Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this very sad and frustrating reality you have been facing for the past five years.
Hello. I'm Dawn.
Thank you for joining the chat, Dawn. I would suggest to block this chat when we end it since it is public and I think you would prefer it to be that way.
What you describe here is very serious, since it shows how this issue that started 5 years ago has become chronic, and it seems you have done everything in your power to promote changes, taking initiatives, making things as easy and comfortable as possible for him, without any result.
Yes, and he's always been such an easy-going sort.
Suddenly there are subjects that seem out of bounds.
If you have asked him so many times and for so long about it, for you to work on it and he has consistently avoided even to discuss the matter, have you made it clear that you are feeling overwhelmed by it and what has been his reaction, isn't he fearful about it undermining and possibly destroying your marriage even more?
I can't tell. He never seems to express "fear" about anything. He's so even-keel that even in emergency situations one rarely sees a ripple troubling the surface of the waters.
When I tell him how I feel, he is so sweet and says "we'll work on it", but it never gets better.
After surgery it could happened that he got more depressed and conflicted, obviously this is not about you since it is his libido which has apparently disappear, once no other women, pornography, not other stimuli get his attention. But what makes it so serious, is his total disregard about your core needs and expectations in your marital life, that is truly serious and seems hopeless. once he is unwilling to even try and work on it.
That's what's got me so conflicted--in every other way he is so loving and gentle and caring, but this seems to be the one stumbling block.
Then his solid and rigid approach is repression, it could be that he found in it the best way for him to numb pain of any kind, but when doing that he also denies the need to experience life the way it it, so to take real good care of your marital life and any issue that could arise.
Based on your story, I do not see how your situation could significantly improve at all, once he is the only one with the power and responsibility to make changes happen, and he has chosen not to even talk about it, and it has been this way for the past 5 years!
That's pretty much the conclusion I've reached unfortunately.
Is there any sort of "last ditch effort" that is worth a try?
You need to reassess your core needs and expectations, to see if you would be able to cope with this reality while taking good care of your mental and emotional health, feel good enough and fulfilled in life. I think that we all should be realistic and optimistic at the same time, and that means that it's necessary to adjust our expectations and decisions to reality, otherwise we would self-sabotage and even allow other people to use, abuse or neglect us. Focusing on what depends on you and doing your best at that level is the best you can continue to do, while hoping he would choose to reciprocrate and also set you and your marital life as a number one priority in the near future.
Nobody know what changes could arise impacting his ways of taking care of himself and coping, sharing and expressing his emotions. What you know is what you have already seen from the past to the present, that's reality right now, and it is necessary to come to terms with it in order to take good care of yourself within the restrictions you choose to afford.
Many women are not willing to remain passive and just adjust to an asexual life in their marriages, where they do not feel heard, cared by, understood and supported at those levels too. Other feel they have no option but to live with it, because they choose to follow what their value and belief systems command and they are unwilling to change that, or feel that the healthy relationship-life at the all other levels could justify staying in the marriage even when with such huge limitation. Only you know how you feel and what you are willing or not to afford.
Not so much that I have a big hang-up with fidelity, only that I'm not that interested in other people. I want him, and if I can't have him like that, then I have to do a major reassessment of how to proceed.
My suggestion is for you to be fully truthful and honest with yourself in order to take good care of your life, and honest towards him hoping he would become more empathic, less selfish, and consider your needs and longings in this area too. Does it make sense?
Yes, very much so.
I'm glad you used the word "selfish". I've been struggling to apply it to him, since he is so wonderful in so many ways, but I think it does fit.
I thank you so much.
Sure it does, it's very obvious to me as a professional that this is very unfair and neglectful.
You're very welcome. Please take gentle care and feel free to contact me for any further support.
It gives me a little more "permission" (if that's the right word) to try for one more talk.
Thanks again. I'll do that.
You're welcome. Thanks and bye for now.