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Laughsloud

Is my husband asexual? Advice, opinions and support. Please only positive and constructive

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Laughsloud

Hi Everyone,

 

I am new to this group. I am exploring the idea that my husband might be asexual. I am going to go into a personal in-depth history of our sex life. I love my husband very much and want to support him. He can be sensitive and I would like an opinion if you might also think he could be asexual. If so how I should breech the idea to him. What kind of support is there for him, myself and our marriage.

 

I have been with my husband for 10 years now, married for 5 with two beautiful special needs boys. When I first met my husband he was inexperienced with sex. He had sex one time prior to us meeting while drunk and was honestly ashamed of it. He has a shy quite personality and went to catholic school. 

 

When we met I was going through a self proclaimed “single hood”. I was exploring sexually, spiritually and growing as a young woman. I met my husband when we were 21. His quite and shy demeanor was alluring and sweet. It was refreshing that he wasn’t pressuring for sex. We always joked that “I talked to him first. Asked him out on the first date. I kissed him first. I asked him to be my boyfriend. I asked him to marry me.”

 

The first time we had sex we ended up in the emergency room. He isn’t circumcised and no one ever told him (and it apparently never occurred to him) that he had to pull the skin back regularly. When we had sex it pulled the foreskin back and became stuck. He almost had to have an emergency circumcision but luckily a different urologist gave it a try and got it to go back. After some steroidal cream and exercises he had a functioning penis for sex.

 

I figured at first the whole Er visit was traumatic and his lack of interest in sex made sense. We would have sex occasionally. Always initiated by me. Usually he would be “done” when i was satisfied. Occasionally, masterbate to finish but usually at my suggestion. The only time he has finished inside of me was when we were trying for children. When we were 25 or so his lack of sex drive and inability to maintain an erection brought him to the doctor. He was diagnosed with low testosterone and that gave it a reason. He used the ED samples but never bothered to fill the prescription. The maintaining an erection seemed to dissipate after having a reason for it. Like it was more of a mental block. 

 

I can count on my hands the amount of times he has initiated sex in ten years. The majority of which were early in the morning when he just woke up. 

 

When i was pregnant he would refuse any kind of sex because he had no desire to while “his whole family” was inside me. So out of the 5 years of marriage 18 months+ sex was abstained. 

 

I am a very sexual person. His lack of sexual intimacy has hit an all time low the past year and a half. He is difficult to get to go to the doctor but he even decided it was time to go. SURPRISE his testosterone levels were perfect. PERFECT. We started marriage counseling a month and a half ago because the lack of sex and communication we have been experiencing a void in our marriage. While in counseling the therapist told us to reiterate what attracted him to me when we first met. For the first time (he isn’t a big talker) he put into words what attracted him to me. He talked about my brain and intelligence. That he had never met anyone with my type of creative thought process. My ability for original thought. How I can see a problem everyone else sees from one perspective and I just blow everyone’s mind around us with a whole new perspective. He talked about my effervescent Personality. How kind and energetic I am. It was the therapist who interjected that i was also pretty. He responded with “yes she is but i wasn’t looking for that. It just happen to come with the package. Her looks isn’t what attracted me to her.”

 

I left feeling loved but unsettled. He wasn’t physically attracted to me? That sure did explain a lot. I managed to gain a hundred pounds and then lose a 100 pounds since we have been together. He didn’t seem to care either way. I cut off all my hair during a bad postpartum depression. He didn’t seem to care. He says he is only attracted to how i like myself. He likes i lost weight because i am happier with my body. He says he doesn’t care what my hair looks like as long as i feel nice. Pretty much what keeps up my bubbly personality. 

 

The only time he was ever wowed by what i was wearing was when he saw me in my wedding dress. On our wedding night he stayed up with wedding guests staying at the same hotel. We didn’t have sex. We didn’t go on a honeymoon instead using that money on fertility to start a family. 

 

He will masterbate and ejaculate. I ask him what he thinks about and he says nothing really it’s more of a physical satisfaction. Like he feels he needs to and so he does. But he isn’t horny necessarily when he does. Which i didn’t understand. I am always in a certain mood that leads to self pleasure. I ask him if he has any sexual fantasies or desires and he says he really doesn’t. He can say when someone has sexy body parts. We will both point out a nice butt. But i asked him if he ever has a strong desire or urge to want to have sex with someone who is attractive and he said no not really. He says he can acknowledge something sexy but doesn’t have any desire to do anything about it. 

 

I feel like i should mention i have one son on the autism spectrum. He is incredibly smart and just mild on the spectrum. Basically, if he was born when i was born he would be super smart and a little odd. My husband is also incredibly smart. Gifted and talented all through school. He also lacks a general sense of empathy. Which is what brought us to counseling. He has mentioned in passing that he thinks he might be mildly autistic. I told him if he was it’s incredibly mild. He just doesn’t seem to get how his actions impact me. The therapist has given him some communication and empathy skills which are helping. 

 

I love my husband. He is a sweet, smart, handsome and hilarious individual. We are 31 now. Growing up and in health class i had never heard the term asexual. My sons’ godfather is homosexual and i was discussing my frustrations (he is my best friend) about the lack of intimacy my husband expresses. He was the one who asked me if he could be asexual. Not knowing what that was i found myself on this forum. 

 

What do you guys think? Could he be? In your experience with people who are does he resemble someone in this sexual orientation? Does anyone have any HELPFUL advice for books or information. Any encouraging experiences or similar situations? Any constructive and positive advice is welcome. I love my husband and leaving him is the last resort. Our commitment to one another is strong and true. I also want him to speak his truth and also want him to know there isn’t anything wrong with him if he is asexual. 

 

Also how to deal with the part where i am sexually attracted to my partner. When he smiles or wear a v-neck t shirt i want to jump his bones. It would be one thing if i was also not physically attracted to him. But i am. He winks at me and i am instantly aroused. But it’s also hard to be turned down time after time. I think if he is asexual I could learn to not take it personally. 

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Anthracite_Impreza

Well, since no one with experience has turned up yet I will just say he sounds pretty ace to me, and his reactions have been pretty standard from what I've read here over the last 5 years. I am also autistic, so I can understand him not understanding non-obvious clues from you. It was a point of contention between me and my father (he used to say I should "just know" how he was feeling; that carried on until I got my diagnosis and he couldn't ignore the issue any more).

 

There's very little else I can help with I'm afraid, being a sexually inexperienced ace.

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Laughsloud

@Anthracite_Impreza thank you so much for replying! I really put everything out there and feel like my soul is exposed to the world and no one was responding. Thank you so much for you input and your unique perspective especially with the ASD aspect. Thank you for your response❤️

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Anthracite_Impreza

You're welcome. It's the timezone thing I think, it's currently 01:20 here so even some Americans will be in bed I would imagine.

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AceMissBehaving

I’ll admit it sounds possible he might be asexual, but of course only he would know for sure, have you tried talking to him about it?

 

Though I haven’t read it yet myself, there is a book on asexuality which may be of some help...

The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality  

 

It’s not necessarily a relationship death nail if he is, but either way communication would be key. Maybe taking to him about this might be a good place to start.

 

(if it helps at all I’m and asexual woman married to my non asexual husband of almost 17 years)

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InquisitivePhilosopher
25 minutes ago, Laughsloud said:

@Anthracite_Impreza thank you so much for replying! I really put everything out there and feel like my soul is exposed to the world and no one was responding. Thank you so much for you input and your unique perspective especially with the ASD aspect. Thank you for your response❤️

Hi. It might help to explain that most members are asexual, in their teens and 20s and that many are still virgins, without sexual, relationship experience; while there are a few older, sexuals with ace partners, they're not the majority of members, here. They're not always online and don't always visit this site.

 

It's not that people don't want to help; it's that they might feel unable to help you, due to lack of relationship/sexual experience. Some asexuals have never dated. Plus, your post is showing that it's only been up for around an hour.

 

The only help I could offer is to tag some sexuals and other aces who've been in relationships (and whom might be able to help you). @CBC @Snao Cone @uhtred @xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

 

18 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

You're welcome. It's the timezone thing I think, it's currently 01:20 here so even some Americans will be in bed I would imagine.

Eh, I don't know. The latest time zone is currently 8:23 p.m., with the sun still out and children playing outside, and the other time zones are 7:23 p.m., 6:23 p.m., and 5:23 p.m. for the west coast (and Hawaii, I believe, is 2:23 p.m.) Normally, at these hours, most people are still driving around, driving home from work, eating dinner, watching T.V., etc.

 

I don't know of Americans who go to bed that early, other than small children, during weekdays, when school is in session. Unless, you meant Americans who are living in the U.K.?

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AwkwardAxolotl

None of us can for sure tell you if your husband is asexual or not, but from your description it sounds like he could very well could be asexual. The part about him being attracted to your intelligence, creativity, and kindness, but not having much of an opinion on your physical appearance, other than being happy when you were happy with it reminds me of me when I was with my very-much-not-asexual former significant other. She loved that I loved her for who she was as a person, but it always frustrated her that I wasn't physically attracted to her, though she was physically attracted to me. I'm not sure I really have any advice, other than keep communicating with him, but I wish you two the best of luck.

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InquisitivePhilosopher

I've thought about this, more. Honestly, my thought was that it might be easier to know if your partner is asexual or not is if they read around the site, read about asexuality (AVEN has a General FAQ page). People who suspect they're asexual have discovered they're asexual by reading others' experiences, here.

 

AVEN's Terms of Service mention that it's not possible for others to diagnose others on whether or not they--or a partner--is asexual because only that person would be able to know whether or not something feels right to them, describing them, or not.

 

For example, you said that your partner is shy and mentioned, possibly Autistic, but shyness or being introverted doesn't necessarily automatically mean that a person has Autism. There are other introverts, here, too, who've been to a doctor and haven't been diagnosed with Autism. Also, some people who've been diagnosed with Autism are sexual/experience sexual attraction (i.e. not all people with Autism are asexual, and not all introverts have Autism).

 

The other thing that makes it difficult for me to say whether or not your partner is asexual is that I've read sex psychologists say that it's normal for even sexual couples to have varying degrees of sexual attraction, arousal, etc.

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Thanks for the tag @InquisitivePhilosopher😊

 

@Laughsloud I would be more than happy to talk to you about my personal experience with this issue.  I'm currently 38 and dating in asexual who is 34. We've been dating for a little over 9 months. I've been married twice, and I'm also a very sexual person. My second husband is on the autistic spectrum, so I can relate to your experience with that as well. I suppose I would say ask me any questions directly and I will do my best to answer them.

 

My boyfriend wasn't sure of his orientation when we started dating, but he did strongly believe he was demisexual, and possibly asexual. He had no experience with sex, nor with dating. I knew that going into our relationship, so my experience tends to be different than others on this site.  Though I can't say for sure whether or not your husband is asexual, I will say that a lot of what you talked about rings true. My boyfriend seems to have no interest in my appearance. He has never giving me a compliment on my appearance. This extends throughout our friendship as well which has been going on for roughly 8 years. He compliments me on my talents, on my work ethic, and on my kindness. Appearance means little if not nothing to him.  Even though I went into this relationship knowing for the most part his orientation, I still did need to do some soul searching on how to deal with the "rejection".  The complete lack of attraction sexually. It took time, even with an open mind and it open heart, but I understand him pretty well at this point. Coming to aven helped tremendously for me. Reading The thoughts of other asexuals really gave me insight and understanding on how they think and view the world. It's different than the way I do it, but that doesn't make it bad or incompatible, it's just different. And it can be just as fantastic.

 

My advice to you, as you come here seeking advice and understanding, is to continue talking to others, continue listening, and keeping it open mind. You two seem like you love each other, and you seem like you're willing to understand which is one of the reasons why you're here, and one of the reasons why you're in therapy. He sounds like he also would like to understand. hence why he's in therapy, and why he has gone to the doctor, and why he has tried to create some semblance of a sexual atmosphere for you even though you might not think it's that much. It might actually be a lot for him. Again, if you have any specific questions for me, feel free to ask.

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anisotrophic

hi @Laughsloud...

yes, it does sound like he could be asexual. My husband was not very into sex, attracted to me for those other reasons. Although he was more experienced and able to perform (he had sex with both genders, but... basically, because they expressed interest) ... and he never cared if I was pregnant, he has very little "repulsion" just no interest.

Like your husband: total indifference to me gaining and losing weight. I've lost 80 lbs since I realized he doesn't care -- funny huh! It feels great though. Finally I'm not disappointed, I know it can't matter to him.

anyway ... we didn't know about asexuality until an LGBTQIA+ therapist suggested it to me and everything just came together, boom. (I was seeing her because of my gender issues) I can say that it was devastating, and it took me months to feel better than before we discovered the explanation of asexuality -- and lots of talking to that therapist to figure out why it made me so sad, how to feel better.

so I do recommend therapists. not to "fix" him, mostly it was me that needed therapy to adjust, grieve, and reorient myself. I also liked reading books about asexuality.

For us I think a lot of things got better because we realized how different each others experiences were. and since we love each other, we wanted the other to be happy. that meant I became much more careful and concerned about not wanting to stress him and I learned to listen to the other "love languages"... and he became more kind and has more empathy for how vulnerable and intense the experience of sexual desire can be for me.

So I think in the end, learning about this was a happy ending. but I cried, a lot, there was a lot of grief. it is a very terrible thing to realize and come to terms with.

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Skullery Maid

Been married to an asexual for ten years and... sounds very familiar. 

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Sally

I'm an asexual who had a long marriage with a sexual, and then a very long relationship with a sexual.  Although we can't determine just from someone's description of another person's behavior whether they're asexual or not, it sounds like your husband has at least some characteristics of asexuality.  And actually, there are quite a few of us asexuals on AVEN who have had sexual relationships before we understood what asexuality was, and that was what we are.  I just thought I would someday learn how to like sex.  But I didn't.  

 

"Mixed" relationships (asexual/sexual) are difficult.  Usually what the sexual partner has to come to terms with is that it isn't going to change.  You're not going to NOT WANT sex, and he's not going to WANT sex.  It may be possible to come to a compromise -- like scheduling a "sex" date -- but, again, you'd have to recognize that he's doing it for you, not because he wants it, and that's often what bothers sexual.  They want to feel that their partner wants sex as much as they do.  That won't happen.  

 

I'm being blunt because I think it's really key to not  hope that there's something either of you can do to change yourselves, or the other.  So -- it may be easier for you to deal with if you can think of him as asexual, because you'll know that it isn't that you're not attractive to him, he just doesn't want sex with anyone.  

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Skullery Maid
1 hour ago, Sally said:

it may be easier for you to deal with if you can think of him as asexual, because you'll know that it isn't that you're not attractive to him, he just doesn't want sex with anyone.  

This is very true.

 

There are no great options... Most likely, you get caught in a cycle where you say you're fine with maintenence sex or scheduled sex, then after awhile it starts to wear on you, your partner misses a few dates, you feel worse, and eventually you have sex. You feel bad anyway because they didn't reciprocate your feelings, weren't really into it, and they didn't want to do it again (for sexuals, having sex tends to make us want more sex). You fall into a pit of despair, drag yourself back up, and then you're back at the beginning, saying you're fine with scheduled sex. 

 

If you can internalize the reality of asexuality, it helps break down the emotional torture of that cycle. 

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uhtred

@Laughsloud

I don't think labels are particularly important, what matters is how people do and will in the future behave. It sounds like your husband has little interest in sex, and no desire to change that.    That leaves you in the extremely difficult situation of deciding between an active sex life or staying with him.   For some people an open marriage (where sex with other people is OK) works, but for the majority sex and love are too tightly intertwined. 

 

I've been married for 30 years to a woman whom I love, but who has a very low interest in sex.  I didn't have any idea of "asexuality" until quite recently, so I've spent a lot of my life wondering what was "wrong", (maybe with me). From that perspective I don't offer much hope, but just a few thoughts:

 

You need to decide if you can be happy like this.  If now you need to divorce, not spend the rest of your life with growing resentment. Only you can know how important sex is to your happiness.  (for some people it is essential, for others not). You are young enough that you can still find someone else.  It will be incredibly painful, but its possible. As time goes on, it becomes ever more impossible. 

 

If you do stay, then give up hope.   It took me a long time to learn this, but I finally realized that I was just hurting myself everytime there would be some sign of improvement in our sex lives and I'd hope things were getting "better" - only of course to have that hope dashed. 

 

Romance / porn?  This is an individual thing.  They may substitute for a missing sex life, or they may  just make you more acutely aware of what you are missing.  I *hate* going to romantic places - not because I don't enjoy romance, but the reverse - it just hurts to see all the affectionate couples reminding me of what I can never have. OTOH porn provides a bit of pure fantasy for me.

 

Cheating:  Decide in advance if you are going to cheat.  The opportunity will happen sometime and when it does, I think you should have already made a clear decision in  your mind about what you will do.   

 

 

No ones fault, but it is a really miserable choice.  Leave the person you love, or have your sex life consist of rare sex with an uninterested partner and sneaking off to masturbate. All the time knowing that there are men out there who desire you and with whom you could have wonderful passionate sex.  

 

 

 

 

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aquariusabandoned

He sounds very much asexual to me. He is romantically attracted to you, but not sexually attracted. Asexuals can masturbate, as that doesn’t have to involve partner sex. I’m grey-ace and fine with masturbating, but even then my drive is never very strong.

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Shinerys

Hi everyone,  I just found this site.  It's been a huge lightbulb moment to realize that my husband falls somewhere on this Ace spectrum.  We've been married for 14 years, have 2 wonderful children and the best marriage imaginable execpt....you guessed it...a very disappointing sex life.  I'm totally sexual and its been a huge bummer to not feel desired.  I can relate to some of the experiences of other sexuals in a mixed marriage.  I hate all these terms, but I do find it helps me to understand that there is no "problem" between us other than we have identifiably different feelings towards sex.  Our lack of sex life has been difficult for me.  I doubt he realizes how much it bothers me and perhaps that is some of the frustration I am feeling as well.  I've been seriously wondering, had I understood what asexuality was and means for a relationship, would I have still married him?  The answer is yes.  He is the love of my life and that hasn't changed.  Perhaps that can be of comfort to some of you out there who are longing for a long term romantic relationship.  For me, it has been eye-opening to learn of the guilt, confusion, and challenges from an asexual's perspective.  It has been therapeutic to simply know there are others out there who understand and are having a similar experience.  I've never been able to speak or write about this anywhere with anyone.  I'm grateful that there is a forum and i can share my feelings.  Thank you for your support.

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InquisitivePhilosopher

@Shinerys :) Hi, and welcome! :cake:

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