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Adzelle

Wife of 5 years came out as asexual

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Adzelle

Hi I hope i posted this in the right place. My wife and I have been together 9 years with 5 of those being married. I am a very sexual person by nature and my wife never has been which wasn't a huge issue until about 2 years ago, sex went from once a week to once a month and I wasn't sure what was going on. I started doing all the chores thinking that maybe she was just tired. I tried taking her mind off anything stressful by handling it myself and it still never got better but i still had hope. 2 days ago she came out to me as asexual. I needed some time to think so I left the house. Yesterday we sat down and had a conversation about what this means. She said she has never been sexually attracted to me and never will be (which i understand goes along with the asexual thing but it still hurt to hear the words). I asked if maybe I could stay with her but maybe go on one night stands every once in a while to get my needs met which she didn't seem to fond of which makes sense. She brought up a separation so we are now separated. I don't want to lose my best friend and the mother of my child but I don't know if I can go through life never feeling desired by somebody and never having sex again (she admitted that sex makes her really uncomfortable) I don't even know why I'm posting here. Maybe to hear other peoples experiences? How have you maintained a marriage with vastly different needs?

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3Xi3X

She obviously loves you enough to have married you for 9 years and had a child with you. If I were you I would really make sure you understand the level of her attraction for you. Even if it isn’t sexually. There has to be something there.

 

But honestly. I am having a hard time finding the right thing to say to you because I am asexual myself and I would be fine with the new turn of events myself. 😬

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Grey-Ace Ventura

I'm not sure what to say to you because I'm not only greysexual but also greyromantic, and I don't think I understand romantic relationships the way romantic people do. That being said, maybe you could try going to a marriage counselor? If you don't know how to approach this situation, it might help to talk to someone who's likely seen this kind of thing before.

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anisotrophic

I'm the sexual partner -- and it's devastating, it's ok to feel upset even while you love and support your partner being how they are.

 

Not all couples can made it work, it's possible but hard. I do recommend an LGBTQIA+ savvy therapist or two (maybe one each) to navigate how your feel and what your partner want, if she's willing. Remember: even if an open relationship is a possibility you're interested in, it's not something you need to do right away. (It's also almost always more emotionally complicated than people think it will be.) But marriage takes two; you'll both have to be trying your best to make it work.

 

Good luck.

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Adzelle

I understand she loves me in a way, being together 9 years, having a son and putting up with sex while she feels "totally uncomfortable" during it. She obviously cares about me and I care about her but I have a need to feel wanted and desired. My self esteem took a nose dive because of the lack of sex (before she told me she was asexual) and I'm not sure if I can go the rest of my life without that feeling, without feeling handsome, without feeling that desire from someone else and without that connection. Its still early after her telling me this so we still haven't made a concrete decision but I love her and miss her already

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AceMissBehaving
3 minutes ago, Adzelle said:

I understand she loves me in a way, being together 9 years, having a son and putting up with sex while she feels "totally uncomfortable" during it. She obviously cares about me and I care about her but I have a need to feel wanted and desired. My self esteem took a nose dive because of the lack of sex (before she told me she was asexual) and I'm not sure if I can go the rest of my life without that feeling, without feeling handsome, without feeling that desire from someone else and without that connection. Its still early after her telling me this so we still haven't made a concrete decision but I love her and miss her already

I don’t know exactly how your wife is oriented, but I will say that just because she isn’t attracted to anyone sexually doesn’t mean she’s not deeply attracted to you in different ways. 

 

One of the things that can hurt as an asexual is having a whole lot of really strong, really important, really deep feelings for the person (or persons) you love, but having them seen as somehow second rate because they don’t involve sex.

 

It’s a hard thing for a sexual partner to hear, and even as an asexual I want to feel special and desired (in my own way). There will probably be a whole bunch of conversations to be had, but hopefully you two will be able to talk through it all and find a way to make it work. 

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anisotrophic
23 minutes ago, Adzelle said:

My self esteem took a nose dive because of the lack of sex (before she told me she was asexual) and I'm not sure if I can go the rest of my life without that feeling, without feeling handsome, without feeling that desire from someone else and without that connection. Its still early after her telling me this so we still haven't made a concrete decision but I love her and miss her already

Totally feel you here. I did too, the self esteem -- in a way it's a relief to learn it's not you, but then it's awful because there's nothing you can do about it.

 

It is early. I recommend you don't focus on the rest of your life. Focus on the next week, the next month. I cried on and off for six. (Months.) Time, time, time... Talk to each other, learn more about how the other is feeling, and focus on that? I can only remind you, you don't have to decide on big things like "open relationship" right away. (I do have permission, but I haven't bothered. I realized sex means love for me, not one night stands.)

 

Learn what sex means to you -- I know I never really understood myself until this happened. And after time, even if you do separate it would be ideal if you can do it with love for each other, right?

 

It takes two. This seems sudden. You don't need to move this quickly.

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AspieAlly613

This thread has been moved from "Asexual Relationships" to "For Sexual Partners, Friends, and Allies".

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uhtred

I'm sexual, married to a nearly asexual wife.  Its extremely difficult. 

 

She can't help how she feels, and neither can you.  Its very unfortunate she didn't realize this earlier, of if she did realize it, didn't tell you. 

 

If there is not a level of sexual activity that will make you both happy, then I think you should divorce so that you can each find a partner who will make you happy.   A situation where one of you is happy and the other miserable is not a loving relationship. 

 

 

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Lara Black
On 7/23/2019 at 7:00 AM, Adzelle said:

I understand she loves me in a way, being together 9 years, having a son and putting up with sex while she feels "totally uncomfortable" during it. She obviously cares about me and I care about her but I have a need to feel wanted and desired. 

Sadly, love doesn’t solve things by itself. And it can’t solve the problem of two vastly different libidos. If it can be solved at all, it will take a ton of communication and maybe some couple’s counseling if you both are willing to fix things.

If you go into counseling, you’ll need to make sure that the shrink doesn’t just push your wife to have sex – sadly, not everyone in our profession accept the asexuals’ right to not want sex.  

Otherwise you might need to redefine your relationship into more of a friendship or whatever you want to call it – less bonding and less limiting for both of you.

It must be really tough, but only the two of you can decide whether you want to fight for this relationship (and if you do – how much).

Good luck.

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Adzelle

I for sure never want to pressure my wife into sex or sexual actions since i respect her orientation. Today she told me she doesn't know if any amount of sexual stuff would make her comfortable. It seems like my options are a sexless marriage with my best friend or possibly losing her because of my desire for her.

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Adzelle

Still separated and she refuses to talk about her feelings and us. It seems like she has given up already. My life is a mess now and I hate being a weekend dad. Thanks for the advice guys but it seems like nothing will work for us as a couple.

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Sally

You don't necessarily have to be a weekend dad -- if you live in the US and even if you don't get divorced, you can work out a shared custody arrangement where you each have your son certain days of the week, or whatever arrangement makes sense to both of you.  Since it sounds like you're not going to be living together anymore, you could seek the advice of an attorney about a shared custody document that could  be filed with a court, so that it becomes more "regular".  

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Acing It
On 7/23/2019 at 5:00 AM, Adzelle said:

She obviously cares about me and I care about her but I have a need to feel wanted and desired.

It's clear to me you are being wanted and desired, but not in a sexual way. In other words, after 9 years in a loving relationship, I would be astonished to find that she doesn't want and desire you, only, not in a sexual way. I can understand this would affect your self esteem a lot, though. Does she find you attractive, only not in a sexual way? As an asexual person myself, I can find people really attractive and have romantic feelings for them, but the sexual attraction (the wanting sex with them) is missing. To me, this doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. To a sexual person, it obviously does.

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Acing It
8 hours ago, Adzelle said:

Still separated and she refuses to talk about her feelings and us. It seems like she has given up already. My life is a mess now and I hate being a weekend dad. Thanks for the advice guys but it seems like nothing will work for us as a couple. 

She may feel in real turmoil at the moment and her refusing to talk about her feelings and you as a couple could mean she is trying to work through things. Easing off any pressure may be a good thing to do but let her know you're there to talk to when she's ready. Pressure could push her to making a decision you both regret.

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anisotrophic

@Acing It I think you may be giving a third party too much credit. (Again. You did this with my mom regarding her response to my gender identity issues.)

 

If she's unwilling to communicate, and "came out" and asked for separation immediately, I have to wonder if what really happened is that she decided to break up -- and decided to declare "asexuality" as the reason. I'm airquoting because this behavior would leave me wondering if asexuality is the true issue, and not just "I want to break up" & then finding an explanation that removes culpability in her decisions.

 

Because the normal thing to do is to go get some goddamn couples/LGBTQIA+ therapy and talk about what's happening, not leave immediately and declare the relationship over.

 

If she's decided it's over, as @Sally says, @Adzelle should be planning custody.

 

fwiw @Adzelle I'm going to be managing my mom with a family therapist; I've given up on hoping she'll communicate with me directly in a constructive and positive way, but I still see her several times a week & they help with our kids (they live very close) and I want to stay friendly. I think it may be appropriate to ask you partner to do some sort of family/couples therapy too -- even if she has unilaterally decided this is a divorce. you are going to be connected one way or another through the child, who you both owe some responsibility to set a positive future.

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Adzelle

So after reading a lot about asexuality I've read that sometimes scheduling sexual activity can help couples. We have a night scheduled coming up this week but considering that scheduling out sex won't like make her want me at all I don't even know why we did this. If she is still super uncomfortable doing anything sexual then there was no point because I can't ask her to do something that will make her so uncomfortable.

 

I'm at a loss of what to do. Obviously she loves me but I don't think I can just be roommates with my wife. This is so hard.

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anisotrophic

@Adzelle yeah, I don't think the scheduling sounds like it's likely to work for you... 

 

30 minutes ago, Adzelle said:

I don't think I can just be roommates with my wife.

I'll do that dumbass thing my therapist would  ask me: "why do you feel that way?"

 

I know the answers seem obvious, but I found it can help to unpack them.

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Adzelle

Because I had this illusion of how we were and its been shattered. I want to feel loved by my wife the way I love her but she can't change herself the way I can't change how I feel. It hurts so bad that I've asked her countless times if she even likes having sex with me and she lied for so long. I love my wife so much but not being able to touch her or make love to her really hurts. Thats why I don't think I can have a sexless marriage to her, it just feels like being roommates at that point.

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anisotrophic

@Adzelle it sounds like you're in a lot of pain, and this has affected how you express and feel loved, this was a major way you experience love.

 

I think that was a conversation -- that is, how I experience feeling loved -- I had with my husband, and helped a lot. Honestly, before we knew he was asexual, I hadn't realized how sexuality was tied to my experience of love -- but conversations on AVEN have shown me that this seems to be true over and over for so many sexuals that share their stories here, men as well as women and NB.

 

Rather than focus on sex itself (which is likely to be a crummy experience all around), I think it might be helpful to talk about the expression of love. The "five love languages" (you can Google it) is a popular framework (at least in AVEN). I think I've become a lot happier as I've pushed myself to "listen" to other love languages, with other relationships as well (friends and family). I've become deliberate and more explicit about communicating my needs and expression of love.

 

You can't change your sexuality, but you might be able to shift your perception of love.

 

Truthfully one of the biggest helps for me was my husband just... hugging me as I cried about feeling rejected and unloved. And the pain went away, because when I was hugged, I felt loved. (I feel bad again later; it still happens...) I don't know if that's an option for you, couples are all so different and need to find solutions that work for both of them.

 

I'm not advocating indefinite celibacy, but by focusing on love right now, maybe you'll be able to support each other better on whatever comes next.

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AceMissBehaving

Sorry things are still so hard. For what it’s worth just because sexual desire isn’t there doesn’t mean love isn’t either.

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Sally

@Adzelle  I think you've explained pretty well that you want to be sexually desired, and without that happening, sex just isn't what you want it to be.   I can understand that, and you shouldn't be expected to give up that honest feeling, any more than your partner should be expected to give up her honest feeling.  

 

Even as an asexual, I can understand that love and sex are usually entertwined for sexuals, but I had long relationships (including sex) with sexuals.  I didn't need the sex; they needed to have it as part of the love.  

 

I'm asking asexuals to stop trying to convince sexuals that they should just be happy that they have love, and try to consider that as a completely full relationship.  It isn't, for sexuals.  

 

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AceMissBehaving
20 minutes ago, Sally said:

I'm asking asexuals to stop trying to convince sexuals that they should just be happy that they have love, and try to consider that as a completely full relationship.  It isn't, for sexuals.  

 

That part I completely agree with. I was merely trying to say that an asexual person can love someone they don’t want to have sex with. That it’s a complete feeling, not that it will make for a complete relationship. 

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anisotrophic

I think the first step is to try to repair any schism that's occurred with respect to communicating love.

After that, who knows. Some level of sexual intimacy, open/poly, or amicable separation and ongoing friendship (friendship can still be quite deep and supportive). I think strong caring and respect for each other makes every possible outcome a better one.

The biggest caveat is "it takes two"; people shouldn't fall in love with martyrdom.

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Adzelle

Well last night she told me she is happier separated and that she is finally able to focus on herself. Which hurts me so much because what was she focusing on before? Not me or our son. Oh well, but it seems like this is the end for my marriage. Thanks for all the advice during this stressful time. I appreciate all of you.

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Sally

You are very welcome to stay around in AVEN as you go through this sad adjustment, Adzelle.   

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uhtred
On 8/14/2019 at 5:58 AM, Adzelle said:

Well last night she told me she is happier separated and that she is finally able to focus on herself. Which hurts me so much because what was she focusing on before? Not me or our son. Oh well, but it seems like this is the end for my marriage. Thanks for all the advice during this stressful time. I appreciate all of you.

I'm very sorry to hear that. You may find though that this will end up with everyone happier. 

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