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How did you get married to an asexual?

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Davida
4 hours ago, GlamRocker said:

 

Wow. I already know without a shadow of a doubt I'm an asexual, but these responses just make me feel so... what the hell am I missing here?! If I were to go back, I would have never even had sex at all. When I did in the past I just didn't know any better... I put myself through something I didn't enjoy because I was hoping to enjoy it. 

 

My husband married me knowing what I was like... my lack of interest graduating to actual DISLIKE of having sex was actually one of the reasons he married me. He is GLAD to not have to deal with it...He's happier with me, fourteen years of good times seems to prove it. These are all things we've talked about and he's actually said to me, I'm not playing guesswork here.

 

@GlamRocker, regarding the octagenarian and John Betjamin quotations - it is said that when Issac Newton was asked on his deathbed what he felt his greatest accomplishment in life was, he replied "maintaining my chastity". 

 

Also, I am so happy that you experience such harmony in your relationship with your husband. My (sexual & sex-positive) husband and I are growing together. It's taken a lot of courage and self-reflection.

 

 

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Traveler40
8 hours ago, Davida said:

it is said that when Issac Newton was asked on his deathbed what he felt his greatest accomplishment in life was, he replied "maintaining my chastity". 

So, my lover and I discussed this briefly and he had a quick look around as this bothered me for a number of reasons: Namely, I wondered why anyone (sexual or otherwise) would ever refer to that as their greatest accomplishment, let alone Isaac Newton?
 

If he did utter that on his deathbed, and please note that we tried and failed to source it, it would suggest he struggled greatly in chastity and that wouldn’t make it commendable at all. It makes it deeply sad, underpinning a lifelong struggle. Perhaps in time he learned to manage what, essentially, was living against his nature, but he couldn’t have happily accepted it. It very likely was counter to his orientation

 

Here’s what was found that’s relevant:
 

In 1667, Newton returned to Cambridge at the age of 24, but at a higher status, as a fellow. As a fellow, he was to adopt a life of chastity and was not permitted to marry. Newton followed this vow for the rest of his life, and likely died a virgin. Newton wrote the following passage about his chastity: “The way to chastity is not to struggle directly with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some imployment (sic), or by reading, or meditating on other things.”
 

There was one tangential reference about his deathbed and it is as follows: 

 

In an age notable for its religious intolerance there are few public expressions of Newton's radical views, most notably his refusal to take holy orders and his refusal, on his deathbed, to take the sacrament when it was offered to him.

 

Who knows what he said 290 or so years ago, but I do think if it’s as you say (which is plausible given the vow he had to take), how utterly sad all the way around.

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Davida
8 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

... If (Newton) did utter that on his deathbed... it would suggest he struggled greatly in chastity and that wouldn’t make it commendable at all. 

 

Who knows what he said 290 or so years ago, but I do think if it’s as you say (which is plausible given the vow he had to take), how utterly sad all the way around.

@Traveler40 indeed, who knows what he said 290 years ago. I read that about Newton once in an old anthology of biographies of Mathematicians, I think. 

 

Note that chastity (austerity regarding one's natural sexual urges) and asexuality are different, but my point was to illustrate how very different people's experience with sexuality can be. It is remarkable that while an asexual may find the first two quotations about regretting not having had more sex repulsive, a sexual likewise may find lifelong chastity the saddest thing imaginable. Neither point of view is wrong. 

 

I respectfully disagree that action requiring struggle renders the action not commendable. Austerities undertaken by one pursuing devotional work be it scientific, religious, or otherwise connote deeply personal journeys; they are not meant to be universally understood, prescribed or applauded. 

 

 

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anisotrophic

A more modern contrast is Erdős. But (a) he may have had a medical issue (e.g. phimosis – he described sex as painful) and (b) his language regarding women & marriage was misogynistic (I'm just throwing that out there to say "ugh!").

Which is to say, with as little insight as we have into Erdős's reasons, I think we can't hope to know much about Newton's experience. I don't read that Newton's fellowship required chastity; rather, I think it's simply observing that this seems to have been his lifestyle – which may have been due to any of a number of reasons (homosexuality, asexuality, medical issues, pragmatism, etc).

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Traveler40
On 10/21/2019 at 5:49 AM, anisotrophic said:

Which is to say, with as little insight as we have into Erdős's reasons, I think we can't hope to know much about Newton's experience.

Precisely - and the original point provided by myself and Tele was that in those cases, we clearly knew they lamented their lacking sex lives.  In using a quote purported to be from Newton on his deathbed describing chastity “his greatest accomplishment” as an alternative simply made zero sense. Thus, I felt compelled to respond.

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Wayfinder43

I am another one born in the 1970s, who had no sexual experience before marriage. I was Christian and in my circles at the time it was not OK to have sex before marriage. This is a massive regret for me now. If I had known what a heterosexual man was like, I would never have married my ex. 

 

I relate so much to the posts above. We had no idea that asexuality was a thing. People still generally have no idea, I find.  My asexual husband and I ended up divorcing after 19 years of marriage and 2 kids. People don’t believe me when I explain why. They think I am delusional and that the real story must be something else. Not being believed has really compounded the pain. 

 

Here there is a counselling service for wives of gay men, but when I contacted them and asked if there was anything for wives of asexual men, they said there is nothing. 

 

My ex continually said he would try harder, and I loved him deeply and was patient and faithful. Like so many others mentioned in this thread, he refused to look closely at himself and blamed stress, fatigue etc etc. He chose to keep hurting me rather than look at himself honestly.

 

I thought it was my fault, and comfort eating over the years made me put on weight, so I thought I was undesirable. Now that I am divorced and dating, I have discovered how very wrong I was about that. I may be a bit overweight but I am apparently very good in bed!!! What an amazing discovery after so many years of feeling invisible, undesirable and disgusting. 

 

I really think awareness is the key to avoiding the terrible pain that sexual/asexual mismatches cause. Organisations such as AVEN have really important work to do. 

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SusannaC

Im so sorry for the pain youve experienced.  I can relate.  Your story is much like mine. I was similarly naive and married without experience.  I have been married for close to 30 years now, and am torn over my choices; they were and are not easy to live by. 
You may discover when reading here though that oftentimes it is not the asexual persons “choice” to hurt us.  Rather I have come to accept that sex means something totally different to them and is NOT seen as necessary  for a loving relationship.   For some people- there is an aversion, actually- sex is like an unpleasant chore and may become more Unpleasant and therefore avoided as the years go by.  I am sure there are many here who will gladly explain that a sexless union wasn’t a choice designed by your husband to hurt you.  The loss of intimacy for sexual people feels like it though!  I struggled with resentment for years over this.  
I  also chose unhealthy habits over the years and let myself gain weight as coping mechanisms. This is a common occurrence when self esteem drops and anger persists.    I suspect.  Your choice to divorce is in many ways admirable to me, although sad.  I did not have the courage to leave and chose sex outside of my marriage instead.  I am torn because I am now in love with my sexual partner.  I also love my husband (in a non sexual way), but recognize that I can not peacefully live the rest of my life without intimacy, including sex. 
Let anger go, if you have any left, and focus on the facts.  You were simply mismatched, through no fault your own.  You TRIED to make it work, and he probably did also.  To the best of your abilities as did he.  
i wish you peace and much deserved happiness now.

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Jules82

I have to say I was relieved to find this thread...I saw a lot of threads where people were talking about how to handle things going IN to a mixed marriage, where I just figured out my husband is a (gray) ace nearly 20 years into the relationship. 

Why only now? Because we were 17 when we started dating and the term didnt even exist in our vocabularies. It just wasnt something we'd ever heard of. We loved each other, but I can recall problems even then. I would want sex constantly with my raging teen hormones. He would usually go along, but wasnt ever the one to initiate things. In retrospect I think the fact he DOES enjoy sex sometimes combined with his 17 year old body/libido kind of masked things. And, growing up in the community we did, me with older parents and him with rather closed minded parents, I fell into the great American gender role trap, where if he didn't want sex then that must mean
I was ugly, unattractive, unloveable etc. So commenced years of terrible self esteem on both sides. Me because I was unwanted, him because he wasn't the stereotypical sex-driven male.

 

Of course it has had its ups and down. Maybe I was just too needy- so I worked on myself bur nothing got better. We thought he was depressed. Maybe hormone issues, stress, the usual. Really it was only about a month or two ago that my loneliness and desperation led me to search for articles and stuff about what to do when your husband doesn't want you (sad, I know) that I came across Ace info.

By that time of course I had heard of asexual orientation, but I didnt think of him as such because he does sometimes want sex (just not often and not strongly). So I had thought aces didnt ever have sex. LOL. Now I feel foolish, but I didnt know. 

 

Wish I would have understood all this much earlier. Would have saved a lot of pain/feelings of rejection. 🙄 still trying to figure out how to handle it.

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