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Hi there! I am hoping to be of some assistance to you here today; how long have you been married?
I am wondering where the original breakdown of communication and the physical relationship occurred... also wondering if your relationship has been better after the incident involving the prostitute? Has he been the "husband you always dreamt of"?
We have been married 16 years. It was actually better after the prostitute. But really he had a normal sex drive until I got pregnant with our first child and then the trouble began (14 years ago). The last few days, he has been an ass a few times, and this morning he really was, plus I accidentally flashed him when repositioning my robe and he castigated me for it. He says he was just saying that I should go ahead and get dressed because it was late, and he says he finds me attractive, but there is no possible way that is true.
Our second child has special needs and my husband is fantastic with him (usually). Otherwise I think I would have left.
How do I maintain any self-esteem?
As you say, your sexual relationship was somewhat weak prior, so I am assuming that there may be other issues at play here. Have you clearly said that you want to remain married, but that a non-sexual marriage isn't an option for you? And have you suggested any counseling to try to get to the roots of what is undermining this situation?
We tried counseling bc after he found his whore I was pretty ready to call it quits; I wasn't going to let him stay here without it. The first counselor was female and bought his BS hook line and sinker so that was worthless although it was a little amusing to hear him come up with what he thought would impress her. The second counselor was male and nailed him on a couple things and then he didn't want to go back. It became unpleasant and he was making every effort to do the right thing so somehow I let it go.
Is a non-sexual marriage really not an option for me? That is what I am living now and I've been doing okay concentrating on good things until today it just all fell apart. Maybe tomorrow I can suppress the pain again, wouldn't that be best for my son?
I have told my husband I don't want to be roommates. Really, we are friends. Kind of like siblings. We are fond of each other unless he decides to play the older brother and boss me around or put me down.
It may be at a point where you have to decide where to put down your boundaries. You are entitled to a healthy and happy marriage and sex life. You can express to him that you are at your breaking point with this issue, and that you are getting close to calling it quits again unless something changes. Reconnecting emotionally in order to be comfortable being vulnerable to one another sounds like what is necessary, but you both have you walls of defense constructed to protect against any injury from one another. Defenses have to come down.
Yours, too... and this can be tough when you feel so let down and angry with the withholding of affection on his part.
But what will really happen? He can't find me attractive suddenly. He doesn't want me.
Well, he says he wants me but he never acts on it. Actions speak louder than words, and while I put up with this issue - I figured God was punishing me for sins committed before marriage - since he now has the huge sin of committing adultery with his whore, it is more than I can take.
When we are in self-protective mode, we send off the vibe of "keep back"... he won't approach, and neither will you... because getting hurt and being vulnerable is scary. If just talking about this doesn't break down the walls, it might take a short vacation together alone, or doing something playful in which you can both relax and drop the tension... and try to reconnect as equals. Without anyone having the upper hand or all the power. He has power over you in this situation; and maybe you just need to regain some of it in a non-threatening way.
That is, if you want to. You might just be exhausted from the whole thing, and be ready to stop?
A non-threatening way like...a short vacation?
Yes... somewhere that you are both somewhat powerless... someplace new... where you have to work together to find your way... level the playing field a bit.
He kind of takes charge all the time which I let him do bc if I make a mistake he nags and it makes me feel bad. I guess we could go somewhere where they speak another language bc I am good at that and he is not, and we might have to work together, but I don't know, because he is cheap and there is our special needs son to arrange care for. I guess I could point out it would be cheaper than a divorce, but that sounds kind of threatening
Marriage can survive infidelity, and actually thrive because of it. He put himself in a very precarious situation with the cheating, but even more so by having to earn back your trust. He was completely weakened and at your mercy, no more power. You held all the cards. So, he seems to have found some by withholding sex, and maybe the infidelity somehow scarred him a bit as did the prostatitis. The two of you can work this through and get the love back, but both of you have to once again open your hearts to one another.
And with the children to think of, saving a marriage if possible is always the best choice...
Do you think the $$ would be better spent on counseling or on a vacation? And how do I get him to stop withholding sex? You are right, it gives him all the power. But if I don't say anything about it, he still has all the power, because we just don't have sex. I am utterly powerless because if I say anything that is a turnoff and if I don't, we don't have sex.
He has never been good with affection either; this he gets from his uptight stick-up-their-butts family.
Yes, the balance of power is always shifting in any marriage; and that is to be expected. Only you know if you have ever been truly satisfied with him and if you love him enough to work through this. It is tough to say without knowing either of you, but if you are approachable and non-aggressive in the way you bring this issue up and he is still cold and not willing to listen to you, then counseling will quite possibly be a good idea. If he sees you are hurting, and wants to repair the damage and start again, then a vacation may be nice. Either way, you are both in self-protective mode, and something has to give in order for there to be a new beginning.
Okay, that gives me a plan of attack, which is what I needed because I was uncharacteristically at a loss. Thank you.
It is my pleasure! Please let me know how things work out--- and if he is a sweet man and a good father, it will be worth the work!!
How do I let you know? He is a great father to our little boy and a good one to our girl.
This question will remain in the "my questions" tab at the top of your screen; you can reaccess it there again later. Or just type "to Heidi LPC" at the start of a new question, and it will be directed to me... :-) I wish you all the best!! :-)
Okay, thank you!!
You are very welcome!! :-)