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How did you get married to an asexual?

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CBC

@Telecaster68 Oh I'm not crying now, nope. :lol: 

 

(Thank you, that's a beautiful little piece.)

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Philip027

I may be a music-indifferent heathen, but I still find this topic heartwarming.

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uhtred

In addition to sexual / asexual, and LD/HD, romantic / aromantic - there are also big differences in the sort of aromatic / sexual activity people want.   Often its not what one might naively expect. For my nearly asexual wife, sex is just something we jump in and do.  She enjoys non-sexual contact - but doesn't particularly want that before sex.   I'm much higher libido, but I like sex as the end of lots of romance and non-sexual touching.  I like the whole day to be foreplay - though an occasional quickie would be fine.

 

All leads to my feeling that its important that a couple discover their compatibility before getting into a long term relationship.

 

 

 

 

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CBC
11 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

I may be a music-indifferent heathen, but I still find this topic heartwarming.

There's hope for you yet, Philip. :P I don't think I've ever seen you use the word 'heartwarming' before, so.

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CBC
8 minutes ago, uhtred said:

All leads to my feeling that its important that a couple discover their compatibility before getting into a long term relationship.

Absolutely, yeah. It's more than just "we both want sex" or "we're both romantic". Like I said before somewhere, all of that stuff is a... conversation. Just a non-verbal one. I can talk with a fellow native English-speaker from my Toronto-area hometown and the discussion can still suck if we don't use language in the same way.

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Telecaster68

@Traveler40

 

So many similarities - Cluster B parents, cautious in trusting people, partner’s lack of emotional affect seeming like a welcome placidity to start with, not much teenage dating, sex being ‘off’ from the start, broken promises... and as @TimeDelay says the lack of emotional communication (in my case because I’m pretty sure my wife had very little insight into her own feelings and went into a panic when I tried to pin down what they were). 

 

My theory is that many of us sexuals who stick around have learned very low expectations for getting our needs met as kids (kind of the opposite of a sense of entitlement); and we want a calm relationship, and we see our partners’ lack of demonstrativeness as that calm, only finding out later there’s nothing but calm.

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SusannaC

Agree.  Low expectations going in and very attracted to calm, laid back non threatening. 

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CBC
14 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

cautious in trusting people, partner’s lack of emotional affect seeming like a welcome placidity to start with, not much teenage dating, sex being ‘off’ from the start

All of this is applicable to me as well. My lack of significant dating experience definitely led to the situation I found myself in. (Someone loves me! I like them! I've never felt more accepted and listened to by another person in my life and they don't really require much of me, so let's get married!) And my parents are hella screwed up, just not in a Cluster B sorta way and they're quite outwardly functional so they pass as not a mess. But anxiety and self-worth issues out the wazoo with my mum and my dad is the most emotionally-repressed human being I've ever met, so. Just earlier this year I learnt my mum tried to commit suicide after finding out her ex-boyfriend at the time had recently attempted the same. My dad found her on the bathroom floor. I'm learning a lot more about both of them as an adult that I wish I'd known when I began struggling myself when I was much younger.

 

Anyway, yeah. Who we are leads to the situations in which we find ourselves. General life principle, really.

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anisotrophic

My current "theory" is that I was unattractive & adapted to it by taking initiative & asking. Which means I think I got some great sex in – glad to have that. Men tend to say yes (not always). Screw them all, it's very fun, a threesome really is amazing (at least the sort where you get to be the center of attention) – if you get the chance, do take it.

But as a result: I landed with someone who wasn't attracted to anyone. Because I was unattractive – men said "yes", but... those men that were capable of attraction sorted themselves out by chasing people they were more attracted to. The sort that was left was someone that didn't see me as less valuable than others in this respect.

My partner says this "theory" is BS (well maybe he'd say bollocks, but he's pretty americanized at this point) and I'm just inventing new ways to feel bad about myself. (Probably also true. I'm inventive. That's why I put airquotes on "theory".)

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Telecaster68
24 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

My current "theory" is that I was unattractive & adapted to it by taking initiative & asking. Which means I think I got some great sex in – glad to have that. Men tend to say yes (not always). Screw them all, it's very fun, a threesome really is amazing (at least the sort where you get to be the center of attention) – if you get the chance, do take it.

But as a result: I landed with someone who wasn't attracted to anyone. Because I was unattractive – men said "yes", but... those men that were capable of attraction sorted themselves out by chasing people they were more attracted to. The sort that was left was someone that didn't see me as less valuable than others in this respect.

My partner says this "theory" is BS (well maybe he'd say bollocks, but he's pretty americanized at this point) and I'm just inventing new ways to feel bad about myself. (Probably also true. I'm inventive. That's why I put airquotes on "theory".)

I think it's more to do with confidence than physical attractiveness - yours and the men in question. Confident people only accept what they want because they don't question they can get it. Diffident people accept what they're presented with, in case they never get another offer. 

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Traveler40
4 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

My theory is that many of us sexuals who stick around have learned very low expectations for getting our needs met as kids (kind of the opposite of a sense of entitlement); and we want a calm relationship, and we see our partners’ lack of demonstrativeness as that calm, only finding out later there’s nothing but calm.

Yes.  Additionally, the strength of surviving the early years allows for more self sacrifice perhaps.  It’s somewhat like an “I’m strong, I can take it!” mentality. 

 

My husband needs me. This is one of the finer, yet tougher points.  

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Traveler40
5 hours ago, uhtred said:

All leads to my feeling that its important that a couple discover their compatibility before getting into a long term relationship.

 

Many folks, myself included, need to connect thoroughly before taking it to bed.  I think your point is a great idea in theory, yet way more complicated in practice.

 

As my lover put it early on, before being told the reason for my search:

 

”I think that you have compatibility with your husband, but no chemistry. Many connect these two notions, but I see them as wholly separate. You can have one without the other.” 

 

I’ll take it a step further and tie it back to my first point: I need the compatibility to find the chemistry. With my husband, that second part never materialized of course. Once compatibility is established, without knowledge of the trajectory, one is likely to make all sorts of excuses for the lack of chemistry. If all else is in place, you may not understand until it really is too late.

 

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AceMissBehaving
4 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

My current "theory" is that I was unattractive & adapted to it by taking initiative & asking. Which means I think I got some great sex in – glad to have that. Men tend to say yes (not always). Screw them all, it's very fun, a threesome really is amazing (at least the sort where you get to be the center of attention) – if you get the chance, do take it.

But as a result: I landed with someone who wasn't attracted to anyone. Because I was unattractive – men said "yes", but... those men that were capable of attraction sorted themselves out by chasing people they were more attracted to. The sort that was left was someone that didn't see me as less valuable than others in this respect.

My partner says this "theory" is BS (well maybe he'd say bollocks, but he's pretty americanized at this point) and I'm just inventing new ways to feel bad about myself. (Probably also true. I'm inventive. That's why I put airquotes on "theory".)

I don’t know, most sexual people I know still won’t have sex with someone they found unattractive, and asexual people still find some people attractive and others unattractive. 

 

I know our inner critics never really play fair, so I get the feelings, but I have to assume your husband is right on this one.

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anisotrophic
58 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

most sexual people I know still won’t have sex with someone they found unattractive

Meh. I think young men are not known for being particularly selective when an opportunity presents itself. If the choice was me vs. nothing, they'd take it until something better comes along. The difference between the side piece and the prize.

At this point my unattractiveness seems like a given, I don't think much about it. Life is easier when I stop wishing otherwise.

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Serran
13 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

Meh. I think young men are not known for being particularly selective when an opportunity presents itself. If the choice was me vs. nothing, they'd take it until something better comes along. The difference between the side piece and the prize.

At this point my unattractiveness seems like a given, I don't think much about it. Life is easier when I stop wishing otherwise.

You probably arent unattractive. Though, I know it wont help to say. I am pretty much at the point of being attractive seems a thing of my past. 

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CatsandDogs
On 7/29/2019 at 5:48 PM, uhtred said:

Unfortunately asexuality can masquerade as different things - especially when the asexual person doesn't know that asexuality exists.  They feel that they *should* want sex, but don't - so they interpret that as being tired or busy or sick. Or maybe thy think that their partner is not romantic enough.  (my wife thought that about me for a long time - before finally realizing that she had no idea what she wanted when she said "romantic" - it really meant that she wanted me to find something that I could do that would make her desire me.

 

 

Yes, this is how my boyfriend feels...that there is something wrong with him because he has no interest in sex. Unfortunately he is struggling to come to terms with his identity and accepting himself. He doesn’t want to talk about it, get help or work on finding ways to address this component of our relationship. To him it’s just not important so even though he says he loves me he does not try to find alternative ways to help meet my needs to feel loved, seen and supported. 

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CatsandDogs
19 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

I actually had to organize my thoughts on this as our relationship came to pass from all the stuff before it.  Brace yourselves (and perhaps grab some popcorn?) 😂

 

Background:

 

Highly successful parents, both with shades of NPD.  We were raised knowing we could do anything and were given every opportunity in life. Somehow, this makes you believe you can do anything.  I was mainly left to my own devices which means independence and solo accomplishments were givens. Loyalty, honesty, hard work and perseverance were foundational teachings. 

 

While that’s all well and good, my Father shifted a lot.  He taught all of the above, but lived by a separate set of rules that trumped all. I felt like I was on an iceberg and didn’t know which way it might shift many times. 

 

Early Romance:

 

I had crushes, but never ever let on. It was too scary, so I preferred to live in books.  I loved all of the Victorian sex books.  They were deliciously nasty: The Romance of Lust is an example. Somewhere along the way, I learned that I didn’t really need a relationship to experience and explore. Enter lots and lots of masturbation.  It was safer.  So, I was everyone’s buddy, and the guys wanted to date/hook up, but I was kind of above the fray.  Oddly, a blend of too school for cool, too pretty to approach and too distant to catch kept me solo.  If that’s not enough, I’d friend zone any guy immediately. This both suited and insulated me from boyfriend hopping.

 

Basically, 3 boyfriends, 3 continents and 15 years later, I found myself pushing 30. I’d moved back to the States after years abroad and was deeply lonely upon re-entry. Life had moved on while away, and the loneliness was killing me. My family was a mess, my friends were paired up and dating was the pits. 

 

Finding My husband:

 

Ever the goal oriented one, I decided I needed to find a husband STAT. Having done the math, time was of the essence.  I also knew that sometime in your 30’s the power shift happens and didn’t fancy being behind the 8 Ball.  Therefore, I was an early adopter of online dating.  This was back when it was unconventional and a hush-hush thing. It was also back when you met in thoughts and words which drops the noise and early barriers which is helpful. Somehow, it also seemed simpler.

 

We didn’t live near one another, but everything else lined up so well.  It was slow, and I loved that about him.  His sincerity and deeply caring nature had me intuitively know I could trust him. He was solid, loyal, a rock, a hard worker and honest as the day is long. We wanted the same things and he had an element that drew me in: I saw that he needed me. I also could lean on him, and he’d be there. He was not a “shifting iceberg” and had all of the other elements I was looking for emotionally. It was a great fit.

 

Sex was weird: Short, tentative, more quick than passionate. It never was “normal” unless he’d had a few drinks.  It didn’t matter at the time as I overlooked it figuring he just needed to be shown. He was respectful and a very good man.  Dirty wasn’t part of who he is, and I’d figured we’d morph with time and practice.  We talked a lot about it early on. He never had any fantasies which was odd, but I figured he was too shy to say. That was ok! We would take it slow and learn together. 

 

We started fighting about sex fairly quickly. I’d flown him to Hawaii for a quick vacation around year one, and nothing. He had a ton of believable excuses.  Then, once back, he’d produce only after a fight about it.  I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Why didn’t he understand that sex is binding and fundamentally necessary for the peace and health of the relationship?  He always said he’d try harder, and I believed him.  He referenced his childhood a lot, and also said he wasn’t a “sexual dynamo” frequently. He told me that he was fully inhibited due to his upbringing and needed a beer to lessen the stress. I always stocked beer...

 

I bought books, recorded shows, explained to him a thousand different ways what I needed, but to no avail. He loves me fully, but very early on, we could go months with nothing. Yet, everything else was amazing. I was around 32-33, just finishing up a masters degree and knee deep in a career, when I realized time was running out. Also, I knew what an amazing man he was.  We got married the next year.

 

When it came time to have children, he found an excuse every single time.  All I needed was his sperm though, so we went through IVF. Twice.

 

I was so busy for 8 years having the family, I didn’t stop to dwell on the fact that we never had sex. Oh, occasionally I did of course, and it would crop up, but generally we’d ignore it and focus on the babies. I was tired of the merry-go-round discussions to nowhere.

 

By then, I’d done the whole, “Is he gay? Deviant? Into alternative kink? Not attracted to me?” and come up empty. Instead, I Googled in my downtime and only ever turned up “sexless marriage” articles.  It was a waste of time, but I did it a lot across years. I never once came across asexuality.  Otherwise, I spent a ton of time with friends and immersed in hobbies. 

 

During that time, I was resentful. Not because of the lack of sex, but because of the broken promises. I felt he didn’t truly care about what I needed. It was explicitly explained ad nauseam.  He always and earnestly promised to try, but never once lifted a finger. I knew there was a problem, a major problem, but didn’t know what. The secret was killing me as well.  

 

The Breaking Point:

 

I’ve chronicled this in my journey previously. Having a hysterectomy increased my libido to a level I could no longer handle on my own. 

 

No matter how much talking we did, and it’s months worth across time, it was useless. The day I found AVEN (early 2017) my world stopped spinning for a moment.  The a-ha’s reverberated for hours.  I’m still having a-ha moments actually.  The rest, you already know.

 

TLDR:

 

- Detached parents begot independent children

- Never bounced around with boyfriends 

- Carefully selected a man based on emotional needs at the time

- Biological clock forced my hand

- Knew there was a problem, no idea what 

- Created my life around my husband

- Life forced me to deal with it post hysterectomy

 

There you have it.

So what happened next? I am new to this site and 2 years into a great relationship with a wonderful man who just disclosed he is asexual. I don’t know what to do and am curious about your experience because I have only ever had  relationships where sex is the main attraction (pun intended) so this is a new experience for me. I would feel more angry and duped if I didn’t know that he is just starting to realize his identity himself. I feel like I am at my breaking point and that’s why he is starting to be honest about his sexuality but now what? Did you stay with your husband?

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Traveler40

Welcome @CatsandDogs, it’s good you found your way to AVEN!  There’s a ton of information here, and I’ve read almost daily for about 2.5 years with revelations still occurring. 

 

My story is just that.  Yes, we are still together.  I will post a link to my general story at the end of this post for you to find.  

 

As @TimeDelay recently noted, there’s so much wisdom here.  Please dig in, read as much as you can and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need to. Please feel free to PM me any time.

 

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/161076-sexual-wifeasexual-husband-truce/

 

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uhtred
11 hours ago, CBC said:

All of this is applicable to me as well. My lack of significant dating experience definitely led to the situation I found myself in. (Someone loves me! I like them! I've never felt more accepted and listened to by another person in my life and they don't really require much of me, so let's get married!) And my parents are hella screwed up, just not in a Cluster B sorta way and they're quite outwardly functional so they pass as not a mess. But anxiety and self-worth issues out the wazoo with my mum and my dad is the most emotionally-repressed human being I've ever met, so. Just earlier this year I learnt my mum tried to commit suicide after finding out her ex-boyfriend at the time had recently attempted the same. My dad found her on the bathroom floor. I'm learning a lot more about both of them as an adult that I wish I'd known when I began struggling myself when I was much younger.

 

Anyway, yeah. Who we are leads to the situations in which we find ourselves. General life principle, really.

There does seem a somewhat common thread of people who had little dating experience - maybe they are less able to recognize when things are not following a typical pattern.

 

Maybe also screwed up parents are common.  Mine were as well - in ways that I didn't recognize until much later in life.

 

I second the "someone loves me - its the most wonderful thing in the world".  

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CBC
51 minutes ago, uhtred said:

I second the "someone loves me - its the most wonderful thing in the world". 

It is, yeah -- and much more so when it's the right person. Don't get me wrong, being loved by someone you respect (and who respects you) and who cares about you deeply is great. Especially when you've never really been close to someone before and they accept you for who you are. But as an unbalanced and mismatched relationship in certain areas (romantically and sexually, in the case of me and my husband), it certainly feels hollow and lonely and unfulfilling at times. Having found the right relationship now feels nothing less than mind-blowing in comparison. It's all the comfort and friendship and support and acceptance stuff, plus the romantic/sexual connection.

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yokokurama

My wife and I have been together for about 8 years. We are coming up on our 1-year anniversary of being married.

 

We fell in love because of shared interests and we love each other’s personality. Sex was non-existent at the beginning and is non-existent now. I plan on sharing more details in another post to ask for advice but I wanted to reply here to explain how the situation happened.

 

Unfortunately, we live in a place where abstinence only education is still very common. During the relationship we would discuss sex here and there and she would explain that when the instructors were talking about abstinence until marriage, she took it to heart, despite not being very religious. When we did talk about it, she did mention that she understood sex to be an important part of a marriage. I endured the wait because I respected her decision. She is a virgin, but I am not. We got married last year and both of us were WAY too tired to even think about sex on the wedding night itself. After a few days I did ask her when she wanted to try to begin the sexual side of our relationship and was met with cold hostility. She would cross her arms, say she did not know, and explain that she did not want to talk about it. This happened a couple of times and each time I felt hurt afterwards because I did not know what the hell was going on. Eventually we talked about it again in detail and she explained that when I asked her about when we were going to start it, she felt pressured by it and then she thought that I got really mad when she would say she did not know when. I explained to her that it was more of a disappointment thing because I had expected sex to come more naturally after we got married and she explained to me that she had thought sex would just happen naturally after we got married as well. Not long after that we had another discussion where she admitted to researching the average amount of sex for married couples and was shocked to her core. She had assumed that my sex drive was really high because of the few times I asked about it. She then started doing more research and discovered asexuality and explained to me that the description of it fit her exactly. She had thought that getting married would change her desire but was shocked to find that she still just felt the same after the wedding. She has admitted to masturbating and said that she has thought of me before but it did not provide her with any desire. She feels that the main thing masturbation should be used for is the clinical aspect that it can help with menstrual pain. We agreed that couples counseling might be a good option for us but have not pulled the trigger on that yet. At the moment it has been about 5-6 months since we last discussed anything sexual. The relationship is going fairly well, but lately I have been thinking about the lack of sex again and the fact that she has no interest in it whatsoever and is also repulsed by it. I have started entertaining the idea of an open marriage but am not sure how she would react to the request.

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Chihiro
On 7/30/2019 at 11:01 PM, Telecaster68 said:

My theory is that many of us sexuals who stick around have learned very low expectations for getting our needs met as kids (kind of the opposite of a sense of entitlement); and we want a calm relationship, and we see our partners’ lack of demonstrativeness as that calm, only finding out later there’s nothing but calm.

This seems surprisingly true for many aces in my ace-dating experience. Many are lonely and have low self esteem with low expectations, so they are willing to pair up with any asexual that they take a liking to or any asexual that fancies them (even if they aren't their type). The goal seems to be to just fill each other's emptiness/loneliness. I want to be in relationship because I am special to someone, not simply because I get along with them. It saddens me to think that my choices are to either be single for the rest of my life or to relationship with compatible asexual partner without ever being special to them.

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Traveler40
5 hours ago, Chihiro said:

This seems surprisingly true for many aces in my ace-dating experience. Many are lonely and have low self esteem with low expectations, so they are willing to pair up with any asexual that they take a liking to or any asexual that fancies them (even if they aren't their type). The goal seems to be to just fill each other's emptiness/loneliness. I want to be in relationship because I am special to someone, not simply because I get along with them. It saddens me to think that my choices are to either be single for the rest of my life or to relationship with compatible asexual partner without ever being special to them.

Perhaps @Telecaster68 can pop in and clarify, but I don’t think this is what he meant. It doesn’t hold true to my experience or understanding of his post.

 

Learning low expectations for having your needs met is not equivalent to low self esteem or settling for what you can get.  

 

For myself, my standards are incredibly high. I know who I am and what I am looking for, and am laser focused when searching for it.  My search has always been based on the MAN and compatibility, never on his performance in the bedroom (which is both secondary and unknown at the outset). 

 

Your description makes me sad, but is counter to what I read as Tele’s point.

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Chihiro
10 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

Your description makes me sad, but is counter to what I read as Tele’s point.

Perhaps. I have never tried dating sexuals, but this is what I see a lot of asexuals doing as a result of their low self esteem.

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