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SexualHubby

Marriage w/ Asexual wife about to end

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patient_husband
And there's no "political agenda" when we talk about normal or not normal. Normal is a word that means "OK" and anything else means "not OK." You can understand how that makes us feel. We are normal to us. You are normal to you. No one should really be compared to anyone else.

Quick note: I realize this may be semantics, but the word normal means average or common. Literally "not deviating from a norm." It doesn't make a value judgment, only a statistical judgment that something is common.

The word normative, however, does imply that something should be the norm. It makes a value judgment that a certain state of affairs is ideal. Literally "determining norms or standards."

Therefore it would be true to say, "Violence is a normal part of human culture, but a normative culture would be peaceful."

I think is would be rude to say that being a sexual is normative, but it isn't necessarily so to say being a sexual is normal. There are a lot more sexuals than asexuals in the general population. I realize that some people confuse the word "normal" to include a value judgement, therefore it may be wise to be cautious with its use, but we shouldn't necessarily be upset if the word is used in conversation since it is not offensive the way she obviously used it.

Sorry I am a stickler for words, so I had to throw that in. Carry on!

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Sally

That's semantically true. However, in the common culture, "normal" means OK, and "not normal" means not OK. Peoples' understanding of terms is often different from what the terms literally mean, and the common understanding is the one that affects emotions.

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daveb

Normal is boring ;)

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Olivier

Not to mention it would be incredibly abnormal for everyone to be "normal/typical". In fact, so abnormal as to be for all intents impossible in our world. Diversity is normal. Universal normativity is unknown.

Privileging normativity has had soooooo many unfortunate outcomes that it's better to just oppose it on principle, than to wait for it to manifest itself as some form of active discrimination.

*cough* sorry about that. As you were, then. :unsure:

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xsex

I think that the definition and correct use of the words "normal and atypical" is not the essence of the disapproval regarding its application to asexuality. I think there is a realistic concern related to how easily bashers and protesters turn simple words and phrases into something for which they were never intended. I have lived within 20 miles of S.F. all my life and I've seen how the protesters remove all level of "intelligence" from their public front. For instance, the discussion of abortion has been reduced to "baby murders" by anti-abortionist protesters. Thus, the discussion we may be having here about the correct usage of the words "normal or atypical" would never see the light of day if protesters decide to use them in rhetorical garbage. I can tell by the type of discussions that have been going on between those of us posting on this site that everyone seems to be well educated and well meaning. I can only conclude that any objection to the use of certain words is far deeper than the actual definition or meaning of those words. .

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Sally
I can only conclude that any objection to the use of certain words is far deeper than the actual definition or meaning of those words. .

That's what I was saying. Or rather the "real" meaning of some words is deeper than the definition. What do you think people mean when they say "That's not normal!" They mean it's not good. You may attempt to comfort yourself with the correct definition and how they simply aren't educated enough to know what normal truly means, but that doesn't change the cultural feeling around "not normal." It hurts if it's applied to you.

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xsex

Sally, I would like to ask you to respond to the question I have regarding an asexual persons sexual drive. I see that you have been a part of this site for a long time and I gather you have a lot more knowledge about this subject than many of us newbies, so I think I might get a clearer answer from you than some others. My question is, "Do asexual people feel a need to sexually pleasure themselves, or do they lack any sexual desires what so ever." I ask because my spouse use to take care of himself sexually on a routine basis, and this created even more confusion for me in trying to understand his reluctance to have sex.

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xsex
.

What do you think people mean when they say "That's not normal!" They mean it's not good. You may attempt to comfort yourself with the correct definition and how they simply aren't educated enough to know what normal truly means, but that doesn't change the cultural feeling around "not normal." It hurts if it's applied to you.

I've been told my whole adult life that I was different. I didn't take offense to this because I knew that I was different from others and I always considered it a complement. If I see a plant or animal that is "not normal" I'm always drawn to it because it has something unique about it that the others don't. However, if I grew up thinking that my "difference" made me not alright, I guess I would feel hurt by others implications. There is nothing normal about a white Tiger, and it is obviously one of the most stunning animals within the Big Cat family. So I suppose it's all a matter of how one interprets the word and how it makes them feel. Personally, being normal is nothing I have ever aspired to be in life.

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daveb
Sally, I would like to ask you to respond to the question I have regarding an asexual persons sexual drive. I see that you have been a part of this site for a long time and I gather you have a lot more knowledge about this subject than many of us newbies, so I think I might get a clearer answer from you than some others. My question is, "Do asexual people feel a need to sexually pleasure themselves, or do they lack any sexual desires what so ever." I ask because my spouse use to take care of himself sexually on a routine basis, and this created even more confusion for me in trying to understand his reluctance to have sex.

I hope you don't mind me butting in here with my perspective as an older (52) heteroromantic asexual male... I do "pleasure myself". From what I've heard around here so do other asexuals.

I'm trying to figure out how to put this - I have no desire to have sex. Masturbation is self-stimulation and, to me at least, very different from sexual intercourse.

Not sure if this makes sense... :unsure:

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Olivier

Makes sense to me. I'm heterosexual and if I was horny as hell there could be as many sexually willing males around as you please, I'd still rather masturbate to damp down my horniness than have sex with any of them. I suspect everyone with a libido is like that with people they're not in the slightest sexually attracted to.

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xsex

I'm glad you both have responded to my inquiry. It totally makes sense. I wonder if the intimacy aspect of sex with a partner is part of the turn off for asexuals? Any inputs on this question would help too.

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daveb
I'm glad you both have responded to my inquiry. It totally makes sense. I wonder if the intimacy aspect of sex with a partner is part of the turn off for asexuals? Any inputs on this question would help too.

I don't think that's quite it either. At least not for me. Speaking for myself I do enjoy physical intimacy in the form of cuddling, snuggling, hugging, back rubs, and other non-sexual touching. When I had a partner I loved the feeling of her gently touching/caressing my face, for example. From other threads I gather there's no consensus among asexuals as to preference for physical contact/intimacy. Some love hugs and cuddles, but not kisses. Others enjoy kisses. Some even enjoy French kissing with certain people. Others don't want any of that. And some sexuals seem to not want the cuddles or other non-sexual physical contact.

Again speaking for myself, because I can't speak for others as everyone is different, I'm trying to articulate what it is about sex that I'm not interested in. I can get aroused, but when I'm with someone it's difficult to maintain that state. Maybe it's not so much a turn off, but a distraction? Sexual people can have difficulty maintaining arousal when distracted, right? All I can think to say is I don't get any pleasure out of sex. I get much more pleasure out of cuddling, but even then I prefer to be clothed. I don't like the feeling of lots of bare flesh in close contact - partly because for me that usually means a lot of sweating and I don't enjoy that.

(Should we move this discussion to a new thread? I don't want to hijack sexualhubby's thread.)

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Olivier
I'm glad you both have responded to my inquiry. It totally makes sense. I wonder if the intimacy aspect of sex with a partner is part of the turn off for asexuals? Any inputs on this question would help too.

In my case, it's not that my wife has a negative view of the intimacy that comes from sex, it's that for her sex produces no feelings of intimacy. If it did, she'd be all for it.

And the whole "but if you masturbate, how can you not want sex?" thing: forgot to mention. Been there. Confusing as hell, especially if you think you're dealing with a libido mismatch, not an orientation mismatch.

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xsex

I doubt were highjacking any aspect of sexual hubbies initial postings. In fact, he is probably reading this with as much interest as I am. I mean, how else are partners going to get a handle on what is going on if they can't get some information from others who have similar feelings? For me, this is very enlightening. I wish I had this group to talk to years ago. What I'm hearing from those who are responding is that there is a fundamental lack of enjoyment in sex with others. It reminds me of my husbands refusal to go on carnival rides that create uncontrollable feelings emotionally and physically. I've always loved those wild feelings, but he really hates them and has never shared them with me. It's just something I understood without placing a judgement on his opposing feelings. I think there is just too much "emphases" placed all around the sexual issues in relationships to be nonjudgmental about the difference of feelings between two people. If I had known even a quarter of what I've learned in the last month, I have to believe the knowledge would have saved us both from so much unnecessary pain.

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Sally
Sally, I would like to ask you to respond to the question I have regarding an asexual persons sexual drive. I see that you have been a part of this site for a long time and I gather you have a lot more knowledge about this subject than many of us newbies, so I think I might get a clearer answer from you than some others. My question is, "Do asexual people feel a need to sexually pleasure themselves, or do they lack any sexual desires what so ever." I ask because my spouse use to take care of himself sexually on a routine basis, and this created even more confusion for me in trying to understand his reluctance to have sex.

I'm definitely no expert in that because masturbation has never sounded in the least interesting to me. But others feel differently, as you've learned from this and other threads. So none of us "represent" how asexuals feel -- none of us are experts.

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T.Van

Some asexuals like to masturbate and some don't. I suppose for the asexuals who DO masturbate, the idea of seeking sex with someone would be like asking someone if they would use the toilet with them, or asking someone if they would please sneeze on you while you sneeze back at them -- something kind of bizarre like that.

Whenever I think of this sort of thing, I think of this fake commercial of 'The Love Toilet' :lol: :

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/23920/1229171

I mean, yeah, it feels good to pee if you've got to go, but would you really want to invite someone to share the potty with you? :blink:

Just my humorous take on it. Maybe someone else can explain it better, but that is my analogy.

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xsex

And speaking of knowledge... It makes me ill to consider that all my sexual knowledge came from stupid magazine articles, T.V. shows, movies and love stories. It is no wonder that my husband did not feel safe in expressing how he really felt about sex. He was up against all the garbage I had filled my mind with over the years. In a sense, he didn't stand much of a chance to make heads or tails out of his own feelings which he probably felt no one else was experiencing.

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xsex

Off the subject, but... Has anyone else noticed that the beautiful Luna moth has disappeared off the face of the earth?

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T.Van

I have? :unsure:

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n44ww

As a guy who has also been married for nearly 20 years to a (presumed) asexual woman, I feel as though you had written my story. This is my first visit to the site, but you should know you aren't the only person in the world that feels as you do. Everything you said - "why me", romantic evenings/vacations where everything led up to sleep (and anger at my having even brought up lovemaking), isn't marriage supposed to provide an intimate bond shared through lovemaking, what is wrong with her/me?, two years+ (for me) with no lovemaking - and no interest at all by her, two kids and an almost immediate drop in her 'interest', feelings like your heart has been cut out by her, various clues to asexuality that only became apparent after many years (one clue didn't fully sink in during pre-marital counselling - "sex has no importance to me and if we never had sex, that would be fine with me" - yes, I couldn't believe she said that and somehow talked myself into thinking she was just exagerating), etc. In my case, though, she insists that we never talk about our lovemaking - before, during or after. It makes her uncomfortable. Oral sex? "I'm conflicted" Orgasm? I remember the one single time that she said lovemaking felt good. I thank God that I had active sexual relationships before we got married - it's the only thing that helps to remind me that I have had loving sexual relationships in the past, know how to make those happen and that this can't be caused by something I did.

Where I have always felt cheated or empty is when I think of the notion that I had where marriage provides a man and a woman the opportunity to achieve such closeness and intimacy through lovemaking that the two people truly become one. We've never had that and it's always caused me to question if there was any point to marriage. There is really no difference between this marriage and a one night stand - no emotional attachment. Except it is worse, because I expected an intimate attachment and the 'answer' was no.

After two years of celibacy (not my choice), I am nearly to the point where I don't care anymore. That part of our relationship is just about dead. And I suppose I can live without intimacy, as long as I can concentrate on something else. I just miss what I had in other relationships - and we weren't even married!

My heart goes out to you. I think I can actually understand what you have gone through. I don't have the answer. I wish it was as simple as a testosterone patch for her. I'll say a prayer for both of us!

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hopeeternal

Ive been lurking on these forums for awhile. I am a highly sexual wife with a husband who isnt very sexual. After reading these boards, he does seem to fit the "label" of asexual. Weve been married 25 years. However, after reading these posts, i should consider myself extremely lucky. It seems like IF my hubby is asexual hes made quite a bit of compromise as we generally have sex once a week. (I know, I know, bear with me) However, I never feel wanted or needed and he only will have sex on a weekend morning, preferably Sunday. He claims hes tired and he does sleep excessively. He thinks its ok and just "likes sleep". He was ALWAYS this way- sex once a week like clockwork on a calendar. drove me batty and I actually knew this before i married but i told my self that it 'shouldnt matter and wont matter in 20 years. But it did matter and still does matter. Through the years hes stopped doing some of the things we did, I had a bad sinus infection once and understandabley no more kissing. However, when the bad breath went away he never started kissing me again. I havent had oral sex in probably 20 years. Way back then I went off the pill and he thought I "smelled" . Again a temporary problem but a permanent affect. I never needed much foreplay and he would usually last long enough to give me 3 or 4 orgasms so i was content to wait a week or two until the next time (yes if something came up on our sex day id have to wait another whole week) Welll right around our 25th anniversary, he started not taking as long and He never left me hanging but it would be nice to have a little more foreplay to compensate. I am highly arousable and one orgasm is a warm up. I need several to be fulfilled. But its not just about the pleasure- its about feeling desireable . I mull over the fact that I dont want to wake up in another 10 -20 years and regret my life. I dread his retirement or I look forward to it with pleasure. He often cites "work" as the problem. The fact that he has to work that is. Hes never been comfortable in the work world despite his success.

Now there have been many reasons as most of you sexuals have probably attempted to attribute your spouses lack of interest (or at least mismatched drives) to things like childhood abuse, low hormones, not being sexually attractive ( I still struggle with this- I'm 49 look 35, feel like 25, Im in good shape and I'll do ANYTHING he wants in terms of sex but he never wants anything other than the "usual") At anyrate, my husband is also very introverted, somewhat socially anxious, has a very short fuse at times, and is SENSORY SENSITIVE.

I learned aboout sensory issues because of our three children, all of whom have sensory issues in the area of touch, smell, taste, visual defensiveness. Not all of them have problems in all those areas but I also saw alot of the sensitivities in my husband. Smell and "messes" in particular. Face it sex is messy, and can involve even natural odors that are not offensive to a less sensitive individual. For instance, my hubbys made comments continually in a joking way (he tends to use humor to ease the cutting of a harsh comment) about smells. Hes a total neatnicka round the house ( I used to think it was OCD) its visually upsetting. I also think not only is he socially anxious, but that hes been sopmewhat depressed although he wont admit to depression. Hes been on Effexor since 2004 and that was a huge help for things. Frankly i think his dose may just need to be increased. hes also had lifelong irritable bowel syndrome and now has some pretty nasty hemmorhoids. So the more I write i feel more guilty.

So in my case its not about the quantity ( id love sex twice a day if i could) but the fact that i get the distinct feeling that hed love to wrap himself in saran wrap. However he is very touchy feely which only drives my sex drive through the roof.

The points id like to make are these:

To Sexualhubby- is it possible that perhaps your wife has been depressed all these years and the fact that sehs taking antidepressants is making her feel sexual again. In other words maybe she really isnt as asexual? Also if the med she is taking is Wellbutrin, that can increase sex drive. Depression anxiety and anger all can kill a sex drive even in a sexual. Ironically anxiety makes my sex drive skyrocket.

Also, you mention about her needing to clean up afterwards, and a couple of others mentioned that as well. It used to hurt me that my husband always gets up and washes himself- often showering afterwards. Then agian we only have sex in the morning so thats probably a good thing anyway. That can be a sensory issue. My husband will become nauseated with things as innocuous as a person licking a bit of something off a finger while eating a burger or the like.

Another repeating theme is that asexuals do not feel the emotional connection with sex. Well how could you if you are grossed out? Or perhaps if you have issues with expressing emotions in general?

My hubby is also not good with emotions in general, hes very emotional when it comes to our pet cats and dog but to people hes pretty unempathetic when it comes to a person having negative emotions.

The thing is with sensory integration issues, they are in your wiring. Ive spent the last 15 years learning and accommodating his need for quiet, peace, rest, etc... I suppose hes doing his part to accommodate my needs as best as he can. Bless his heart. However, IO go through a phase every few years where i really start to think about leaving. Like the rest of you we have a lot of fun, share some interesting and exciting hobbies but its so awkward to me when wed go away for a 'romantic getaway" and hed want to sleep. i stopped wanting to go so that my expectations never were raised. What is confusing is that when i would occasionally persist hed easily get aroused and have what appeared to be a satisfying experience. its just that I remember long ago that he has this expectation that "sex should just happen". Well when life gets busy you have to make it happen.

I never understood the whole baby thing. After each of our children Ive wanted sex right away.

So yes i know i have some issues myself, but as I tried to explain to my husband and as Ive read above, its like being hungry and told that you really dont need to eat. Ive often told him that there are iother things we can do if hes not feeling up to it and hes never interested. Ive even asked if he would hold me and id take care of it myself and he just said that was 'stupid". I just wait until hes gone to work or once hes asleep but its so sad and empty.

This brings me to the other fundamental issue in our relationship. COMMUNICATION. Id feel so much better if he would just tell me WHY. Not joke that "he's sleeping". Hes never felt comfortable talking about sex. Oh he'll talk quite openly about sex in general, but just not OUR SEX LIFE. So the more I thread here and think- I still think he may be struggling as an asexual or some other demon that bothers him. I also dont wonder if the reason he wont say anything is he thinks I'll leave him, yet the few times weve had fights over this he asked me if I wanted HIM to leave. So I guess thats why i get so sad. I just didnt know why he gets so angry at me for loving him and wanting to bond with him how I need to bond. now i think I know.

So sorry for the disjointedness of this I dont summarize well. Thanks for letting me vent as I try to sort this out

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T.Van

.

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SexualHubby

Yes, I read all of your posts with great interest. I'm still dealing with my wife and our issues- still haven't moved out but still not feeling a connection. I feel for all of those here who have a mis-matched sexual libido- whether it's asexuality, depression or something else- It plays havoc and it's confusing and makes you doubt yourself. My advice is to keep your head up, know you are worthy of love and happiness. I'm trying to figure our issues out myself- it's not easy but in the long run this forum is helping and will continue to help. Thanks everyone for your input!

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daveb

I think this is a great discussion, helpful to asexuals and sexuals alike. As long as sexualhubby is okay with it I'm happy to continue here. And even happier that it seems to be helping people. :D

I do have some issues with sensory stimulus - I don't enjoy the more stimulating amusement park rides (fear of heights doesn't help there); smells can be an issue; loud noise (I like music, even some harder rock, but don't like to "crank it up"); I've always been sensitive to sunlight; I'm a supertaster and am very sensitive to some tastes.

But I suspect there are plenty of asexuals who don't have those issues and plenty of sexuals who do. All these things may have an impact on how we feel and deal with things and help others understand each of us better, but we all still individuals, too. The point I'm trying to make is that it's good and probably helpful to know those things about oneself or one's partner so you can better your relationship. Or at least understand one another better and, for those in relationships, maybe find ways to make things work.

Best wishes to all! :D

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xsex
Yes, I read all of your posts with great interest. I'm still dealing with my wife and our issues- still haven't moved out but still not feeling a connection. I feel for all of those here who have a mis-matched sexual libido- whether it's asexuality, depression or something else- It plays havoc and it's confusing and makes you doubt yourself. My advice is to keep your head up, know you are worthy of love and happiness. I'm trying to figure our issues out myself- it's not easy but in the long run this forum is helping and will continue to help. Thanks everyone for your input!

This is for those who are wondering if they should leave before it's too late. I have been married to an asexual partner for 35 years and for the first time in my life I'm doing a trial separation. I've been away from our home, and not communicated with him for 15 days now. I feared all I would lose if I left after all the years I invested in our marriage. I am not looking for a sexual partner, just some peace of mind. I can't believe how much more comfortable I am feeling each day that I'm gone. I don't even want to talk to him because somehow he always makes me feel like something is wrong with me. Each day that I am gone, the more I'm beginning to feel like I'm controlling my life and moods now, not him. I wanted to believe that we would make it through life together. Now I am thinking that I wish I had left years ago when our problems just couldn't get worked out and continued to cause problems in our marriage. It does feel very strange to be alone after all these years, but the thought of going home is becoming more and more frightening. Don't wait too long. I do think the difference in sexual desires and behaviors are destructive for both partners no matter how much you love and care about each-other. In the long run I don't think it really benefits anyone.

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hopeeternal

Lunamoth- it certainly helps to know that Ive been on the right track with my hubby as far as his sensory/health issues go. Ive put a lot of time and effort into understanding his wiring and explaining it to others. Its just from my perspective its hard to live this way year after year. I go through a phase like I am now about every few years where I really question whether I want to stay married to him. The first major crisis was in '96 but my kids were still really young. Then in '98 i discovered he went through an internet porn stage and actually seemed to want me out of the house and would send me on errands and his internet history showed his going to porn sites at those times. Now I'm not against porn, but i was extremely hurt because here i was lready for ANYTHING and wanting it so badly and he went to porn instead. I finally confronted him with that fact and things got better for us and he made an effort to make love once during the week (which is what i feel is a good compromise) That only lasted a few months and back to once a week on Sunday mornings. Im, usually so desperate Ill take it how and when but I long for a romantic nighttime session once in a while. There were times maybe a couple of times a year where he would somehow wake up during the night and wed have the most incredible sex. The foreplay, the caressing, he hasn't done that in quite many years now and I think if he could just do that even ONCE A YEAR Id be happy. It was enough to show me that he did have some desire for me. Ive mentioned that and he always says the same thing he'll see.

Well the whole Sunday morning thing started when the kids got past nap stage. Before the kids wed sometimes go up in the evening after dinner and before "tv". So wed even have a week night every so often. When the kids came along is when it really got moved to weekends only and during the kids naptime. Hed take his nap when the kids did and I go lay down with him and wed do it when he woke up from his nap. It made me anxious because id worry the kids would wake up first. Then it changed to in the AM when we first woke up and has been that way ever since.

Oh and more sensory/mess issues- I still dread the timing of my periods. I pray to have it start on a Mon, tues or wed so that by Sunday its either over or light enough not to be an issue. I kept my old diaphragm for years even after i had my tubes tied as it made a great barrier if it was that time of the month. Now I just don't say anything and he only finds out afterward.

Another thought for asexuals to digest: from my experience as a sexual, the more we are denied sex, the more we desire. If we get "thrown a bone" often enough we'll back off. I recall after a fight years ago that my husband once said- if you stopped asking id be more inclined. I backed off but he didnt really change . Well I had to stop literally chasing him down (he did seem to enjoy playing hard to get where Id literaly run around the house to get him and literally strip his clothes off. The problem was is sometimes he really liked that and other hed end up really angry (understandably) but it sent me mixed messages. I never knew when to stop until he got mad. he goes from laughing and joking to angry in a flash yet other times he go from laughing and joking to getting into it. So I stopped doing that. He still never changed from his once a week like clockwork. And heaven help us if something happens on the weekend were "we cant" . Although he has gotten a bit better if he knows something will happen on Sunday (like having to get up early for something or going away with the kids in the motel room) AND he happens to be off from work he'll do Sunday or even Firday or whatever. I do usually have to remind him a few days ahead that "Sunday wont work this week". Guess I should be happy for that.

What is making it really hard now was hitting our 25th anniversary, turning 49, and having a hormonal rush probably associated with the pre-menopause. Mid life crisis as even my 15 year old noted. (yes we are that open he knows whats going on he too is a bit like his dad sensory wise but not socially anxious) I feel like we might as well be 85 years old. What you say is interesting about feeling like an old man. My husband has said that too, even when he was younger. he is actually a year younger than I am. We have been a couple since just before his 19th birthday. Like many stories, things were amazing for a few months then very good for a couple of years. I did have one relationship before I met him and interestingly, I broke up with him because all he wanted was sex! LOL! Like many here say, I really need that emotional connection and the sex comes with that. I have an incredible emotional connection with my husband and that is what makes me desire him so much. Inside its just so hard and painful to comprehend that he can have an emotional connection and NOT want to be physical. Intellectually I can understand... So ive read and read and read. I cater to his sensory issues and it does help. I never reneg him his naps- knowing hes in a much better state of mind in general if he gets them. BUT.... over time and as the kids get older I feel like im really missing more and more of a big part of myself. He placates me I think by giving me literally everything else. I spend what I want do what I want as long as hes not home, we do share a very exciting hobby - we both are into motorsports and drive a race car. While he is physically sensory sensitive, he loves driving at speed but I think its more about the precision and control and skill. I love the physical rush. We also have been enjoying travel to Europe the last couple of years and enjoy seeing the same things but we always have to factor in time back at the hotel so he can take his nap.

What is happening is that his style or what you wnat to call it is affecting our oldest son who is more like me in temperament ( including highly sexual - know this because of the openness in the family- we all know he likes to self gratify ALOT hes also had a serious relationship or two and he and I talk) This son and I have agreed that he and I will go off and see more things on the next trip even if his dad doesnt want to. hes really gotten into the motorsports thing too and noticed as I have how his dad always runs back to the hotel as soon as he can at the end of the day. Alot of the guys hang around have a beer or something for a while and make plans to go to dinner together. Weve been invited a couple of times to join some friends and weve always had a great time but it appears that he tries to avoid these situations. When we do go to the actually event banquets we always end up sitting with someon we really dont know that well and id rather try to sit with a group of friends. Think he feels awkward breaking into an established group and his discomfort shows.

I commented to my son that I think his dad would be happy living in a plastic bubble alone. Ive gone about doing more on my own but its awkward for me to have people constantly ask about him and i run out of excuses.

Which brings me to another theory which is related to learning style and information input preference and its possible connection to sexuality or asexuality. Ive learned a great deal about learning styles - with 2 LD kids which really isnt a disability but a preference for how they learn. We discovered our own preferences. I am strongly kinesthetic. I learn by doing and experiencing. Visual is a secondary style for me and auditory is useless. So to make the analogy, all the telling me I'm loved just doesn't register. The visual? well its helpful that I SEE some of the things he does for me but what I need most is for him to TOUCH me. he is a strongly visual person. He probably gets enough satisfaction of just SEEING me.

Let me ask you this, do you otherwise feel very open about sex. I mean he has no issues with the fact that our son walked in on us when he was 13 and it became a sort of family joke about "Sunday mornings". In fact I actually like this becaue its like I need people to KNOW we have sex. Not sure if this is my own insecurity about not getting as much as id like. Weve always been very able to discuss and dont have any hangups about sex in movies, nudity or sexual jokes even in front of the kids- we have 3 boys -one who will be 20 in Nov, another who is 18 and the "baby" is 15. We're very openminded about sexual preferences in general and abhor t things like homophobia. Interestingly our 18 year old who is practically a clone of his dad (stopped weanting hugs when he was about 6, socially anxious...) comes across as quite homophobic. he gets really mad when people call him or infer he is "gay". Yet one of the only facebook groups he joined was a group defending gay marriage. Hes very supportive of gay rights but is terribly offended if anyone makes a comment about him in particular. It was so bad that I even said to him once , "and so what if you are gay? We still love you and you are still a good person". I was wondering if he had homosexual tendencies, but now I dont wonder if he's possibly asexual. Hasnt even been on a date and doesn't seem interested. Which is fine with us, in fact Id rather he realize if he is asexual and stay single and have friends or meet another asexual.

Back about 10 years or so I read a book called "Emotional Resilience". Very technical but it discussed things like how our emotions are based in beliefs. Problems occur when we have "invalid" beliefs. IOW we expect things we have no business expecting. I was raised to be an emotionally dependent person and I overcame a great deal of that and was able to back off alot. I learned that I am quite a logical thinker as my husband and 2 of the kids are as well. But Im more balanced in thinking/feeling than they are. i constantly have to remind the kids that things they say hurt others feelings sometimes. In fact they constantly hurt each others feelings with their 'truthful" comments. Hubby and I say if you cant take it dont dish it out, but the sad thing is hubby does this too and the kids are old enough to notice this. They are pretty much what most people would call self-centered. Its all about what they want and the heck with what someone else wants.

As Ive read here it goes both ways- how can you force someone to do what they dont want. Most of us do plenty we dont prefer but we do it because we LOVE the person and want to share. So its hard living with a person who will not do ANYTHING they dont want to do- even as simple as choosing a place to go eat, even if its a place he likes he may not "be interested". So here I am sucking it up constantly, yet it at least appears that he is rarely willing to suck it up. To most of the world love is almost defined by these acts. So after years of what feels like lack of reciprocity, you get tired. Because of his temperament the one thing he cannot talk about is his feelings within our relationship. We can discuss at length his feelings about world events, his childhood, his relationship with his parents, the pets, he cannot talk about us. Its like his belief is that it should just "BE". Maybe if I knew he WAS sucking it up and what his idea of a perfect life would be other than "winning powerball and not having to work". I wish I could earn the salary he does Id go back to work in a flash if it meant he could feel better.

Communication- we used to have deep meaningful conversations about a lot of important stuff where I felt incredibly connected but it seems all he does now is watch inane youtube video clips with the boys and then go watch tv. I mentioned that we used to go out by ourselves once a month or so and even going to the motorsports events qualified even though we havent had sex on any of those weekends in years and now the older kids are attending and learning to drive as well so there is no opportunity. I feel that when we have sex is the ONLY time I feel connected to him anymore.

Im sorry this is so long again but Im seeing all these connections and whether its true asexuality or something else i think its applicable.

To end with another question, as a sexual, Ive never not been in the mood for sex. That includes immediately after childbirth, severe neurological pain from a herniated disc in my neck and the resulting cervical disc fusion surgery, flu, colds. Perhaps because im not getting what I need other times but it makes it really difficult for me to internalize fatigue/ not feeling well as a reason for not wanting to. again as an experiential learner, how can I comprehend this and digest that fact? To me if you are sexual it would take ALOT to make one not be in the mood. And in my mind one can always CREATE the mood, if there is desire. So it boils down to lack of desire. So lack of desire = asexual?

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xsex

Consider. How many of us who have posted here in the last few months have said, "What you wrote is exactly what I've been going through?" How many have said that the lack of sexual desire in their spouses have created serious ego and emotional issues for them throughout their marriage? Since so many of us have remained married for long periods of time, It's obvious we all were trying to make our marriages work in every manner we could consider. How many went through several rounds of marriage counseling that never made the big difference we had hoped for? We have all talked about how difficult it is to live with a spouse who just can't give us the physical and emotional connection that we feel deep in our soul and minds is an intrinsic aspect of marriage. How many years have you sacrificed your own "basic needs" in order to keep the marriage going? Everyone of us are using words such as pain, lonely, depressing, sad and 100 other ways to express the pain caused from this core issue. I too was the eternal optimist who hoped and prayed that somehow it would work out. Instead, I am 58 years old and finally taking a step I knew in my mid thirties that I should have taken. It's interesting to note that it was always my husband, the asexual, who insisted that we stay together every time I discussed a divorce over the years. Who has been the one in your marriage who has held it together through all these years of problems? Could it be a self serving desire for an asexual? Perhaps they have feared that they would never find another partner who would put up with what you have? And what about their feelings through all of this? I'm sure if they didn't have a name for what they felt about sex, they constantly felt like something was wrong with them. As many asexuals have stated here, they routinely felt like they were violated when it came to their spouses desire for sex. I'm sure their confusion about their own issue has created many of the same feelings of sadness, but for different reasons. How is enduring this type of life together emotionally or physically healthy for either partner? There is such a fundamental difference in our make up that it doesn't seem good for either partner to hang in there because that is what we were taught to do. Would we allow this type of pain to be an ongoing aspect of our children's life just because they became involved with something that ended up bringing daily pain into their lives? Would we advise them to hang in there and keep hoping that things will change. If your spouse told you that they were gay, would you stay married? No, because there would always be the fundamental sexual difference between what the two of you needed from life. So I advise you that have been just hanging in there being unhappy with the core difference between the two of you to just start considering why does this have to continue like this? Maybe if you take the leap, you both will feel better about what you can do with your life now that you know what created your marriage problems. You will never change an asexual person into feeling as you do. It's just a fact of life. I know what I'm saying is very upsetting and depressing. Yet, that seems to be the feelings we are all expressing about our martial lives. So what are we actually losing by trying to change our lives for the better before it's far too late?

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xsex

I too always tried to understand my husbands lack of sexual drive. Like Hope eternal, when the sex went out the door around our mid thirties I just endured regardless of the pain it caused inside me. When I found out at the age of 49 that I had cancer in both breast, I had to go through a double mastectomy. Something happened between us following that surgery that I never emotionally recovered from, nor could I excuse him for. To have such a sexual part of your identity as a woman removed overnight is emotionally overwhelming. I even endured an additional 7 hours of breast reconstruction following the initial three hour operation for the breast removal in an attempt to come back looking like a woman. To this day my husband has never looked at my "new breast." His inability to respond to my emotional needs as a woman following that surgery created a huge gulf between us that I never forgave him for. I needed my husband to reassure me of my beauty as a woman, if only to him, desperately after the surgery. Even the Cancer counselors told the husbands how their response to their wives surgery played a major part in their wives emotional and physical comeback following this type of surgery. He refused, or couldn't help me through that emotional aspect of the surgery, he couldn't even fake it. The whole mess surrounding the surgery was just too much for him and he's avoided looking at my surgery sites ever since the day I incurred them. That was nine years ago. How will you feel if something happens to your body that is just too "messy and demanding" for your spouse to deal with? If and when that day arrives, all of your coping mechanisms fall apart and you begin to really see your relationship in the true light of day.

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hopeeternal

xsex- I read your story in another thread. Im so sorry you went through all that. You know the one thing throughout our mariage, is that anytime I had "something" happen to me, it always seemed like he'd find something to get mad at me about. The only way to avoid that is to really shut dpwn and go to bed. then he becomes the most helpful person around. Hes got an on-off switch and expects everyone else to as well. What I mean is sometimes you are not 100% but still want to participate in some functions of life but not everything. For example after my surgery I was ok enough to walk around and do a few things but hed get mad becasue i didnt do one thing or another . WHen Id say I didnt feel well , hed snap back that "why didt I just go to bed then?". I dont wonder if he even subconsciously resents my energy? Ive often wondered and been very afraid of what might happen if I were to have something truly life threatening.

The thing is when things really hit the fan he deals quite well. What he doenst deal with well is what I will call ambiguity. "Are you sick or arent you?" "Are you cold or hot?" He gets frustrated when i sometime verbalize my internal decision making and has even told me he never knows when he should respond or just listen. Its like his world is black and white, on and off. I mentioned the other day that i missed going out to dinner just the two of us. We used to get a sitter once a month or so. As the kids got older and able to sit through a restaurant mean and actually want to go, we were happy to dine out as a family. However he drags one of the kids everywhere we go now. in a way I think hes trying to help them "get out" just as he struggles with that. So his responce was an angry "ok, never again tell the boys that theyll never come out with us again....." So I tell him to hold on just a minute, once in a while is not always. He has a horrible habit of overreacting when stressed. hes done this to the kids a few times and that i do call him on and he has finally learned to apologise when hes overreacted often to what id consider a normal teenage boy's comment or gripe. hes happy if everything is his way and he gets mad if any of his 'inner circle' as he calls us thinks anything different. Almost what most folks would call acting like a spoiled brat. I do know its mostly stress induced and the kids have all learned about their dads issues as he really does love them dearly. They seem to be able to forgive him,at least the younger two that are most like him. They UNDERSTAND where he is coming from.

See heres the thing- it also seems like he enjoys annoying people. Nothing really bad but pestering them, continuing to do something they dont like. Its as if he wants to put people off. Ive often considered just totally biting the bullet and acting uninterested but knowing how he reacts- he'd NEVER have sex with me again if i did that.

he cannot tolerate any uncertainty. I once was researching on some of the quirks two of the kids have (that their dad shares) and google kept coming up with sites on Aspergers syndrome (high functioning autism). The kids dont quite fit that diagnosis according to thier doctor but are sensory 'defensive" which im told is on the same spectrum but a less severe form.

The thing is I really love our sharing of our motorsports hobby and with two kids in college and another to start in 3 years we frankly cannot afford financially to set up two households. My problem is Ive been out of the workforce 20 years and I HATED my career. Thats his issue too, we were both pushed by well meaning parents into "good jobs" because we were "smart" but neither of us are suited personality wise to those jobs. By the time we even realized this we were so financially established and "stuck". My "out" was becoming a stay at home mom which he wanted too so that i could be home to get all the household chores done so we could spend our free time together doing more fun stuff. And that we do. All but enough sex. I have been toying for a number of years with getting a job, but anything Id enjoy doing id either have to go back to school for (and really cant afford that) or wouldnt pay enough for me to live on my own. Giving up the race car is out of the question because next to sex, that is the next thing id never want to give up. Even if we did, and split up and set up two households, we would both have to relocate to a different neighborhood, and with one son still in high school, one of the best in the US, thats something neither of us would want. this son is very much like his dad in that hes sensitive and would have a horrid time getting used to a new school just when hes starting to get comfortable in school at all.

You know I just happened upon an article on depression which i found when googling on black and white thinking, and i do know that he must be depressed. the thing is Ive been depressed the last few months myself andnot sure what the actual trigger was except that he totally forgot our 25th anniversary. Normally I get some acknowledgment- flowers, a simple happy anniversary, something. Up until that time I was able to deal with the weekly sex because it was long and satisfying Id have maybe 3 O's and it was enough to get me through a week. Sometime around the same time- maybe a month or two before our anniversary, he began to finshe a lot quicker and get soft right away. i suspect prostate enlargement- his dad has had it since his 40's- so Id only get one O and much less satisfying becasue it was after he was done. So that triggered all my womanly insecurities and being unsatiated it built up and once a week is no longer a good compromise to me. (even though we never talked about it I assumed it was a compromise) I joked about it a few times (joking usually works well with him) things got a little better. But perhaps my own depression is making me think in absolutes as well. However i dont want SSRI's because I had tried them a while back and they didnt decrease my sex drive but it messed up my orgasmic response in that id get right to it and the feeling would ebb but not totally so i ws in a constant state of arousal that was difficult to release. I went off the SSRI's and even in 6 months its not back to normal but much better. Taking a long time is not good when you have a partner who is starting to run sprints instead of marathons.

I worry that his suspected prostate issues (he gets up a few times to pee at night) is not helped by his sex habits. Ive joked that more sex would help/prevent some prostate issues. if I got more sex it wouldnt even have to be "that good". Id even do oral or manual on him if I got in return. he never acts on it. So my other fear is that he is getting to be an "old man" way too soon.

I wonder if its hereditary? he was conceived 19 years into his parents marriage. My MIL never got pregnant in all those years. I often joked to myself that if its like father like son its no wonder. At least when we were actively trying to conceive, he did "what hes got to do". Those were the happiest times of our married life.

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hope eternal,

Wow, your description of your husbands personality has many, many similarities to my husbands. He too was conceived late in life. He loves to play the devils advocate regardless of how many people he is upsetting. He has more control over his feelings than anyone I've ever met, but when he decides he is angry he becomes so mean and insulting that it makes his family just run and hide from him. Also, when he blows up he has great difficulty putting a break on his verbal assaults. Like yours, he can't tolerate ambiguity from anyone. He is also a control freak. If I am sick, he will take over 100% without even being asked. However, if my illness is not clearly defined he quickly gets irritated and begins tossing out negative assessments of how he thinks I could make myself better if I tried. If an illness continues for what he thinks is too long, he will begin saying and insinuating that I'm just lazy and unmotivated. He cannot see his own faults, but he sure is good at finding those in others. He almost chokes to death before he can apologize for his behavior which clearly caused a fight or ruined a good day between us. I bet he only has apologized about two times a year when I'm lucky. Now that our son is on his own and doing well, things have just gotten worse and worse since we don't have our son at home. He is highly successful at work and devotes 95% of his time doing it. When he is at home he wants what he wants right now! If things don't work out as he planned, he walks around as if he is pouting. He won't talk to me and just begins to ignore me completely because I didn't make the day happen as he wanted it to. It took me a long time to see that this behavior, along with the lack of affection or sex, was really tearing me apart and eating away at my self esteem. I've been gone from our home for 15 days now and I am amazed at how I feel like a brick collar has been removed from my daily life. I've begun to realize that I should have left long ago when he clearly showed me that my feelings were not too concerning to him. All it did after that midway point in our marriage was become more problematic and depressing for me, not him.

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