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Asked by Last Updated:

Sexless, controlling with some emotional abuse but can't decide whether to leave. Need perspective and help!

Been married for 17 years.
Wife and I have outwardly good life doing good with careers (me especially), in good shape, no kids, etc.
The past couple of years she has stated she resents me and that I have been a disappointment and has blown-up on me for little things and for an issue with my family that did not directly involve her.
I'm a disappointment because I have had to work a lot, don't mastermind household projects and she believes don't stick up for self.
She has not wanted to kiss passionately and we havent had sex with each other for basically 8 years.
In past has given me silent treatment and monitored how I spent money and would harp on me about what time I would come home on the rare occasions I hung out with friends.
she has stated she doesn't respect me that much.
She increasingly was shouting at me over minor issues and alienated me quite a bit from what is left of my family for most part.
This past year I finally challenged her on everything.
We went to marriage therapy and she fired two therapists (after only 3 visits total between the two).
My resentment towards her has now grown since I finally see the control and mad about being in sexless marriage for so long.
She is expressing some regrets now (though deep down it seems she still maybe thinks it is still my fault).
My problem is I can't trust her now that my eyes are open to the abuse.
It is hard to forgive, it is hard to trust that she will re-gain respect and some sort of desire for me.
I feel that she is only now giving lip service to our issues and still does not recognize the feelings and how scarring things have been for me.
She can't answer question if she could ever fully respect or desire me just like I can't answer when will drop resentment.
Guilt of being a bad guy and leaving is what has really kept me there.
I'm not sure I even want to work on this any more but still waiting for some spark.
Sorry for the rambling questions but I guess my question is whether controlling spouses ever change? Any signs of how to know if the person is earnest in wanting to change or just trying to placate to regain control? Do people regain respect if it was lost over me just being me? Can you negotiate desire and how do you know if it is real? Is my situation just me being too sensitive?

2 Answers

Roll-the-Dice Answered:

Thanks for the reply and your perspective, NovemberRain. That is what I'm bouncing around right now and it is so difficult. I was disappointing and not good enough in her world for like the past 8 years to where she unilaterally decided she didn't respect me and withdrew intimacy and had some levels of emotional abuses leveled on me. Now after I have challenged her on everything, she says she accepts me, will be nicer, will be open to having sex, etc., but what is the truth? Was it the past 8-10 years or now? How do I know if this is a real change and I can trust her? In a normal relationship (I don't know what one is) are things like respect and desire there and don't have to be worked for? Also, I honestly think she just has no interest in sex period, but I guess it is always possible she is cheating. She is most likely very low libido. It is totally like she still wants me around always, but just doesn't want me. And yes, there are good aspects to our marriage but they are mostly because we are not fundamentally bad people, have done decent financially, have same interests, etc. that said, the lack of emotional connection and her past abuse have now changed how I feel about her.

NovemberRain Answered:

Everyone else is taken. you have to be you. I understand not being good enough for someone. There is someone out there that wishes they had you. It sounds like to me that she is cheating. I could be wrong but the signs are there. No sex in 8 years is crule even when i know my ex husband was cheating on me I would stil have sex with him; not for him but for me. we are people and females like sex as much or more than men. If she is not having sex with you, who is she having sex with? There is clear abuse there as well. No one should get treated like that. If she is so unhappy, she should just walk. If you are the major bread winner, she might just be there for the money. Still not fair to you. There is no reason for you to support her, if she does not deserve you or your support. Relationships work both ways. and I am not an expert and have my own problems. But there are situations I have been in and can tell you how they turned out for me. After years and many attempts... sometimes you have to cut your losses. You can do bad and sexless by yourself. At least, being by yourself, you can come home to some peace and the happiness you make for yourself.

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