Intro from a lurker

Submitted by Goose on
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I’ve stopped in here off and on for quite a while now, but I’ve never really made an attempt to quit before. I want people to read this, so I’ll try to keep it to a manageable length. It’s a long story with lots of side issues, but I’m just going to try to hit the highlights.

Let’s start with a little background. I got married when I was 19 and recently passed my 35th anniversary. I could write books about this subject, but my wife doesn’t like sex. Never has and never will. We were married for nearly 11 years before we had intercourse the first time and in the intervening 25 years, I would venture a guess that the total is less than 100. It’s not just intercourse that she doesn’t like either, it’s the whole enchilada. She does get off on receiving oral, but that’s at most three or four times a year and I honestly believe that while she enjoys it physically, she’s ashamed that she does. When we do have intercourse, which we haven’t done in so long that I can’t even tell you for sure how many years it’s been, it’s very plain that she doesn’t like it. She allows only the missionary position and she lies there unmoving with a grimace on her face. Quite honestly, I lost interest in even trying a long time ago. Sex is hardly enjoyable when you feel like it’s something you’re inflicting on your partner.

We’ve done years and tens of thousands of dollars of counseling, but the bottom line is that she doesn’t like it and she’s not willing to work on it. In two different courses of counseling with two different therapists, she stopped going when the therapist wanted to address her sexual issues. My sex life with her is a hand job every six weeks or so.

I can’t tell you exactly when I developed the porn habit, but before it became so easily available on the internet, porn was something I enjoyed and used as a relatively healthy outlet, but not something that had any hold on me. I love my wife and couldn’t divorce her over lack of sex. Neither was I willing to have a girlfriend on the side. So basically, porn and masturbation was my sex life. Over the last 8-10 years it has become a problem. I use porn and masturbate all the time. If I’m alone with a computer, it’s the first thing on my mind. I’m constantly looking for things that slip by the filters at work. If I’m in early or stay late, I’ll even masturbate to porn in my office. Now I’ve started seeing the effects of this porn addiction. Aside from the compulsion that is clearly unhealthy, I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t get an erection without either viewing, or at least fantasizing about porn.

So to sum this up, I have multiple problems. I have a virtually asexual wife who has not the slightest interest in changing that. Partly as a result of that and the decades of frustration and partly as a result of my porn habit, I don’t even connect her with sex in my mind. Porn clearly isn’t causing a problem in our sex life (since there was/is no sex life to affect), but it’s become such a compulsion for me that I have to break free from it.

FWIW, it’s been ten days since I looked at porn or masturbated. So far it hasn’t been too tough, but the urge has been growing and is beginning to get hard to ignore. I’m still hanging in there though.

Glad you spoke up

Yeah, that sounds like a tough situation, Goose (Gander?).

I really admire you for trying to tackle the problem with so little incentive. Have you read Jesse's posts? http://www.reuniting.info/blog/4620 He had to thaw out a wife, too, and has made good progress. Mind you, she hadn't been in the deep freeze as long, but still it has been inspiring to follow along.

One thing that can really help with cravings is daily bonding behaviors. Could you enlist your wife's cooperation with them? Just tell her that intercourse doesn't have to be one of them, but that you need a daily snuggle, at least for a few minutes. See what effect it has on your nervous system...and hers. It can be a really powerful secret weapon (secret gift Smile ) because it it speaks directly to the part of the brain that decides if bonding is a good idea.

Just know that it takes time, and that the attention needs to be daily and selfless. Who knows? As you get used to giving, she might decide she likes receiving. Smile

Here are two articles that will help explain what I'm proposing:

"The Lazy Way to Stay in Love"
http://www.reuniting.info/lazy_way_to_stay_in_love

"Staying in Love Monkey-Style"
http://www.reuniting.info/staying_in_love_monkey_style

Also start your own blog if you like.

Actually, we're quite good

Actually, we're quite good about the bonding activities listed in the Lazy Way to Stay in Love. All of them except the ones that may have sexual connotations: no touching of breasts, nipples, or genitals, and obviously, no gentle intercourse. As for the rest, we're both quite regular in practicing those. We always have been. We are actually a very loving and affectionate couple - we just don't have sex.

The absence of sex in our relationship doesn't appear to be a problem for my wife. It has been a problem for me, one that I addressed through porn. Maybe I shouldn't give up on having a fulfilling sex life with my wife, but the fact is, I have. I love her unreservedly and we practice many bonding activities, but we don't have sex. It's kind of hard to explain, but I'm OK with it. Sort of. We sleep together nude. We hug. We snuggle and cuddle regularly, many times nude. But in my mind, I no longer see our relationship as sexual. For many years I used to say that if I could have good sex with any woman in the world, it would be her. But I don't feel that way any more. I wouldn't say that the idea of sex with her is distasteful, it's just that it doesn't enter into the picture. If I can use the example without opening the incest can of worms, it's almost like going on a road trip and sharing a motel with your daughter. You may be in close proximity all day. You may share a room, a bathroom, and maybe even a bed. But even if your daughter is seriously hot, there is just no hint of sexuality in your relationship. So it is with my wife. While there's a lot more physical intimacy then there would be with a daughter, there is the same lack of sexual feelings. Over the years, my brain has become "wired" to dissassociate sex from her. On those occasions when she "relieves" me, I've found that I've become less and less interested. I still have a healthy interest in sex, but just not with her.

That is a problem for me too. I'm interested in sex, but I'm not interested in sex with her. I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that she would never accept me seeking sex elsewhere. And since I love her and since I also believe in sexual fidelity, I haven't availed myself of other opportunities. In fact, I have a divorced female friend who has offered to be friends with benefits for years. Close to 20 years in fact. She has been celibate since her divorce way back then. She's not interested in having a boyfriend and not interested in sleeping around, but like me, she's not ready to give up sex just yet. We're good friends and she has offered it as a way that we could help to satisfy our desires without the risks of promiscuity. I've considered it, but I don't want to cheat on my wife.

So there's another twist in my life. I have a wife I dearly love and we have a wonderful relationship except for no sex. I have a more or less standing offer of sex from a friend with whom I honestly believe I could have a fulfilling sexual relationship without causing ill effects on my marriage. But my wife could never know. I've been unwilling to avail myself of that because I know my wife would never accept it and because I'm not willing to do it behind her back. But at the same time I've been hiding this porn addiction. And in some ways, I see the porn and the masturbation as being just as bad as extramarital sex. Like I say: a twisted mess.

The agapetae thing was very

The agapetae thing was very interesting. Thanks.

My goal now is to escape the porn addiction. I honestly don't see that it affects my marriage since it's a non-sexual relationship, but it does affect me. Like I said before, it's a compulsion that drives me to do things I really don't want to do. I don't like having porn be my first thought when I'm alone. I don't like the way it captures and controls my thoughts. I hate that I've become so hooked on it that I'll risk my career by surfing for porn at work and even masturbating in my office. I realize that I may never be totally free from it, but I have to break its hold on me.

Once that goal is accomplished, my next step is to figure out what to do with my sexuality. I was getting no satisfaction at home. I wasn't either mentally or emotionally prepared to give up on sex, I wanted to resist the alternative of seeking sex outside of my marriage, and I mistakenly believed that masturbating to porn was a healthy release valve. But now I can see that that cycle brings its own set of problems. At this point in my life, maybe the agapetae thing is the answer. Just swear off of sex. It seems unlikely, but maybe the friend with benefits is the answer. I'm a long way from resolving that one. But regardless, the porn thing has to end.