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dazedinnewengland

Question for asexuals married to sexuals

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dazedinnewengland

I'm  only just finding out about asexuality.  I think my husband is asexual due to many classic signs over the past 15 years.  He has never spoken of this, though.  My question is...for those asexual men in committed relationships with sexual women who have not 'come out' to their wives...

Do you feel guilty not being physical with your wife/spouse?

Do you  feel uncomfortable when a sexual scene pops up in a movie you are watching together?  Because I really feel uncomfortable.

Do you think it's 'normal' or 'fair' to be in a relationship with a sexual partner without telling her/him why you never touch her/him?

Do you feel ashamed or nervous to try to explain to her/him how you feel?

Did you realize you were asexual when you got married?  Or, did you want the same thing everyone else had...happy marriage, committed relationship, love...and think everything would work itself out in the long run?

Did you think that if you got married to a woman/man you loved the desire would come eventually?

I am so confused.  My husband cannot give me answers to question he doesn't know I constantly ask him in my own head.  I would love some input from someone on the other end or someone in my position that has these answers.  I want to understand.

Thanks for helping me.

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uhtred

Hello

this is a very difficult situation because many asexuals are not aware of their own asexuality.  Some gradually learn about asexuality, others never recognize that their level of sexual interest is not typical and think that its their partners who are atypical. 

 

In the end of course, "typical' doesn't matter at all because neither of you is married to a "typical" person, you are married to a specific person.  What really matters is compatibility.    Is there a level of sexual activity that will make both partners happy? It doesn't matter where that is on some sort of average / typical level of activity. 

 

I'm on the other side of this as a sexual male in a >30 year marriage to a woman who is near-asexual, and doesn't realize it.   She has never recognized that her level of sexual interest (wants a bit of sexual activity every month or two) is lower than common and thinks I'm way off the curve in wanting sex once or twice a week - she thinks sex wildly exaggerated in the media and that "real couples" only very occasionally have sex.

 

Other people will of course be different.

 

Its been extremely difficult, and frankly I don't recommend trying to make things work when there is too big a gap. It just leads to long term unhappiness that never gets better.   

 

My advice to you is:  Do not expect / hope things will get "better" - he may be hoping the same thing, but with the opposite direction of "better".   I'm pretty sure my wife has spent the last 30 years hoping I would "get over" my interest in sex.   So think about whether you can be happy if things continue the way that they are.  If the answer is no, then don't stay in a marriage where likely both of you are not happy. 

 

Feel free to PM if you like

 

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dazedinnewengland

Thank you so much for responding.  I understand everything you wrote.  I do not expect my husband to change at all.  I would just like to understand his feelings, other than lack of sexual desire.  I know everyone is different.  I hope to gather information so my understanding of asexuality, and the feelings of people who are  asexual.  I cannot feel these same things, so I'd like a different perspective from people who do know.

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Philip027

Technically I am, since my (trans) spouse has come to realize through their transition that they're actually gay instead of asexual as previously thought.  They're trans male though.

 

We met on AVEN (so my identity isn't a secret at all) and we do have sexual interactions though, so I don't think we really fit the demographic that this thread is asking for.  Nevertheless, I feel compelled to make one comment...

 

Quote

Or, did you want the same thing everyone else had...happy marriage, committed relationship, love...and think everything would work itself out in the long run?

Did you think that if you got married to a woman/man you loved the desire would come eventually?

A lot of aces get told that this is what happens, and are "nudged" one way or another into thinking that things will fall into place.  Sometimes they might, but if they really are ace, a lot of the time they won't.

 

Most aces aren't going to be maliciously trying to mislead you.  Many aren't even aware that that's what they are, and it can cause them a lot of internal anguish by trying to force themselves to be someone they're not simply because society pushes them to be that way.

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time_for_a_nap

I know you're looking for responses from men, but I think my experience closely relates to what you're asking.

 

Growing up in a conservative Christian household, I "saved myself for marriage." I never explored my sexuality or felt any need to--I was attracted in some way to men, and assumed that I'd enjoy sex when I had it, since that's what everyone told me to expect.

 

So when I fell in love and got married, we had sex, and it was... Well, I guess for some people it takes time, right? Years passed, and we had sex less and less frequently. I felt horribly guilty about it, and as I learned recently, my husband was gradually being traumatized as he internalized a belief in his own inadequacy.

 

Like in your case, it was the sexual person in the relationship who finally identified the other's asexuality. I fought the idea and wanted to try, somehow, to come to experience sexuality. (I'm gradually starting to accept that he's probably right, much as I don't want it to be the case--it's awfully inconvenient!) My husband, meanwhile, had stored up so much pain over the years that he no longer wanted to be sexual with me. On top of that, he feels strongly that he needs a mutually fulfilling and pleasurable sexual relationship to be part of his marriage. We were still in love, but he came to the conclusion that we could no longer be together.

 

I deeply regret that we didn't fully hash out the subject of sexuality much earlier in our relationship so that we could have found a way to make things work. (On the other hand, maybe our relationship wouldn't have survived it then, either, and we would never have had our otherwise happy years together.)

 

I can't offer any wisdom or advice about how to navigate a sexual/asexual relationship, but what I can say is that not addressing a difference of sexual orientation in a marriage (whether or not that difference has been recognized) can cause significant personal pain and can eat away at a relationship. I doubt that pressuring your husband to identify as asexual would be helpful, but even without using the terminology, you can still talk about your respective experiences of sexuality. That's at least a place to start.

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Traveler40
10 hours ago, time_for_a_nap said:

I deeply regret that we didn't fully hash out the subject of sexuality much earlier in our relationship so that we could have found a way to make things work. (On the other hand, maybe our relationship wouldn't have survived it then, either, and we would never have had our otherwise happy years together.)

I feel your post and wanted to impart the last bit is a high probability reality given it eventually broke anyhow. I’m sorry it ended, but it seems like you fully understand. Having lived what you wrote, I feel both sides of the pain and while we have found a compromise, I sometimes still wish it was different. I see the sadness my husband carries and sometimes see the fear and concern that I may decide to leave. If I could will that away, I would. 

 

10 hours ago, time_for_a_nap said:

what I can say is that not addressing a difference of sexual orientation in a marriage (whether or not that difference has been recognized) can cause significant personal pain

This is quite true. Sometimes, one party faces it while the other can’t or refuses to. That hurdle is tough to overcome. How do you make someone see, face or want to understand something they’d really rather not? You can’t. 
 

So much of this is person specific. The OP wants to hear from asexuals. It’s tough given everyone is different. My aro/ace husband couldn’t articulate much about the reality of his views on sex or romance if his life depended on it. He neither seemingly knows nor cares, even though it affects our lives to the very core. It’s simply not on his radar, and nothing I do or say will change that.

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Jordan92

Im a female ace married to a male sexual; we’ve been together 8 years, married 5. Ive always been asexual but didn't really discover the term when we first met and wasn't 100% my identity was ace until a few years into the relationship. But my behaviors never changed so the labelling of myself didn't change the relationship. 


He’s always noticed I dont react to physical touch or sexual attractions/actions in a “typical” way. We did have a more standard sex life in the first two years because (in my perspective) we were new to each other, i was losing my virginity, and we were figuring out how sex fit into the relationship. But after that “honeymoon” phase the sex dropped off significantly. I often have to remind myself that sex is a larger part of his connection to me and that if I want to continue having a relationship with him I need to have sex sometimes. I dont mind sex but its not as fulfilling and I dont need that physical connection like he does. In that sense I do feel some guilt around preventing him from being as sexual as he’d like. But he's also understanding about how I prioritize out emotional connection and that reassure him and makes him happy.

 

I make sure he knows that my feelings about sex and sexual attraction aren't just about him, that I feel this way about any person. We’ve had many discussions checking in to make sure we’re both happy with the compromises around the amount of sex we have. He's been really patient and  tries his best to understand and ask questions about where my comfort levels are. 
 

Communication is definitely the most important part of determining whether you want the relationship to continue. If you think you’re being unfair to your partners more sexual nature (or vice versa) tell them those feelings. They might not agree and feel okay with the compromise. Or if they agree then you need to continue that talk into compromises and solutions or possibly ending the relationship depending on what you both want. But you cant get answers or better understanding of one another if no one starts the dialogue. 

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graymouse
On 10/13/2020 at 1:41 AM, time_for_a_nap said:

Growing up in a conservative Christian household, I "saved myself for marriage." I never explored my sexuality or felt any need to--I was attracted in some way to men, and assumed that I'd enjoy sex when I had it, since that's what everyone told me to expect.

 

So when I fell in love and got married, we had sex, and it was... Well, I guess for some people it takes time, right? Years passed, and we had sex less and less frequently. I felt horribly guilty about it, and as I learned recently, my husband was gradually being traumatized as he internalized a belief in his own inadequacy.

 

Like in your case, it was the sexual person in the relationship who finally identified the other's asexuality. I fought the idea and wanted to try, somehow, to come to experience sexuality. (I'm gradually starting to accept that he's probably right, much as I don't want it to be the case--it's awfully inconvenient!) My husband, meanwhile, had stored up so much pain over the years that he no longer wanted to be sexual with me. On top of that, he feels strongly that he needs a mutually fulfilling and pleasurable sexual relationship to be part of his marriage. We were still in love, but he came to the conclusion that we could no longer be together.

 

I deeply regret that we didn't fully hash out the subject of sexuality much earlier in our relationship so that we could have found a way to make things work. (On the other hand, maybe our relationship wouldn't have survived it then, either, and we would never have had our otherwise happy years together.)

 

I can't offer any wisdom or advice about how to navigate a sexual/asexual relationship, but what I can say is that not addressing a difference of sexual orientation in a marriage (whether or not that difference has been recognized) can cause significant personal pain and can eat away at a relationship. I doubt that pressuring your husband to identify as asexual would be helpful, but even without using the terminology, you can still talk about your respective experiences of sexuality. That's at least a place to start.

I can relate to you SO MUCH!   I also was raised a Christian, so premarital sex wasn't something I was going to do.  And so when dating my boyfriend (later my husband), we didn't even talk about sex, but we got along so good, and had so much in common, and we're both gamers and nerds, and I felt so comfortable around him.  But the thing was, I wasn't really looking forward to sex. I actually didn't think about it that much, and if I did, I was mostly anxious about it, but I assumed everything would be okay in the end. I just thought it was fun to buy lingerie lol.

 

Anyway, so after we got married, things weren't going amazing with sex, but I assumed that it just took time to figure everything out. We also started having sex less over the years, which my husband pointed out - I probably wouldn't have noticed, because I didn't really care. Anyway, after being married for 18 years, I finally came across asexuality online, and found out that there's basically an element of sex that I'm missing. I think it's the part that makes people feel driven, excited and really into sex, and also combines an emotion with it. To me, sex has nothing to do with my emotional connection with my husband.

 

I discovered that I only feel romantic attraction to guys, not sexual. 

 

Anyway, on a final note, we don't believe in remarriage, so we're just going to try to make our marriage work (one of our tactics is a sex schedule 😆...kind of annoying, but helps our relationship). If my husband would have known about me being asexual before getting married, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have married me.  One thing I'm going to tell my kids before they get engaged, is that they need to make sure they are actually sexually attracted to their partner, because just "marrying your best friend" as the saying goes, won't cut it. You need all the elements to be truly happy.

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