providing that which I need physically.

 

My husband had a front row seat to my blossoming last year and carried some envy and regret over it.  He’s had ample opportunity to spoon, snuggle, caress, etc, and been fully looped in to this need, but can’t find the time, interest or desire to actually participate.  He knows that I block a couple of hours to meet my lover for this purpose, and I always come home calm and recharged.  I think he’s struggling with acceptance from all sides.  However, I’m not totally sure as he’s neither clear on it, nor putting in any effort to alter our interaction for the greater good.

 

This is the most complicated part of course, the balance of feelings.  We all have them, we all carry some willful blindness and make conscious concessions.  It’s not perfect, but it’s working for now.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SusannaC

Traveler40- I’m sorry for your pain. I’m in a similar situation.  I wish there was an easy- or at least a clear answer.   It’s a lonely and painful existence in a way only someone in same situation can understand.   I love my husband - but as a coparent, a roommate and friend.  There is no touch as you describe for us, either.   Maybe occasional hand touch or light hug.  I have no desire to hurt him or my sons, and I have lived this way for a long time.. so it is a day by day struggle, 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
On 6/14/2018 at 3:19 AM, ryn2 said:

Is it “just” the touch, or what Tele and others have mentioned elsewhere about desire?  I’m assuming from what you’ve written, @Traveler40, that your lover desires sex with you - desires *you*, sexually - on an ongoing basis but is abstaining because of his feelings about having sex with someone who’s already in a committed relationship.  From what Tele has explained, touch in that case could be wholly different for a sexual than it would be from an ace partner.

This is it exactly - I know my lover desires me in all ways.  I’m able to wait perhaps because of this knowledge, I’m not sure.  The desire to give, receive, share, enjoy and provide love through touch creates peace. It’s felt thoroughly in more ways than one.  It would not be the same with my husband as I know he does not desire this connection in this way.  If he could and would, I suspect things would be quite different and workable between us.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
2 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

It would not be the same with my husband as I know he does not desire this connection in this way.  If he could and would, I suspect things would be quite different and workable between us.

It’s complicated.  I definitely want and miss general touch - hugs, cuddling, handholding, etc. - but my (sexual) husband will no longer participate.  Something about it is not right to him, but it’s not that I don’t want it.  I’m not sure if I want it in some wrong/insufficient way, or if he’s assuming I’m just doing it because I’m supposed to.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
On 6/14/2018 at 3:48 AM, ryn2 said:

Also, even in my ace-ish experience, raging together against “fate”/circumstances keeping you apart - star-crossed lovers, parental bans, geography, commitments - creates a very powerful, almost obsessive bond.

Thankfully, I don’t believe this is us. We are realists and ultimately friends with desire for the same outcomes.  The children come first and my husband is in the loop.  There is some sense of frustration, but I think it’s felt by all three of us for different reasons at different times in different ways if that makes sense. We aren’t in a movie, but that’s an interesting thought.  Maybe then we’d have a shot at a Hollywood ending. I can’t even imagine how that would go - where all parties are without some regret?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
2 hours ago, ryn2 said:

It’s complicated.  I definitely want and miss general touch - hugs, cuddling, handholding, etc. - but my (sexual) husband will no longer participate.  Something about it is not right to him, but it’s not that I don’t want it.  I’m not sure if I want it in some wrong/insufficient way, or if he’s assuming I’m just doing it because I’m supposed to.

I somewhat understand both of you. When cuddling, I am physically aroused and hope for a progression.  My lover is abstaining purposefully, but I also know there’s an end to that.  The interplay is intoxicating and the basis is desire.  I would not and could not have that with my husband as he lacks the desire.  

 

Beyond that, unlike yourself, I truly believe my husband lacks both the desire and the need to hold or be held.  It’s simply not on his radar.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
5 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

Beyond that, unlike yourself, I truly believe my husband lacks both the desire and the need to hold or be held.  It’s simply not on his radar.

Entirely (and highly) possible.  Plenty of people - ace and sexual alike - are just not into touch.

 

My husband always was, though, and used to call that out as one of the things he most liked about me, so I have to think there’s a different explanation in my case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spazzticsoda

I just want to drop by and thank Traveler for such a good thread.  I'm pretty aromantic and asexual but have had a sexual, romantic friend  for several years now who has been through relationships that didn't pan out. I kind of want a domestic partnership that is more platonic, and he wants someone that really cares about him,    and we have talked about trying to date, but I have told him that I think it's a bad idea because he may want things that I can't give. I feel like we would be setting ourselves up for a situation like you have, though thankfully we are both very very much aware of the mismatch before one of us ends up compromising . (8 years is a long long time Traveler,and I don't blame you for not being able to do it anymore, but I understand your husband's anxieties. ) I  don't really mind if the relationship was open , but I don't like losing good friends, and would hate it if I was no longer important in his life because he met x person .When people fall in love, you become less of a priority as a friend, and it might hurt to have to go through that in an even more intense way than I have already had to experience with other platonic relationships.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
2 hours ago, mzmolly65 said:

My husband knows I enjoy hugs and cuddling and all the non-sexual affection but if he does any of that it escalates his desire to have sex.  So he's afraid to touch me because he knows I don't want sex. 

 

We've created a very toxic mess in the process of trying to negotiate through it all.

It turns out my husband is declining all those things because he doesn’t want accepting them to be mistaken for being satisfied sexually, he says.  I’m not sure why he would think I’d make that error but we ran out of time in therapy to discuss.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NickJ

Traveler40, thanks for the update on your situation, I was wondering how you were getting on.

 

I can relate to a lot of what you’ve said there, especially the points about intimacy. My own situation is a little different. I fell into a polyamourous situation after meeting a lovely woman with whom I clicked. We’re currently seeing each other weekly. She has her own complications, which are probably going to be a problem for us both at some point, but for now things are going well. My wife and I are currently trying to figure out where our relationship is going and what it’s going to look like. Right now, I really don’t know,  we have a lot of work to do.

 

One thing that this has brought home to me is how badly I needed that intimacy, and what the lack of it was doing to my mental health. I do know I can’t simply go back to the way things where. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NickJ
10 hours ago, mzmolly65 said:

My husband knows I enjoy hugs and cuddling and all the non-sexual affection but if he does any of that it escalates his desire to have sex.  So he's afraid to touch me because he knows I don't want sex. 

 

We've created a very toxic mess in the process of trying to negotiate through it all.

I’m sorry to hear that.

 

As the husband in a similar situation, I must admit I also withdrew somewhat once I realised my wife was asexual. I guess on a certain level I didn’t feel wanted so I didn’t see the point. I’m still working on that, but that lack of intimacy feels like a wall between us that I’m struggling to get over. And the irony is it’s mostly my fault for withdrawing in the first place. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
21 hours ago, NickJCook said:

One thing that this has brought home to me is how badly I needed that intimacy, and what the lack of it was doing to my mental health. I do know I can’t simply go back to the way things where. 

This is it precisely.  After my lover initially broke things off a few months back, that was the resounding takeaway for me as well: I need the intimacy and could no longer live without it.  

 

I’m glad to hear you’ve worked out a compromise for the time being and are finding a way to not leave yourself behind or in the dark.  Please continue to keep us posted! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NickJ
On 6/16/2018 at 5:56 AM, Traveler40 said:

This is it precisely.  After my lover initially broke things off a few months back, that was the resounding takeaway for me as well: I need the intimacy and could no longer live without it.  

 

I’m glad to hear you’ve worked out a compromise for the time being and are finding a way to not leave yourself behind or in the dark.  Please continue to keep us posted! 

I truly hope things work out for you, I know how hard this must be.

 

For my part, I am constantly worried that things will blow up in my face. My wife and partner have both been incredibly understanding so far but I have no idea how long that will last. I didn't plan to fall into the situation I'm in, it really came out of left field. I couldn't keep going the way I was so we'll see. I don't want anyone getting hurt by this but I don't know if that's possible.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
samstreet101

Traveler40; Firstly thank you for sharing your experience, this thread has been very enlightening for me and I'm sure for others as well.

 

I'm recently discovering what I am now semi-confident is my asexuality (or rather my gray-asexuality) and I want to do right by my wife. She is sexual and has been incredibly supportive of my pursuing this asexual journey. We continue to be intimate with each other as at the very least we are both very romantic people who need a lot of intimacy on a daily basis. She has told me that she has no desire to find sex elsewhere and I do believe her. However, I want us both to be happy and the thought has crossed my mind that it might be good for her in the long run; I don't want her to never experience sex again just because I have come to realise that I don't desire it.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'd struggle with all the things that you and your husband sound like you've struggled with if it were to happen, despite the fact that I'm not against the idea in theory.

 

My question to you is this: Despite what's happened to you over the last few months (I am truly sorry to hear how things ended with your lover),  would you do the same thing again given what you know now if you didn't have such a burning desire? What I mean by that is; suppose you could go without sex, would you still think it would be a good for you to get sex from another partner even if you could make do without it? Would it be beneficial for you as a sexual person regardless of how desperate you were for it?

 

I don't expect you to advise me personally as my own situation is probably different from yours hence why I frame the question around yourself. I hope that's OK?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

Hello @samstreet101 and welcome.  Thank you for your input and question.  It is such a difficult question that I’ve turned it over in my mind numerous times.  I may come back with further thoughts later, but my short answer is no.  The operative phrase was “if you could make do without it”....would it be beneficial to take a lover anyhow?  No, I do not believe so.  Why not?

 

1. If I was generally content all things considered, why change that?

2. More people, more problems.

3. No relationship is simple or perfect.

4. It all takes work and unintended consequences are real.

 

My sexual relationship with my lover has torn me in places that used to be undisturbed, while healing areas that were broken. I love him deeply and completely while seeing him and us clearly.  I am making the right decisions, but what are the best decisions? I don’t have clear answers to that.

 

I do not regret my lover in any way, but this situation isn’t without regret.  I wish things could be different for all of us, but in what way? How? What would make this clean for all of us and leave everyone happier, healthier and without some regret?  I don’t have answers as it’s really a difficult situation.

 

I like to say I’m a solutions expert who’s been put into an unsolvable situation.  Many folks on here love to say “split up and move on”.  It’s truly not that simple.  I’m choosing one day at a time at the moment, and I consciously love those that matter. 

 

That’s more of an answer than you asked for, but I wanted to give you a sense of the complications that having a lover brings to the mix.  There is great joy and pleasure, but that’s not all there is.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
samstreet101

Thanks for your honesty @Traveler40. It sounds like one shouldn't go down this route without very careful consideration. As I said my wife has said she has no desire to be with anyone else it's just an avenue that I don't want to necessarily close off at some point in the future.

 

As for 'split up and move on'... Get real! Relationships are never that simple especially when someone satisfies a particular part of life but not another. Our feelings are a complex mix and you have my sympathies.

 

You've helped a lot and I wish you all the best.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
2 hours ago, samstreet101 said:

Thanks for your honesty @Traveler40. It sounds like one shouldn't go down this route without very careful consideration. As I said my wife has said she has no desire to be with anyone else it's just an avenue that I don't want to necessarily close off at some point in the future.

@samstreet101 to chime in here, my partner has made the same offer. Simply having the door left open (and me not choosing to walk through it) made me feel a lot better! Less trapped.

 

But my partner is willing to provide, if not attracted. (I don't see this as contradicting asexuality; sex workers presumably aren't attracted to their clients.) So the only thing missing, for my relationship, is "being desired".

 

I feel more able to set that aside when I feel the sincerity of my partner's desire to see me happy. (Which includes his opening that door to complications!) I focus on learning to be happy with what I have, which is everything else - I am blessed. 🙂

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
2 hours ago, anisotropic said:

But my partner is willing to provide, if not attracted.

My husband is an amazing partner, friend and father. I think if he could do so little as to hold me, even touch me once in awhile, the pain of the box I live in would be less. It’s more about consideration and less about desire at this point.  That part of him that requires zero contact is my largest cross.  The less you have, the more hairs you split I suppose.  

 

I learned these past few months that touch and holding are so fundamentally fulfilling.  If you have that, you’re way ahead of the mixed relationship pack...it’s definitely something to be grateful for and enviable from where I sit.

 

I love my husband, I love my lover, and they love me, yet I’m still mainly alone on the island. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

A couple of random thoughts:

 

1. If I could have sex with others without needing mental and emotional connection, perhaps that could scratch the itch without complications.  I can’t answer that  as it’s not how I’m built.

 

2. The pain of a mixed relationship such as mine is great and one of the reasons why I’m here dissecting it.  However, I’m a generally positive person who doesn’t sit and wallow in it.  I have an otherwise great life.  

 

What preoccupies me is this problem I can’t seem to solve or accept that there’s no solution to it.  While hurtful and unfulfilling, other parts of my life are wonderful.  That’s the rub really....

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
samstreet101
4 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

A couple of random thoughts:

 

1. If I could have sex with others without needing mental and emotional connection, perhaps that could scratch the itch without complications.  I can’t answer that  as it’s not how I’m built.

 

2. The pain of a mixed relationship such as mine is great and one of the reasons why I’m here dissecting it.  However, I’m a generally positive person who doesn’t sit and wallow in it.  I have an otherwise great life.  

 

What preoccupies me is this problem I can’t seem to solve or accept that there’s no solution to it.  While hurtful and unfulfilling, other parts of my life are wonderful.  That’s the rub really....

Your last point reminded me of what my wife would often say when we were having sexual problems. She'd often say that the other 90% of her life is fantastic and it's important not to blow the bit that we are having problems with out of proportion. On a selfish note your hearing about your situation has made me realise that I'm very fortunate. I know that's no consolation for you but know that you have helped someone

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
14 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

What preoccupies me is this problem I can’t seem to solve or accept that there’s no solution to it.  While hurtful and unfulfilling, other parts of my life are wonderful.  That’s the rub really....

This is always a problem (hah!) for me, too.  I’m a problem-solver and my brain naturally moves the puzzle pieces around until they fit.  On the rare occasion there is no fitting I’m stuck moving them and moving them and moving them and moving them.  It’s not intentional and it’s not necessarily proportionate to the seriousness of the unsolved problem.  What it is, though, is frustrating, anxiety-provoking, and draining.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NickJ
4 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

What preoccupies me is this problem I can’t seem to solve or accept that there’s no solution to it.  While hurtful and unfulfilling, other parts of my life are wonderful.  That’s the rub really....

I can relate to this as well. In my case, those other things allowed me to cope, or at least push aside the other problems, for a long time. Unfortunately, not dealing with those other problems has allowed them to overshadow everything else. I honestly don’t know how to move forward at this point.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
5 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

I think if he could do so little as to hold me, even touch me once in awhile, the pain of the box I live in would be less. It’s more about consideration and less about desire at this point.  That part of him that requires zero contact is my largest cross.

:(  I'm sorry, that sounds so difficult. I do feel so grateful. My partner is actually more touch-oriented than I am (though I'm far from "zero contact"). The biggest thing I'm grateful for is the strong communications we've had.

I also obsess over fixing problems! Maybe that's a reason people end up on forums...

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
2 hours ago, NickJCook said:

I can relate to this as well. In my case, those other things allowed me to cope, or at least push aside the other problems, for a long time. Unfortunately, not dealing with those other problems has allowed them to overshadow everything else. I honestly don’t know how to move forward at this point.

Ditto @NickJCook.  I finally threw up my hands and am day-to-day at the moment.  My suggestion is to keep going back to what you know.  I do that and it helps me quite a bit.  What do I know?

 

1. My children and their needs come first.

2. My relationship with my husband is not changing anytime soon.

3. I need true intimacy (not necessarily sex at this moment as I’ve recently learned.)

 

So, working backwards, how do I proceed?  The first two take care of themselves in how our life is structured, and I’m maintaining the intimacy as best as I can with my lover’s consent and participation.  I still haven’t been able to bridge the two halves of myself (the complicated part), but I’m learning it’s ok when taken in bites and not absorbed as a whole.  I hope that helps.

 

Yes @anisotropic, the clear, meaningful and strong communication had by all is what allows me to navigate this gauntlet.  Again, it’s not perfect, but we haven’t fallen apart either. 🙏🏼💪🏻 We keep working on it! 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NickJ

Good advice @Traveler40, thank you.

 

Day by day is pretty much all I can do. Though I find myself increasingly drawn to my new partner and while that relationship is wonderful, I worry about what that means for my future. The thing is, I don’t see any other options than just seeing how it all plays out. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

@NickJCook I think what’s happening on your end is normal.  It’s the argument I used to make to my husband when trying to explain why sex was so incredibly important (pre-asexual knowledge). Sex binds and connects us at the deepest level emotionally.  

 

Sometimes, especially in the earlier stages of a relationship, it can blind us.  Perhaps this newer connection is more than you anticipated, but try to remember that nothing is perfect and compromises will be made.  It’s a relationship after all.  

 

Things look particularly tasty and attractive when you’re not “doing life” together.  In some ways, it’s not real in the same sense it is with your wife.  Try to keep this in mind and be sensitive to your wife as it’s harder on her than you may know.  Balancing the feelings and sorting reality isn’t as easy as it seems.  

 

There’s no way to control most of this situation, but you can control how you act and what you say.  It will play out and maybe not in the way you anticipate.  The less you exert pressure in any direction I suspect the better the outcome. (Whatever that ends up being). 

 

I’m rooting for your happiness and fulfillment in life however you get there.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...