I Feel Very Lonely Without Sex but Will Not Cheat

Question: Dear Luise: My wife and I have been together for 15 years, have two kids and in the past have been socially accepted. Recently my wife went through addiction problems and an affair. I have been there through thick and thin as opposed to the husband I was say 6yrs ago. My wife says she loves me (she is very honest with ALL that has happened) but cannot commit to a physical relationship with me. However she was able to do so with the person she cheated with, (who is a homeless addict with nothing but the clothes on his back and a rap sheet.) She has been distant for several years. I always made sure to accommodate her sexually as to not leave her short. What can I do to reverse this trend? She simply says she doesn’t like sex. That wasn’t the case when we married. As for loving me it is hard to comprehend when we may go months before she may break down and give me what I see as pity sex. I cook, clean, work, take care of kids but receive no compassion toward my needs. I don’t do these things for that reason but most women I know have stated they would be more than willing to be reasonable with their “no’s” if they had this type of treatment. PLEASE RESPOND!!!! I feel very lonely…but I will not cheat!!! M.

Answer: Dear M.: Where were you when I was looking for a husband? (Oh, now I remember…you weren’t born yet!) My point is that your friends are right; most women would find you a very attractive partner both in and out of bed. The other side of that coin is that it probably isn’t wise to discuss your situation with most women you know as long as you plan to stay in your situation. Knowing others agree and sympathize with you doesn’t change anything.

People vary a great deal when it comes to the need for sexual expression, or the lack thereof. Sometimes someone new changes that but often it’s only for a short while. There are those who enjoy illicit sex more than sanctioned sex. Often illness, whether physical or emotional, robs people of their sexual energy. Taboos from childhood can play havoc with sexuality. The list goes on and on.

If you will go to the section on my website headed Sexuality, you will find a large number of posts that deal with sexless relationships. Young or old, male or female, rich or poor…it doesn’t seem to make any difference. There are people who simply aren’t interested after the novelty wears off. They may start out just fine but it doesn’t last and then their partners, for whatever reason, are left out on a limb…usually while holding an entirely different definition of married love.

If your wife really wanted to solve the problem, her sexual disinterest might lessen with therapy but that’s never guaranteed. For some reason that I can’t fathom, those so inflicted don’t usually want to address and/or deal with the issue. Your wife’s recent problems with addiction and infidelity indicate that she is already dealing with some pretty tough issues but you also indicated it has been a longstanding problem.

You are left with a wife you love, kids you love, a home you love and no way to express your feelings or be comforted and acknowledged in the most natural and satisfying way known. If you stay, you may continue to live on an emotional desert and if you go, you will lose everything you value. Not an easy choice. Incompatibility is very difficult to live with. And you are 100% right about cheating; it always makes things worse.

I’m sure you have told your wife how you feel. The fact that she doesn’t see it as a priority is sad when you have bent double to stick by her.  However you can only change yourself, as you have over the last six years, you can never change another person. Blessings, Luise

4 Responses to I Feel Very Lonely Without Sex but Will Not Cheat

  1. PAUL REZSNYAK July 5, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    SAME HERE MARRIED 25 YEARS 3 GROWN; GRAND DAUGHTER
    WIFE MAY DO SEX , BUT PROBABLY JUST TIED TO ME. IT MAKES DINGS IN THE MARRIAGE. SHE TELLS ME THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HER; SHE CAN HAVE SEX? IT HAS TAKEN THE EXCITEMENT OUT TO BE WITH MY WIFE. YES – THERE IS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF LOVE & DEVOTION. I’M SORRY TO SAY – I FEEL SHE HAS BECOME ONE OF MY OBJECT TO TAKE CARE OF – SUCH AS DOG, BIRD, CAR, TOOLS AND BILLS. ON THE OTHER SIDE – MY CHILDREN; GRAND DAUGHTER GET ALL MY ATTENTION. WHEN I READ MR.M, I SEE HE HAS MORE HURT; IS NOT SURE HOW TO DEAL WITH HIS WIFE. I BECOME PHILOSOPHICAL AND LIVE BY SHAKESPEARE QUOTE: TO BE OR NOT TO BE. I HAVE TAKEN MY WIFE AROUND FRIENDS; THE LADIES ALWAYS TELL ME SHE NEEDS A GOOD TIME. (?) P.

    • Luise July 5, 2009 at 8:03 am #

      Dear P. Thanks for sharing. We are all so different when it comes to adjusting to changes and I don’t think there’s a marriage out there doesn’t produce changes. Some are positive but we don’t have trouble with those!

      We mature, we have physical and psychological challenges…life happens. Good for you for hanging in there but could you elevate your wife to something beyond your car and tools, maybe?

      On the other hand, there are people who much prefer their enthusiastic pets to their tired spouses. I was recently kidding around with my hubby, who is 98, and pretended I was leaving. I was holding our pet Chihuahua, “Me, Too”, and he quipped…”The dog stays!” LOL! Blessings, Luise

  2. J. December 29, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    M, I think there might be an issue here that is being overlooked. You say that she had no problem having sex with a homeless addict with a rap sheet. Have you considered that she was on drugs herself at the time?
    Was she doing it in exchange for drugs? Those under the influence of drugs do all kinds of things to get them that they would never do otherwise. Even if he wasn’t supplying her with drugs, just being on drugs probably numbed her dislike of the situation.
    It probably doesn’t mean she preffered that man to you, it just means the drugs were in control of her. You shouldn’t take it personally. J.

  3. Armin Berlin February 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Dear frustrated men:

    I’m pretty certain that you know: If you would end your present frustrating situation and start actively looking for someone, you would eventually suceed.

    The problem is: You have decided, for some reason, not to change your circumstances, no matter how frustrating they are. Some IMPORTANT reason, obviously … so, why do you complain?

    Many women – particularly the ones at advanced ages – keep telling each other that sex is just some big favor they are doing men. So, all we men have to do is find a woman who doesn’t subscribe to that philosophy.

    I have, after 3 failed marriages – been single for the past 18 years, and those 18 years have been the most interesting in my life, although I have missed sex and closeness and sex and mutual activities with a woman and sex more than I can describe here. Oh, did I mention sex, that I missed a lot? :))) Sex was the greatest activity I enjoyed with the women in my life. Two out of three wives suggested remarriage, and sex was very high on the list of the things that they enjoyed with me most.

    So, why did I chose to be alone for almost 20 years? Because, life is an incredible experience, particularly for a journalist like myself, and I have been able to do things and learn skills that I very likely would never have been able to do with a female around.

    So, I am not complaining at all. I will take it easy from now on and try and meet more women and see what that will be like, after all those lonely years. I will not act desperate. And if it takes very long to get settled, I will not forget to enjoy the freedom to accomplish whatever I want. Aaaah . . . freedom! Why do many of us find it so difficult to appreciate what we have enjoyed in life?

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