Jump to content
Traveler40

Sexual Wife/Asexual Husband - Truce!

Recommended Posts

ryn2
1 hour ago, Traveler40 said:

Ryn, I gave him 15 years of the clearest, most direct and open communication possible.

I was genuinely asking to better understand, not to passive-aggressively criticize your decision.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 hour ago, Traveler40 said:

These days, I believe he’s mainly worried about the future: What happens when the kids leave?  

I can’t speak for him, but - based on my own experience - I wish my ex had left back when he first determined he probably wanted to.  At the time I wouldn’t have thought so, because I would have still had hope things might improve, but it would have been much better in the long run.

Share this post


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

I was genuinely asking to better understand, not to passive-aggressively criticize your decision.

Understood - I was more reflecting than anything in my response. 👍🏻

 

13 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I can’t speak for him, but - based on my own experience - I wish my ex had left back when he first determined he probably wanted to

We’ve discussed all scenarios many times, and he adamantly wants to stay together.  For now, I agree with this as it’s truly best for our children, and we have a great life generally.  

 

Tonight over dinner for instance,  we spent over an hour playing “eye spy”.  We laughed so hard our sides were aching, and my daughter almost peed in her pants. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 

 

Collectively, we focus on what’s best for the kids which inherently makes it different from how things transpired on your end. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

Collectivelywe focus on what’s best for the kids which inherently makes it different from how things transpired on your end.

Agreed, you have a shared goal there.

 

I was basing my observation on what you said about your husband’s worrying about what happens when the kids are grown.

 

Some of it depends on your (and his) personal situation, too.  If my ex had at least warned me years ago that he was no longer in it for the long term (instead, he insisted he was and continued to talking about “not being able to go on” if something happened to me until days before he said he probably wanted out) I would have had much longer to (stand my ground and insist that I be allowed to) prepare for the various possible outcomes.  It sounds like your husband has that opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OpenAlex

Great story @Traveler40 enjoyed reading your journey and reflecting on how things have developed and comparing them to my own. I am in a relationship of 5 years with my girlfriend, we have 3 amazing kids together and she recently discovered she is asexual. The suggestion of finding a sexual partner has come up (by her) but i have no idea how to track down the right paths to this, you said you created an ad? would you mind sharing this? I am not sure this would work in my country but any help or tips from someone like yourself we be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks again for sharing and i am so happy to hear about your success story, it gives me hope :) 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

Welcome @OpenAlex  Thank you, and I just sent a detailed PM including what you’ve asked.

 

My situation is not unique. In fact, I have connected with others who seem to have an eerily similar experience. It boils down to your partner and luck in finding the connection. 

 

There are yet others I’ve heard from that, IMHO, either gave up too easily or have partners unwilling to make the allowance. If it’s truly a path you wish to explore, know that it takes time and a bit of dedication which is easier said than done.  Keep at it and perhaps use different approaches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TimeDelay

@Traveler40 I'm new here so I've been reading a lot these past few days. So much pain and wisdom among these threads. I can't express how much your honesty has helped my own journey along this bumpy road. I believe my life partner of 29yrs is asexual and hurting (almost) as much as I am. Would you mind sharing that ad with me? I need to think the next steps through very carefully. Thank you for sharing your personal journey with such generosity.

Edited by TimeDelay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

@TimeDelay, welcome to AVEN, and I’m glad you’re here for the community.  It’s a situation that is incomprehensible to many, and having folks around with whom you might connect is helpful. 

 

I’m short on time at the moment, but plan to respond later this evening.  It felt important to acknowledge your input. Thank you.  

 

In any case, keep reading.  2.5 years in, and I’m still learning things that shouldn’t be light bulb moments, but they are.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

Hi again @TimeDelay - So, to clarify, I’m about 2.5 years into discovering asexuality as an orientation.  AVEN gave that to me, which forever changed my life, and I’m grateful.

 

I will PM you shortly, but wanted to publicly express that my journey has morphed organically in ways that were downright inconceivable two years ago.  This thread is a relatively quick read, but please understand it’s been a longer journey walked.  It may appear seamless with a generally accepting husband, but it’s not that simple in reality.

 

Just the other day, I was thinking about how we’ve progressed. Early on, my lover asked what he could expect from me time wise: He asked if we could take dive trips?  Could we travel?  He wanted to actually date, not simply sleep together.  I was downright shocked.  Date? Travel? Hold hands? What?!? 😳

 

We’ve gone from that to actually planning trips, ALL of us together, and every step in between.   The point is that what may seem impossible for you today may not be tomorrow.  My focus is to remain flexible, sensitive, patient, honest and careful. 

 

It’s hard to understand how things have morphed this much, but it’s been organic and feels right.  It’s also still messy some times, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CatsandDogs

Thank you @Traveler40 for your response to me and directing me to your story and this thread. I am glad that after such a long time you were able to find a solution that is fulfilling to you and works for your family.

 

Your comment above about falling in love with your lover is my fear about opening up my relationship. My asexual boyfriend and I have been together for two years. Before meeting him I dated a lot of men and had a very high sex drive (I still do!) and found that even though I enjoy sex and feel it is an important component of a relationship, I wanted to find something more. Enter my boyfriend who is great and brought to my life so many positive qualities that I quickly realized had been missing in previous relationships. We made out a few times during the first few months of dating but it was awkward and I could tell something was off. I thought it was his lack of experience or nerves. Over time he gave me a lot of different excuses for why things never progressed between us and eventually I stopped trying...the rejection was too painful for me. After about 10 months he finally told me about some past sexual experiences of his and how he felt uncomfortable or how his ex girlfriends had acted poorly at his inability to satisfy them. I thought that maybe he hadn’t been with the right partner. I thought maybe something traumatic had happened to him as a child. He had already tried to take “male performance supplements” to increase his drive and that wasn’t working so I encouraged him to seek professional help. He wouldn’t touch me at all. I think that was what was worse than the lack of sex. You never realize how just simple  touching (a hand on your leg or a hand on your shoulder or being close to each other in bed) means until it’s not there. He didn’t want to talk about it but told me the therapist told him to just “keep trying” so I thought we would. I told him I didn’t want him to do things that made him uncomfortable so I would leave it up to him to initiate. He never did. He will kiss (a quick peck) and hug me hello and goodbye or before bed or when we wake up but nothing else happened so I just tried to focus on other aspects of our relationship and to be supportive by not pressuring him. But every night I went to bed feeling alone and it reminded me a lot of feelings of grief...like waking up I’d be happy and excited for the day until my eyes adjusted to the light and I’d remember and feel crushed. A talked to a couple close friends who couldn’t understand but I have a good sense of humor and tried to laugh it off as just another sexless relationship troubles. Compared to some friends’ husbands or boyfriends I felt lucky. We celebrated holidays and anniversaries and communicated (about everything except sex). I felt happy in our relationship. I know in my head he loves me but in my heart I don’t feel it the same. I thought maybe we had different “love languages” so I asked him to do that test. I got flash cards and took every intimacy quiz I could find online. But even though some times he would indulge me and participate it never felt like it mattered to him. He says things like “we’ll figure it out” but because we don’t I feel brushed off. 

 

Two nights ago we went to bed after a boring day of being trapped in the house because of bad weather. I’ve been feeling more insecure about our relationship lately and wanted to snuggle up together while we watched movies from different seats. He made excuses for why he wouldn’t come sit with me. He pet the cat and I made a joke about why he wouldn’t pet me. When we went to sleep he kissed me and said goodnight and rolled over with his back to me. And I just got so upset. I felt invisible and angry and just defeated. I got up and slept on the couch until dawn when he came downstairs and asked me to come back to bed. I told him how I felt but I felt like he should have known why I was upset already. We have had this conversation but nothing ever changes. I went back to bed with him but he didn’t touch me and after half an hour of laying there stewing alone in my feelings I got up for the day. A while later he came downstairs and was petting the cat and I asked how he can be so affection to the cat and not me. We had a very intense yet productive conversation in which he told me that he has never felt sexual attraction to anyone. I don’t think he knew the term asexual but I have friends in the LBGTQ community who have talked openly to me about their sexuality and the term has come up. I realized then and there that sex is not something that will happen between us. I don’t think anything more ever will because I think he is struggling deeply with his own feelings about sexuality or his lack thereof. I know he feels like a failure and that he has wasted my time but I don’t feel like our getting to know each other or our relationship has been a waste. I love him and think this has been a wonderful relationship, but I don’t know how to move forward. I started doing some research and came across this group and am so glad that I did because I have learned more about the asexual experience and now realize that he isn’t brushing me off...he just does not understand the importance of sex in my life because in his it is not important. 

 

Even before this revelation, for a few weeks now, I have thought about asking him to have an open relationship. A friend of mine did with her long term partner (for other reasons, they are now broken up) and I also know a woman who was a third in another couple’s relationship for a while. I always felt like an open relationship wouldn’t work because it was just a bandaid on a problem that couldn’t be solved or wasn’t being solved. But now that I am in this situation I don’t know how I feel. The heartbreaking thing is that I love him, he is my best friend, and I am also in love with him. I desire him and want to share the experience of making love with him. But I know it would be painful for him and I would never want that to happen. I feel guilty asking to open the relationship because I feel like he won’t understand how important sex is to my feelings...but also because I don’t want to have those feelings with anyone but him. I feel that if I started a sexual relationship with someone else I would fall in love with that person and eventually end my current relationship to be with that person full time. I am only in my 30s. 

 

I feel like my boyfriend has had exgirlfriends do this to him. Maybe not openly or ethically but I think that’s part of why he is not as invested in finding a solution to address my needs: his experiences have taught him that he will disappoint me and I will find someone else and move on, leaving him with a broken heart. That’s not at all what I want but if being together fully and completely (sexually) is not an option, I don’t know what else to do other than to just end our romantic relationship and try to refocus on being just friends. 

 

This is all very new to me and because he is struggling with his identity I don’t want to discuss this any longer with my IRL friends so any advice or feedback here is greatly appreciated. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40
1 hour ago, CatsandDogs said:

I always felt like an open relationship wouldn’t work because it was just a bandaid on a problem that couldn’t be solved or wasn’t being solved.

This is correct.  While my lover allows my relationship with my husband to breathe, he’s really giving the gift of a unified family to my children.  Rather than solving things, my relationship with my lover has highlighted the underlying issues in our marriage.  He has taught me that I can never be whole, or wholly fulfilled, in my current relationship with my husband.  I’ve said before that my lover fixed things in me that were broken, but also broke things that were previously undisturbed. Taking a lover isn’t an easier route, it was just *my* best option. I have no regrets.

 

While it’s hard to see, it may make sense to seriously consider alternative measures in *your* situation. You’re young, haven’t had a family together and are barely off the ground. It never gets easier and will not improve as far as having your needs met. I would seriously think about that. It seems tough, but can you imagine how tough it will be 3 decades from now?  Just a thought. 

 

1 hour ago, CatsandDogs said:

The heartbreaking thing is that I love him, he is my best friend, and I am also in love with him. I desire him and want to share the experience of making love with him.

It is heartbreaking, and what you want and need isn’t part of that deal in the way you’d like it.   What you both need is fundamentally different.  It’s a tough truth, and I’m so sorry. 

 

1 hour ago, CatsandDogs said:

I feel guilty asking to open the relationship because I feel like he won’t understand how important sex is to my feelings...

These are things only you two can decide and discuss together, but this is way cart before the horse.  Your options are find a compromise, live in celibacy, open the relationship or leave.  Either way, all of this needs to be discussed with your boyfriend. Throw it all on the table, and hash it out together.  Communication is key here, and that can only be had together

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CatsandDogs

Thank you @Traveler40 for being so honest and open. I know I should let this relationship go and take the risk of being single and seeing if we can just be friends. It’s hard to actually do though because anyone I’ve talked to before this hasn’t been in my situation and I know lots of couples who are less happy than we are. I know lots of people in sexless marriages. But I also know that I owe it to myself to keep trying to find a complete love where I am seen and valued for who I am, and part of who I am is being a sexual person. I’ve never broken up with someone I was still in love with before. I really appreciate your perspective because you do understand and also have decades of experience in this that I don’t have. Thank you for sharing this all with me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Onlyloversleftalive
On 10/4/2018 at 4:41 PM, Onlyloversleftalive said:

@Traveler40

 

I stumbled on this thread on accident and was hoping it was still current as I clicked through the pages.

First and foremost thank you so much for sharing your story. I am certainly a couple of continents away but share your experience almost to the T.

 

I have been with my husband 10 for years, 13 counting breaks and in between. 

Though it happened progressively as he was extremely sexually active in the beginning, it started tapering off 2 - 3 years into the relationship. He's almost lost all interest now. I believe this is because we got together young and he was still experimenting with how he was meant to feel, though he did very much enjoy it to his own admittance. Not sure if he could qualify as asexual as he once had the desire and no longer does?

 

I am now 32 years old and he is 33. We don't have any children yet as I am afraid to commit even further in the current state.

I have always been a very sexual person, in my general body language and ways. I love with my body and am a very touchy person. 

 

I have had men around me - circumstantially and mostly due to work that I've enjoyed flirting with and being around but have not gone too far with it as we hadn't discussed the prospect of opening up the relationship until recently. I found out I had been closing this part of myself off subconsciously as not to hurt his feelings and bring it up too often.

 

When I asked him only a few months ago whether he thinks he might be asexual he said perhaps he might be. I told him I don't blame him for feeling the way he does and that I'm just drained. I love him regardless and we have a wonderful relationship. I can only blame him for letting it slide all of these years because of his fear of dealing with the emotions and guilt head on. He has apologized for this and told me he's found it difficult to accept, acknowledge and verbalize. 

 

He has never really stopped me from being around other men as he understands that is a big part of me. Though everything I've read about open relationships online implies it is better not to have any issues in the primary relationship, meaning I'm scared of taking that route and having it affect my husband in ways he doesn't realize. I just don't know how it's logistically feasible or possible to have to split up my time with a lover for example without it hurting his feelings as he'd be having to share my time. 


After reading your story I feel it is in fact as complicated as I imagined it to be, as feelings might come into the way. Like you, I am emotional first and then sexual, I crave the mental connection and one night stands don't do it for me nor do I have interest in them. 

 

To top it all off, we live in a pretty conservative part of the world, so even if I did want to find a second partner I wouldn't even know how to go about it or where to start. I cannot make a public profile on tinder or the likes as people in our circles might recognize me which would hurt my husband. I've lived with this burden for the past few years unable to really talk to anyone about it as he is not comfortable with me sharing this information with any of my or our friends.  He understandably fears how others would view him and his masculinity. 

 

Sorry if my thoughts are all over the place, haven't really verbalized this to anyone before so I'm just writing as it comes to me. Just sharing makes me feel a little better, so does the knowledge that I am not alone. Thanks for reading.

 

Hi Everyone 

 

Not sure if you remember my above initial post. It has been almost exactly a year since I shared on this forum. Quite a lot has gone down since.

 

A common and very close friend of both mine and my husband's admitted his long standing feelings to me around the time of my first post.

In hindsight I think he must have felt the space to share how he had felt all of these years because I was seeming more susceptible, the more desperate I got.

 

After having a long conversation with my husband about my inability to deal with the status quo any longer, I told him that I wanted to try and be with "Joe", because he was a well intended friend we both knew and had genuine feelings for me, in addition to the fact that he also loves my husband like a brother, which meant it would a safe and private environment we could all share.

 

After talking about how we thought it would go down, we started officially "dating" in January. We had 8 beautiful months of intimacy, connectedness and fun times, even going as far as hanging out the 3 of us happily several times a week. For a while everything seemed to be going well.

 

My husband expressed concern over my relationship with Joe developing further throughout the months, about how much time I was spending with him or how often I was texting him when we weren't together - to be fair he was partially right.
After so many years of "neglect" I was feeling invigorated in every way possible and that translated very clearly in my behavior. The more attached I became to Joe the more my husband withdrew from me. I tried to keep an open conversation going between us and kept stressing that this is something we were doing together rather than something I was doing in spite of him but it just seemed to be getting more painful for him to talk about.

 

A couple of weeks ago he had a meltdown about how this wasn't working for him anymore and how he feels we have lost our emotional intimacy as a result of being in this "trifecta" as he calls it. He says he can no longer continue with this arrangement and wants me to cut it short. He said his confidence has been hit and he has been suffering in silence while trying to go along with what was clearly making me happy until he no longer could.  And I believe this has brought up other issues that had been underlying as well such as me being a more demanding partner in general versus him being a lot more low maintenance.

 

We discussed going to couple's therapy to talk it out with a professional as we both feel too hurt to do it on our own at this point. We are planning on starting next month.

 

I cannot imagine going back to a life in which I have to cage my desire for an emotional connection through physical intimacy and all that entails. I have no idea how I am going to manage cooling it with Joe as my emotions have developed quite a bit and I now feel I love them both. I don't know if it's even fair for him to expect me to just cut it short but then again I know it isn't right for him to force himself to be hurt eternally. But what about my hurt and patience for years? :(

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Onlyloversleftalive

Share this post


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

After reading your story I feel it is in fact as complicated as I imagined it to be, as feelings might come into the way. Like you, I am emotional first and then sexual, I crave the mental connection and one night stands don't do it for me nor do I have interest in them. 

Welcome back - I’m sorry to hear it’s gotten so complicated.  As I’ve noted in the past, more people, more problems. As well, opening a relationship leads you to see your current relationship with new (not always flattering) eyes.

 

Originally, it seemed understood that this might happen as the quote from your initial post above denotes.  There are no clear answers.  I read somewhere, perhaps here on AVEN, that the danger in opening relationships happens when all parties no longer want to stay on board and remain part of a trio. As obvious as that sounds, when upon it, it must be devastating. 

 

 

2 hours ago, Onlyloversleftalive said:

I cannot imagine going back to a life in which I have to cage my desire for an emotional connection through physical intimacy and all that entails. I have no idea how I am going to manage cooling it with Joe as my emotions have developed quite a bit and I now feel I love them both. I don't know if it's even fair for him to expect me to just cut it short but then again I know it isn't right for him to force himself to be hurt eternally. But what about my hurt and patience for years? :(

 

I feel for you, and likewise cannot go back into the box. It’s a half life in my opinion and a price I’m no longer willing to pay. The options aren’t easy, but you have to figure out what’s best for you and your life. Hopefully the couples counseling will give you the clarity you seek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
S Tiger

Thank you so much to everyone sharing on this thread - an open relationship has been suggested by my asexual wife. I really have no idea how I would cope or more to the point how I would go about finding one! 

All advice welcomed!

Has anyone pursued anything online to address sexual needs? Something more than just porn but not quite as full on as actually meeting people in real life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

@S Tiger Welcome and you’re welcome.  I’ve noticed that more focus and attention is generally given to sexual compromise between the parties in the mixed relationship as opposed to opening it.  However, if you’ve tried and failed at compromise, celibacy has run its course, and divorce is not the better option, it’s a consideration in my opinion. It’s not for everyone, but if executed carefully can work. I know this first hand.  

 

One of the harder parts is what you seek. How does one go about finding this? I can report that I am not unique and communicate with a few others that have eerily similar outcomes.  A couple of them found their lovers online, one I know found their lover in person at a meeting about polyamory, and I found my lover by posting an ad. Basically, it can come in many different ways and a bit of luck is part of it. You have to be open, looking, tenacious and know exactly what you seek. On top of that, you must be able to communicate that. Don’t waste anyone’s time and be crystal clear about your situation and intentions. Also, know that whatever you enter into will morph. Sometimes, it morphs in unimaginable ways!  Be flexible, frank and sincere with all involved.

 

Lastly, I’m sorry I don’t know how to speak to finding an online only connection. I needed the holding. All the best in your search! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traveler40

It’s been some time since I’ve posted an update and felt it would be a good time to do it as it’s on my mind, and I’m flying high off a fantastic night with my lover. No news is generally good news and overall, we are coasting.  Here’s a closer look broken down for simplicity:

 

My Husband:

He is generally in a funk. As chronicled here, he had a rough go recently while trying to participate together in a hobby my lover and I share. Additionally, while cancer free, he has not yet regained his ability to get an erection.  This is a major thing for him emotionally even though he never used it sexually.  He has mentioned that he is both frustrated and unhappy about it and says, “Even if I wanted to do something I can’t!”   Well, he hasn’t wanted sex in over a decade and only did it a handful of times in the decade before that, yet having the option removed has clearly created some inner angst. I’m not sure what to make of this.

 

Recently, he sat me down with the intent to ensure I knew how much he loved his family, that he never wants it to change and became choked up about the idea. I couldn’t promise status quo forever, but did seek to reassure him of our lives now. Our focus has been to keep the family together, and I reiterated what we discussed previously: We are in control of ourselves within our relationship and while it’s been a tough year, maintaining our connection is critical.  He is struggling with this given his current mindset of loss, so we have discussed finding a counselor.  Yes, he’s down in the dumps and definitely needs time to work through his year of serious health issues, bodily changes and making room for my lover, who has become an ever deeper part of our lives. 

 

He has come to value my lover if not fully accept him. He respects him and includes him in our lives. My husband is a fantastic person, an amazing father and a devoted husband. I hope, with time, he can find his balance again.  It’s not all dire - he mainly says he is happy overall and will work through these issues.

 

My Lover:

He is amazing and a massive force in my life. The value of emotional intelligence in a relationship can’t be overstated, and it’s because of him that we manage the gauntlet so well. He threads the needle of time and relationships so perfectly with our family that it’s seamless. I never think I can love him more, but am constantly proven wrong.

 

He is a huge addition to our lives in every way. This afternoon he plans to meet our son and spend one-on-one time with him. First, he plans to give him the sex talk. It’s time, I botched it with too much, and my husband tried but got lost on the question and answer time. There’s simply no one better to supplement this and our son took to the idea with exuberance: He sees it as a “man talk”. Second, they will work on cleaning up some math issues and learning a few tricks. Yes, I depend on this wonderful man in ways that were not fathomable 2 years ago.  He is nothing but additive to our family.

 

Me:

I am doing well if not torn in some way deep down.  My family is my world, but my lover is my life. Does that make sense? I love everything about him; We are a perfect fit.  This isn’t fleeting, it’ll be three years in March. (Wow, can’t believe I just typed that...3 YEARS!) I have no regrets.

 

I can’t imagine that I ever lived as I did before. This open situation isn’t perfect, and I have had to become adept at living for the now, but it’s far better than living as I did before finding my lover. Those were lonely, dark and endless times.
 

I worry. I somehow don’t want time to move on as we seem to have found a balance and can live decision free.  It’s delusional in a way, but it works, even if it’s just for now. My kids need to continue to have the life that they do with their parents in place. My lover has given us that gift. He’s also brought love, light, fun and hope in ways I didn’t know before him. 
 

He’s also shined a light on things I wished had stayed dark, but it’s brought an honesty to my life that I will forever be grateful for.  Life is fuller, richer, deeper and infinitely better. I hope the seas stay calm...

 

The Kids:

They are fantastic and have a wonderful life. We are so proud of them and maintain them as the center - Collectively.

 

  • Like 4

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...