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denying sexual chemistry leading to major anxiety

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Hi. No sparks on first kiss. After two months, I tried to break it up because of no chemistry. He laid a guilt trip on me ('you lead me on, what game are you playing, etc.). I continued dating despite so-so sex. We have tried everything to please me. We have acknowledged our 'problem'. We married (we were older, me 36, him 39 and committed virtuous people) and now have a 2 and 4 year old. I do not want to have relations anymore, in any way, shape of form. I tried to tell myself that physical attraction didn't matter (the spirit above the body I guess, can you tell I had a religious upbringing).


A wonderful husband, provider, father, etc. but God didn't mean for us to be lovers and I guess I thought things would get better or that they didn't matter. They do. He was my first partner although I did have many pleasurable 'heavy petting' experiences prior to him (maybe 15) it was never right (the guys or the situation, etc.). He has had 1 long-term gf, 13 one-night stands and 1 9-month gf, so thereforeeee he has more experience.


Everytime I dated a guy (usually short term) it ended because I usually wasn't attracted to them, while I couldn't make a bf out of a 'fling' for various reasons or my choice. Well at 30, you get tired of this and your clock starts ticking so I said, heck, he loves me to death, I don't want to wait anymore. For whatever reason, I couldn't figure out the dating game or I couldn't or wouldn't figure out the animal in me; I tend to bring out that in men because of my looks and personality which I now think I would best tone down.


He said X to the third kid and I said well, X to any sort of relations then because I don't even want you in this way. I said that it wasn't normal that I didn't have any partners before him (I am very attractive, smart and have had many chances but wanted him because he loved me so much). My eyes are now totally roving on other men, I am flirting like crazy and carrying condoms for sexual therapy/permission.


I have given sex for love and now I can no longer. I tried to convince myself of feeling pleasure because he was so wonderful. The signs were there but we ignored them. I said, that's enough, virtue. I have needs and you are not meeting them (not even from the first kiss). I left the marriage bed and stayed in my 4 year's old's bed for 3 weeks and have returned just recently (although it doesn't make a difference).


We have not had sex for 8 months, no kissing or hugging for 1 month after a major talk. He has taken it hard after I said we didn't mix sexually, when what I wanted to say was that I was never attracted to him in the first place and maybe I stayed with him because he loved me. I had never had a bf so I guess I did everything. You know, why doesn't the girl who has everything have a bf?


All my body parts work. I always knew my excitement was based on intellectual (good conversation) and physical stimulation (i.e. a good looking guy since my h is ok looking). I guess I thought him loving me or me loving a good person was enough. I could live without great intimacy or being 'in love'.


I am having major flashbacks now to men I fooled around with in the past where I experienced pleasure. I have never thought of anybody until now (7 years after we moved in together). I feel virtually traumatized from this experience, now having visions of his pleasure and not mine (though he has tried) and feel I have betrayed my true physical nature and feelings in favour or virtue and convenience (heck, romance never worked for me so I gave up for the sure thing). He excelled on the virtue meter so much that I overlooked even my own needs.


Now we are like two friends (and not even so great since we have big cultural differences). He has pressured me once for relations and I thought, that's it, that's how it started, he pressured me to have sex the first time because he was nice to me (I was technically a virgin for whatever that's worth). And that is how it is ending.


I have a great marriage, great kids, a great house, car, great in-laws, but absolutely no chemistry. And in my book, if you don,t have that, you have nothing.


Any advice on this would be welcomed, thanks.

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I think any advice you will get here will be piecemeal. You can't squeeze in more than 7 years in one post, and we can hardly give really comprehensive advice, pointers rather. Much of the solution will have to come from you. I think you know that already, but here are some questions that could maybe help you along the way.

You say that conversation and intellectual stimulation is what works for you, and usually, sex in a marriage is the first casualty when communication fails. Could this be a reason for your sexual disinterest? In that case, you might want to consider suggesting a (sexual) time-out with your husband and just concentrate on getting to know eachother again. He will have to be in on this. He has to understand exactly what's going on. That you have no sexual feelings for him, BUT that you are willing to work on it together with him. Why not bring in a therapist in on this? Sexual therapy can help you a great deal in figuring out how to deal with this problem. I think it's worth considering, as your marriage seems to be heading for the rocks, to be perfectly honest.

As for your fantasies, don't worry about them. Sexual needs are human and healthy instincts. And since you aren't getting them met in your marriage, you are very likely to resort to fantasies, flashbacks or masturbation for some relief. But have an affair, and you automatically make this problem even more complicated. So exhaust all your options before you go down that road.

I hope this helps some.

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Hello fellow canadian,


I am so sorry that you've had to go down the road you painted in your life. I want to tell you that many other people are where you are. Many folks go through the same thing, where they married a "nice" person and made a nice life, worked hard, got all the material things, then after all that they raise their heads, look around and wonder why they bothered.

You sound like you tried your best to reach your dreams and on the surface you did, but you still feel something is lacking. In particular, your relationship with your husband is lacking intimacy. (not even sex)

Though it may be hard, I think the family unit you've committed to is too important to throw away on a mere affair. The statistics about relationships that started as affairs show they rarely amount to much.

You don't have to like your husband for now, but perhaps stick with the relationship for the family's sake until all options are exhausted.


I have some thoughts to think about...


Have you considered that a husband cannot fulfill your life. A marriage partner is a human being with human failings. Though they may help

us grow by being a foil and sharpening each other, they can't fulfill our lives truly. You didn't mention if you had any spiritual outlets such as local community church, meditation or other things. Sometimes life's practicalities make us forget about that part of ourselves.


I suspect you are looking for intimacy rather than merely sex. True intimacy is very difficult for folks to maintain especially after a few years of uprearing children. It is "work" to maintain that aspect of marriage. As the previous poster said, now that things have deteriorated, the relationship may be able to start from the beginning again (getting to know each other) and forget about the sex part.


Another aspect I have heard of is women that become isolated in marriage when the children come along and even before.

Do you have girlfriends or a community of support beyond your husband?

A man simply cannot replace that part of a woman's experience. This kind of thing could ease you through this time, perhaps a church connection, or community group or even a reading, cooking or yoga class.


I think it would be wise to try marriage/couples counseling for the sake of the family you've made. (The children and extended family including your children's children) Perhaps some counseling can be found through priests, pastors or community centers. Hopefully your husband would be willing to participate for the sake of the family you've made together.


Don't give up just yet.





P.S. With true intimacy (conversation) then comes the sharing of needs and the submitting of each other to one another so that the other's needs are more important than one's self. The best sex comes from that kind of intimacy where you can feel safe together.

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