My husband has no interest in sex Independent. We're both in our early 30s and have no children yet. The problem is that we've no sex life. He seems to have no drive at all.
I noticed this about 18 months into our relationship -- we've been together six years -- when I gradually realised that I was always the sexual instigator. At the time I tried taking the back seat, waiting to see if he would initiate sex, but he never did. Things went rapidly downhill after that and sex became something which happened about every three months.
I've tried talking to him about it. We've fought, we've had long discussions, and every time it just makes him feel uncomfortable. It's so hard to get him to understand that sex is an important part of marriage, not the only thing that matters, but important, the absence of passion leading to such frustration in a relationship.
I've even seen counsellors about it and suggested he come with me. But he'd rather boil his head in oil than involve a third party!
Right now, we make love twice a month and that's because we're hoping for a baby. I've tried telling my husband that twice a month is not how it works to conceive, but there it is. At the risk of sounding terribly cruel, even our twice-monthly efforts are quite dull and awkward. I'm at the point where I believe he's just going through the motions to please me. And I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that he will never be the lover I desire.
To an outsider it may sound like he might be having an affair. Or that he might be gay. Or that he may not love me. He just doesn't feel the need to show it physically. I love him too and will stay in my marriage. I appreciate all the other ways he shows his love.
I love his gentleness and his strength of character. I know he'll make a great father. I'm a better person because of him. The scary thing is that I find myself fantasising about having a lover on the side.
I am very frustrated sexually and have quite a high libido. I lie in bed beside my husband at night picturing possible lovers and wild sex scenarios. I can hardly trust myself because my desires are so strong.
I sometimes access pornography sites and they drive me wild for days thinking about what I've seen. I know that's not real life and it makes me feel quite bad and guilty, getting my kicks out of what my husband would see as sleaze. I just don't know what to do. It's becoming so difficult. I can't ever see my sex life improving with my husband as it's been a problem for so long now.
I don't want to have an affair and jeopardise our marriage. Nor would I want to disgrace either him or myself by doing so. But my fantasies are constant and my desires are so strong. AIs it possible to turn away from temptation?
Is banishing of desire bearable? Can sex be sublimated? Are you strong enough to do without? Big questions, you're asking. All I can attempt is some factual feng shui, some emotional clearing out of the cupboards, some ordering of the issues which surround your distress.
You married your husband already knowing he had no interest in sex. At the time you clearly thought that you could manage it. Maybe you hoped he'd change. Maybe you were unaware of the depth of your own sexual desires. Maybe you put a higher value on all the good things about him -- much as you are still doing now -- and thought you'd manage. Or maybe you just buried your head in the sand, sleepwalked into marriage, refusing to see the inherent conflict in your relationship. Whichever, that conflict is now obvious and apparent and fought on several fronts.
You have rows with your husband about his lack of desire -- and get absolutely nowhere. He merely performs, perfunctorily, for the sake of making a baby, leaving you sexually short-changed -- and even then, not enough to ensure conception. He won't seek help, despite your pleadings. You've said it yourself. He'd truly rather boil his head in oil than talk about his sexual switch-off. The lid on your longing has been lifted. You are tortured by sexual desire and try to fight it. Or try to assuage it by visiting pornographic sites on the web.
In so doing, you behave in a way that makes you feel you're losing face, doing something your husband would see as sleazy. You're putting yourself in a position of one-down. Press the pause button. This is where it gets dicey. Your husband is not saying he's sorry. He's not even looking at your needs. He's ignoring them, choosing emotional and intellectual blindness instead. And worse, he's taking the moral high ground. He'd see pornographic websites as sleaze, yet thinks it's just dandy to deny his wife's sexual reality.
This isn't some sort of sexual failure like erectile dysfunction, where desire for you is great, but performance poor, be the cause ill-health or emotional damage. I have no doubt that your husband is all the positive things you say he is. He's also not functioning as a husband, and not capable of doing so. And this isn't just about performance or sexual penetration. It's about desire and emotional closeness -- or rather the lack of it. You are married to a man you love and admire on so many levels.
Yet you're on your own. And if you ask me for a prediction, the chances are your husband will never want you, not because he won't, but because he can't.
I truly think you know that. He wants to be married to you. But he can't respond to you as a woman. That's the conflict -- a good man who has no sexual desire for you, a man who leaves you emotionally bereft, as well as sexually frustrated, because he has chosen to switch off.
Meanwhile, you're drowning, not just in sexual need, but in existential loneliness. I hate to use the exhausted phrase, but it fits: Both of you are in denial about the void in your marriage. Isn't it time you came clean?