Jump to content
Verylongdryspell

Been with my Asexual partner for 18 years since high school.

Recommended Posts

Verylongdryspell

I'm sexual and I'm feeling the need for support.  I've been with my asexual wife since I was 18 and now I'm 36.  A few years ago I was involved in a near death accident that made me feel desperate about my situation.  Was I really going to go my entire life without experiencing sex with someone who actually wants to have sex??

 

My wife and I do not have children and do not want to have them.  We don't have much keeping us together except that we do well together in so many ways.  You could say that we are great partners except for this one huge problem.  She is willing to have sex but I can tell she doesn't like it and she's just "doing her duty" as a wife.  

 

Eventually I met a woman who was madly attracted to me, I didn't even know this was a possibility, but I'm still young and healthy.  After six months of friendship with her I fell in romantic love with her and we had sex.  She was aware that I was married and I did not hide this relationship from my wife.  Things didn't work out because I was not willing to leave my marriage and it was too painful for both of us.  The sex was amazing though and I can only conclude from this that my wife basically does have a clue about sex.  

 

Sex out of obligation is not sex, I'm sorry but it just isn't.  The chemistry with the other woman was so powerful that we just couldn't resist touching each other and kissing which would escalate rapidly to intense union.  It was as if we could both get completely out of our heads and have a totally physical experience which was somehow very spiritual.  

 

Now that I know what I'm missing, things are even harder and at the same time easier.  I know that she will never be able to satisfy my needs as an asexual but at least I can say that I've had a real sexual experience.  I definitely needed to know.  

 

Sometimes I talk to her about my frustrations and she will make some kind of effort, after that I feel better but then months will go by and she just seems to forget all about it.  

 

She seems to think that my being with another woman is okay on some levels but not others.  She feels threatened by the possibility of me getting another woman pregnant because I would then have to take care of a baby with another woman and that would be a total deal breaker.  Also, I don't think I'm cut out for polyamory because I'm going to be closer to my sexual partner, that's just what sex does for me, it creates a bond.

 

The other thing is that my body has given up on her as a sexual possibility which means I no longer have the energy to put into romance with her.  Romance for me is fueled by sexuality, even if it's just the remote possibility.  

 

So I just don't know what to do.  I don't want to go another ten years denying who I am.  It feels like I'm her roommate and I'm not allowed to have a romantic relationship with anyone else who could match me.  

 

Sometimes I snap out of it and I feel like everything is fine, who needs sex?  Then I feel like I'm just trying really hard to adapt to this situation.  This relationship makes me feel like my sexuality is wrong and unwanted.  I think she probably feels like her asexuality is wrong too.  

 

How can I make this work?  Is it worth it?  Has anyone on here been in a long term relationship like this, then opened the marriage and closed it again like we did?  

 

Sometimes I wish she would meet another man she has intense chemistry with.  

 

I do love her but after all this time, it feels like she is my daughter or family member. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GoneForGood

It seems to me that you have painted yourself into a corner. You want exiting sex with someone sexual but you are not open to it being anyone else.

 

Quote

How can I make this work?

Your options seem to be

  1. Put up with the relationship that you have
  2. Become polymorous and take the various risks
  3. Split up

(I am not all that imaginative so there may be others)

 

Quote

Is it worth it?

Only you can decide that. Each of those options has been decided as "worth it" to different people

 

Quote

Has anyone on here been in a long term relationship like this, then opened the marriage and closed it again like we did?

I have been in relationships with sexual people. Most accepted my limited abilities. One in what she insisted be a monogamous relationship started having affairs, it ended by me leaving here (for abuse). I have been in one previous poly which worked well, he and I did not have sex but he did have sex with someone else. I am currently in a poly relationship with someone else who is also asexual and it is working well so far (it has not been that long)

 

Quote

Sometimes I wish she would meet another man she has intense chemistry with.

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" (old Scottish saying). She is asexual, there is not point in wishing she were sexual. There are many things in my life that I wish had happened differently, people who I wish were different. You cannot change anyone else, only yourself.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

Agreed with the above.  If you are not cut out for polyamory (which, just like sexual orientation, isn’t something where you can force change... you can act as though you are polyamorous but, if you aren’t, you will eventually run into problems), then you can either accept your current relationship as is or move on.  There isn’t one universal right or wrong answer as priorities and tolerance vary from person to person.

 

Note that waiting for your wife to get fed up and/or find someone else is basically trying to make a path down the middle; accepting the relationship as is except also refusing to nurture it.  In the end that will likely turn out worse than either accepting wholeheartedly or leaving (sooner) will.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

I think you are basically done with the marriage. It sounds like you want to leave more than you want to stay. You have fallen out of love with your wife, and you say you don't want to spend another ten years in this relationship. I think you should stop dragging things out and tell your wife you want a divorce.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thea2

I agree with ^^ @nanogretchen4.

 

@festiff I would like the admods to pin this thread. The OP, imho, gives the perfect cautionary tale for young aces that think it’s feasible to date sexuals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GoneForGood
3 minutes ago, Thea2 said:

I agree with ^^ @nanogretchen4.

 

@festiff I would like the admods to pin this thread. It gives the perfect cautionary tale for young aces that think it’s feasible to date sexuals.

I think that is going too far

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thea2
2 hours ago, Verylongdryspell said:

... Sex out of obligation is not sex,

 

... The chemistry with the other woman ... It was as if we could both get completely out of our heads and have a totally physical experience which was somehow very spiritual.  

 

 ... that's just what sex does for me, it creates a bond. 

 

... The other thing is that my body has given up on her as a sexual possibility which means I no longer have the energy to put into romance with her.  Romance for me is fueled by sexuality, even if it's just the remote possibility.  

(my highlight)

 

There is no denying the importance of sex for sexuals.

 

Quote

...  I don't want to go another ten years denying who I am. 

 

... This relationship makes me feel like my sexuality is wrong and unwanted. 

 

@Verylongdryspell I think you have answered your own question.

 

Quote

... I wish she would meet another man she has intense chemistry with.  

This reads to me as if the only thing holding you back is a feeling of guilt. I do appreciate you considering your partner. But you both deserve to separate and find compatible partners.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

Since this divorce is going to happen, it is actually more considerate to your wife to act now rather than procrastinate. If she wants to find another partner, that won't get any easier for her after menopause. If for any reason she changes her mind and decides she wants to have children, either with another partner or as a single woman, she has that option now but won't have it later.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thea2

^^ Again I have to agree with @nanogretchen4. These are important considerations at her still quite young age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Verylongdryspell

I told her that I wanted a divorce before I was with the other woman.  She really didn't like that option and it's probably why she accepted what I felt like I had to do.  I actually agree with almost all of your comments and suggestions.  She is still young and very beautiful.  She's even very fit!  I'm really not sure why she wants to stay with me even though I told her that I want a divorce and explored a romantic relationship with another woman.  It could be that she believes her value to be compromised because of her asexuality and maybe if I left her because of it it would reinforce that.  

 

It's true, guilt is a big part of this.  She has always struggled with depression and she has no friends so I'm all she has.  So this situation is odd because yes, it seems the right thing to do is get it over with and yet when I suggest that she acts like she would rather die than be left alone.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thea2
9 minutes ago, Verylongdryspell said:

... she acts like she would rather die than be left alone.  

Life, unfortunately, does bring this for a lot of women anyway. I say this because I am a widow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
iff
54 minutes ago, Thea2 said:

I agree with ^^ @nanogretchen4.

 

@festiff I would like the admods to pin this thread. The OP, imho, gives the perfect cautionary tale for young aces that think it’s feasible to date sexuals.

There is already six pinned threads here  is kind of the limit for pinned threads.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thea2

^^ @festiff O.k. Thank you very much for answering me, appreciated. 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
55 minutes ago, Verylongdryspell said:

I told her that I wanted a divorce before I was with the other woman.  She really didn't like that option and it's probably why she accepted what I felt like I had to do.  I actually agree with almost all of your comments and suggestions.  She is still young and very beautiful.  She's even very fit!  I'm really not sure why she wants to stay with me even though I told her that I want a divorce and explored a romantic relationship with another woman.  It could be that she believes her value to be compromised because of her asexuality and maybe if I left her because of it it would reinforce that.  

 

It's true, guilt is a big part of this.  She has always struggled with depression and she has no friends so I'm all she has.  So this situation is odd because yes, it seems the right thing to do is get it over with and yet when I suggest that she acts like she would rather die than be left alone.  

She probably loves you and doesnt want to lose that. And yeah, probably she feels unlikely to meet someone compatible since sex is so common a need. But, she will be OK. If you arent into the relationship then divorce. You could offer to stay friends if you want. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


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

So this situation is odd because yes, it seems the right thing to do is get it over with and yet when I suggest that she acts like she would rather die than be left alone.  

She probably still loves you... but, if the situation is untenable longer-term, it’s still best to end it sooner rather than later.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Verylongdryspell

Is there some way that I can do this without completely crushing her?  Does anyone have any advice on softening the blow?  I'm not in a hurry to leave but I understand that if it's inevitable It should happen sooner than later.  

 

We also own a home together that neither of us could afford on our own.  I think she's terrified of being on her own financially.  We have both always made about the same money.

 

Loosing my house isn't something that bothers me so much but it's a really big deal for her.  

 

She also hasn't told her parents about her asexuality and is really worried about that.  When I told her that I told my parents about her asexuality and that I was with another woman, she was really upset.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
4 hours ago, Verylongdryspell said:

This relationship makes me feel like my sexuality is wrong and unwanted. 

I think this gets at something really important that @ryn2 observed in one of the interminable pinned thread discussions about the nature of rejection and the emotional pain of it. It's not sex itself, but our sexuality as part of who we are.

 

And navigating that seems to be a major part of what has helped my partner and I navigate this. Both of us wanting the other to feel loved and complete for who we are.

 

Which is very difficult. Like... it means I do accept charity sex as something very fulfilling. And he's given me the emotional space to be sad about it, without that cascading into a sense that I don't love him for who he is (which seems so tough to me, I'm impressed!).

 

I'm also able to draw on previous sexual relationships, which included sex-without-attraction, non-monogamy, a FWB, a ONS (with someone I knew). We both are; he slept with others too, not as much (unsurprisingly, hah). The context helps a LOT. (eg noticing that a lot of "chemistry" may be NRE...)

 

So another takeaway for me has been how many of these painful LTR stories involve a dearth of experience to draw on, prior to the mixed relationship. "No sex before marriage" types...

 

@Verylongdryspell it might be that you should separate. It might also be helpful to explore whether you and your partner can make each other feel like each other's sexualities are "right" & not a source of guilt -- but different. You might consider counseling with an LGBTQIA+ savvy therapist, individually or jointly. The outcome of that might be a separation, but one that's been handled well.

 

I'm not sure what makes poly possible. I fell in love recently (1-2 years ago) and my partner was mostly impacted by the frustration that someone else's actions had such an influence on me (and were outside his control). It didn't diminish my love for my partner. From that I'd guess that we're capable of it? So it's nice to think "maybe someday", but... I don't think it could "solve" my relationship with him. At this point it sounds like too much work, and I'd only want to try it if it's something he's supportive of.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

OP, if your wife does not want a divorce there is no way of delivering the news that will make her like it. The best you can do is be completely honest, and be as considerate of her feelings as you can without misleading her or giving her false hope. I think you should tell her that you need to have a serious conversation with her that will probably take awhile, and ask her what time would work best for her. Obviously, have the conversation in private when neither of you will have to leave for another appointment. Tell her that you need a divorce, and succinctly give your real reasons without blaming either her or yourself. Tell her you are willing to answer any questions she may have or to listen to anything she wants to say, then follow through on that. There's no way this part will be entirely pleasant. There will almost certainly be tears. If she yells at you or insults you or makes accusations, I think you should just take it for about the first twenty four hours. If she continues much beyond that point I think you should tell her you both need to act like grownups. She will probably try to convince you to stay. You need to give a clear and consistent message that you will not change your mind. If you are still wavering in your own mind and there is any chance you will let her persuade you, you aren't ready to ask for divorce.

 

If you aren't ready to ask for a divorce, instead tell her that you need relationship counseling. Frankly, I think if you are honest during the counseling session about how you have fallen out of love with your wife and don't want to spend the next ten years with her, it will be obvious to everyone present that divorce is the best option. Or maybe she will refuse relationship counseling, in which case you are back to asking for a divorce. Just get sure in your own mind and brace yourself for a strong emotional reaction before you initiate the talk.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GoneForGood
47 minutes ago, Verylongdryspell said:

Is there some way that I can do this without completely crushing her?  Does anyone have any advice on softening the blow? 

I don't think there is an easy way, especially not since you both actually still care for each other. I filed for a divorce from someone who was abusive and yet I was still upset about getting the divorce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

"I love you but I'm not in love with you" is a classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
57 minutes ago, nanogretchen4 said:

"I love you but I'm not in love with you" is a classic.

This phrase can mean many things.

 

One classic is "I had/have a new relationship and it was exciting... I don't have that with you. Therefore I think I should leave you."

Which is a classic dumb move to be making: confusing NRE (new relationship energy) with some sort of permanent difference/deficit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

She also doesn’t have to come out to her parents if she would prefer not to.  “Unfortunately he fell out of love with me” isn’t sexuality-specific.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Verylongdryspell

So NRE is a fascinating idea.  It seems like when two people really appreciate each other, the energy gets really hyped up but then it fades.  Maybe there's a lesson for me here.  Maybe I am not appreciating her very much and it's creating all sorts of issues.  This may be that my frustrations cause me to feel rejected and unappreciated so then out of resentment I am kind of not appreciating her.  

 

I think I'm clearly questioning myself so counseling really makes sense to me right now.

  • Like 3

Share this post


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

I don't think there is an easy way, especially not since you both actually still care for each other.

This.  All you can do is keep in mind that, as sad as she will be now, finding out five or ten years from now (when you’re divorcing then instead) that you’ve wanted out all this time but just couldn’t make yourself do it is not going to make her feel less bad.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

anisotropic, if you will reread the OP, it's super obvious that there is a permanent difference in sexual orientations which is creating a major deficit in the marriage at least from the OP's point of view. I don't think there is any dumb move or any confusion here. The OP actually, in reality, wants to have a relationship with someone who, in addition to being a good match for him in other ways, also has a compatible sexual orientation. That is what almost anyone would want, and it's not too much to ask. I don't even think the plan is to get back with the sexual woman he had the relationship with before, so this is not about NRE. He's clearly not poly, since when he fell in love with another woman he fell out of love with his wife. It would be better if the next time he falls in love with a compatible woman who returns his feelings he is free to commit to her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic

@nanogretchen4  Yes. And I live with that too. And it was really, really awful to confront it -- after well over a decade together.

I would never suggest that someone get into a mixed relationship like I did -- and OP has -- not unwittingly. It's really bad. The damage to my self esteem was terrible. It may have actually changed my gender identity, as I tried to adapt over the years. And it took me six months to be happy again, and that's with a therapist, with the full efforts of my partner and I, with a ton of communication and empathy.

 

But stepping back: he has a long relationship. And a short one that he experienced. And he's realizing how that made him *feel*.

He should know NRE is a real thing too -- this "in love" and "love" -- it's classic wording for NRE vs LTR feelings. And it's not uncommon to fall in love with someone else while being married for a long time. We're human, it happens. It can uncover serious issues in the LTR -- here, is a deep discordance in sexual orientation.

The cascade isn't about getting together with that person. But it has triggered a realization of something deeply wrong in the long term relationship. That happened to me.

And maybe it does spell a break-up. But maybe a couple works on this thing together, and recovers a strong bond that had weakened. I don't know if it's possible, but there's so much to try. It takes both partners. It's hard to tell for me to say whether differences can be bridged, it depends on them -- what each of them are capable of.

And whether or not OP can be poly: I don't know that either. Yes, sex is a fundamental part of a bond for most sexuals -- I would be in a lot of pain if I couldn't express my sexuality to my partner, even though I know he can't reciprocate. I'm sure poly-as-remedy is a bad idea, but it's a different situation if a primary relationship is on strong footing.

Maybe someday I'll get some nookie with someone that's actually attracted to me, not carefully requested pity sex. I like that thought! But I like it even better when I don't have to leave the person I have an enduring love for.

The OP may discover that a break up is for the best. It's also very true that it's better to rip off the band-aid when something isn't going to work. It's pretty typical to try a bit of therapy before going there, though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

Well, I feel that you and the OP are different people, so I don't know what's going to work in your relationship. What we do know is that the OP told his wife he wanted a divorce before getting into the outside relationship. So no, the primary relationship was not on a solid footing before poly-as-remedy was tried. In fact it was right at the edge of divorce all on its own before any third party entered the picture. There is no healthy marriage to return to. Any question about whether the OP could be poly seems to me to have been settled pretty well by experiment. It seems wise to learn from experience rather than to keep trying things that have already failed with painful consequences.

 

The other thing is that the wife is trying to use guilt to hold him in a relationship that is making him unhappy. Considering how young they were when they married and the fact that they have always made similar incomes, technically I don't think either of them has ever been financially independent or lived on their own. Although they are really in the same boat, the wife is the one who is terrified at the prospect of living as a single adult. Also she has depression. Maybe she should get that treated or find ways of living with it. And she has no friends. I guess she needs to make some. None of these are good reasons why the OP can't divorce her. Clinging desperately to the OP is not healthy for her either. Despite her resistance, she needs to complete her development into a strong and capable adult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 minute ago, nanogretchen4 said:

The other thing is that the wife is trying to use guilt to hold him in a relationship that is making him unhappy.

Reading the OP I’m not sure this is a fair assessment.  Yes, OP has said guilt is at least a good part of what’s keeping him there... but his partner’s concerns may be genuine and none spurred by any intent to leverage that guilt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

I think she is genuinely scared of living as an independent grownup. I think she genuinely wants a nicer house than she can afford on a single income. I think she genuinely has depression. I think she genuinely has no friends. And I absolutely think she is leveraging that guilt with strategic intent to hang on to her mixed relationship. I guess there is a small chance she is doing this subconsciously if she really lacks self awareness.

  • Like 1

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...