It is constantly amazing and deeply saddening to me to know that one of the most popular pages on this site (via search engines) is my post from last year called the sexless marriage.
Sad enough that I opened up comments on the post, figuring maybe someone would want to talk about it. And sure enough, today, a lovely lady named Tammy made this comment:
I am attractive and an proportional size, but he has made me feel fat, ugly, and unworthy of his love. We only have sex when he wants and that is about once every four months. Only one time has he made love to me in the past four years when I wanted too. He has rejected me nearly two hundred times over the past five years. I have been jeolous thinking there is another woman or even thinking another man. I even doubt, he loves me and I think he just wants me to help pay for his new house. Why would I feel this way? Do you think I should give him another chance or just get counseling for my depression or both?
I should probably preface my reply by saying I’m decidedly not a counsellor, doctor, therapist, or anyone else remotely qualified to be giving advice.
Tammy, honey, it seems to me that you’ve got a 100% right to be feeling depressed. The one person in the whole world who is supposed to love you and cherish you and find you irresistably, fuckably hot doesn’t make love to you. Believe me when I say I’ve been there.
At one point my ex-husband and I went over a year without sex. It wasn’t at all unusual to go for six months or more, the rest of our last few years together. Not for lack of trying on my part. I did the lingerie, the naughty notes, the porn, the morning come-on, all of it.
I’ve gone through it all. The endless rejections picking away at your self-esteem, wondering what you could do better, how you could be more attractive to him. Finally curling up into a little ball inside, afraid to even ask. Acting like it doesn’t matter, doesn’t hurt you more with every passing day. Wondering if there’s another woman. Wondering how often he jacks off, if at all. Wondering if maybe it’s even another man. All perfectly normal reactions.
And I can’t tell you what to do. I can tell you what I did.
I talked to him about it. Often enough so that he knew I was deadly serious about this, without nagging him too much about it. At one point he was willing to try counselling. At another point he gave me carte blanche to sleep with other men, since it was obviously my problem, wanting sex as often as I did, hussy that I am. Some time later we brought up the counselling thing again, and went to meet with the doctor. But a month or two later, he told me he thought he’d sacrificed enough for me, and wasn’t willing to sacrifice more. I was on my own with this problem.
Even my personality and demeanour began to change. I sunk into myself like something hollow collapsing inward. I wasn’t a smartass anymore. I was quiet and hopeful and desperate, and I didn’t even know it. Eventually I had to make a choice—because in the end, all successful relationships are about compromise. The things that were on my personal compromise chopping block were self-esteem, sexuality, and personality. I could choose him or I could choose myself.
I chose myself.
Make no mistake. It wasn’t an easy decision. I loved him. And lots of other women choose not to do what I did.
I don’t know what the right decision is for you. It will take a long period of soul-searching. But in the end the choice will be clear. Either you love him enough to stay, or you love yourself enough to leave. Nobody will judge you, whatever your choice. Just make sure that whatever choice you make is one you’re willing to spend the rest of your life with.
I’ll be thinking of you, Tammy, and wish you well in your journey.