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shuttlegirl

Alright, I'm going to do this.....

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shuttlegirl

Hello everyone,

First off I wanted to thank you all for this amazing site - and for the incredible sensitivity you show to everyone. It's been a great source of comfort and education! Thanks in advance for your patience in reading this.

I have been married for 5 years to a man that I now believe is asexual. When we first started dating - I assumed (I know, bad idea) that it was lack of experience and such. We dated for 4 months before we even kissed, another 4 months after that we had sex for the first time. It was his idea - but I was more than ready. He was 38 at the time and a virgin. I was 33 and very sexually active.

He is a good, kind, decent man with many wonderful qualities. Which was why I was willing to take it slow and let him set the pace. After the first couple of weeks of being sexually active - it slowed down dramatically and would have gone away completely unless I initiated. I realized that we had very different levels of interest in sex - but I assumed he did have some interest. We've had several conversations about the issue and he assured me he was interested it was just that - (insert any number of excuses here - I've heard them all over the years). Well, because I believed that sexual interest was there - just not as strong as mine - I married him. I was willing to compromise on the amount of sex - not give it up completely.

Well, it went from little to almost none. Since I was already into my mid 30's by then, we decided that we wanted to have our family soon after getting married. So for the 2 months that it took for me to get pregnant the first time, we had an active sex life - without me having to beg and plead for it. He didn't initiate but he was willing, because he really wanted to complete that mental picture of the nuclear family. After I got pregnant at Christmas 2003, we didn't have sex again until May of 2005 - it was our anniversary and after many tears and begging on my part we had sex. And I was pregnant again. Since then (May of 2005) we have had sex 2 times, once requiring the same begging and tears, and once because he promised the marriage counselor he would - that one was just about a year ago. I have always had a strong sex drive. I knew going into this that my husband had a lower sex drive - but low and none are two different things. I feel as if I've been betrayed, and now I am trapped with 2 small children in a relationship that does not satisfy on a very fundamental level. Sex doesn't happen at all unless it turns into a big emotional confrontation. Basic advances are basically ignored and/or rejected.

Overall, I know that he isn't having affairs, he isn't interested in other women, he doesn't seem interested in men either, he does not masturbate, he's not comfortable with me masturbating to meet my own needs (so I even have to hide that - and if I didn't have at least that I'm not sure I could stand this at all), He can 'perform' when he finally makes the decision to have sex - just has absolutely no desire or interest in it - and doesn't seem to care that his partner is deeply troubled by this.

I'm not sure what type of advice I'm looking for - but I just felt like I needed to be heard for a change. And this seemed like a good place for it.

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.

Carmen :redface:

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Beardless

As an asexual, I just have to check - ignored or un-noticed? I know that there's a sexual world out there that I don't always notice, and I'm someone who tries hard to notice everything. Does he consider himself asexual? Does he know the term asexual? Did he assume he just had a low sex drive that would improve, because he didn't think there was any other way?

I'm sorry that your relationship is not working the way you thought it would, and I doubt it's working the way he thought it would either.

It took me a long time to realise not everyone felt the same as me. You have also realised that not everyone is the same as you. Has he?

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shuttlegirl
As an asexual, I just have to check - ignored or un-noticed? I know that there's a sexual world out there that I don't always notice, and I'm someone who tries hard to notice everything. Does he consider himself asexual? Does he know the term asexual? Did he assume he just had a low sex drive that would improve, because he didn't think there was any other way?

I'm sorry that your relationship is not working the way you thought it would, and I doubt it's working the way he thought it would either.

It took me a long time to realise not everyone felt the same as me. You have also realised that not everyone is the same as you. Has he?

I honestly don't believe that he has even heard the term 'asexual' outside the 9th grade biology text that described the reproduction of some single celled organisms. After what I've read here - I guess I've labeled him as such - because none of the other 'labels' seem to fit. He seems to understand that somehow he falls outside the norm when it comes to sex - but is also ok with that - even at my expense. But, as for the relationship as a whole - I think he actually is happy in his own way. He's satisfied what he feels is the requirement for a family, enjoys our life together (the 4 of us) - so the rest be damned.....he'll just ignore it.

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je_suis_napoleon

Hi Shuttlegirl!

I'm glad you worked up the nerve to share! If there was more open communication about sexuality, what a great world we'd have!

One thing jumps out at me in your story:

He didn't initiate but he was willing, because he really wanted to complete that mental picture of the nuclear family.

That sounds like you think he really didn't want children for their own sake. Do you mind me being nosy and asking what makes you think that? Is he a loving father, or is he disinterested in the children?

If your husband is anything like me, then he may seriously not get what the problem is, even if he understands on an intellectual level what you're saying. Until recently, I assumed that everyone was pretty much the same, and that people who seemed to want sex all the time were putting on a show because all the hypersexual images we see in the media tell them that's what they ought to want.

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AVENCakes
He seems to understand that somehow he falls outside the norm when it comes to sex - but is also ok with that - even at my expense.

Does he realize it's at your expense to such a level? I mean, he might get you like it and the whole pleading and tears should tip him off, but he might not actually realize. Have you spoken with him, tried to work out a way to compromise? Tried talking to him about this calmly and without letting it become an emotional ordeal? Have you made it clear to him that this is a serious problem for you? And if so- do you have any idea why he doesn't care? I mean, if this is that big a deal and he really does love you- he should at least be concerned that you're unhappy.

As an asexual, I just have to check - ignored or un-noticed? I know that there's a sexual world out there that I don't always notice, and I'm someone who tries hard to notice everything.

I'm gonna have to agree that it's more unnoticed.

People just notice things at different levels. On the same day- one girl walks into class, looks at me and notices I changed my hair, got a new earring, and am wearing vampire fangs in the first minute. I spend half an hour talking with a guy and he only notices the fangs when I point them out- probably had no idea on the earring/hair. What's obvious to one is practically invisible to another. I use this example a lot- but the 'Good bible/myth' scenes from Firefly don't strike me as being the least bit erotic even though I know they're supposed to be- yet I have a friend who's first comment was "wow, she's not being subtle at all" as if he immediately got how it could be erotic.

I don't know what "basic advances" are considered, but they might not seem like "Hey, honey, I want sex" to him like they do to you. Unless you actually say that, then he's definitely ignoring/rejecting.

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santanico
Overall, I know that he isn't having affairs, he isn't interested in other women, he doesn't seem interested in men either, he does not masturbate, he's not comfortable with me masturbating to meet my own needs (so I even have to hide that - and if I didn't have at least that I'm not sure I could stand this at all)

Hi Carmen,

do I get that right? He ignores your begging and he also gets upset when you want to do it yourself? Doesn't sound like a very understanding person.

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je_suis_napoleon

Also, what seems like begging to one person can seem like nagging to another.

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shuttlegirl
Also, what seems like begging to one person can seem like nagging to another.

I totally agree - which is why it's only happened 2x in the last 4 years. :( I don't like when it happens that way - so I've forced myself not to do it - and in hopes that it would give him some space to make a move on his own. It hasn't. I've just kind of given up on my needs in this area - and I'm trying to figure out long term solutions.

As to your earlier post about the family.... it's what makes my decision so difficult. He adores his daughters. I couldn't hope for a more loving, involved and devoted dad for them. They are 2 and 4 and absolutely adore their daddy as much as he loves them. We both come from very traditional families (both sets of parents married for 45+ years). He does love me as best he can, except for a few issues (sex being the biggest, but there are several others) - on these issues he has basically refused work with me, regardless of how I've broached the subject - clearly, directly, indirectly, passive-agressively, bitchily, stonily silent. If he didn't love them (and to some extent me), or was indifferent to them (like he is to most of my needs) - my decisions would be so much easier - I'd go. But if I leave, I'm destroying something for 3 other people for the sake of my own happiness - and I can't bring myself to do that - at least not yet.

Sigh....

Thank you for the questions and the perspective.... BTW, I love your handle!

Carmen

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shuttlegirl
He seems to understand that somehow he falls outside the norm when it comes to sex - but is also ok with that - even at my expense.

Does he realize it's at your expense to such a level? I mean, he might get you like it and the whole pleading and tears should tip him off, but he might not actually realize. Have you spoken with him, tried to work out a way to compromise? Tried talking to him about this calmly and without letting it become an emotional ordeal? Have you made it clear to him that this is a serious problem for you? And if so- do you have any idea why he doesn't care? I mean, if this is that big a deal and he really does love you- he should at least be concerned that you're unhappy.

As an asexual, I just have to check - ignored or un-noticed? I know that there's a sexual world out there that I don't always notice, and I'm someone who tries hard to notice everything.

I'm gonna have to agree that it's more unnoticed.

People just notice things at different levels. On the same day- one girl walks into class, looks at me and notices I changed my hair, got a new earring, and am wearing vampire fangs in the first minute. I spend half an hour talking with a guy and he only notices the fangs when I point them out- probably had no idea on the earring/hair. What's obvious to one is practically invisible to another. I use this example a lot- but the 'Good bible/myth' scenes from Firefly don't strike me as being the least bit erotic even though I know they're supposed to be- yet I have a friend who's first comment was "wow, she's not being subtle at all" as if he immediately got how it could be erotic.

I don't know what "basic advances" are considered, but they might not seem like "Hey, honey, I want sex" to him like they do to you. Unless you actually say that, then he's definitely ignoring/rejecting.

The advances were of the "hey honey I want sex" variety back when I made them - verbal or putting assertive hands in places where there could be no question what was on my mind :redface: . I stopped making them after a while - rejection gets old.

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AVENCakes
The advances were of the "hey honey I want sex" variety back when I made them - verbal or putting assertive hands in places where there could be no question what was on my mind :redface: . I stopped making them after a while - rejection gets old.

You gotta work to not understand that so, yeah, I'd say that's an ignore/reject situation. :(

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shuttlegirl
Overall, I know that he isn't having affairs, he isn't interested in other women, he doesn't seem interested in men either, he does not masturbate, he's not comfortable with me masturbating to meet my own needs (so I even have to hide that - and if I didn't have at least that I'm not sure I could stand this at all)

Hi Carmen,

do I get that right? He ignores your begging and he also gets upset when you want to do it yourself? Doesn't sound like a very understanding person.

You got it right.... he's not particulary understanding or willing to compromise on this issue. I've never come across anyone in my life who can care so much in so many ways - but be utterly unwilling to hear the other person when it's something they do not want to hear.

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< retired >

As you probably know, sometimes sex (or money, or whatever...) isn't really the problem - it's just a vehicle for making a 'deeper' problem more apparent. From what you've said, I'd say that the deeper problem is your husband's lack of concern regarding your unhappiness. IMO, this is a very serious problem. Mutual concern is one of the foundations of a relationship. After you solve this deeper problem, then you'll be able to work on the sex issue. I hope that your marriage counselor is helping your husband understand all of the responsibilities he has in a relationship. :)

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Sublime

Shuttlegirl,

I really feel for you. I have come across quite a few other sexuals married to non-sexuals who have come here looking for help and/or guidance. It seems like in most of those situations, the non-sexual partner will attempt to compromise once they know they are depriving their partner sexually. In your case, it seems somewhat disconcerting that your husband does not even seem to care that you are suffering from your lack of sex. Since he did not tell you at the beginning he was not interested in sex, you should not feel guilty at all for expecting sex in your relationship(not that you didn't say that before). If you have not already, I would make it clear that he needs to at least consider compromising with you, since you have done the same and more. If at some point down the road, the lack of sex becomes too much to handle, you might have to consider the option of separating. By all means though, continue to seek a compromise, it is your marriage after all. If he continues to look the other way though, it might not be worth it to remain with him-he should at least understand your position and not neglect your feelings. Hope this helps and Best of luck!!!

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Olivier

Carmen,

If it helps at all to know that there are others who've been through all of that, and that it's not just you, then know that there's another one here - I know it helps me :) We've also got young kids of very similar ages to yours and my wife and I are about the same age as you and your husband ourselves, so I really identify with how you feel and hope you can find a solution that works for all of you.

Where to start?

Firstly, I'd go with what others, and you instincts, are telling you about labelling your husband as asexual. He sure sounds it, but it would be useful to hear his own take on whether or not he's ever felt sexual attraction, because there's always a chance it's more of a phobia or aversion of some sort, although it doesn't sound as likely as asexuality from your story.

Secondly, it can be hard to separate out exactly what causes you to suffer - the frustration of no sex, or rejection by your loved one. They're so intertwined that it's easy to not see them as separate, but for me the worst thing was rejection, and the feelings of unattractiveness that came with it. Also, I felt a great guilt that my needs were an imposition on my wife, and some bitterness that she didn't seem to feel any corresponding guilt about the effect of her needs on me. Still, in our case, there was a long period where we had more sex than my wife was truly comfortable with, and the roles were reversed - she felt guilty that her lack of desire was hurting me, and a little bitter that I didn't see this, as I was blinded by the fact that we having lots of sex, and so assumed that that meant everything was fine - so we both know what the other side feels like. Communication is the key to resolving this, but that's easier said than done when the subject is the source of so much conflict: avoiding the conflict leads to avoiding the conversation. Having said that, I've not read any success stories here from sexuals who went down the tears and begging route, although at some point it seems we all have :)

Thirdly, I'd be looking for solutions a bit outside the square. I can understand your husband wanting you to hide your masturbation habits from him if sex is a minefield for you both, but perhaps you need to have a talk to him about whether this is an area of possible compromise. If you want sex for the emotional connection, you should let him know that masturbation while alone just can't meet that need. Of course you can fantasise the connection while masturbating, but being aware that you're doing that, and that you don't really have the real thing, can lead to terrible feelings of loneliness. Your husband needs to understand this, and to understand that this really isn't selfishness on your part, it's just physiology. Orgasm produces oxytocin (the "bonding hormone" you had lots of after you kids were born), and seeking emotional bonding during sexual behaviour is just part of the deal for sexuals. We've found that incorporating masturbation into our sex life in place of intercourse gives us a chance to have encounters that are vastly more sexual to me than they are to my wife, while still providing feeling of emotional connection for both of us. That said, it took a bit of rebuilding of trust and a sense of fun before we got to that point.

And lastly, you need to avoid blame at all costs, and replace it with acceptance. You said that you feel betrayed, but I'm sure that wasn't your husband's intention, and it's probably worth letting that feeling of betrayal go. You also said many things that lead me to think that you've come further down the road of accepting your husband's differences than he has in accepting yours. He may have all sorts of reasons for holding back that acceptance, as some sort of defense mechanism for his asexuality, perhaps, but you both need to come to a point where you accept each other for who you are, sexual differences and all, and build on that, rather than attempting to change each other, which is as unlikely to work for you as it is for him.

Anyway, as much as I want to come over and give your husband a good shake and say "Look at how hard your wife is trying to make this work!" that's your job, and I hope AVEN is the source for some ideas on how you can make that happen. Anyway, it can work - it has for me - but it took work from both of us. I hope it works out for you too, and I look forward to seeing you around the forum :)

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mad_scientist
As an asexual, I just have to check - ignored or un-noticed? I know that there's a sexual world out there that I don't always notice, and I'm someone who tries hard to notice everything. Does he consider himself asexual? Does he know the term asexual? Did he assume he just had a low sex drive that would improve, because he didn't think there was any other way?

I'm sorry that your relationship is not working the way you thought it would, and I doubt it's working the way he thought it would either.

It took me a long time to realise not everyone felt the same as me. You have also realised that not everyone is the same as you. Has he?

I honestly don't believe that he has even heard the term 'asexual' outside the 9th grade biology text that described the reproduction of some single celled organisms. After what I've read here - I guess I've labeled him as such - because none of the other 'labels' seem to fit. He seems to understand that somehow he falls outside the norm when it comes to sex - but is also ok with that - even at my expense. But, as for the relationship as a whole - I think he actually is happy in his own way. He's satisfied what he feels is the requirement for a family, enjoys our life together (the 4 of us) - so the rest be damned.....he'll just ignore it.

Get him on AVEN, somehow. Do it TACTFULLY. Don't say "I think you're asexual, check out this cool site!" I think the best method would be to go to, say, the ace lolcats thread, find a funny picture, and get him to come over and laugh at it. Or if you know there's going to be an asexuality segment on a talk show on TV, organise things so you'll be watching that channel when it comes on.

Once he's adjusted to the situation, talk about it. Several people here have made sexual-asexual relationships work. For some, they agree on sexual compromises. For others, the sexual partner finds a sex partner (NOT an emotional partner; polyamoury does happen, but not many people are comfortable with it, and I imagine it would be especially difficult with asexuals in the picture because we know we can't compete when it comes to the sexual side of a relationship). there are lots of things that can be done to make it work.

Oh, and if he IS asexual, you're not going to be able to "fix" him. Ever. Just so you know.

It's unlikely that he knows how much he's hurting you, and very likely that you're hurting him. After your sexual encounters he may well feel stressed and violated, especially if he's been pressured into them. So it's important that this issue is not ignored.

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je_suis_napoleon
Thank you for the questions and the perspective.... BTW, I love your handle!

Thanks! It's from an episode of "Futurama." I loved that show!

He adores his daughters. I couldn't hope for a more loving, involved and devoted dad for them. They are 2 and 4 and absolutely adore their daddy as much as he loves them.

Then I'm still confused and curious about what makes you think that he only wanted to have children to complete a mental image of a nuclear family, and not because he really wanted to have children and be a good father to them.

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shuttlegirl
Thank you for the questions and the perspective.... BTW, I love your handle!

Thanks! It's from an episode of "Futurama." I loved that show!

He adores his daughters. I couldn't hope for a more loving, involved and devoted dad for them. They are 2 and 4 and absolutely adore their daddy as much as he loves them.

Then I'm still confused and curious about what makes you think that he only wanted to have children to complete a mental image of a nuclear family, and not because he really wanted to have children and be a good father to them.

No - I don't mean he only wanted kids to complete the picture - he wanted kids, he wants and loves that 'picture' - but he only had the sex because that was the only way to get the kids to have that image of the nuclear family. He loves the family, and the 'idea of family' but seems to be lacking in willingness to understand / work with his partners needs. Sorry to confuse - of course, if I wasn't so damned confused myself, I probably wouldn't be here searching for clarity.

Carmen

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Sally

I wonder, from some of the things you've said, if he may be more committed to the sense of family meaning he and the kids than family meaning he, you, and the kids. That's something to explore with him, which wouldn't necessarily mean you have to discuss sex per se. If he doesn't want sex (and it seems that's true) and also doesn't really need/want a close partner/live-together-type relationship, then that's something to factor in.

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je_suis_napoleon
No - I don't mean he only wanted kids to complete the picture - he wanted kids, he wants and loves that 'picture' - but he only had the sex because that was the only way to get the kids to have that image of the nuclear family. He loves the family, and the 'idea of family' but seems to be lacking in willingness to understand / work with his partners needs. Sorry to confuse - of course, if I wasn't so damned confused myself, I probably wouldn't be here searching for clarity.

I still don't understand - what, then, is the significance of the "image of the nuclear family/mental picture of the nuclear family?" And why say, "he wants and loves that 'picture'" as if it's not something real and genuine?

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Olivier
I still don't understand - what, then, is the significance of the "image of the nuclear family/mental picture of the nuclear family?" And why say, "he wants and loves that 'picture'" as if it's not something real and genuine?

To me it sounds like he wants to have a family, and all the things that are associated by our culture with the notion of "family", but doesn't necessarily want to do all the things that are necessary to be part of a family (and I don't mean sex, I mean working hard to smooth out any wrinkles in the relationship with your partner).

Because when there are differences in priority, or needs, or desires, it is work - and it's not fair to let one side do all the heavy lifting, while the other just grumbles about how things would be better if all the work was done already, or that the work doesn't need doing at all.

Think of it like having a heavy wardrobe delivered and the delivery guys just leave it in the middle of your living room. Both partners agree it's a problem, and that it should be against the bedroom wall. But when it comes to getting it there, one partner just stands by while the other pushes and shoves to little effect. Lifting it together would be hard work, but alone it's just impossible to get it far at all. It's frustrating enough to (repeatedly) ask for help and not get it, but it's super-aggravating to get the reply "You know, having it the middle of the living room doesn't really bug me that much."

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shuttlegirl
I still don't understand - what, then, is the significance of the "image of the nuclear family/mental picture of the nuclear family?" And why say, "he wants and loves that 'picture'" as if it's not something real and genuine?

To me it sounds like he wants to have a family, and all the things that are associated by our culture with the notion of "family", but doesn't necessarily want to do all the things that are necessary to be part of a family (and I don't mean sex, I mean working hard to smooth out any wrinkles in the relationship with your partner).

Because when there are differences in priority, or needs, or desires, it is work - and it's not fair to let one side do all the heavy lifting, while the other just grumbles about how things would be better if all the work was done already, or that the work doesn't need doing at all.

Think of it like having a heavy wardrobe delivered and the delivery guys just leave it in the middle of your living room. Both partners agree it's a problem, and that it should be against the bedroom wall. But when it comes to getting it there, one partner just stands by while the other pushes and shoves to little effect. Lifting it together would be hard work, but alone it's just impossible to get it far at all. It's frustrating enough to (repeatedly) ask for help and not get it, but it's super-aggravating to get the reply "You know, having it the middle of the living room doesn't really bug me that much."

Olivier - you hit the nail on the head - and were able to express it so much better than I could! Your posts here in my thread (and all that I've read across the boards) have been really helpful and insightful. Thank you so very much....

Carmen

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je_suis_napoleon
To me it sounds like he wants to have a family, and all the things that are associated by our culture with the notion of "family", but doesn't necessarily want to do all the things that are necessary to be part of a family

Right, I get that - but I'm just not understanding what it is about her husband that's drawn her to this conclusion about his motivations for having children. She says he loves the children, but she thinks he had them for the wrong reasons. It's like how the Underpants Gnomes on South Park plan on making a profit (see dialog below if you don;t know what I'm talking about). Point A is there, and point C is there, but she hasn't said what point B is. All you're doing is describing point C further.

And let's not forget that for an asexual, sex is NOT one of the things necessary for being part of a family, just as penis/vagina intercourse is not one of the things necessary for being part of a family to a homosexual. That doesn't mean that homosexuals who have children through adoption or surrogacy are only having children to fulfill some mental image and not for the same reasons straight people do.

I'd like to know what the wife's motivation for having children was, and why she assumes the husband's motivation isn't the same thing.

DIALOG:

Cartman: So what are you gonna do with all these underpants that you steal?

Gnome: Collecting underpants is just phase 1. Phase 1: collect underpants.

Kyle: Sooo, what's phase 2?

Gnome: [has no response. Looks around, then calls out to the other gnomes on the underpants mound] Hey, what's phase 2?

Gnome 2: Phase 1: we collect underpants.

Gnome: Yeah yeah yeah, but. What about phase 2?

Gnome 2: [says nothing, then] Well, phase 3 is profit. Get it?

Stan: I don't get it.

Gnome 2: [walks up to a large chart] You see, Phase 1: collect underpants. Phase 2:. . . Phase 3: Profit.

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Olivier
She says he loves the children, but she thinks he had them for the wrong reasons.

No, you say that - I've reread, and I don't see it that way at all. Only that perhaps his motivations were selfish in putting his desire for a family ahead of any concern that that decision would lock his partner into an unsatisfying relationship. He gets what he wants, but traps her into something she doesn't want (a sexless marriage). If you also want kids, it's an easy trap to fall into, blinded by optimism/love, not to mention that at the point you are trying for kids, the marriage isn't sexless.

Also... [minor snark]

And let's not forget that for an asexual, sex is NOT one of the things necessary for being part of a family

I agree, which is why the very next words I wrote after those you quoted from my post were:

To me it sounds like he wants to have a family, and all the things that are associated by our culture with the notion of "family", but doesn't necessarily want to do all the things that are necessary to be part of a family (and I don't mean sex, ...

I wrote that specifically so that no-one could take that interpretation and apply it to my post.

[/minor snark] :)

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Sally
To me it sounds like he wants to have a family, and all the things that are associated by our culture with the notion of "family", but doesn't necessarily want to do all the things that are necessary to be part of a family (and I don't mean sex, ...

I wrote that specifically so that no-one could take that interpretation and apply it to my post.

[/minor snark] :)

Ah, but you really DID mean sex, Olivier! We know you. You're just an exceptionally semantically-slippery sexual. *MAJOR SNARK* :lol:

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je_suis_napoleon
To me it sounds like he wants to have a family, and all the things that are associated by our culture with the notion of "family", but doesn't necessarily want to do all the things that are necessary to be part of a family (and I don't mean sex, ...

I wrote that specifically so that no-one could take that interpretation and apply it to my post.

[/minor snark] :)

Right, which is why I started that section with "And" instead of "But."

Whether you meant sex or taking out the trash is beside the point of my question.

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je_suis_napoleon

But, just for the sake of discussion, let's do a quick litmus test to see if it really isn't necessarily about sex, by changing a variable.

Let's say that it's about jogging.

Mrs. X. really loves jogging.

Mrs. X. loves jogging so much she wants Mr. X. to come jogging with her.

Because jogging is so important to Mrs. X, she feels it's reasonable that she should want Mr. X. to come along.

Mr. X. doesn't care for jogging.

Because Mr. X. doesn't care for jogging, he'd rather not go jogging with Mrs. X.

Because jogging isn't important to Mr. X., he feels it's reasonable that he not go with her.

Therefore, Mr. X. really didn't want to have his beloved children for the same reason Mrs. X. did,

OK, it's still kind of a "Huh?" for me.

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Olivier
Ah, but you really DID mean sex, Olivier! We know you. You're just an exceptionally semantically-slippery sexual. *MAJOR SNARK* :lol:

I added a bit to my last post, and edited it out again because it was personal, and (I felt) not particularly relevant, but I'll post it now because I think it's important, if only to make sense of what I posted before...

I have a successful sexual/asexual relationship, which has nonetheless had some sex-related problems, as anyone who has read my posts, and certainly you, Sally, know. For a time, I found myself in Carmen's position of being the one doing the heavy lifting to resolve the emotional impact of these problems, while my wife (by her own admission) avoided helping, not to hurt me, but because she wished to avoid the whole conflict that surrounded sex. But by good communication, and our shared commitment to making our relationship work, we realised that we would both have to work together to sort things out, and we did. We're good like that. During that entire process of healing the damaged parts of our relationship we did not have sex. It's the attitude shift to making it a shared problem that you can unite against that's important to progress, not the sex, and I'll stand by that as not just semantics, but something that has profoundly affected my life for the better. Again, I'm speaking from experience, not some rosy ideal of how this stuff should work.

If I'm sounding defensive, it's because I believe that being able to strip out the real problem from the interwoven fabric of relationships is important and worth defending, and I strongly feel that when you get to the heart of the problems facing sexual/asexual couples, frequency of sex is rarely the root cause, but merely an easily latched onto symptom of not dealing well with accepting differences in needs (by either side or both). It's a bit chicken and egg, but just making a compromise on sex - and not working on true acceptance by BOTH partners - will not work, in my opinion.

Right, which is why I started that section with "And" instead of "But."

Whether you meant sex or taking out the trash is beside the point of my question.

So why bring it up? Especially as I specifically said I was talking about something completely different.

But, just for the sake of discussion, let's do a quick litmus test to see if it really isn't necessarily about sex, by changing a variable.

Let's say that it's about jogging.

Mrs. X. really loves jogging.

Mrs. X. loves jogging so much she wants Mr. X. to come jogging with her.

Because jogging is so important to Mrs. X, she feels it's reasonable that she should want Mr. X. to come along.

Mr. X. doesn't care for jogging.

Because Mr. X. doesn't care for jogging, he'd rather not go jogging with Mrs. X.

Because jogging isn't important to Mr. X., he feels it's reasonable that he not go with her.

Therefore, Mr. X. really didn't want to have his beloved children for the same reason Mrs. X. did,

OK, it's still kind of a "Huh?" for me.

OK, so Mr X doesn't care for jogging, but goes with Mrs X anyway for the sake of the relationship. This compromise works, and Mrs X consciously or subconsciously believes that it's reasonable to expect this to continue. Then they have kids, locking them into a commitment beyond merely what they have for each other. Then Mr X won't go jogging anymore, and Mrs X either has to (1) suck it up, (2) leave (and leave her kids), or (3) leave with the kids (and render them fatherless). She's in a position with three poor choices, and not a whole lot of control over how she got there, which is stressful. To the extent she had control, she may have regrets over her choices. What's not to understand?

To me, Carmen's husband is being like the South Park Underwear Gnomes:

Phase 1: Acquire the trappings of family: wife, kids, house, dog...

Phase 2: ....

Phase 3: Profit: have a great marriage, live the apple pie image of happy families.

It's him that seems to have fudged over what's involved in Phase 2.

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luigifred
Hello everyone,

First off I wanted to thank you all for this amazing site - and for the incredible sensitivity you show to everyone. It's been a great source of comfort and education! Thanks in advance for your patience in reading this.

I have been married for 5 years to a man that I now believe is asexual. When we first started dating - I assumed (I know, bad idea) that it was lack of experience and such. We dated for 4 months before we even kissed, another 4 months after that we had sex for the first time. It was his idea - but I was more than ready. He was 38 at the time and a virgin. I was 33 and very sexually active.

He is a good, kind, decent man with many wonderful qualities. Which was why I was willing to take it slow and let him set the pace. After the first couple of weeks of being sexually active - it slowed down dramatically and would have gone away completely unless I initiated. I realized that we had very different levels of interest in sex - but I assumed he did have some interest. We've had several conversations about the issue and he assured me he was interested it was just that - (insert any number of excuses here - I've heard them all over the years). Well, because I believed that sexual interest was there - just not as strong as mine - I married him. I was willing to compromise on the amount of sex - not give it up completely.

Well, it went from little to almost none. Since I was already into my mid 30's by then, we decided that we wanted to have our family soon after getting married. So for the 2 months that it took for me to get pregnant the first time, we had an active sex life - without me having to beg and plead for it. He didn't initiate but he was willing, because he really wanted to complete that mental picture of the nuclear family. After I got pregnant at Christmas 2003, we didn't have sex again until May of 2005 - it was our anniversary and after many tears and begging on my part we had sex. And I was pregnant again. Since then (May of 2005) we have had sex 2 times, once requiring the same begging and tears, and once because he promised the marriage counselor he would - that one was just about a year ago. I have always had a strong sex drive. I knew going into this that my husband had a lower sex drive - but low and none are two different things. I feel as if I've been betrayed, and now I am trapped with 2 small children in a relationship that does not satisfy on a very fundamental level. Sex doesn't happen at all unless it turns into a big emotional confrontation. Basic advances are basically ignored and/or rejected.

Overall, I know that he isn't having affairs, he isn't interested in other women, he doesn't seem interested in men either, he does not masturbate, he's not comfortable with me masturbating to meet my own needs (so I even have to hide that - and if I didn't have at least that I'm not sure I could stand this at all), He can 'perform' when he finally makes the decision to have sex - just has absolutely no desire or interest in it - and doesn't seem to care that his partner is deeply troubled by this.

I'm not sure what type of advice I'm looking for - but I just felt like I needed to be heard for a change. And this seemed like a good place for it.

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.

Carmen :redface:

Before the invention of Viagra and other related drugs, elderly/seniors who were married or in relationships simply accepted the period of their life had come when sex no longer existed as a part of their life. Perhaps their attention turned instead to volunteerism, their grandchildren, their church, or something else. You, however, are not a senior citizen. As the sexual (and also even" breeder") type of young individual you are, it is a basic DISCONNECT that your partner is asexual and you are sexual. Neither of you can be fully comfortable or satisfied, and that is unfortunate. Perhaps you need to really sit down and think about how important sexuality is to you in your life. Is it something you are willing to compromise? Or is it a deal-breaker? Is masturbation, porn, and fantasy going to satisfy you? Would it be possible that you could seek sexual gratification outside of the marriage? These are all things to ponder...

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Sally
It's a bit chicken and egg, but just making a compromise on sex - and not working on true acceptance by BOTH partners - will not work, in my opinion.

Very true, Olivier. And I apologize if I "snarked" with insensitivity when you were feeling quite serious.

What you said above is what I've tried to express in many responses and in too many words. Compromise alone just leads to resentment, which definitely kills sex for the sexual partner and eventually love for both.

Although the work is ongoing for you and your wife, you're an example of two people who care more about each other than about maintaining your individual "rights" to a perfect marriage. Very impressive.

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evanescence

He's satisfied what he feels is the requirement for a family, enjoys our life together (the 4 of us) - so the rest be damned.....he'll just ignore it.

OK, so what do you expect him to do about it? You said that he isn't turned on by sexual thoughts or activities. Do you think he can force himself to get turned on? Do you think you can enjoy sex with a man who clearly doesn't enjoy it or get aroused by it? (I'm asking these questions not to attack you, but because I wonder what you think he might do to meet your needs. To me it sounds like it just isn't possible.)

Evanescence

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