NoCakePlease

Untangling Emotions

Recommended Posts

NoCakePlease

Before I say anything else let me say No Cake Please is a real request - see my profile if you want to know why. And also I am sure this is going to be way too long, and I apologize, but don't know how to condense everything as much as I need to.

I am a 45 yo sexual female in a long term marriage with a man who recently discovered he is asexual, and I am trying to find my way through the web of thoughts and emotions that has brought up. Just a little background - we have been married for almost 24 years. We were together as a couple, but did not live together, for about two and a half years before we married. I was raised to wait until marriage, and that is what I planned to do, but after we had been dating for some time he (I'll call him "X") let me know he wasn't terribly happy. He didn't put uncomfortable pressure on me, just told me (repeatedly) how much he wanted me, how turned on I made him, and that since we were in love and going to get married he didn't see why we should wait. So we first had sex about a year and a half after we started dating, and something drastic happened...I liked it. That wasn't supposed to happen. I always thought sex was something women did to keep their men at home. I hadn't been given the idea that it was awful or painful or anything, just that it was like a chore a woman had to do to keep her marriage out of trouble. So I was blown away by how I felt, how it changed the way I felt about X; I felt so much closer to him. I had "given myself" to him, which took an enormous amount of trust for me, opened myself up physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to be the most vulnerable I could ever be and it strengthened the connection I felt to him more than I would have thought possible. For about six months we were very sexually active. The following six months it was less frequent - but we were both in college, he was trying to get his final semester wound up, we were planning the wedding, etc. so it seemed like there were some really good reasons for that. After we married the frequency continued to decrease until finally about six years ago it just stopped. Well, intercourse stopped then. We did have some sex play a few times after we last made love, but that stopped too about 3 years ago.

During the past probably ten years I have, on numerous occasions, tried to get X to tell me what was "wrong." I told him I would rather hear the truth than to be strung along and that if he wasn't attracted to me anymore to please just be honest - that for my own sanity I needed to know the truth so I could deal with it, re-evaluate our relationship, and go on. And every time he said, in apparent sincerity, that he was sexually attracted to me, liked sex with me, wanted to do it more but blah, blah, blah was getting in the way. Now, I am not dumb nor am I unobservant. I was, by this time, very well aware that it wasn't just him being tired or whatever. It was clear that he had no interest in me sexually (I took the blame for that but didn't know what to do to fix it), but because no one is more blind than the person who will not see I chose to keep believing what he said instead of what his actions were telling me. Over, and over, and over. I begged and pleaded with him to promise me he was telling me the truth, and he did, so I went along. Until about 6 mos ago when we had the talk all over again; but this time I just laid it out - told him I knew he wasn't attracted to me, so not to lie about it, and that what I needed from him was to think about what he wanted in terms of a sex life between us, if he wanted one at all, and if he did what I needed to do to make that happen. I told him to take all the time he needed, and left it there. Then a few weeks back he told me he was ready to talk and came out as asexual. When he had me read some info on asexuality I could see that it fit him and I understood immediately why he identified himself as asexual. So I'm not questioning whether asexuality is a "real" orientation or even whether it's his orientation.

 But despite the fact that I completely "got it" cognitively right away I have been on an emotional - not roller coaster, more like the scrambler ride where you get whipped back and forth and round and round until you really just don't know which way is up. I am feeling very contradictory emotions one after the other: sadness, anger, relief, fear, shame & guilt, lonely, and a lot just feeling numb and hollow. I feel betrayed, in a way, because he has admitted that he never felt sexually attracted to me but pushed to have sex because he was curious and wanted to feel "normal." I completely understand his reasons, but it hurts going from thinking that I was his Aphrodite for at least a little while to realizing that he would have/could have gotten exactly the same thing from anyone else except he wasn't confident enough to try until he was in a committed relationship with me. And then after a few months when the new wore off he felt trapped into continuing to pretend he was in to it because of the surprise that I actually was. I can't help but wonder how true many things are, since he lied to me repeatedly about wanting sex with me even after I began asking him point blank about it. By that time he knew very well that he at least wasn't interested in sex with me, so while I consider his previous statements and behaviors to have been maybe thinking he could do a "fake it till you make it" kind of thing or something I do consider his answers to a direct question while looking me in the eyes to have been lies. I understand why he lied, but he still lied and even though I forgive him it makes me question whether I can trust what he says or if he is just saying what he thinks I want to hear, won't hurt me, or won't start a fight. I feel ashamed because he has now told me he is sex repulsed and I know that every time we did anything he was forcing himself despite feeling disgusted, and I can't believe I never picked up on that and stopped it. I also feel ashamed because I know I should be helping and supporting him in learning about his "new" identity and not be focused on myself, but I just cannot seem to stop the intrusion of thoughts and feelings about how this is/will affect me and how I will meet all my needs now that I know there is no hope of ever having a sexual relationship with him - totally selfish, I know, but those thoughts just keep being there in my head no matter how hard I try to push them away. And I am feeling sad and lonely because I am beginning to realize that sex, which I can actually live without - I've done it for six years - isn't the only thing I want or need in the relationship that I'm not getting. As I've tried to work through this with him I've realized that sex wasn't the only thing he pretty much never initiated, it was just the thing I chose to focus on. I realize that if we have a discussion about our relationship it is almost always me that starts the discussion, and then I have to just ask a series of questions to get any feedback from him. Even if I tell him something is bothering me or I just need to talk and ask him to think it over and let me know when he's ready to discuss it at least 98% of the time it will never get mentioned again unless I bring it up. So in the same way that I felt like I was "always" nagging him for sex in the past, I realize I have also had to "nag" him to even have a conversation about anything other than surface issues. We can talk current events, that is fine. We can talk a little about the family finances, things we want to do, places we want to go, what needs to be done around the house, stuff like that with no problem. But when it comes to having deeper, more intimate conversations about thoughts, feelings, and needs we have as a couple I do the work or it doesn't get done. So now that I am seeing this more clearly, I am wondering where it leaves us in general. He says he loves me, and I think he does - at least in a way. I love him, but I can see that love changing to being more like the love I have for my close friends than the love I've had for my romantic partner. The "special" love isn't gone on my side yet, but I can see that it could go in a short time if something doesn't change. I need him to take an interest in our relationship - not just how my day was, but how I am really feeling and thinking about things. He said that even though he doesn't find me sexually attractive he still thinks I'm beautiful. Problem is he said that when I was upset right after he came out and was saying that I felt like he doesn't think I'm pretty. And looking back, it has been years since he has just randomly told me he thinks I'm pretty or beautiful, or whatever. Unless I have been upset about my appearance and said something derogatory about myself the most I get is that I "look nice" or that my clothes or hair or whatever looks good. Not "You are beautiful" or "You look  beautiful" or anything like that. In fact, when he quit telling me all those years ago that I was "hot" and desirable and that I turned him on he just pretty much stopped telling me he thought I was attractive in any way. Maybe he doesn't think I'm attractive in any sense, in which case we are back to him lying to try to keep from hurting me when at this point I just want to deal with the truth. Or if he does really find me to be attractive, it's hard to really believe it when I only hear it as a plea to stop putting myself down. I know being hung up on appearance seems shallow, but it is nice to think that the person you love romantically finds you to be their own work of art and desire of their heart even if not the desire of their loins.

So, I've talked way too much but it felt good to kind of put it "out there" someplace other than my private little notebook where I jot things down. I don't expect "help," really, because what can anyone do - this is about me and him. But it's nice knowing I just had somewhere to vent. Thanks.

Edited by NoCakePlease
Removed irrelevant stuff
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

Welcome to AVEN, @NoCakePlease.  In lieu of the usual I’ll offer you a crown.👑

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

I know it’s of little help but my situation sounds just like yours (having a withdrawn, surface-only, otherwise minimally-communicative partner that leaves me doing all the work)... except in my case I’m the aceish one and he’s the sexual one.

 

There are definitely posters here whose full experience mirrors yours.

 

The things you’re experiencing sound very typical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

First of all, regardless of what orientation he had or thought he had, the guy presumably still had his own sense of agency.  You didn't force him to do anything that he didn't want to do.  He consented to that, so stop beating yourself up over that part.  I know that doesn't just magically fix all the problems, but you gotta start somewhere, and putting a stop to the self-loathing is usually a good place to start.

 

Besides, to be honest, if he was putting on a more "sexual" front at first and then later on would think badly upon you for it, that would be rather shitty of him (again, that part is on him, not you), and I don't suspect he was trying to be shitty, even if I think he made a pretty big mistake in putting on that front.

 

1 hour ago, NoCakePlease said:

And looking back, it has been years since he has just randomly told me he thinks I'm pretty or beautiful, or whatever.

Some folks don't feel the need to constantly restate what (they think) is already known and established.  I'm on the autism spectrum, and in my research on the subject I've come across data that suggests this can be a common relationship-based point of consternation for partners of autistic people (although it's surely not limited JUST to autistic people; not saying that he is one).

 

Because, on the other side of the coin, some people really need that regular reaffirmation to feel like they are loved.  If they get together with someone who isn't used to expressing that reaffirmation, well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thea2
1 hour ago, NoCakePlease said:

... we first had sex about a year and a half after we started dating, and something drastic happened...I liked it. Really liked it ... I was blown away by how I felt, how it changed the way I felt about X; I felt so much closer to him. I had "given myself" to him, which took an enormous amount of trust for me, opened myself up physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to be the most vulnerable I could ever be and it strengthened the connection I felt to him more than I would have thought possible ...

Welcome to AVEN, I hope venting here will be helpful for you. 💐 🌻🌸

 

I quoted the above bit, because it’s so beautiful. And so explains the pain you are in now, which can be difficult to understand for an asexual.

 

I second what ryn2 said, “There are definitely posters here whose full experience mirrors yours.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MrDane

@NoCakePlease I hear you and sometimes experience the same. I give small compliments or sweet words, like “hi, sweetie”, “honey, I am home”, “you look good in that”, “you are a good mum”, “i love you”, “I am a lucky fellow”... stuff like that. I stopped with calling her sexy, since it has a negative/stressmaking ring to it. At best, she says “yeah, you too!” Usually tilts her head, so my goodbye-kisses lands on her forehead and not lips or cheeks. Or she makes a joke. 

Never once, in our 15 years, where she thougth I trained to be fit/hot did she say anything about how good I looked. 

 

What I understand now, is that it doesnt really fly in on her radar, and if it does it is immidiately blocked by any sexual ‘vibe’ to it. I understand, but my reaction is to feel hurt, alone or discarded and not good enough. A little affirmation would be nice. And it feels a bit pathetic to have to ask for it. “Do you mind saying I am pretty?” And “could you return my kiss with a kiss, since I have agreed to not ‘attack’ you with sex outside of scheduled sessions?”

I mean, it makes me feel like a forgotten child and not a grown man. Occasionally I weep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beaver Boy
1 hour ago, NoCakePlease said:

I know being hung up on appearance seems shallow, but it is nice to think that the person you love romantically finds you to be their own work of art and desire of their heart even if not the desire of their loins.

Just because he is not sexually attracted to you does not mean he could be aesthetically attracted to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoCakePlease

@ryn2, @Philip027, and @Thea2 - Thank you for welcoming me and for the reassurance that I'm not a freak for feeling the way I feel right now.

 

@Philip027 - we do suspect my husband may be ASD. He's never been formally evaluated but does show several traits, so if he's not autistic he's autistic-ish. So I know there will be limits to the emotional connectivity, as well, but I also know that when he wants to he can and has adapted socially so I don't think I'm asking for more than he is able to give if he decides to make the effort. I'm not asking to be reassured constantly or to have him always up my butt asking me what's going on (I am too asocial for that, myself) but would just like to know that the relationship as a whole is important enough to him for him to think about it once in a while without being coaxed. Maybe that is more than he can give, and if it is I'm going to be faced with a very tough crossroads, but we will figure that out as we go I guess. 

And BTW - he has not guilted or blamed me for anything, so he is definitely not being shitty about that. That's all me, and as you said that is a place to start working out the knots in this tangled up mess I call "Me."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoCakePlease
9 minutes ago, MrDane said:

And it feels a bit pathetic to have to ask for it. “Do you mind saying I am pretty?” it makes me feel like a forgotten child and not a grown man. Occasionally I weep.

Thank you for sharing this thought, it is one of the most melancholy things I have ever heard and it hits right at the heart of things. It is a bit like being a forgotten child. X is at least good about giving me hugs and kissing me goodbye before I leave for work everyday, so I guess I should just be grateful for what I have instead of grieving for what I don't. I will probably get there, but it will take time. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

Separate from the sex situation, we tend to automatically do (and avoid) the things we’d like done for us (or avoided) when we’re trying to be good to a partner.  So, if being noticed for our appearance feels uncomfortable we tend not to “do it to” our partners.  If terms of endearment feel “cutesy,” “saccarine,” or “fake” to us we tend not to use them in reference to our partners.  That’s before you get to things like ASD that might negatively affect comminication.  Basically, by trying to be nice the way we experience niceness, we might be being awkward or even hurtful.

 

It can feel weird and a bit false to ask for what we need, especially if we have the sense that it’s something people “just know,” but sometimes we get the best results if we do it anyway...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
3 minutes ago, NoCakePlease said:

I should just be grateful for what I have instead of grieving for what I don't.

It’s okay to do both at the same time too!  :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotropic

+1 on everything here. And I think one can't expect the grief to feel better quickly, it's probably going to take a long time. While it's true we can't have everything in life... I think it's traumatic to have lacked agency, to discover what is lost, even if it's been true for a long time.

Beyond being upset about a partner's newly understood orientation... I think part of what might happen is ... "why did it happen this way?" What's happened is so important, it might have one looking at all the other things in a relationship that are part of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoCakePlease
Just now, anisotropic said:

Beyond being upset about a partner's newly understood orientation... I think part of what might happen is ... "why did it happen this way?" What's happened is so important, it might have one looking at all the other things in a relationship that are part of it.

There is a lot of wondering why it had to happen the way it did, and asking ourselves "what if."

I also have to say that I am probably being unfair to X in talking about what I'm not getting from the relationship, because the truth is I'm not sure I know right now exactly what I want; and if I don't know I sure can't expect him to.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
27 minutes ago, NoCakePlease said:

[...]the truth is I'm not sure I know right now exactly what I want; and if I don't know I sure can't expect him to.

This has been very difficult for me, on the other side... how to know what to try to fix - or if it even can be - when my partner doesn’t know what fixed would ideally look like.

 

That said, you seem more likely to be able to put it into words than my partner does.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred

@NoCakePlease welcome. 

Sadly there are a number of people here stuck in variations of this situation.  My general thoughts:

There is nothing wrong with having sexual desire, with enjoying sex, with wanting sex with the person you love.  It is ok to want passionate, romantic,  or kinky sex - this is all completely fine. 

 

If your partner is indicating that they want sex, then there is nothing wrong with having sex with them - it is what is expected in typical relationships. You did *nothing wrong* because he didn't tell you he didn't want sex. 

 

There is also nothing wrong with not wanting sex, with not having any desire.

 

But - sexual / asexual marriages are usually miserable. Sometimes one person is happy, and they may think the other is as well,  but I think its rare for both to be happy.  My (near asexual) wife thinks we have a wonderful marriage with just one minor problem.   She will go to her grave believing that. 

 

You have done nothing wrong.  Now you need to think about what to do in the future.   Leave, Cheat, Live like a Nun.   Not a great set of choices.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MichaelTannock

Reading to the end, I'm wondering if he's also Aromantic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoCakePlease
3 hours ago, MichaelTannock said:

Reading to the end, I'm wondering if he's also Aromantic.

He says he's not, and that he is romantically attracted to me, but I'm not real clear on what he, personally, means by that. He has increased the amount of physical contact with me a little, but it seems kind of forced and stilted. I don't know, though, if that is on his side or mine. One of my fears is that he will suddenly realize he's not okay with that either. When he first told me he is asexual he said he was indifferent to sex, but could and had enjoyed it when we did it. Within a couple of days he said he was "kind of uncomfortable with a couple of things." Then a few days after that, upon greater reflection, he basically said he is sex-repulsed by everything (he didn't use the word 'repulsed' because he says he doesn't like it, but that's clearly what he meant). So now I fear that I will get used to the non-sexual closeness and then it will get yanked away from me, too. So it very well may be that I am freezing when he holds me, rather than the other way around.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotropic

Shit, that sucks. I'm sorry.

 

I can get that he's trying to understand himself here but it also sounds like hell.

 

Are either of you considering therapy? Not necessarily "couples therapy", although you could do that.

 

My partner and I had some separate stuff with a LGBTQIA+ friendly practice. First I meant to figure out my gender issues but ended up in "partner of ace therapy" pretty fast... Then he decided to try some, separately. It wasn't dramatic, most of our progress was outside therapy, but I think it helped us understand ourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoCakePlease

@anisotropic, and everyone else,  really, I don't want to make him sound bad. He is, in most ways, the kindest, sweetest, most caring person I know. And that is part of the problem. I have very little doubt that he knew when he first came out to me that he was actually sex repulsed. I think he had known that for a very long time. But his programming is on a hard set to protect me from pain at all costs. And because of my own body image issues i know he was terrified that if he said "i find sex repulsive " i would hear "i find you repulsive." So he eased into it slowly rather than dropping the entire sack of hammers squarely on my head all at once. We have been in therapy in the past, and when I got asked what was making me stay with X, what i most appreciated about him, i said without even thinking "i know he always has my back." That is still true. He would fight for me, bleed for me, die for me. I am not guessing about that - I know it. So it is almost impossible for him to be absolutely honest when he knows the truth is going to hurt me and that he's going to see me cry.

I really have to thank you, because answering you has made me remember why I want to he with him more than I want to be anywhere else,  and why I will do whatever I can to keep us together. Even if he doesn't or can't have a passionate or romantic relationship with me, I want to be with him in whatever way I can. Even if it's just as the very best and closest of friends.

He almost died in 2010 and I couldn't begin to imagine my life without him. Home would not have been home anymore without his energy there, and so many things that bring me joy would have become completely hollow and meaningless if I couldn't share them with him. He is my soulmate. I know that sounds hokey and trite, but it's true. Adapting to a new role in his life will be hard, and painful, but I have dealt with some almost impossibly hard and painful things before and came out better than when I waded in to them. I just have to want what's on the other side bad enough to strap on my sword and do battle with whatever demons are involved - mine, his, or anyone else's. And for this, I want it bad enough.

Thank you again. I am going to find my sword.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotropic

@NoCakePlease  : )  good. I like being loyal too. I didn't mean to blame him; there may be no one to blame.

 

I've changed myself a lot. Orientation can't change, so other things must? It has been many months now.

 

My partner is indifferent, not repulsed. I think it may be harder for you, but I guess the are many factors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
7 hours ago, NoCakePlease said:

 

@anisotropic, and everyone else,  really, I don't want to make him sound bad. 

 

I don’t think you are.  You sound upset by and frustrated with the situation, which is understandable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
7 hours ago, NoCakePlease said:

I have very little doubt that he knew when he first came out to me that he was actually sex repulsed. I think he had known that for a very long time.

This certainly could be true, but a lot of us have also found that - especially once the cat’s out of the bag and there’s more pressure *not* to keep hiding things than to hide them - what sounds okay to us turns out not to be fairly quickly,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoCakePlease
8 hours ago, anisotropic said:

Orientation can't change, so other things must? It has been many months now.

This is true. He can't change how he feels or responds, so the only thing that can change is me. I know he can't make himself have positive feelings about sexual contact, so the only option is for me to repress my positive feelings about it. That's doable. Not easy, or pleasant, or pain free, but doable.

1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

I don’t think you are.  You sound upset by and frustrated with the situation, which is understandable.

I am angry at the situation. I almost wish I still had conventional religious beliefs because then I could direct my anger at God for letting this situation happen. We have so much life and energy between us and it is bloody unfair that we can't be matched in an area that is so prone to cause heartache and grief and has torn so many relationships apart. I am angry that I am one who will have to make the changes because I can't possibly expect him to try to change. I'm not mad at him, but at how this is affecting us both. I know that in some ways we will never be the same. It doesn't seem like anything should be that different. We've had literally 20 years of bouncing back and forth between fighting over sex or trying to avoid the subject all together, with me (really) knowing but not acknowledging that he didn't want sex at least with me, and nothing for more than 3 years now. So it really shouldn't be much different. But somehow it is. I guess because for all that time I thought it was something about me that turned him off I believed that I had the power to change the situation, if I could only figure out what I needed to do. And now I know I am powerless in that respect, and it pisses me off. I don't hate anything more than feeling powerless. I guess that's probably true of anyone. So accepting that inability to impact or even slightly modify this situation almost puts me in a rage - I want to throw something, hit something, scream, cry. I don't, of course, because I can control my behaviors and destroying my own property or injuring myself hitting inanimate objects isn't really going to get me the results I want. But the anger is there, all the same. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoCakePlease
14 hours ago, uhtred said:

Now you need to think about what to do in the future.   Leave, Cheat, Live like a Nun.   Not a great set of choices.

This is probably going to be TMI in some places, but I really want to answer this fully and I don't know how else to do it.

As I think an earlier post probably illustrated, I don't think of leaving as an option. And for me, cheating or an open relationship (which he has said he would be okay with) isn't an option either. Not because of any moral stance, but because it literally wouldn't help unless something about me changes really drastically. See, X is the only person I have ever had a desire to be sexual with, at all. I think other people are good looking, maybe even sexy in a kind of detached way, but I never think about wanting to get in bed with anyone else. Never have. The only time I have "been with" anyone else was a night when X and I "swung" with another couple. I was with both her and him, X was with her. And it was okay. But my whole reason for doing it was that I hoped it would get X's motor running, and that he would see me in a bit of a different light (at this time I wasn't sure that I wasn't up against the Madonna/whore complex) that might make him desire me more. Needless to say it did not work. At all. So I gave that up as a lost cause. I was nice enough to not let on to the couple that I was just using them to slut myself up to try and make X horny for me - LOL.

Living like a nun - I guess that would depend on the nun. Since I am not sexually excited by anyone other than X, and now that I know how he feels about sex I am no longer aroused by him either, giving up the act itself is not much of a sacrifice. Finding out your partner thinks doing the deed is gross is better than a bucket of cold water at killing your mood, permanently. So as long as I'm awake there isn't a problem with me getting heated up being around him or anything. That leaves dealing with dreams that I haven't figured out how to stop yet, that have me waking up in a cold sweat and crying because I realize they are only a cruel illusion; and working around the weird randomness of purely physical arousal that seems to come from nowhere and makes me want to chew through a steel bar. As to the first, not really much I can do except know that they will decrease over time. As to the 2nd -  I don't in principal mind taking care of myself, but there are circumstances that make that more than a little bit difficult to accomplish. So maybe I will just have to find a steel bar. One of the things that seems so unfair right now is that X is one of the only people I have felt comfortable talking openly to about "personal matters." As he is my very best friend and confidant, as well as husband and former lover, I always shared everything with him. So a part of me wants to turn to him and say "I have to figure out how I'm going to take care of this but blah, blah, blah is is problem for that. What do you think I can do to manage this?" But I can't. Cause the thought of talking to him about it seems almost sick and perverted at this point. So I've not only lost a lover, I've lost my go-to person for many of the things I can't say to anyone else. So, yeah, steel bar - surely we have some re-bar around here somewhere...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NapoliGirl

I read somewhere recently that the most beautiful things can be found on the other side of fear.

 

After 27 years of a marriage so similar to yours, I am going to see what is on the other side.  I have let fear paralyze me for far too long.  

He is my best friend, he has always had my back, he has been my fiercest cheerleader in everything.

But the void of both emotional and physical intimacy has turned into a gaping wound.  And over the decades I have tried to make the other aspects of our otherwise healthy and strong relationship compensate for the void.

And now I realize that the time has come for me to jump out of the airplane.  Fear be damned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NapoliGirl

We are in the process of divorce right now.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NapoliGirl

What helped me get to this point was being deeply honest with myself.  

It has resulted in me admitting to myself that staying/coping/sublimating/managing the lack of physical and emotional intimacy, and somehow minimizing its importance in this otherwise strong marital relationship, has been borne out of fear.  Far easier to rationalize why it's been worth staying, because it has been downright terrifying to imagine a life apart from him.

And so I started looking at it from a different perspective.  What about loving myself for a change, what about thinking enough about myself?  

 

Perhaps if you look at it from the fear vs. love angle, it will help you sort things out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
49 minutes ago, NoCakePlease said:

But the anger is there, all the same

Also completely understandable!

 

Many years ago my partner and I had another almost-breakup.  About a year later, just when things were finally better, I had a relatively minor stroke.  My life changed in small but far-reaching ways forever.  That may have been the only time in my life I *so* wanted to be religious so I could rage at god.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
2 hours ago, NoCakePlease said:

This is probably going to be TMI in some places, but I really want to answer this fully and I don't know how else to do it.

As I think an earlier post probably illustrated, I don't think of leaving as an option. And for me, cheating or an open relationship (which he has said he would be okay with) isn't an option either. Not because of any moral stance, but because it literally wouldn't help unless something about me changes really drastically. See, X is the only person I have ever had a desire to be sexual with, at all. I think other people are good looking, maybe even sexy in a kind of detached way, but I never think about wanting to get in bed with anyone else. Never have. The only time I have "been with" anyone else was a night when X and I "swung" with another couple. I was with both her and him, X was with her. And it was okay. But my whole reason for doing it was that I hoped it would get X's motor running, and that he would see me in a bit of a different light (at this time I wasn't sure that I wasn't up against the Madonna/whore complex) that might make him desire me more. Needless to say it did not work. At all. So I gave that up as a lost cause. I was nice enough to not let on to the couple that I was just using them to slut myself up to try and make X horny for me - LOL.

Living like a nun - I guess that would depend on the nun. Since I am not sexually excited by anyone other than X, and now that I know how he feels about sex I am no longer aroused by him either, giving up the act itself is not much of a sacrifice. Finding out your partner thinks doing the deed is gross is better than a bucket of cold water at killing your mood, permanently. So as long as I'm awake there isn't a problem with me getting heated up being around him or anything. That leaves dealing with dreams that I haven't figured out how to stop yet, that have me waking up in a cold sweat and crying because I realize they are only a cruel illusion; and working around the weird randomness of purely physical arousal that seems to come from nowhere and makes me want to chew through a steel bar. As to the first, not really much I can do except know that they will decrease over time. As to the 2nd -  I don't in principal mind taking care of myself, but there are circumstances that make that more than a little bit difficult to accomplish. So maybe I will just have to find a steel bar. One of the things that seems so unfair right now is that X is one of the only people I have felt comfortable talking openly to about "personal matters." As he is my very best friend and confidant, as well as husband and former lover, I always shared everything with him. So a part of me wants to turn to him and say "I have to figure out how I'm going to take care of this but blah, blah, blah is is problem for that. What do you think I can do to manage this?" But I can't. Cause the thought of talking to him about it seems almost sick and perverted at this point. So I've not only lost a lover, I've lost my go-to person for many of the things I can't say to anyone else. So, yeah, steel bar - surely we have some re-bar around here somewhere...

I understand and agree with your position - I don't want anyone other than my wife either - or more precisely I know that I would fall in love with someone with whom I was having regular sex, and I don't want to fall out of love with my wife.   I also can't leave. So "live like a monk" it is for me.

 

The problem though is that the dreams and desires NEVER go away - at least not in >30 years for me.  When we do have sex, even after all these years, I feel now its "different", that this is the start of something new. I'm briefly happy and hopeful again, only to have those hopes dashed.  (not she hasn't promised or implied anything, some part of me just wants to believe so much).

 

Taking care of ones self?  That of course works to deal with the physical need, and no reason not to do so. I figure that in a relationship with an asexual, porn is OK as well - its not as if the asexual partner can object that your  sexual interests are directed at a fantasy since you have no where else to direct them.  Some people get addicted to porn, and in a mixed relationship maybe that isn't such a bad plan.

 

As far as rebar, whatever floats your boat, but clean the rust off first  More seriously, I assume your husband has no objections to your using sex toys. (or at least you don't need to specifically tell him but its not a big deal if he finds out).  Fortunately modern technology has provided a lot of options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thea2
12 hours ago, NoCakePlease said:

... “i know he always has my back." That is still true. He would fight for me, bleed for me, die for me. I am not guessing about that - I know it.” ...

Oh, now that’s what I call romantic.  💝

 

12 hours ago, NoCakePlease said:

... He is my soulmate ...

I think that’s beautiful. 🍀 Wishing you good luck. 🍀 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now