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When your spouse is no longer interested in sexual intimacy

We have been married for 17+ years, a melded family (each one of us had a child from a previous marriage where we were we had primary custody, plus two children together), the two older children are gone and on their own, the two younger children still live at home and will be graduating high school in 2-3 years respectively.  At about year 5 or 6 into the marriage my wife began to have less interest in sexual intimacy, and soon began to say some rather hurful things on occasion about having sexual relations with me.  After our 13th anniversary sexual relations became very infrequent, now that we are at year 17 of the marriage we have not had any sexual intimacy for almost a year.  The last time we had sexual relations my wife immidiately got out of bed and took a shower after intercourse, at that point I was cinvinced she no longer enjoyed sexual intimacy with me and I no longer attempted to force myself or try to initiate sexual relations, nor has my wife attempted to be intimate with me.  I'm mid 50's in age, and my wife is mid/late 40's in age.  There is no biblical reason for separating, nor do I want to as long as we have children in high school, the marriage may be disfunctional but I know intact families are the foundation for raising children.  I have not nor thinking of nor had the desire in having any sexual relations outside the confines of marriage.  We are courdual with each other, share the same bed and I refuse to get into verbal altercations and will never get physically or mentally abusive to my wife or anyone in the family,  I've more or less established some significant emotional boundaries/barriers to protect myself from potential injury (for full disclosure my first marriage ended when my spouse at the time abused drugs, begame abusive,  and had several extramarital affairs).   My questions are; 1.  when spouses  are no longer interested or refuse to be sexualy intimate how can this be resolved without creating a hurtful and potentially non-recoverable event from occuring, 2.  how can a marriage continue to thrive if there is a lack of or no intimacy, either physically or emotionally.

1 Answer

narnam said on
You seem to be such an honest and genuine man; I loved the way you expressed yourself here and I really admire your thought process.... You value your marriage, appreciate your spouse and seem to be really grateful for your family and what you have ...That's a great attitude to keep...To answer your question, yes your marriage is dysfunctional and no a sexless marriage can never fully thrive or reach its true potential. Whether to leave or stay in a sexless marriage depends on what else is happening in the relationship, how important sex is to you and whether your partner intends doing something about it. In all honestly, have you discussed this with your wife - have you tried to connect with her and tell her that you need her? that her remarks about sex really cut you ? and that you miss having an intimate relationship with her? a woman needs to hear all this - just as much as men I suppose.. Sex is often used as a bargaining tool: could be you’re being denied it because your partner is angry with you. (Women, especially, are much more likely to lose interest in sex if they’re annoyed with their partner.) Please find out how she feels about this 

Once you start talking, it will become (often painfully) obvious what your future holds. This is the bit when you find out if your partner is willing to work with you to build a satisfying sex life - or has no interest in trying to solve the situation. If it’s the former, it’s great news! You’ve taken the first, huge step towards solving the problem.
If it’s the latter, even the most faithful, supportive partner is forgiven for thinking about leaving - or having a bit on the side.  I feel you both could also use outside support - go to therapy and seek professional help...That has helped a number of couples and certainly your relationship would benefit from it. Discuss openly with your wife...  
 
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