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glyders

Why does most advice try to make me the jerk?

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glyders

My partner is ace, I am not. She came out after our second child, and we haven't been physically intimate since (almost 7 years ago). She says she only sees the point of sex in order to get children and now she has the two she wanted.

 

I have read quite a bit looking for advice, talked to professionals, etc. Pretty much all the advice I've received is unbelievable that a health or relationship guidance professional could give it.

Essentially it seems to boil down to two options:

1. Convince my partner to compromise. Well, how horrible is that? She doesn't want anything to do with physical intimacy, nothing. So, they are suggesting I somehow cajole/emotionally blackmail/whatever her to do something physical that she doesn't really want to do. Now that has a name...

2. Have an affair/leave. Well again, not a very nice thing to do. How would people react if I left her because she had an accident that left her scarred? There's no difference, really.

 

So why does virtually all the advice centre on those avenues? Why so little on anything positive I can do to cope better myself? Perhaps there isn't anything, but then at least an acknowledgement of that would be better than ignoring it.

I guess that perhaps it is because they still see it as an illness rather than an orientation and so she either needs to be cured or as a hopeless cause.

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ryn2

Many (not all) the sexuals with ace partners here have gone the route of “just trying to live with it” and now report deeply regretting their choices... so maybe the focus on find sex elsewhere/compromise/leave reflects that.

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Scottthespy

I am shocked that you would get 'have an affair' advice from professionals...that's disturbing. 

 

Your thought people see it as an illness or hopeless cause is valid...there are so many people who see a sexless relationship as a sinking ship, a pointless endeavor. Love and lust are so inextricably tied to some people that they can't believe one can exist without the other. So the advice you find from these people will often be centered around trying to get that sex they see as all important. Sexual people who haven't had the chance or taken the time to consider the emotional side of an asexual person will be thinking from their own point of view, and that point of view is most often going to be 'man, I'd hate going without sex with my partner...I'd wish they'd get over it so I could have that important thing/connection!'. 

 

It sounds like you think that's nonsense, which is nice to see, but that you're still in a situation of wanting both physical gratification and intimacy with your wife. So here's some options that don't assume you have to get the two in the same action, and lets you both be comfortable with the scenario.

 

First option I can think is to try swinging (though males without a partner present aren't always welcome in the swinging world) or open relationships. That does NOT mean cheating! It means considering for yourself whether having different relationships with different people will work for you, and then talking to your wife about if it works for HER. It may not...many people are stuck on the idea of monogamy, whether that be a natural inclination or a learned societal stigma. The thing to consider is, would having a person who isn't your wife who you could hook up with just for mutual physical gratification put stress on your relationship with your wife? If so, not an option, but if both of you are open to the idea, and can find a third who's also open, its something to consider.

 

Another option is toys...there are SO many sex toys that have been created for men's satisfaction, and many can be used both alone and as a couple...another thing to discuss with your wife, maybe she would be interested in engaging in intimacy that didn't require her sexual bits to get involved. I've talked to some aces who enjoy the intimacy and the interaction, and are happy knowing they can cause such pleasure for their partners, so long as they don't have to engage in penetrative intercourse. This isn't an attempt at compromise, its not 'oh come on honey, you don't even have to feel anything, just do this for me!', its asking your partner if this is something she might be interested in. If not, it can easily be dropped and you can use the toys on yourself for the physical gratification at least. There are some fantastic reviews on toys for men at www.ohjoysextoy.com , just to give you a place to start looking.

 

If there's also general emotional intimacy your feeling a craving for, there's so many ways to look into that...planning romantic date nights, or buying her little surprise gifts you know she'd enjoy but that aren't too expensive, just making more time to spend together talking about stuff. The people renting my house (who I also act as a nanny for), often take an extra hour driving home from work together just to have the time to chat without the young kids around. Pick up a hobby you can work on together - my parents were both into motorcycles - or do something silly and sweet, like write a love poem. All this, of course, dependent on what you know your wife likes...don't write poems if you know she thinks they're an awful way to show affection. Talk things out with her and ask if she has any ideas that would make her feel special, that can strengthen and bring to mind that bond of love you share. Does she enjoy cuddling and watching a movie? Or maybe camping is more her style. Anything you two can both enjoy together.

 

Relationships ARE about compromise, if one person is sacrificing everything all the time for the other one, that's not healthy, and that's what leads to the bitterness and resentment that makes people wish they'd just left while they still had good memories. But compromise doesn't have to mean 'making my loved one a little uncomfortable to get a little of what I want'. It can mean looking for options that suit both of you and leave both of you feeling content and close. Best of luck in your endeavors!

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Moon Spirit ☽

I've viewed this all in the same way. I think you have to figure out what would feel like the right thing for you to do, because right and wrong varies from person to person. How other people resolve this kind of situation isn't necessarily how you should.

 

Something people never mention is trying to find acceptance. Everyone either looks for a way out or stays with their partner but continues to be miserable because they haven't accepted the lack of sex in their relationship.

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anamikanon

 

1 hour ago, glyders said:

So why does virtually all the advice centre on those avenues? Why so little on anything positive I can do to cope better myself? Perhaps there isn't anything, but then at least an acknowledgement of that would be better than ignoring it.

No idea why. No idea whether it is even true.

 

But I think that is the wrong question to ask. More important than why people give unsuitable advice is what you can do. Some of it will be acceptable, rest will not. People will suggest based on what occurs to them. Ignore what doesn't work. Experiment with ideas that do work.

 

No idea where you have been seeking advice so far, but at least on this forum I've seen that it is rare to get insensitive advice.

 

As to your problem, it is pretty much what most sexuals in relationships with aces face. The TL;DR version boils down to "accept it / persuade her /open marriage / leave" or some variations thereof.

 

In my view, a good start would be stating the problem you are having before your wife so that the two of you can address it jointly. By stating the problem, I mean along the lines of "I am horny and frustrated" as opposed to "you are denying me" etc. Don't blame. Describe your situation and ask for her assistance in figuring out a mutually acceptable way forward. Take it from there. Is she interested in your well being in the marriage or has she unilaterally decided and no longer interested in any discussion? Does she have practical ideas? Do you? And so on.

 

When you are able to describe more specifics, people will be able to make more detailed and useful suggestions to try out. 

 

Edit: That said, I'd recommend: a. no longer seeking the advice of someone who suggests manipulation. and b. Your wife being the first person to ask for suggestions from.

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glyders

Oh, I've accepted it. We are friends who have two daughters together and live in the same house (bedrooms on different floors). We love each other, but there won't ever be anything physical again.

I don't think she gets it, though. Whenever we've discussed it, she suggests getting sex elsewhere. But that was never the point - it was the bonding that mattered. I guess that is because she never felt that, and once I realised that I could forgive her (if that's the right word).

Of course it hurts sometimes, when a moment catches me off-guard - like wanting to comfort her because I know she's upset and automatically going for a hug only to have her freeze up or recoil.

 

 

My question was genuinely aimed at why the advice seems to neglect acceptance and ways to escape unhelpful/bitter/self-destructive thoughts.

 

Relate counsellors all focused on trying to get her to do things like cuddle or massage or stroke or a whole range of alternatives to penetrative sex, all of which go beyond what she is happy with. The whole idea that if any of that was possible I wouldn't have been seeking help drew a blank (as if in their eyes the only possible thing for a good relationship was full sex). When I finally convinced them that none of that was possible, they switched to trying to get me to 'think about what is best for you' and 'whether the relationship has irrevocably broken down'. Incidentally, they all assumed an abusive past was the cause.

 

I tried reading some books by counsellors, including one who made a big thing about knowing first hand. Again, they mostly covered compromise, open relationships and not carrying baggage into your next relationship. Next to nothing on making the best of life as is.

 

What I've seen on here so far also seems to have a heavy slant towards compromise and/or finding sex elsewhere. Perhaps that is due to there being more questions about it, though - I haven't delved too deeply into those threads.

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glyders
1 hour ago, anamikanon said:

 Is she interested in your well being in the marriage or has she unilaterally decided and no longer interested in any discussion? Does she have practical ideas? Do you? And so on.

She is not interested in any discussion. She is not the one with the problem.

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ryn2
41 minutes ago, glyders said:

Next to nothing on making the best of life as is.

A lot of the sexual folks here do not feel that is a workable solution.  While it sounds like a lot of the therapists you’ve read/spoken with have been a bit heavy-handed in their approach, their advice does seem to reflect the findings of the sexuals here who have not been able to go without sex long-term and not suffer significant consequences.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, glyders said:

She is not the one with the problem.

See, I’m not sure I agree with this.  If you were happy with the situation as it stands you would likely not be researching options (to not be thrilled with what you’re finding) in the first place.

 

Ultimately something that’s a significant problem for one person in the relationship is a problem for everyone in the relationship because it eats away at and therefore threatens the longterm viability of the relationship.

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Traveler40

Acceptance - I’m glad that works for some and tend to think it does to a degree for most of us opting not to divorce.  Happily accepting is a different story.  The issue many sexuals seem to have (including myself) is that to accept fully/happily really means to neglect their own needs. Why should it be a one way street given it’s a relationship of two?  Compromise means both parties come to the table in discussion and work to find acceptable solutions to a real and present problem.

 

What methods of happily coping are there that don’t involve outsourcing?  Self stimulation, exercise, distraction by any means that work are all options thoroughly covered here.  In other words, what else do you hope to learn from further discussion on acceptance that you don’t already know?  

 

I think many sexuals accept by default of their situations (children, otherwise happy family, finances, friendship, respect, true life partnership) and figure out how to make it as best they can.  Many times it’s simply a focus on what they have versus what they lack, however disatisfying at its core.  One could call that willful blindness as a means to cope.  Perhaps alternate and additional methods of coping versus acceptance may be what you seek?

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anamikanon
10 hours ago, glyders said:

She is not interested in any discussion. She is not the one with the problem.

Well, you are going to have to learn to initiate conversation better to have successful mutually satisfying options. Or you are left with the unilateral choices. Sex outside the marriage - I would recommend with consent rather than cheating, but this is hard without discussion too. Leaving. Adopting celibacy.

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glyders
10 hours ago, ryn2 said:

A lot of the sexual folks here do not feel that is a workable solution.

It is not a great situation, but I don't see any alternative.

There will be no physical intimacy. Any further discussion on that will just make us both feel worse.

There seems to be an assumption that there are people queuing up to have sex. Affairs and open relationships need someone else. 

Together there is no sex but there is company. Leaving would mean no sex plus loneliness. I went through almost a decade on my own before meeting my partner, going back to that is not an option.

 

But, again, I genuinely am trying to understand why just dealing with it seems to be so ignored.

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glyders
4 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Well, you are going to have to learn to initiate conversation better to have successful mutually satisfying options. Or you are left with the unilateral choices. Sex outside the marriage - I would recommend with consent rather than cheating, but this is hard without discussion too. Leaving. Adopting celibacy.

I should have said 'any further discussion'. 

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Philip027
16 hours ago, glyders said:

So why does virtually all the advice centre on those avenues? Why so little on anything positive I can do to cope better myself? Perhaps there isn't anything, but then at least an acknowledgement of that would be better than ignoring it.

Because presenting a tough situation only to essentially be told "you just gotta deal with it" is generally seen as useless or even callous "advice"

 

Most sexuals want sex.  They don't want to be told to just deal with it.  Most of the ones you'd find here posting about their situation have already been coming off of months or years of trying to "deal with it", and clearly that's not been working, or else they wouldn't be unhappy enough to come on a forum to post about it.

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ryn2
51 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Because presenting a tough situation only to essentially be told "you just gotta deal with it" is generally seen as useless or even callous "advice"

This, plus we don’t know you yet.  Coming from some of the sexuals posting here the below would sound angry, frustrated, and “approaching the end of my rope,” or sarcastic...

 

14 hours ago, glyders said:

She is not interested in any discussion. She is not the one with the problem.

 ...but maybe you mean it as a simple statement of fact and are fine with it.

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glyders

Yes, a simple statement of fact. Sorry, as an aspie I don't always express myself clearly when it comes to emotive topics.

I know how guilty she feels about not wanting sex, just as she knows how guilty I feel about wanting it. I know she finds it repulsive, she knows I want it.

That is where we are, and where we have been for many years. I may wish the situation were different, but I accept that it is as it is.

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ryn2

Would she be willing to consider any of the toy suggestions people made above, or is she repulsed by everything to do with sex even if she’s not directly involved?

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glyders

She is deeply uncomfortable if people kiss on the TV, and I'm talking BBC period dramas.

 

I will keep it in mind, though, as we have never explicitly discussed it.

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Telecaster68

 

Quote

 

 Convince my partner to compromise. Well, how horrible is that? 

 

Not horrible at all.

 

A relationship is essentially a set of compromises that both partners are perfectly happy and willing to make, and you’re making a huge compromise by giving up physical intimacy for the rest of your life. It doesn’t sound like you feel she’s horrible for requiring that of you.

 

Some aces are fine with sex, they even enjoy it, they’d just be fine never having it again and it wouldn’t occur to them to initiate. But it’s a compromise  - not even that much of a compromise in some cases - they’re perfectly happy to make. Granted this can tail off after a while, but nobody’s saying their partner is asking a horrible thing of them.

 

Your wife, however, isn’t like that; I’m guessing your therapists etc. thought it might be worth discussing in a very clear explicit way though. 
 

Quote

 

How would people react if I left her because she had an accident that left her scarred? There's no difference, really.


 

It is different, to most sexuals. Someone being scarred isn’t the same as them closing down one of the most significant ways most people share intimacy in relationships. The element of choice isn’t the point; the point is that scarring isn’t anything to do with the dynamic of the relationship.

 

If by scarring you mean ‘was too physically incapacitated to have sex’, it’s also different. One of the things most sexuals find hardest to deal with - harder even than the lack of sex - is lack of being sexually desired by their asexual partners. Being physically incapacitated doesn’t mean they don’t desire you, and frequently, there are ways of getting past this; without being too graphic, unless they’re quadriplegic, things can be done (and even if they are sometimes. Do some googling of Steven Hawking...). 

 

It’s not superficial or shallow to find sex a necessary part of a relationship, any more than it is to expect conversation. 

 

Quote

 

I guess that perhaps it is because they still see it as an illness rather than an orientation and so she either needs to be cured or as a hopeless cause.

 

No, it’s because it very often turns out to be an insurmountable problem in a relationship; and what makes it insurmountable is one partner clamming up and being unwilling or unable to make any compromise (and that can be sexual or asexual). Actual absence of physically getting to orgasm is bad enough, but having an important part of the relationship unilaterally closed down with no appeal is way, way worse for the relationship.

 

If anything, I think you’re coming at asexuality as an illness, as though it makes the asexual unable to function as a normally reasonable, loving partner within their limits. The limit asexuality brings is just about whether they want sex for their own reasons. Everything else is down to personal variation and how much they feel their partner’s misery (or lack of) it behoves them to address, in whatever way.

 

I’m not saying asexuals should force themselves to have sex or sexuals are owed sex. I’m saying both partners owe each other communication and to try to compromise, and expecting that from your partner doesn’t make you a jerk.

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Lara Black
22 hours ago, glyders said:

 So why does virtually all the advice centre on those avenues? Why so little on anything positive I can do to cope better myself? Perhaps there isn't anything, but then at least an acknowledgement of that would be better than ignoring it.

 I guess that perhaps it is because they still see it as an illness rather than an orientation and so she either needs to be cured or as a hopeless cause.

I’m not sure what you expect of others and why you say your wife’s condition isn’t viewed as her orientation.

Let’s say you were married to a lesbian who had just discovered her orientation. How would the advice differ in this situation? Wouldn’t it still be basically the same: “Stay married and find your sex elsewhere” or “Get a divorce, remain friends and each will find someone of your own orientation”?  

With an ace you can actually compromise. A lesbian probably wouldn’t be willing to just service you - she would actively want sex with another woman. And I agree with @Telecaster68 on this – you pretty much always need to compromise in a relationship. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard, and that’s for the both parties to evaluate whether this compromise is worth the work or it’s better to break up.

Are you hoping for some magical solution that would make your libido go away so you don’t have to make hard choices? I don’t think that exists.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

The limit asexuality brings is just about whether they want sex for their own reasons.

In fairness it does sound like OP’s partner is or has become sex-repulsed, so it may go beyond this...

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

In fairness it does sound like OP’s partner is or has become sex-repulsed, so it may go beyond this...

Yes, it does. But sex-repulsion isn't asexuality.

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ryn2
10 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Yes, it does. But sex-repulsion isn't asexuality.

...which does make it important not to assume.  In this specific case, though, it doesn’t sound much like an assumption and its existence is going to limit the options.

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anamikanon
5 hours ago, glyders said:

Yes, a simple statement of fact. Sorry, as an aspie I don't always express myself clearly when it comes to emotive topics.

I know how guilty she feels about not wanting sex, just as she knows how guilty I feel about wanting it. I know she finds it repulsive, she knows I want it.

That is where we are, and where we have been for many years. I may wish the situation were different, but I accept that it is as it is.

If you are certain there is no middle ground, there doesn't remain a whole load of advice possible beyond staying celibate, finding sex elsewhere or leaving. However, I get this recurring sense that there does not appear to be adequate discussion here. Most couples will know a lot more beyond "does not want" if they have been discussing and listening attentively.

 

This could be related to being able to discuss emotive topics and may require you to find ways for better communication if you want to save/improve your relationship. What those ways are will take some experimenting, but it is hard to believe that you can have children and then not even be able to communicate enough to have a more nuanced understanding of the situation between you. I would believe that it may not be easy, but it is possible.

 

3 hours ago, glyders said:

She is deeply uncomfortable if people kiss on the TV, and I'm talking BBC period dramas.

There is a wide range of intimate behaviors between couple ranging from the relatively impersonal to the deeply intimate. Usually, if you are still in love, there will be aspects that work and it will be a matter of finding them. Kissing is not ok. Sex is not ok. Sex toys doesn't seem like an optimistic option, and probably not worth asking unless you are certain it will not raise unnecessary awkwardness. Sex toys generally need a bit more uninhibited behavior than vanilla sex, even if body parts are not involved. Seeing other people kiss making her uncomfortable, it seems tough, though I suppose much depends on the reason for her discomfort.

 

3 hours ago, glyders said:

I will keep it in mind, though, as we have never explicitly discussed it.

I would suggest focusing on the relationship first to create enough of a space where intimate needs can be discussed without awkwardness or blame or guilt. Find out what she likes about being with you. Make sure she knows what you like about being with her. Share difficulties you face as your difficulties and make sure that it is not her guilt to carry. Equally address your own guilt. It is unfortunate that there is a mismatch, but you finding her desirable is not something bad you are doing to her. Particularly given how clear you are about not expecting sex from her. Have these conversations over time to create that space.

 

Whether sexual opportunities emerge is a secondary matter, but these conversations allow you to address problems as a team and strengthen your relationship. This, in turn allows more possibilities to emerge with time. For example, if she isn't interested in sex and she isn't guilty about not being able to share it with you, it may be possible for her to then see your frustration as a hindrance to your happiness rather than an accusation. This in turn allows you to discuss things like kink, toys, sex outside the marriage and so on, without her feeling threatened about being abandoned by you (I imagine a husband looking outside for sex when you have two children is terrifying unless your relationship is very strong). It allows you to feel close enough to express your love in other ways. And so on.

 

Don't ask or offer solutions. First spend a lot of time on UNDERSTANDING where both of you are. Needs for companionship, affection, sex, interactions, emotional closeness, practical child care and so on. Shared loving roles and actions and behaviors. What is enjoyable, what is difficult, where important needs are going unmet... First understand fully what is going on, as well as what is working well.

 

I think you need a lot more communication with your wife. It is the one thing I have seen consistently about couples that are able to work through problems. They face them as a team. This is definitely worth making special effort for. Otherwise, it is going to be about enduring or exiting. A marriage can get really, really long if we don't feel loved in it, and exiting too can be hard with young children and usually tends to alter and limit the care giving partner's life drastically. Finding something that works together will be far less painful than either, even if it isn't easy.

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anamikanon

Thinking about this situation, it occurs to me that the sexual having communication difficulties will probably make it far harder to bridge a sexual-ace relationship, with one not interested in sex and the other not able to communicate their interest well, so it gets hard to get a proper conversation going to begin with. But if you know this, you can plan to communicate better to allow for the difficulty.

 

You may also want to consider writing down your perspective for her - it can allow you to frame your words better and give you enough time to find words to say what you need to. Another possibility may be to use some sort of intimacy/love style/language of love type quiz and compare answers.

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ryn2
25 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Thinking about this situation, it occurs to me that the sexual having communication difficulties will probably make it far harder to bridge a sexual-ace relationship, with one not interested in sex and the other not able to communicate their interest well, so it gets hard to get a proper conversation going to begin with.

I can certainly confirm this!

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Sally

It sounds to  me as though the OP is not asking for advice on how to change their situation, but instead simply asking/reflecting on why advice to persons in their situation seems to be so limited.   I'm really impressed by how sensitive he appears to be toward his wife's feelings, and the lack of bitterness he seems to feel.  

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sushilover

I just wanted to pop my head in and support OP since it sounds like we're in similar situations. My partner is asexual and sex averse, even is the same about recoiling at long kisses in TV shows. Aside from a lack of sex and physical intimacy, we have an incredibly loving and close relationship. We spend all of our free time together and delight in each other's company.

 

It can be hard to talk about this with therapists, who might not be familiar with asexuality. I don't have much of a libido, but I am still sexually attracted to my partner who loves me but will never want to have sex with me. This is made even more complicated by the fact that for the first few years we knew each other, he actually sexually pursued me and would always be the one to initiate (what I thought was) enthusiastic sex. He did this to force himself to appear """normal,""" which only led to problems down the road when he stopped wanting any intimate contact whatsoever.

 

When we both realized he is asexual and sex-averse, we set new boundaries for him that we both need to maintain. There is the obvious stuff on my end (I no longer give him surprise hugs or wait for him to initiate sex, etc) but there is something important he has to do too, and that is to forgive himself for not being sexually attracted to me. This compromise (which does not involve forcing him to be intimate with me!) hinges on him accepting and loving himself and the relationship we've built together, free of the guilt that defined the first few years of our marriage. Our relationship doesn't include sex, and that's okay. I've found it's helpful to read general advice on self-acceptance, and advice columns like Dear Sugar and Captain Awkward have given us a lot of techniques to use even though none of the letters are about our specific situation. Regular lovingkindness meditation has also been incredibly helpful.

 

It helps a lot that we both share a lot of interests and hobbies, and plan our days to be full of activities together. We try to spend what little time we have together on weekends doing things we enjoy; or if we're doing individual activities, to later share what we had been up to. Some days it's hard for me to know that he will never want to have sex with me, and I can get really down on myself about that if I'm not careful.* But I have decided to forgive him for not realizing he is asexual earlier, and to forgive myself for being sexually attracted to him. Forgiving yourselves is hard, and it's something you'll both have to work at probably for the rest of your lives. But it can also be another, different way for you to be close.

 

I wish you both the best!!

 

* EDIT: Forgot to add, it's okay to feel down or frustrated about your situation sometimes. Please allow yourself to feel sad and mourn your past sex life when/if you need to. Don't beat yourself up for feeling down, that just compounds the darkness; rather, just allow yourself to feel your feelings, and then go back to accepting and loving yourself. I've found that journaling these episodes can be a great stress-relief and also give me some clarity on the situation later on once they've passed. The important thing though is to appreciate and be grateful for the memories you made, and to release them back into the universe without dwelling on them.

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Lucinda
On 8/26/2018 at 3:30 PM, glyders said:

My question was genuinely aimed at why the advice seems to neglect acceptance and ways to escape unhelpful/bitter/self-destructive thoughts.

It seems that sushilover actually gets what you are trying to resolve within yourself, and happened to come along at just the right time.  Do you agree?

 

Best,

Lucinda

 

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SG100084
On ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 10:33 PM, glyders said:

She is not interested in any discussion. She is not the one with the problem.

Well she lives with you and you want sex. So she does have a problem.
You have 3 choices. Live with it and potentially find yourself becoming increasingly resentful and risking your long-term health from stress, leave her or see other people for sex, with or without her consent.

After 15 years with virtually no sex from my wife and ever-increasing lack of intimacy I decided this year that enough was enough and banged down an ultimatum and left it up to my wife to choose which of the three options she wanted to go for, making sure that she understood that option 3 did not mean I didn't want to have sex with her and that it was a second-best option for me but still better than me going round in a permanent state of resentment. That puts the ball in her court but forces her to make some kind of decision. If she refuses to make a decision then you only have 2 options and you have to be open about option 3 if that is the one you choose. Option 2 has other consequences.

This is not you being a jerk. This subject is so taboo in society and there is next to zero support for people in your situation.

What happened to me is that my wife let me go with 3, until she became jealous/saw an attraction in me because someone else did. It's working for now - but she also understands that if the sex goes off the table again, I am not going back to my former low-self esteem. We're still not having as much as I would like, but it's a hell of a lot better than before and we haven't had a single argument about this (or even anything else) for 2 months now. 





 


 

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