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Jamie015

Heartsick sexual

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Jamie015

I have been married for three years to an intelligent, beautiful, kind woman. I am a sexual who was always upfront about my love language (physical touch) and how important a sexual relationship was for me to be fulfilled. We dated for a year before we were married. My wife had sex with me/initiated sex and appeared to enjoy sex before we were married. The only clue I have looking back is that she didn't want to really cuddle afterwards and seemed a little withdrawn. I would check to see if she was ok and it was always yes. Fast forward to after we got married. From the wedding night on things were noticeably different. She avoided sex which occurred more frequently until it stopped completely two years ago. Recently she finally told me that she feels gross after sex and doesn't want to do it. When I asked her if she always felt like that she said yes. I thought it could have been some traumatic experience, she was cheating or something like that until I researched and came across asexuality. 

 

I am dealing with so many emotions right now... I am angry that she didn’t tell me before we got married. When I asked her why she didn't she said, ”why would I when it ruined so many relationships before.” I don't know if I would have married her and that makes me feel ashamed, but still angry that she lied about her sexual orientation. I also was so looking forward to having a physically intimate relationship with my wife as again this is a primary love language and the way i feel loved.  Also, I am demisexual so I can't have an open marriage or just causal sex. I only feel sexual attraction if I am emotionally connected. I don't want a divorce because I adore her. I feel guilty for pressuring her or getting angry when she said no to even making out for the 100000x but when I would say ”I'm just going to stop asking” she would say, ” no, please keep asking me, ” so I've always had a weird small hope that it would get better. I feel like I am constantly denying myself and she is perfectly happy which makes me resentful. I go to bed sexually frustrated so often and feel so unwanted. I am starting to have fantasy ’s about someone just wanting me sexually, which sounds pathetic. I am starting to resent her and refuse to do things she wants me to do. For example, she asks me to rub and tickle her back every night... And I just half-way do it because it makes me angry that it turns me on and then I have to deal with those feelings. I asked her to go to couples counseling so we can try and figure out how to deal with all this but she says she doesn't want to and doesn't know what therapy will do. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to make this work. It bothers me that she is treating all of this so lightly when I've made it clear how important it is to me and how much it all effects me. I literally feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. Any advice would be great because i feel like i don't have any good options. 

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Yuliyasa

Perhaps maybe if you suggested that both of you will have an equal say in which couples' therapist you choose to go to will make her more favorable towards attending therapy? I keep getting the sense here that maybe there could be more than what she's telling you and I wonder why she's not being so open with you as to let you know more  about why the sudden change in her behavior. Are there things you had done before you guys got married that maybe you have stopped doing? These are all just my guesses. I sympathize with both of you and wish you the best of luck. I truly hope that both of you will try to do your best to understand each other through what you are going through; however, if you'd like to save your marriage please try to never tell her this "I go to bed sexually frustrated so often and feel so unwanted. I am starting to have fantasy ’s about someone just wanting me sexually, …..I am starting to resent her and refuse to do things she wants me to do." The reason I advise you to actually not be so bluntly honest with her is because if you say these things it will only lead her to resent you more for wanting something she currently doesn't want to give you.  I wish I could offer you more advice so I am hoping there will be more people reading your post who have more suggestions and have more different ideas; however, this right here is the best I can offer. Be of good faith and patience especially if you truly love her as much as you say you do. Once again, best of luck!

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Neutral Charge

Sorry to hear that, the way i worked it with my sexual partner was compromise on what is allowed and ok, how far you go and how often.

Theres no other way in my opinion to be fair because if its not mutual compromise, frustration/resentment might destroy your relation.

I hope you find whats best for you! 

 

Edit: it is dificult as a side note, takes double the pacience compared to what you could have in a diff relation,from my experience

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Memento1

I'm so sorry you're going through this, Jamie.  I can see how terribly upset, frustrated, and hopeless this makes you feel.  It's a bad situation all around.  Unfortunately, it's also a pretty common story.

 

In order to understand why your wife didn't bring this up before, asexuality is still a relatively recent thing and has been largely stigmatized.  There was no scientific research on it until the 2000s, and it was listed as a psychological pathology until 2013.  Most asexuals (myself included), grew up thinking there was something wrong with us.  No one ever said you can not desire sex, just that if you didn't desire sex, you had to push yourself or fix yourself until you became normal.  So many asexuals got married and had regular sex, trying to act normal, out of a hope that at some point they'd learn to enjoy it.  Fake it til you make it, basically.  There's also a very, very deep fear that if we say we don't like sex, no one will ever love us.  So back to fake it til you make it until the frustration at not becoming "normal" grows so large something breaks.  Unfortunately at this point frustration about years of denying oneself and seeing nothing for it will often turn into frustration with the sexual partner.  I seriously doubt she maliciously withheld this information to hurt you: she withheld it out of deep-seated inadequacy, fear of abandonment, and invalidation.  All of that is NOT YOUR FAULT, but it does need to be dealt with if this is to be resolved.

 

You have every right to feel angry, betrayed, misunderstood, and heartbroken, but I would work through that with a therapist before bringing it to her.  She's almost certainly dealing with her own deep feelings of resentment and betrayal, so you'll just be talking past each other.  I would absolutely say couples counseling is necessary to help you both deal with the intense emotions this has caused and communicate more effectively.  Since you say she's resistant, I would recommend trying to phrase it in a different way: that the counseling is to help YOU understand her better.  That of course is only half the story, but it's a good way to avoid triggering defensiveness and fear that therapy will be about "fixing" her.  I wouldn't give up, and it is absolutely possible that you can get to the problem solving of how to meet each other's needs and NOT live the rest of your life in a sexless marriage, but first you're going to need to work through the huge amount of invalidated feelings and baggage this has brought up for both of you.  Any premature discussion of how to fix it will not go well if you skip that step.  First things first, I would try to find a couples counselor that is knowledgeable about asexuality (as I said, someone trained before 2013 may still treat it as a pathology, which will not get your wife to play along), and maybe have a session by yourself to "test drive" and brainstorm together how to get your wife to come in the future.  They deal with reticent partners all the time, so a good counselor may have other suggestions.  I really hope you can both work through this: you deserve to have your feelings heard and have hope for the future.

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allieakat

I think you've got some good advice above, including finding a professional listener of some kind (counsellor, therapist) to talk things through in person.

 

You say your wife is resisting couples counselling "because she doesn't want to and doesn't know what therapy will do".  Obviously she is an adult and gets to make her own decisions on this.  I think all you can do if you conclude that couples counselling will be the right (only?) way forward is to set out to her what you think couples counselling will do: that there is a problem in your marriage, that the two of you have been unable to resolve it on your own, and that as long as the problem is unsolved you are feeling resentful, frustrated, and unhappy, making your part in the long and happy marriage you hope to have with her difficult to manage.  I hope she will listen to your reasons and agree to counselling or therapy: if she does not all you can do is listen to her reasons for not agreeing to it, and base your decisions on that.

 

I think you have some difficult decisions to make about how to live the rest of your life: the two pieces of advice I try to follow when in a difficult personal situation are not to do anything irrevocable when my emotions are feeling overwhelming, and when I do make a decision to do what I think I will regret the least.

 

In your case I would add: bringing children into the world while this situation is unresolved would add to the problem and the complication of resolving it.  Please make sure your wife does not become pregnant, either accidentally or deliberately, until you can see a way forward for the two of you.

 

Best wishes.

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uhtred

It is not her fault that she does not enjoy sex,  asexuality is like any other sexual orientation and beyond a person's control.  But, what you have written implies that she deceived you about how she felt about sex, and that was a bad act on her part. Now you are stuck married to, and in love with a woman with whom you are sexually incompatible.

 

All you can do is act based on where you are now.   Can you be happy in a sexless relationship, or in one where she occasionally does sexual "chores" for you? 

 

I've been in a badly mismatched marriage for  over 30 years.  In my case my wife never deceived me, I just deceived myself, so there s no fault on her part - but still its difficult not to feel resentful.  My only useful advice from all those years is that if you stay, GIVE UP HOPING.    It will never change. She will never start to want sex.  

 

Leave, Cheat, Live like a monk.        Not a good set of choices.  (Some would add "open marriage", but very often that leads to divorce anyway, but if she is OK with it you could try)

 

If I were in your spot, I would divorce. 

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Jamie015
10 hours ago, Yuliyasa said:

Perhaps maybe if you suggested that both of you will have an equal say in which couples' therapist you choose to go to will make her more favorable towards attending therapy? I keep getting the sense here that maybe there could be more than what she's telling you and I wonder why she's not being so open with you as to let you know more  about why the sudden change in her behavior. Are there things you had done before you guys got married that maybe you have stopped doing?

I told her she could chose the therapist she wanted. I also said it she didn't want to go to couples counseling we could do individual therapy. I asked her if there were any areas that she wanted me to improve on or if she wasn't happy about something in our marriage. She has always denied being unhappy and will say I love her really well. I know her love language is acts of service so I always try to clean and get things done for her that she dreads doing. Also, as of now I haven’t been blunt with how I am feeling and attempt to continue to be supportive of her. But now I feel like she is not taking my concerns seriously and so I'm not sure if being blunt is the next step. I don't know what else to do for her to understand how much it's all bothering me. 

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Jamie015
10 hours ago, Memento1 said:

I seriously doubt she maliciously withheld this information to hurt you: she withheld it out of deep-seated inadequacy, fear of abandonment, and invalidation. 

I 100% agree that she did not withhold information maliciously because she is not that type of person. I attempt to see things from her perspective, which I do well at most of the time, which then makes me feel guilty for being angry at her because I know she cannot help how she feels and that she does love me. It's very difficult to balance being supportive to her and not ignoring my own needs, as there isn't any room for compromise. Additionally, I'm not sure I would even be able to have sex with her or intimate with the knowledge that she is uncomfortable/feels gross afterwards. I never want to make her feel like that, it makes me feel like I'm taking advantage of her to fulfill my own needs and is a complete turn off. I'll take your advice about getting individual counseling first, i don't believe I'm at the point where I can say I want couples counseling to understand her better when honestly I'm angry at the whole situation and wish that was not a part of her ( which i realize is very invalidating but the truth). I think what hurts the most out of everything is her refusal to communicate, go to couples therapy, research anything about it, etc. So it feels like she doesn't care about my happiness or our marriage, when I'm the one always attempting tot understand her. Thank you for your advice, it was really helpful. Maybe you should be a therapist haha.

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Jamie015
8 hours ago, allieakat said:

In your case I would add: bringing children into the world while this situation is unresolved would add to the problem and the complication of resolving it.

We don't have children and I am not having sex with her, even if she pretended to want to, until we figure out where we stand. So, no worries about accidental children.

I completely agree with not making decisions when emotional. I always think about what I am going to say when it comes to sensitive topics for a few days to make sure I don't hurt her unnecessarily, so I definitely won't make a decision I'll potentially regret without thinking about it thoroughly. Thank you for the reply. It was really helpful.

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Jamie015
2 hours ago, uhtred said:

Can you be happy in a sexless relationship, or in one where she occasionally does sexual "chores" for you? 

I don't think I can be happy in a sexless relationship and definitely wouldn't be turned on when i know it's some chore for her to complete.  It's going to be difficult to give up hoping. It was only this week where i started to put everything together. Before that I thought it would be something that we could work through, but as asexuality is a sexual orientation and does not change I know you’re right. It's just seriously crushing. It's the same as being in a heterosexual relationship and your partner telling you they are homosexual... How are you supposed to deal with that...ugh. I took my vows seriously and hate that something like sex would be the reason I would consider divorce... It sounds so petty but like you said, I can't change my orientation either or I would for her (and myself at this point.)

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uhtred
1 minute ago, Jamie015 said:

I don't think I can be happy in a sexless relationship and definitely wouldn't be turned on when i know it's some chore for her to complete.  It's going to be difficult to give up hoping. It was only this week where i started to put everything together. Before that I thought it would be something that we could work through, but as asexuality is a sexual orientation and does not change I know you’re right. It's just seriously crushing. It's the same as being in a heterosexual relationship and your partner telling you they are homosexual... How are you supposed to deal with that...ugh. I took my vows seriously and hate that something like sex would be the reason I would consider divorce... It sounds so petty but like you said, I can't change my orientation either or I would for her (and myself at this point.)

Its not petty to divorce if a couple is sexually incompatible.  In your case I recommend it as being better for *both* of you than living in a marriage with deep resentment and a sense of having been deceived.  (whether intentional or not - but it sounds intentional). 

 

BTW:  do not get her pregnant no matter what until you sort this out.  That is of upmost importance, or you may be committed for the rest of your life.  

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Memento1
On 9/12/2019 at 11:19 AM, Jamie015 said:

I'll take your advice about getting individual counseling first, i don't believe I'm at the point where I can say I want couples counseling to understand her better when honestly I'm angry at the whole situation and wish that was not a part of her ( which i realize is very invalidating but the truth). I think what hurts the most out of everything is her refusal to communicate, go to couples therapy, research anything about it, etc. So it feels like she doesn't care about my happiness or our marriage, when I'm the one always attempting tot understand her. Thank you for your advice, it was really helpful. Maybe you should be a therapist haha.

Ha, thank you!  I'm actually in graduate school right now to become a Marriage and Family Therapist, so it's validating to hear that. :)

 

It's great that you're aware of what you're capable of at this point!  It's incredibly hard to listen and care about someone else's feelings when your own are so overpowering, which it sounds like is happening to both of you right now.  Communication is just as much about being able to listen as being able to speak.  It sounds like your wife is struggling with both.  Even assuming she's asexual or cannot enjoy any sexual activity is not definite based on the little she has told you.  The biggest hurdle is definitely improving communication right now, and she'll need to learn to communicate better if this is to succeed, but it may have to happen in a roundabout way.  It's unclear how much you can do about that, but perhaps your therapist has ideas.  On some level she's probably aware your motivation to implore her to communicate is to resolve your own dilemma.  She may need to hear from someone else that only wants her to open up for her own benefit.  That is not your fault - no one can be impartial that has a personal stake in the issue.  It's exactly why therapists are not allowed to counsel their own family and friends.  It's kinda of a Catch 22 - the people that care the most are the usually the ones that have a personal stake in things!

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Sinking_In

 

On 9/11/2019 at 9:46 PM, Jamie015 said:

When I asked her why she didn't she said, ”why would I when it ruined so many relationships before.”

This sounds incredibly manipulative, and I feel for you. I had a similar thing happen to me with my own wife. I get why she (both your wife and mine) did it, but it doesn't excuse it. Misrepresenting themselves so they could get what they need/ want, with disregard for what their partner needs/ wants is selfish at best, evil at worst.

 

On 9/11/2019 at 9:46 PM, Jamie015 said:

when I would say ”I'm just going to stop asking” she would say, ” no, please keep asking me, ”

This also sounds manipulative, especially when you know 999/1000x the answer will be "no". Not to mention the more you ask, and the more she says "no", the more likely you both will be annoyed. Also, if you do stop asking, she isn't likely ever going to bring it up, so plan on celibacy.

 

On 9/11/2019 at 9:46 PM, Jamie015 said:

I asked her to go to couples counseling so we can try and figure out how to deal with all this but she says she doesn't want to and doesn't know what therapy will do

I also got this, like it's all MY problem that I need to sort out, alone. I think the point is, you're on your own, and you have to do what is best for you. In any contract, when one party enters into it in bad faith, the contract is null and void, generally speaking. She pretty much misled you into the marriage (from what I gathered from your post), so now that you are aware, you have a choice, and that choice is yours alone to make, given the circumstances. You are FREE to choose, stay or leave, but whatever you do, OWN IT. Don't be afraid to be alone, if you choose to leave (look forward to finding a better relationship), but if you choose to stay, you can't whine about it, you have to accept it and do the work. Either way, a good therapist can help you work through it. Just my opinion.

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